2018 was a landmark year for parkrun around the world, including the New Forest based runs that take place every Saturday in Lymington and Brockenhurst.
The parkrun movement is now widely viewed as an innovative health intervention with an impact that reaches far beyond parks and open spaces on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Parkrun’s anniversary week in October welcomed the five millionth person to the parkrun family and saw the 420,000th person volunteer.
On Christmas Day Lymington Woodside parkrun celebrated in style, with a record 217 presents in the form of runners, walkers, baby buggy pushers and dogs.
To make the morning even more special, snow and Christmas music was supplied, which greeted every participant on each lap as they went past the pavilion, which was open and, as usual, operated by parkrun volunteers.
Dave Swindles, from Hackney parkrun, celebrated with his 50th run and Woodside’s very own Linda Dowell clocked up her 300th run.
It was the second year that Woodside has held a Christmas Day event. In 2017, there were over 160 participants, but 2018 broke the record.
Last Saturday’s Brockenhurst parkrun, held in the winter at Wilverley Inclosure, benefitted from the mild and dry weather conditions with 246 runners taking part from 41 different clubs. It was the second highest number of runners at Brockenhurst parkrun.
On Sunday, 21 youngster enjoyed the New Milton junior parkrun. Familiar faces were joined by five first-timers, some taking part in their first junior parkrun.
Parkruns are open to all, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. There are two available in the New Forest, they are held at 9am every Saturday morning at Lymington Woodside Gardens SO41 8FP, and Wilverley Inclosure (winter parkrun) or Brockenhurst College (summer parkrun).
The New Milton 2k junior parkrun for children aged between 4 and 14 years takes place every Sunday morning at 9am at Fawcetts Field, Christchurch Road, New Milton, BH25 6QF.