Chester parkrun – along with more than 300 parkruns across the country – joined NHS70 celebrations on Saturday (June 9) to mark 70 years of our National Health Service.
As well as recognising the NHS’s birthday, it is hoped that parkrun for the NHS will encourage new participants, including NHS staff, to get more involved in physical activity and volunteering. Inactivity is a key cause of obesity, which it is estimated is responsible for more than 30,000 deaths each year.
Dieticians and nurses from the Diabetes Essentials team were amongst the runners along with their kids, a buggie and even Stanley the dog.
A spokesperson for the team said: “We are all about encouraging people to look after their own health and we see parkrun as a great way of including physical activity into a weekly routine.
“Whether you walk, jog, volunteer or come along to support - it really helps build activity & wellbeing into your routine. This is really important for everyone, including people living with diabetes. Parkrun helps make activity part of your weekly routine, in an enjoyable way, with a real community feel. People are so welcoming and supportive at parkrun - no matter how long the course takes you. It really is about taking part and doing it for your own goals, whatever that may be.”
Chester parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9am. It is a 5 km challenge – you against the clock – and is free and open to all, whatever your age and whether you want to run, jog or walk. This week, with the NHS70 celebrations, a record 406 runners and walkers took part including staff and charities from the Countess of Chester Hospital and people taking part in NHS themed costume. An impressive 26 people were taking part for their very first time.
Event director for Chester parkrun Matthew Dowset said: “As a parkrun that sits in the shadow of our local hospital, in a park of the same name and on land owned by the NHS it is something close to our hearts. We were rewarded with a beautiful morning, an entertaining crowd, and a record turnout. We would like to thank all those who made this a colourful 99th parkrun at Chester.
“Endless thanks to the fantastic volunteers who do a brilliant job every week to bring you a fabulous parkrun, and thank you to The Little Owl for our post run breakfast.”
Diabetes Essentials offers separate information sessions for people with Borderline Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. Sessions run in Ellesmere Port, Chester, Bunbury and Frodsham.
Next week, Saturday, June 16 will be the 100th parkrun at Chester, more information at www.parkrun.org.uk/chester