Runners join NHS staff for special parkrun

Hundreds of runners created a wave of blue at Clifton Park when they took part in a special parkrun to celebrate the NHS’ 75th birthday.

Colleagues from UECC posing with an NHS75 photoframe

More than 270 runners, joggers and walkers of all ages wore blue with pride to participate in the celebratory ‘parkrun for the NHS’ on Saturday 8 July. 

There were 27 new participants, including staff from The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, with some wearing their iconic blue scrubs. 

Rachael Dawes, Head of Fundraising at Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity, said: “It was amazing and quite humbling to see people wear blue for the special parkrun. Friends, families and colleagues cheered each other on, creating an atmosphere of encouragement and camaraderie that epitomized the spirit of the NHS. 

“It made us all feel incredibly proud to work for the NHS. Thank you to everyone who took part.”

Nationally, the event was backed by the likes of tennis star Sir Andy Murray with 185,000 people taking part in parks across the country. There were 11,715 new faces who joined in with parkrun for the first time and 24,348 volunteered at more than 1,000 events across the UK. 

‘parkrun for the NHS’ was possible in Rotherham thanks to a team of 21 volunteers who decorated the route with blue balloons, guided people to the start line and helped everyone time their 5K run.  

It not only recognised the NHS’ milestone birthday, it also encouraged more people to get involved with their local parkrun again in future. 

Andy Payne, event director for parkrun, said: “It was great that so many people came along to celebrate the NHS’ birthday and it was clear there were a lot of enthusiastic new runners from the NHS. It’s always a brilliant event but the regular runners really raised their game to make it extra special. 

“We know that parkrun can introduce people to a more active lifestyle, help boost their confidence and improve mental health so we hope those new sign-ups come back and join us every Saturday.”