Norwich Junior Parkrun celebrates its first anniversary with medals and cake

The 1st anniversary of Norwich Junior Parkrun takes place in Eaton Park.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The 1st anniversary of Norwich Junior Parkrun takes place in Eaton Park.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

It is the weekly event that can become an addiction - and has helped hundreds of youngsters, and their parents, get into shape.

And today, Norwich Junior Parkrun celebrated its first anniversary with medals and cakes for its 192 finishers.

The free event, which sees children aged four to 14 run a 2,000m course around Eaton Park, has become one of the most popular of its kind in the UK, with children coming back week after week to have fun, and try to beat their personal best.

One junior parkrun veteran Aidan Banfield, 13, was acting as a volunteer today.

He said: 'I just really like it. I get addicted to it. It forms a habit. I have definitely found my running is better now I'm doing parkruns.'

A number of first timers took part in the anniversary event - and said they planned to come back again.

Avenue Junior School pupil Joe Moore, eight, said: 'I like the fact it tells you how far you have gone, and in what time. It felt a bit scary, but it was fun. It was quite difficult.

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His brother Gabriel, 11, agreed the event was fun, and said he wanted to come back, too.

Andrew Lane, the founding event director, said the junior park run, a sibling of the 5,000m senior event that takes place on Saturdays, had exceeded all his expectations.

Jo Phillips, the current event director, said many people were surprised by how well the youngest children did running 2km.

Asked about the future of the event, she said: 'It would be great if we could become a much bigger community event, and reach out to families who might not usually be inclined to come somewhere like this.'

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