Roding Valley became the latest parkrun to launch in the south of England, with 218 finishers at the inaugural event on Saturday (14 January). The core team of volunteers staged a successful test event the previous week (pictured) and the first official run went off without a hitch, despite some concerns after rain and snow fell during the preceding few days.
Roding Valley's parkrunday was blessed with a crisp, clear sunrise and firm conditions underfoot. More than 15 volunteers gave up their time so others could run and some even ran then helped out where required, which is entirely within the spirit of parkrun.
The two-lap course, mainly on grass, follows the perimeter of the park and skirts the River Roding, with a few wooden bridges to cross. The venue in North London has three other parkruns situated within five miles: Gunpowder, Walthamstow and Valentines.
The first finishers and course record holders are M45 Adam Baker (Orion Harriers, 17:50) and Danielle Nimmock (City of Norwich, 18:16), who finished fourth overall. Top M60 master Dave Cox (Woodford Green, 18:57) recorded an impressive 86.9% to head the age-grading table.
The first run report paid tribute to the volunteers and added: “It was lovely to see so many people brand new to parkrun coming and joining us. You have started on an amazing journey and we're so pleased you're sharing it with us. parkrun is an opportunity for us all to get moving, improve our fitness and create a fabulous running community here in Loughton”.
We could not have put it better ourselves.
Full details of Roding Valley parkrun here.
To find your nearest parkrun simply search for parkrun events here.