Its launch one year ago saw 569 runners taking part and since then around 400 runners every week take part on a 5km route around Marquis Drive on Cannock Chase. Considered to be one of the most picturesque Parkrun events in the country and the seventh largest.
As well as the runners, an army of around 30 - 40 volunteers give up their time each week, wind, rain or shine to ensure that the event runs smoothly. The event is supported by Staffordshire County Council park rangers, some of who even started taking part in their spare time.
The event set up costs were funded by Staffordshire County Council and Cannock Chase District Council to help increase the number of people taking part in physical activity in the area. The event is now being run by volunteers.
Councillor Muriel Davis, Portfolio Leader for Health and Wellbeing at Cannock Chase Council said “One of our main priorities at Cannock Chase Council is better health outcomes and the Cannock Chase parkrun fits this perfectly.
“I was delighted when I heard that the parkrun was starting and I can’t believe it’s been twelve months already. The figures if those attending each week is outstanding, it’s fantastic to hear the stories of people who have not only got fit and lost weight, but also built friendships and even say it’s changed their lives. None of this could be done without the volunteers, who turn up each week, whatever the weather. Well done to all those involved.”
Alan White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing at Staffordshire County Council said he was delighted to see so many people taking part in the park run and that it had become so popular.
Alan said: “One of our key priorities as a County Council is to help people lead healthier and happier lives and we are keen to see more people more active more often.
“This is a great event and a wonderful example of people coming together week in week out to support each other. It’s hard to believe that it is a year since the first run, but having so many people taking part now is great news.
“As well as the physical health benefits of running, people are also more likely to carry on being active if they are part of a regular group event. Our army of volunteers are also absolutely key to the event’s success too and I would like to thank them all for their contributions.”
Ellen Williams, Event Director for Cannock Chase Parkrun "A year ago when we set up the parkrun we never dreamt it would take off in the way it has - we started on that first November morning with our fingers firmly crossed that people were going to turn up. We had over 500 runners, Cannock Chase parkrun had started with a bang! Since then it has enabled people to make memories, build friendships and achieve dreams. Barely a week goes by where we don't hear thanks from the runners for giving them the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful run around the Chase - knowing we have given so many people this opportunity is quite humbling. The success of Cannock Chase parkrun has come about as a result of a wonderful partnership, between the core team, Cannock District and Staffordshire County councils and hundreds of incredible volunteers. We want to extend our thanks to the council and Staffordshire Athletics Network for helping us to set up the parkrun, the Rangers for their incredible support week in and week out, the cafe staff and of course our volunteers (without whom the run would not be possible), and of course to the runners for turning out in their droves every week."
Cannock Chase Park Run Stats
Volunteer occasions: 1590
Kilometres Ran: 92485
Angela Pritchard (pictured) "Parkrun really has changed my life - it's that simple! 12 months ago, I was unhappy, overweight and unbelievably unfit. I nervously turned up for the inaugural parkrun with 568 others and I walked round the course. I used a couch to 5k app to build up stamina and 3 months (and 2 stone) later I was able to run the whole course. Parkrun really is a community event that welcomes everybody. It has helped me lose weight, gain confidence, make lots of new friends, and encourage my whole family to get out and enjoy the outdoors."
Catherynne Henderson (pictured) "Parkrun has helped me in so many ways. Not just for the health benefits of being able to run 5k regularly but the social side too. I am not from this area and it hasn’t been very easy to make friends here. Since starting to volunteer and run at parkrun I have made so many friends, and I actually look forward to getting up early on a Saturday to go and see them. I love the feel of parkrun, it is like a huge extended family and everyone is always so happy to see everyone else. Parkrun is utterly amazing and I now recommend it to whoever will listen to me."