Parkrunners check their watches as they head off on Shawnigan Hills parkrun No. 18. (Submitted)

Shawnigan Hills parkrun report for Feb. 1

First time since September without new runners

Parkrun number 18 provided us with a first since we started in September: no new runners. As they crossed the finish line, every athlete had at least four runs under their belt, making it an easy morning for our loyal marshals.

Personal-best times included walker Melissa Stothers (51:27) and runner Paul Morris, who broke 27 minutes for the first time (26:52), improving by two minutes over the course of 12 parkruns.

A recent study from the parkrun organizers on participation found that women are less likely to take part in the event. Here at Shawnigan Hills, we seem to buck that trend with most of our events having more women runners than men. Indeed 11 out of the 16 finishers today were women.

International Women’s Day is coming up on Sunday, March 8. It is our intention to mark the occasion with a special parkrun event, where we would like to encourage as many female runners to join us on Saturday, March 7. Indeed, we would like all existing parkrunners to bring along a female friend, family member or work colleague. We would also like to encourage everyone to wear purple.

Walk, jog, run, volunteer or simply come and watch — it is up to you. Be a part of the community, make new friends and socialize — we meet at Shawnigan Coffee House post-run after each event. It is a great way to start the weekend.

Next run: Saturday, Feb. 8, 9 a.m.

– Mark Swannell, organizer

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