WATCH: Shetland’s first parkrun pulls in plenty

A ferry full of runners arrived in Bressay this morning for the first ‘parkrun’ in the isles.

Shetland has joined a community of 5k courses across the globe, where folk can register online for a barcode and run/walk the route with friends and family.

More than 60 people lined up on the start line, from Bressay residents to “parkrun tourists” travelling as from as far away as London, Glasgow and Manchester, especially to take part in the inaugural event.

Despite the snow, and ice, an army of volunteers helped runners negotiate the course, with gritters up early this morning to ensure the roads were clear.

50-year-old Scott Walker had travelled up from Glasgow and has several of the Saturday morning runs under his belt.

“I’m doing a tour of Scotland,” said Scott after crossing the finishing line.

“There’s 35 of them in Scotland so me and my pal are doing the grand tour.”

The route packed in plenty of Bressay’s amenities and attractions, and Scott was impressed with the snow-covered scenery too.

“It’s beautiful [the course]. We’ve done 31 different courses in Scotland so far and this is definitely one of the best ones….you’re running but you’re also looking at the scenery.”

Sadly it was whistle-stop tour – with Scott due back on the boat tonight.

Although he hopes to return again in future.

Meanwhile, parkrun veteran Peter Fordham had travelled from London and is part of a parkrun founders club.

He has completed more than 300 parkruns and has even travelled as far away as Namibia to enjoy a parkrun race.

He said it is an opportunity for people to socialise and 5k is an “ideal distance” to open up the event to runners and walkers, and a range of ages.

“I know a lot of people down in London and they will probably come up when the weather gets better,” he said.

“From my perspective I like to see it in winter. It seems very real because you have some of the wildest weather.”

He added: “It’s really open to everyone of all ages and all capabilities. It’s a friendly environment and everyone is welcome.

“[And there’s] The fact that people know it’s on every weekend and they can just turn up on the day, bring their barcode and off they go.”

More in Friday’s Shetland Times.



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