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Junior takeover sees new record set at run

A TAKEOVER of the junior parkrun in Bognor Regis led to a record turnout.


A total of 151 runners took part in the weekly event after its organisation was handed over to members of the town’s Scouting movement.


A large number of families and friends also went along to the occasion on Sunday morning to add to its success.


The result of the involvement of the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts was so positive that it could become an annual occurrence.


One of the runners, Millie Stallard, seven, said: “It should be like that all the time – lots of people.


“It was really good today. It made me run faster knowing that there were lots of people running behind me.


“I saw some friends from school who don’t normally come and I think they really liked it. I hope they all come back again.”


The junior parkrun was started in January, 2017, following the success of the Bognor Regis parkrun of 5km around Hotham Park after its launch in May, 2014.


The junior version for 4-14 year-olds covers 2km at 9am on Sundays around a course next to the Arena Sports Centre off Westloats Lane.


There have been 61 events and they have enabled more than 3,120 5km runs to be completed. The events have attracted 565 runners.


They are usually organised by a team of volunteers. One of the run directors, Daniel Hughes, led the takeover on Sunday.


The Beavers, Cubs and Scouts volunteered to take on the roles usually performed by the adults or ran around the course.


Their abilities are set to see the swop repeated next June.


A spokesman for the junior parkrun: “The Beavers, Cubs and Scouts were able to use the run to work towards receiving one of their community or athletic badges.


“It is also hoped that the new experience will encourage young people to come back each week with their siblings and families.


“Thanks to all the volunteers, Cub, Beaver and Scout leaders and all of the awesome runners, too, who made this event truly amazing.”


The junior parkrun is not a race but the first runner home was Toby Clegg in 7min 49secs. Samuel Geall was second in 7:58 and third was Jessica Smith in 8:08.

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