Pomphrey parkrun in the national spotlight

Published on: 02 May 2016

Hill Run

POMPHREY Hill Parkrun has gained some more participants in recent weeks in the wake of the furore at neighbouring Little Stoke.
But organisers have taken the fuss in their stride – so to speak – and say  they will continue to hold the weekly 5k timed run in Mangotsfield free of charge.
The point of the worldwide parkrun movement is that it is open to all, takes place in public parks, and no one has to pay.
That's why the decision of Stoke Gifford Parish Council to impose a fee of £1 per runner to cover the cost of wear and tear on the park at Little Stoke caused an outcry across the country and beyond.
More than 50,000 people signed an online petition against the charges and politicians, health campaigners and athletes including Paula Radcliffe spoke out in support of the run.
The publicity forced organisers at Little Stoke to cancel their run on April 16, meaning numbers were swelled at the Pomphrey Hill Playing Fields to around 300 rather than the usual 160-180. The course proved a challenge for some, as it includes the infamous “Up Pomphrey” Hill but it was all worthwhile when they got to the bacon butties and flapjacks at the end.
Event director Meryl Grimshaw, a parkrun ambassador, said the Pomphrey run, which began in March 2014, was an inclusive community activity supported by a strong team of
volunteers.
It takes place at 9am every Saturday and is one of 396 UK parkruns, which are part of a worldwide network of 863 events. Anyone can take part as long as they register online beforehand and get a paper barcode.
South Gloucestershire Council owns the Pomphrey Hill sports ground, which is run by the Pomphrey Hill Community Sports Association. To find out more, visit www.parkrun.org.uk/pomphreyhill

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