The inaugural Seaford Beach parkrun got off to a flying start with 225 runners taking on the 5k seafront course on Saturday March 2.

Seaford Striders were out in force, both as runners and marshals for the first edition of the event. The runners were sent on their way for the very first event by Seaford town mayor Linda Wallraven. Parkrun is a global initiative which organises free weekly 5k timed runs which are suitable for all abilities. Seaford Beach parkrun starts at Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club and follows the Esplanade past the Martello Tower before returning to its start point. The runs, which take place at 9am on a Saturday morning, are organised entirely by volunteers.

Finishing the run first was Matthew King of Haywards Heath Harriers with his time of 17:33, followed by Rich McAleer of Lonely Goat RC (17:58) and Ed Plager in (18:04). The ladies were led home by Erica Martin of Brighton Phoenix in 20:24, Jeanette Kenneally of Brighton & Hove City AC in 22:01 and Lynsey Keeley in 22:07.

Seaford parkrun race director Joel Eaton said: “It was brilliant to see so many runners turn out the make the very first Seaford Beach parkrun a resounding success. Everyone enjoyed themselves, with many runners staying on after their 5k run for refreshments in the Sailing Club which made us most welcome. I’d also like to thank our enthusiastic team of volunteers for making our first event run so smoothly.”

“Thanks to generous donations from organisations and businesses such as Focus Group and Seaford Rotary, we achieved our goal of setting up a parkrun in Seaford. These generous donations will help boost the fitness of runners of all abilities from the town and beyond. No matter what your age and whether you are an experienced runner, or just want a gentle jog in friendly company, the weekly 5k timed runs can offer a real incentive to boost your fitness.”

Chris Pellatt, IT Support Director of Focus Group was one of the runners in the first Seaford Beach parkrun. The company donated £1,500 towards setting up Seaford Beach parkrun.

“Whether your involvement with the parkrun is of a running or voluntary capacity, the sense of community is one of the vital attractions to the event,” he said. “You could be running with a group of friends, meet new people with similar interests or be cheered on by someone you’ve never met. It goes without saying that exercise makes you feel amazing – after you’ve pushed through the tiredness – and encourages a healthier lifestyle. It is these two key combinations of a healthier lifestyle and sense of community that will get the residents of Seaford up nice and early on a Saturday morning.”

Seaford Beach parkrun has also been supported by Seaford Rotary, Seaford Town Council, Newberry Tully Estate Agents, The Moyleman Race, Fonetastic, Brighton Accommodation Agency, VR Flowers & Son, Gingerfit Personal Trainers and Kaizen PR Ltd, with more donations to follow.