The dozens of runners who take part in Melton’s Parkrun every Saturday will notice a big difference at this weekend’s event - the volunteer helpers will be mainly GPs and nurses.
The town’s Latham House Medical Practice has taken up an invitation to run it as a one-off exercise with the opportunity to pass on health and fitness tips and answer questions for those taking part.
Around 140 runners turn up every Saturday at 9am to tackle the 5km course at Melton Country Park.
One of the GPs involved this weekend is Dr Matt Riley and as a keen runner himself he is an the ideal position to support the people of all ages who will be involved.
He told the Melton Times: “It’s a great opportunity for us to get involved with helping the health and well-being of Melton people so we are delighted to be doing this.
“We’ll have about 13 people there - GPs, nurses and admin staff - and it also gives the usual volunteers a chance to have a day off.
“We’re also trying to encourage more people to take part because the Parkrun is a great way of keeping fit every week.”
There are now 635 Parkruns across the UK and it’s free to enter, although everyone has to register on their first run. Runners receive a barcode and must bring it to each event.
It’s regarded as a good social occasion as well with many of those taking part meeting up afterwards for refreshments in the park’s visitor centre cafe.
More than 30,000 runners have completed the Melton Parkrun in the 238 Saturday runs held so far.
Around 6,000 people have recorded personal best times with the records so far held by James McCrae (16mins 14secs in March this year) and Chloe Richardson, with a time of 18.24, which has stood for more than four years.
But Dr Riley emphasised that the Parkrun is for people of all ages and abilities.
He added: “I would advise people to start off slowly if they haven’t run much and to run at their own pace.
“The best thing about the event is people are welcome to walk if they prefer or do a combination of walking and running.
“It’s a nice park to run or walk in and we are hoping we get a few new people too.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer as a regular Melton Parkrun helper.