Runners looking to take part in all the UK parkruns have just had their finish line moved a little bit further away, as the starter’s pistol has fired for three new events in Scotland.
The addition of three events takes the total of Scottish parkruns to 42. And just like the others before them, every new parkrun has its own story.
South Ayrshire’s Girvan Prom parkrun launched on 28 July, and is looking forward to its eighth edition this Saturday.
Run director David told runABC Scotland that his parkrun was established after consultation at a Girvan Community Sport Hub meeting. “Various people involved in sport in the community highlighted [a parkrun] as something that would be good for the area,” he told us.
“The route itself was chosen because of its location: right on the sea front with incredible views of Ailsa Craig, the beach, sea and hills galore. The start and finish is right next to the Quay Zone, our local leisure centre. They’ve been incredibly supportive of this event and one of their staff is a run director.
“The route itself is a mixture of path and grass, and we’ve had very positive comments about it. It’s very flat – but people should come to Girvan Prom parkrun because of how scenic it is. The hills, sea and beach make for a great distraction as you're working away!”
The two other new Scottish parkruns, Lanark Moor and Loch Leven, launched on 11 August and are going from strength to strength after just five editions each. The pair average 92 and 136 runners per week, respectively, with Loch Leven parkrun enjoying a top turn-out of 224 runners on one occasion – fantastic numbers for an established parkrun, much less one a few weeks old.
Like Girvan both Lanark and Loch Leven have attractive routes too. Runners taking on the Lanark Moor event start their 5k at Lanark Racecourse, run round Lanark Loch before finishing off with a loop of the Lanark Moor Cycle Trail and a coffee at The Bistro Café.
Not far from Kinross, the Loch Leven parkrun follows parts of the Heritage Trail, and almost reaches the famous loch itself; post-run coffees are available near the race’s start point, Loch Leven’s Larder.
Image: Girvan Prom parkrun (courtesy Girvan Prom parkrun)