Big turnout for first Lochaber parkrun

PARK RUN 8/4/18 Multiple Ben Race winner, Finlay Wild cuts the ribbon with organiser, Helen Smith to start the first Fort William Park Run, which he went on to win. PICTURE IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE

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Eighty-one runners turned up to the first parkrun event ever to be held in Lochaber in good conditions at Nevis Range on Saturday.

Parkrun is a free weekly 5km walk, jog or run held every Saturday morning at 9.30am with thousands of people taking part across the globe at once.

And after a year of organising, last Saturday was the first edition of Lochaber’s version of the popular event.

A strong field of 81 participants set off on the first parkrun in Lochaber. IF F15 Park Run 02. Photo: Iain Ferguson, the Write Image.

Among the 81 participants, a large number of ‘parkrun tourists’ travelled to run with the Lochaber group, with entries from holiday makers from New Zealand, London, Devon, Portsmouth all lining up at the start line at Nevis Range. There was a number of runners who came from Fife, Edinburgh and Alloa especially for the weekend, eager to take part in the first Lochaber parkrun.

Closer to home, a group from Aviemore took part in Saturday’s run with an eye to starting their own version in the Cairngorms.

Many of the travelling entrants stayed to ski or take part in other activities in the area over the weekend.

Of course, there was a great turn-out from local runners.

Organiser Helen Smith said: ‘With it being such a relaxed run it was a great way for those wanting to get back into running to enjoy the social side of it with so many others but under no pressure to race.

‘The feedback from many who attended thought it was the best route or one of the top three in Scotland. This will quickly spread through the parkrun community I am sure and we will see us being a popular tourist run for many.’

The organisers anticipate that the Lochaber event will become a popular mainstay on the parkrun calendar.