A PARKRUN set up in Bournemouth just over six months ago is attracting 250 runners each weekend.
The run, which takes place at Kings Park at 9am every Saturday, began as a result of the over-subscription to the nearby Poole Run.
Ade Holloway, who organises the weekly 5k (3.2 miles) run, was granted permission to launch the run under the parkrun banner, which has 247 other Saturday morning runs worldwide.
Part-funded by Bournemouth Borough Council and parkrun’s sponsors, since its inception on August 24, 2013, the athletics track and adjacent fields have been graced by runners from as far afield as Australia.
Ade, who also organises the annual Bournemouth Marathon Festival, revealed the impact the run has had on its participants.
“We have great feedback and people love it,” he told the Echo.
“We’ve had so many people come and say that they aren’t bothered about the time they complete it in, they just want to do it.
“They say ‘I’ve got up for a 9am run while everyone else is lying in bed – what a great start to the weekend’.
“Everyone makes new friends because it’s a social event and people can’t imagine Saturday mornings without it now.
“We’ve had tourists from all over the world, including one person from Australia.”
The flat course has drawn in 1500 separate runners thus far with 293 the biggest turnout.
Runners are registered once they get a free barcode and can then partake in other parkrun locations throughout the country.
Its accessibility is why it has proved so popular and Ade has encouraged more to slip on their running shoes.
The 54-year-old went on: “It’s a cheap hobby, all you need to do is to go down the running shop and buy a pair of shoes.
“It’s not like football where you need another 10 players, or tennis or squash where you need to book a court.
“All you need to do is turn up at 9am on a Saturday morning, get your barcode and off you go.”
To register go to parkrun.org.uk/register or for more information access the run’s Facebook page: facebook.com/Bournemouthparkrun