How 888 parkrunners smashed a record this morning in Felixstowe
PUBLISHED: 15:58 01 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:59 01 January 2020
A 'phenomenal' number of runners kick-started the new year with a morning run beside the sea - and smashed a record along the way.
A total of 888 participants took part in the Felixstowe parkrun along the promenade, making it the biggest ever parkrun event in the county.
READ MORE: Suffolk runners break parkrun records on New Years' Day
Parkrun, which is organised by volunteers and is free to participate in, continues to grow in popularity, with 12 events now established in Suffolk.
The Felixstowe run was first launched in April 2018, but managed to set a new single event attendance record for a Suffolk parkrun last year when 671 participants crossed the finish line on New Year's Day, and then broke that record again this year.
The record for the most runners doing parkrun in a single day in Suffolk also tumbled yesterday, with 3,147 participants running across nine events.
The Felixstowe start was staggered with the Ipswich run, giving people the chance to take part in both and get two credits on a single day.
Felixstowe event director Sarah Fitch said her event had gone from "strength to strength", adding nearly 900 participants was a "phenomenal" number.
She said: "The atmosphere was amazing. We put a lot of work into making it run smoothly. Everyone was so positive.
"Felixstowe prom is a popular place on New Year's Day. There were people out walking in the sunshine.
"Everyone was so happy and so grateful we put on the event. There were people just watching the runners. It was a fantastic feeling."
Normally Felixstowe attracts about 250 runners every week, but Mrs Fitch believed the opportunity to gain double credits, get 2020 off to a healthy start, plus the fine weather encouraged more people to take part.
She added: "The whole parkrun movement is just getting bigger every year and new parkruns have started up. Running is just becoming more popular."
A total of 258 ran in Ipswich, while 347 were out running in Kesgrave.
About 40 volunteers helped manage the run on January 1 in Felixstowe, compared to about 20 on a normal day.
On New Year's Day 2019 a total 2,648 people took part in the events across Suffolk, which was a record figure at the time.
-To find out about your local parkrun see here.
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