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Can you spot yourselves in our photos of the 500th Norwich parkrun?

PUBLISHED: 15:19 22 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:50 23 February 2020

The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Archant 2020

A record-breaking crowd turned out for a landmark run in an historic park.

The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Norwich parkrun, which is a free weekly 5K timed run held every Saturday morning in Eaton Park, celebrated its 500th volunteer-led event this weekend.

The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Some 718 people turned out for the run on February 22, including people who took part in the first Norwich parkrun on August 7, 2010, which attracted 117 runners.

The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Event director Richard Polley said: "When the idea of parkrun was first mooted in this part of the world I didn't think it would catch on. I didn't think people would want to do the same thing every week and I didn't think we would have enough volunteers, but how wrong was I. The 500th run had a great and happy atmosphere."

The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

It came after a shaky start to the milestone - a car containing 1,000 finish tokens, used to calculate people's times, was stolen in Lowestoft on Thursday.

The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

A post on Norwich parkrun's Facebook page said parkrun headquarters and Royal Mail saved the day after replacement tokens arrived on Friday.

The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

The run director praised parkrun headquarters who stepped in to help, before adding that volunteers got as much out of parkrun as runners and Norwich parkrun was always looking for volunteers to support the event.

The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park
Teresa Burdett and Claire Ellsey 
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park Teresa Burdett and Claire Ellsey Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

The concept of parkrun was founded in Paul Sinton-Hewitt on October 2, 2004, at Bushy Park in London.

The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The 500th Norwich Parkrun at Eaton Park Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

MORE: Huge turnout at Norwich's parkrun's 500th Eaton Park event shows massive popularity of running in Norfolk



It grew into a network of similar events called the UK Time Trials, before adopting the parkrun name in 2008 and expanding into other countries.

All parkruns are organised by volunteers and there are different courses across Norfolk and Suffolk which attract thousands of people who take part in the free events each week.

In Norwich there are now four parkrun events including the one at Eaton Park, which is the longest running in the city.

The others are in Sloughbottom Park, Catton Park, and Colney Lane while junior parkrun events, covering shorter distances, take place in Eaton Park and Lea Bridges Park in Lakenham.

Mr Polley described parkrun as a worldwide phenomenon.

He added: "It is for everybody. It doesn't matter how fit you are because it is a run not a race. It gives everyone the chance to do something on a regular basis in terms of health and wellbeing. It has had a big impact on running. I see no signs of parkrun stopping."

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