Record holder at Burnley parkrun says popular event is 'best way for people to get into the sport'

Speedy Chris Holdsworth is the Burnley Parkrun record holder at a staggering 15 minutes and 16 seconds... but he is keen to point out that it hurts him as much as everyone else!

By Dany Robson
Monday, 30th May 2022, 9:14 am

While Chris is an elite runner – competing on the fell, trail and road for Lancashire, England and Team GB - and he seemingly glides around the two-lap course, he admitted it's never as comfortable as it looks!

“I love the atmosphere at parkrun and I enjoy running with people without it being too pressurised,” said Chris. “It does hurt me and I can see that, when I running around, all the participants are trying as hard as me!

“This is the best way for people to get into the sport.”

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Chris Holdsworth is the Burnley Parkrun record holder at a staggering 15 minutes and 16 seconds... but he is keen to point out that it hurts him as much as everyone else!

Burnley Parkrun is celebrating its 10th birthday and in that time more than 10,000 people have completed the 5k course around Towneley Park.

There have been 440 Burnley parkruns which have taken place every Saturday at 9am, with it only ever called off for extreme weather or events in the park.

It's open to anybody - from the superfast club runners to people who walk around the course. It's about fun, friendship and keeping fit.

The parkrun idea was conceived in 2004 by Londoner Paul Sinton-Hewitt. It was then called ‘Time Trial’ over 5km and was for club runners but other people could join in.

Runner Louisa Powell-Smith loves attending Burnley parkrun when she can: “It’s such a great atmosphere. We can’t always come every week but when we can, we do.

“Everyone cheers you on, it’s a good target. You can try and improve your time every week or you can jog along and chat – it’s something for everyone. It’s great for motivation and enjoyment.”

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Volunteer Jonty Taylor said: “I did run but because of an illness, not an injury, I have had to rein it back in but I am restarting. I have done over 120 parkruns and I wanted to give something back.

“Volunteering gets me out of bed every Saturday morning, I love the community spirit, getting out, talking to people especially when things were more restricted.

“I love seeing happy people, running, doing something they love.”

Andy Lamb is a regular runner and volunteer.

“I like the camaraderie of parkrun, meeting new people, seeing people’s journeys from the start to the finish."

Personal trainer Michelle Abbott said: “All the people make parkrun so special, seeing all the friendly faces and having a good laugh while you run around.”

Fellow runner Shaun Windle said: “It’s a tremendous event with a load of community spirit and an enjoyable way to get out of bed and do something positive.”

Marion Wilkinson said: “I was the original person who started parkrun at Burnley so I love to come down and see how Clayton Juniors are doing. When they see me, they might put a bit of a spurt on but I just love it, I love watching them and the whole event.”

Ian Hargreaves has been battling back after a hip operation and can’t praise parkrun enough.

He said: “It takes so long to recover from an injury but every week you have to come to this and it keeps you motivated. It’s great as it’s just lovely people. I love it.”