HUNDREDS of runners have been turning up at Victoria Park for the newly launched ‘St Helens parkrun’ event.

Each Saturday morning people can participate in a timed 5k run which takes in three and a half laps of the park.

The first St Helens parkrun took place on Saturday, July 5, with 194 runners competing, including many who had travelled from far afield including Swansea, London and Leeds.

The race is part of a national event which sees 5k races taking place at the same time in parks across the country.

In the first three weeks 329 runners have entered, including members of athletics clubs.

However, the races are open for all abilities and give everyone the opportunity to get fit and become a better runner.

“As the runs are free and really friendly it's a great way to motivate yourself as a new or improving runner,” said event director, Antony Young.

“You can get up early, enjoy some fresh air and be back home by 10.30am to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

"Regular parkrunners are easily recognised by the free Adidas kit that they are awarded for completing 50 and 100 runs.

“Juniors qualify after just 10 parkruns so we expect to be handing out the first of these at St Helens by the end of the summer. The great thing is it doesn't matter how fast you are, it's participation that is rewarded."

The runs will now continue every Saturday morning starting at 9am from Victoria Park's new bandstand. To enter, people need to download a barcode from

Under 11s can run providing they are accompanied by an adult at all times and runners with dogs and prams are also welcome.

“It’s quite fun and it’s for people of all abilities and all age groups which makes it good,” said participant John Barr, of Billinge.