Burnley Rounders League player clocks up 130 parkruns in 102 locations

PE teacher Paula Jones admits she is addicted to parkruns – and it’s helped her tour the UK with ideas now of travelling abroad to run them.
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The parkrun is a 5k run or walk every Saturday morning, held all over the world, it’s free, and is a way of keeping fit and healthy, open to people of all abilities.

Paula, now 53, already plays rounders in the Burnley Rounders League, also qualifying as an umpire, and netball.

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After running at school, she got back into it and in her 50th year in 2018 she decided to run 50 park runs with her partner David Dockerty, who works at Rossendale Radio.

Paula Jones with her partner David DockertyPaula Jones with her partner David Dockerty
Paula Jones with her partner David Dockerty
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Unfortunately David broke his leg competing in a fell race after he had ran 48 so Paula has been running them alone since then, even getting up during lockdown to do 5k when park runs were temporarily halted.

She has now completed 130 official park runs in a staggering 102 different places.

“It does mean getting up early every Saturday morning and travelling further and further to try and find a new one but the aim is to keep running new courses,” said Paula of Bury.

Parkrun addict Paula JonesParkrun addict Paula Jones
Parkrun addict Paula Jones
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“I have done park runs in Belfast, Edinburgh, Newcastle and I did my 100th in Bushy Park in London, the site of the original parkrun.

“My fastest time is 26 minutes and 55 seconds but I am happy if I get under 30 minutes now.

“My favourite is Crosby, on the beach, and the hardest was Cliffe Castle in Keighley.

“I have had all kinds of chaos – I once turned up at Pontefract Parkrun only for it to be called off for frost so I had to get over to Doncaster where I was 20 minutes late but they let me start as long as I beat the tailwalker – which thankfully I did!

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“There are all kinds of challenges within parkrun – the alphabetical parkrun challenge, where you try and run a parkrun beginning with every letter of the alphabet – and the Wilson Index where you get points for running an inaugural parkrun. It does never stop!

“I don’t know what really the aim is – I guess to continue to do new parkruns and perhaps go abroad to run different ones.”

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