After being put on hold for 16 months, the much loved Shrewsbury park run will finally be making a return on July 24!
The Park Run has been sorely missed by competitors and volunteers alike. Finally, the milestone relaunch date has been reached and the event is up and ready to welcome everyone back with open arms. Excitement builds throughout the town as we edge closer to the start line.
Park Run's Shrewsbury Facebook page announces: "There is a huge mix of emotions surrounding the event after such a long time being without it. Due to a few changes to the brief, the event is now able to go ahead smoothly and safely. It has been a long time coming, but finally, our dearly missed Shrewsbury Park Run is back this Saturday and here to stay."
The event is supported by its team of dedicated volunteers and takes place every Saturday, beginning at the bandstand in The Quarry where those taking part are timed, as they take on a 5km walk/jog/run. The strong spirit of all the people involved means they are not only a community when running - support through the Park Run community online has helped keep everyone going through the struggles of recent times.
The event on Saturday will celebrate the contribution made by a remarkable volunteer Eric Priddings, a dedicated Shrewsbury Park Run timekeeper, who died recently. Known as 'Eric the Giant', he volunteered at the Shrewsbury Park Run more than 200 times, also running it himself on occasion.
The Park Run community spoke very fondly of Eric's service on the Shrewsbury Park Run Facebook page, where tributes have been left:
"Eric's efforts as a volunteer will never be forgotten, always being the first person to volunteer and could be relied on each week for faultless handling of the stopwatch"
"Rain or shine, Eric would always be there wearing his shorts. Known by all as a true gentleman, he was the fabric of the Shrewsbury Running event."
"Eric loved the event, and everyone loved seeing him there. He was always at the end of the funnel uttering words of encouragement to all those involved."
"He was always so encouraging and I was looking forward to showing him that I could run it all. Big shoes to fill."
A member of Shrewsbury Park Run's core team has composed this poem in honour of Eric:
'Eric the Giant'
Eric was a giant of a man
He knew how to keep time
And calm amongst the chaos
At the top of the funnel, he’d stand
Steadfast and true
As the hordes of runners kept coming on through
Never flummoxed, or taken aback
Always on time, always relaxed
You knew you could rely on Eric
Who will keep time for us now?
Who can we depend on, to show us how it’s done?
How to do it well, and how make it fun?
There at the start and there at the end
He was our big friendly giant
He was everyone’s friend
Still, the timekeeper clocks us all
And now Eric has finished his race
He may have handed in his stopwatch
But he’ll forever be there in his place
Looking up to the top of the funnel
We shall always expect to see
That whoever has taken the watch
Has a giant for company
Many went to Facebook writing: ‘What a beautiful tribute to an amazing man. Eric will be missed massively"
"The poem has captured Eric so well. Beautiful words for a beautiful soul."
The Shrewsbury Park run relies upon dedicated volunteers like Eric. You can volunteer for many roles so If you’d like to put your name forward for 24th July or any other week, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Your support will be greatly appreciated in helping the event go ahead once more!