16th Dec, 2018

Wythall parkrun which attracted 350 runners to its inaugural event is axed

RUNNERS in Wythall and the surrounding areas have been dealt a blow after Bromsgrove District Council revealed the parkrun which took part at the village’s park in September and attracted 350 participants has been axed.

Instead, the authority said, alternative routes are being sought so a parkrun can be held in the village.

The council said the unprecedented number of attendees caused the event to be put on hold to see if a solution could be found for the Wythall Community Association, which runs Wythall Park, so it could take place every week.

The district council said it was now working with the association to develop alternative proposals for similar, more manageable, events there.

Around 1,500 runners a week already go to the three nearest established parkruns at the 250-acre Cannon Hill, 130-acre Brueton Park and the 900-acre Arrow Valley Country Park, although the number of people attending those three parkruns fell by about 300 in the week of the Wythall trial run.

John Godwin, Bromsgrove District Council’s head of leisure and cultural services, said: “Trying to find local spaces big enough for parkrun is always an issue.

“If you compare the likes of Brueton Park and Arrow Valley, they are triple and twenty-five times the size of Wythall Park and can accommodate hundreds of parkrunners, their cars, their need for toilets and so on every week.

“Those parks are in a whole different category.

“We are however continuing to work with the Wythall Community Association to try and develop other opportunities for local residents to participate in sport and physical activity there, because there is clearly demand for it.”

A spokesperson for Wythall Community Association said: “Wythall Community Association welcomes the recognition that our small community park struggles to meet national parkrun requirements, and would suffer disproportionate damage.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with district council officers to find a local solution for local runners.”

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