Run Director Jill White keen to encourage all-inclusive parkrun

The Southampton parkrun has quickly grown to become the second biggest weekly running event in the country.

Over 900 people attend Southampton common every Saturday, looking to reap the rewards of the event held so dear by the community.

Volunteer director Jill White was keen to welcome all potentially interested,

White giving out instructions
Photos: Luke Sutcliff.

“We absolutely encourage all shapes, sizes and abilities. It’s not about the guys at the front who are going to run it in 16 minutes, it’s about people who have never run before and have chosen to come along here because it’s a safe easy environment to learn to run in.

“There’s nearly a thousand people here today! We started off in the early 200 numbers six or seven years ago, now we get up to nearly 1200 or 1300 which is absolutely amazing.

“Even on Christmas day there were 750 people here 9am on Christmas morning, that shows how much people enjoy it, you don’t do that if you don’t enjoy it”.

Research supports that exercise such as running, does wonders for relieving anxiety and other mental health trauma.

White and others having a chat.

The sense of community and the relief of negative toxins that exercise brings does wonders for Britain’s running population which reached 10.5 million in 2014 following London 2012.

“I must know 200 people I never knew before, so mentally I think it’s great for all of us. If you see them in the street you wave, it’s great! People can go to the café or pub after and have a coffee and moan at how they didn’t do so well or how it went today, it gets everyone talking for sure”.