HERRINGTON Country parkrun marked International Women’s Day with a special running of the weekly five-kilometre parkrun.

Arrangements included a wear something purple theme, a predominantly female volunteer roster in organising and running the event, a special event flag provided by parkrun UK, a social media campaign encouraging those attending to bring a female friend, new to parkrun and a This Girl Can/IWDparkrun photo booth in the finish area to capture all of the finishers.

Run Director Lisa Form, highlighted that nearly half of UK women don’t get enough exercise, while encouraging the parkrun “Free for Everyone Forever” philosophy

She drew attention to a few of the barriers to participation that parkrun seeks to address. It’s free, family (and pet) friendly and the emphasis is on participation (running, jogging, walking and volunteering) rather than performance.

Support was provided by the team of marshals including Super Girl, Becky Swindells and Hi-five specialist Lucy Simpson. A small group of Tailwalkers (Faye Bell, Jill Jennings, Isabelle Jennings, Laura Kemp, Emilia Kemp and Cat Lingwood) provided extra encouragement for those at the rear of the field.

275 runners crossed the finish line in times ranging between 18 minutes and 74 minutes. Female participation (135) exceeded male (127) for only the second time in 36 events at Herrington Country Park. Women filled 78 per cent of the roles on the volunteer roster.

First female finisher Rachel Bentley crossed the finish line in a new PB of 21:21.

First finisher Andy Graham reached the cake table in just 18:15.

There were 74 first time attenders (43 female) and 35 were taking part in parkrun for the first time (28 female).