Pensioner completes milestone 500th parkrun despite illness

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He has been taking part in the parkrun in Peterborough since the first one was held in 2013

A veteran runner from Peterborough has hit a new personal milestone – by completing his 500th parkrun.

Peter Brantom, 74, tackled the weekly 5km run at Ferry Meadows on Saturday – despite feeling unwell.

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Since completing the first ever parkrun in Peterborough back in 2013, he has clocked up an impressive 1,600 miles through parkruns alone. Some 398 of these have been at Ferry Meadows, with the remainder at Whittlesey and March.

Peter pictured at an earlier park run in Ferry Meadows.Peter pictured at an earlier park run in Ferry Meadows.
Peter pictured at an earlier park run in Ferry Meadows.

“I was not feeling too well on the day as I’ve been suffering with a chest infection and arthritic flare up," said Peter, a member of the Peterborough and Nene Valley Athletics Club. “But a few people came to support me and pace me around the course - which was very much appreciated.”

Despite not feeling on top form, Peter still managed to complete the course in 35 minutes.

“I am now the founding member of our 500 club, and that makes me proud!” – he said.

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Speaking about those who supported him on the day, he went on: “Paul Stevenette made the run memorable by using his megaphone throughout, playing loud music every so often and eliciting cheers from those running, supporting, or volunteering. In addition, he produced a lovely card with illustrative photos of my various stages of parkruns, plus ensured I could celebrate by supplying ale!

Peter Brantom completed his 500th park run at the weekend.Peter Brantom completed his 500th park run at the weekend.
Peter Brantom completed his 500th park run at the weekend.

“Roy Young made sure I got first use of the blue ‘500’ bib, and my run round the course was made even more special by being accompanied by Masters legends Tony Gray and Peter Ridley, plus volunteer legend Martin Shelbourne. Martin kindly supplied more ale for me and a bottle of wine for my wife, Anne. Both Pete and Sue Ridley, and Martin also gave me memorable cards."

Discussing the benefits of regularly taking on 5k parkruns over the last 11 years, Peter added: “Parkruns are so good for your mental and physical health – it has such terrific benefits. Plus everyone is so friendly. You always get a cheer and lots of encouragement, and they have volunteer tail walkers to ensure no-one comes last.”

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