Watermead Country Park has become the seventh venue in Leicestershire to host a popular parkrun.
Runners of all abilities can now test themselves against a five kilometre course through the beauty spot, near Syston, every Saturday morning.
More than 230 participants took on the network of flat lakeside paths at Watermead’s inaugural parkrun event and organisers are confident in its future success.
The new parkrun course is in the northern section of the park which is managed by Leicestershire County Council.
Councillor Lee Breckon, the council’s cabinet member for resources, said: “Congratulations to parkrun, our Country Parks team as well as the many local groups, volunteers and businesses who have worked hard over the last two years to ensure a successful launch.
“The continuing commitment of everyone involved will help promote our green spaces to residents and deliver longer term public health benefits.
“We encourage runners and volunteers to enjoy all that Watermead has to offer as a place to be active and connect with nature.”
Now that Leicestershire has seven parkruns in total, organisers predict the ‘Magnificent Seven’ - as they have been dubbed - will become a popular unofficial challenge, where people look to complete all seven of the parkruns across the city and county – Braunstone, Leicester Victoria, Conkers, Dishley, Market Harborough and Melton, along with Watermead.
Event director for the Watermead parkrun Dave Snutch said: “Participants decide what they want a parkrun to mean to them.
“It might be a casual run, a more competitive challenge or simply a place to catch up with friends and clear the mind. We want people to have fun, stay fit, enjoy the local surroundings, and help to build a lasting parkrun community.
“Parkrun is as much about volunteering and supporting as it is about running.
“The event needs at least volunteers every week to be safely held and we are very keen to hear from anyone in the community who can help”
The Watermead Country Park parkrun is a free, fun and friendly 5km event held every Saturday morning at 9am.
Anyone interested in volunteering should email [email protected]