Set up by Ian Gow, who has occasionally run half marathons, the runs began in November with just 10 runners. However, by February the group had grown to 65 runners, including children and mothers with pushchairs, running as many or as few laps as they like around the 1.25km loop.
Local runner, Laetitia Brighton said: “It is an incredibly supportive and inclusive group, and this explains the success of it.”
The initiative has become so successful that Mr Gow was contacted about the Barnwell run becoming an official Parkrun, but he declined the offer. “That wasn’t what we were looking to do as we want to keep it more casual to attract every type of runner, jogger and walker.”
For those less keen on early starts on Sunday mornings, there is now also a Thursday run at 7pm in the park. On Tuesdays a 5k run starts at the Co-op car park at 7pm. The routes change every three to four weeks.
Organiser Ian Gow encourages everyone to try the run. “If you would like to join us for the first time you will be made very welcome and will be encouraged and supported to help achieve your goal. I promise you will love it.”
A regular participant expressed appreciation for the event in a social media post: “Five laps today including a little run. My own achievement. Thank you Ian for arranging these runs. Gives me the opportunity to build up my strength.”