Early morning dog walkers in Sheringham Park may have been surprised to see a large stack of presents, a Christmas cracker and a whole crowd of Santas running by.

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Participants in the weekly Saturday morning park run wore fancy dress for their jog to celebrate the festive season.

More than 100 people turned out for the event despite the rain and cold December weather.

Run director Chris Brown said: “It was a good crowd. I was amazed given the weather. We had volunteers and spectators involved as well so there must have been about 125 people there in total.”

Parkrun UK helps local groups set up weekly, 5km timed runs that are free and open to all at venues throughout the UK. Its aim is to have a park run in every community that wants one. Norfolk events are currently held at Gorleston Cliffs near Great Yarmouth, Fritton Lake Country Park and Easton Park, Norwich.

Sheringham’s park run was created in partnership with local people, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), Active Norfolk, The National Trust and North Norfolk Beach Runners and has now been handed over to the community to manage.

Some participants run for fun, including complete novices who wish to get physically active. Others are seasoned athletes who run as part of a training plan. People also run with their dogs or whilst they are on holiday in north Norfolk.

Mr Brown said: “We normally have about 75 regular runners each week. We really want to target people who think running is not for them and show them how much fun it can be. There are health benefits to the run but there is also an opportunity to socialise afterwards. Runners can be fast or slow. There are no expectations.”

The event starts at 9am every Saturday and involves a one-lap route through historic parkland and wooded tracks.

It is currently organised by run directors Mr Brown and Karl Read with a team of volunteers to marshall the route and time the runners, Each park runner is encouraged to volunteer three times a year. There is no joining fee but runners are required to register before taking part. Parking at Sheringham Park is free for participants. Email sheringhamhelpers@parkrun.com for more information.

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