Runners’ Retreat opened in Cross Flatts Park

A new shelter in Cross Flatts Park, dubbed the ‘Runners’ Retreat’, has been opened by Cross Flatts parkrun super-volunteer Sue Richardson.

Mark Hodgkinson, one of the organisers who helped start the weekly event six years ago explained:

“Sue is one of our longstanding volunteers, who got roped in very early on and has been here pretty much every week since we started. She organises all the volunteers, she does the results afterwards which is not always a simple process. When she first came to the park she said to me ‘I’m happy to volunteer, but I will never, ever take part.’ Well today is Sue’s 200th parkrun.”

parkrun takes place 51 weeks a year (stopping only for the Beeston Festival), the Runners’ Retreat will provide shelter on wetter days for runners belongings and for volunteers recording the results. Funding for the shelter has come from Leeds Building Society, Arise Leeds and the Inner South Community Committee.

Phil Hodgson, another core volunteer at Cross Flatts parkrun, said:

“We’ve been able to improve the facilities of the park, not just for parkrunners, but also the wider community.

“The new shelter will provide much-needed shelter for our volunteers and parkrunners, particularly in the winter months, and allows us to give something back to the park to benefit everyone.”

Speaking after the event Cllr Gohar Almass (Beeston & Holbeck) said:

“As Councillors, we’re delighted to partly fund this shelter in Cross Flatts Park and support healthy activities across the ward and the city. parkrun is an excellent community led initiative which helps locals to improve their overall physical health, socialise and meet new people. I’ve taken part in the run with my daughters a couple of years back and am looking forward to doing it again for the next couple of months too while the weather is good.”

Cross Flatts parkrun is a free, timed, 5km walk, jog or run, which takes place every Saturday morning at 9am at Cross Flatts Park in Beeston. Another parkrun takes place in Middleton Woods, starting from the Leeds Urban Bike Park. Find out how to register here, then just turn up. Both events are always looking for volunteers to help with marshalling, timing and other simple duties.