A RECORD number of runners turned out for the first anniversary of the Chichester ParkRun on Saturday.
In total, 240 runners descended onto Oaklands Park to take part in the event.
Chichester’s ParkRun eclipsed it’s previous highest attendance of 225, in a fitting way to celebrate a year of running.
The male race provided a one-two finish for Chichester as John Leonard and Matt De Lacy were the top-two.
Leonard got home in 18 minutes 12 seconds to take top spot, while De Lacy crossed the finish line 12 seconds later.
It proved to be a fine day for Leonard and it was the first time he had competed in this competition.
De Lacy would have been disappointed with his second place as he was hoping to win this particular race for a fourth time.
The final medal place in the male race went to Levi Mainwaring, who was an unattached runner, after he completed the course in 18 minutes and 58 seconds.
Chichester then secured a double delight after seeing one of their runners win the female race.
Rose Ellis came out on top and completed a remarkable return.
Ellis, who has competed in the event five times, secured her fifth race victory in this particular competition.
The Chichester runner came home in a time of 19 minutes and 58 seconds.
Second spot went to Lucy May from Stubbington in a time of 20 minutes 46 seconds.
Event director Mike Houston has been delighted with the progress the race continues to make and said: “I am honoured to be part of this remarkable initiative that has produced so many positives for our community.
“It is open to anyone as young as four with any ability, experience or background to take part.
“It’s such a terrific concept but would not be possible without every single volunteer that has assisted in the past 12 months.”
After moving to the area two years ago Houston admitted the participation has been very pleasing from his point of view.
He added: “Looking back on our first year I could not have hoped for a better outcome.
“It would not be possible without the help of so many others.
“The event is solely organised by volunteers and offers something to everyone, not just for runners.
“It brings everyone together no matter what their interest and promotes so many positives. You have to come along and experience it as it is not easy to put into words.
“Those attending for the first time are sometimes nervous especially if they have very little running experience but it’s great fun.”
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