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284 runners attend the inaugural Colney Lane parkrun at UEA

Nearly 300 runners from across the county and beyond braved the icy temperatures on Saturday morning to attend the first ever Colney Lane parkrun at the University of East Anglia playing fields.

Despite the chill, there was a great atmosphere as runners young and old came to test out the new, scenic course which becomes a much-welcomed third parkrun for Norwich.

Numbers at the two existing 5k parkruns at Eaton Park and Catton Park have been rising rapidly in recent months and it’s hoped the new Colney Lane parkrun will help meet the growing demand for the community events which are free to take part in and aimed at getting more people, of all ages and abilities, active.

Co-Event Directors Ian Edwards and Grant Wheeler both work at the university. Ian says they were delighted with how well things went on Saturday:

“We’ve already had some great feedback about the run and how much people enjoyed it. We’re pleased the cold weather didn’t put people off and we’re looking forward to welcoming more people to the event in coming weeks as the word spreads.”

Although events are run entirely by volunteers, initial funding is required to help with equipment, training and central support systems before, during and after the start-up process. This was provided jointly by the Sportspark and Active Norfolk.

Director of UEA Sport, Phil Steele, said it’s been great to get the event off the ground and build on the university’s excellent track record of supporting community sport:

“After an initial attempt to host a parkrun at UEA about 3 years ago it was hugely exciting to find a solution to the route conundrum that held us up previously. I hope the event becomes another highlight for the community of Norwich and we welcome the opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of local people.”

There are currently more than 14,000 students at UEA and Phil says the new parkrun will also provide them with an exciting opportunity to get active and involved:

 “Last year, UEA was awarded the UK Universities ‘Participation Programme of the Year’ and parkrun represents another great opportunity for students to become involved in social and recreational sport, as well as volunteering.”

It’s hoped the event will provide a great, informal way of bringing those who work, live or enjoy the UEA grounds together. If anyone is interested in volunteering opportunities at the new Colney Lane parkrun, please contact colneylanehelpers@parkrun.com.

If you’d like to come and walk, jog or run Colney Lane parkrun, or any other parkrun in the world, you’ll need to register online, print off your barcode and bring it with you when you run – all parkruns are free to take part in. Colney Lane parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9am. You can find out more about the event on the Colney Lane parkrun website.