POPULAR parkruns were ‘taken over’ by two GP practices in a bid to promote healthy living among staff and patients.

Staff from the Lambert Medical Practice in Thirsk and Mowbray House Surgery in Northallerton each ran their local parkrun UK event as part of the ‘parkrun practice’ initiative launched earlier this year.

The scheme, launched by the Royal College of General Practitioners, encourages GPs to develop close links with their nearest parkrun to become ‘parkrun practices’.

The local CCG is backing the scheme and its chief officer, Janet Probert, said: “As a keen runner myself, I often make my way to my local parkrun event.

“It’s so encouraging seeing our local practices really embrace this scheme where both staff and patients can benefit.

“Whether people want to improve their fitness, make new friends, cope with health problems, learn new skills or simply be outside with others, parkrun has a positive impact on health and wellbeing and changes lives.

“We want to encourage all our GP practices to sign-up and take-over their local parkrun.”

Parkruns are free 5k events that take place in hundreds of areas of open space around the UK every Saturday morning.

They are not races – participants can walk, run or volunteer – with the emphasis on regular participation rather than performance.

Sue Cann, practice manager of The Lambert Medical Practice said: “We took over Northallerton parkrun on October 20.

“It was a fantastic event with 21 members of staff either volunteering or taking part in the run.

“With over 150 finishers, it was Northallerton’s highest number of runners since their first event which took place three-years-ago.

“It was great to know that some of our patients were also there supporting the practice and parkrun.

“Our staff loved the event and many are going to continue to run and we hope to encourage others and patients to join parkrun in the future.”

Northallerton’s parkrun takes place from Hambleton Leisure Centre every Saturday morning at 9am and all are welcome to take part.