I TOOK part in my first North Tyneside 10k on Easter Sunday, and apart from my time, which could have been a lot better, I was very pleased to be taking part in such a well attended and very well organised event.
North Tyneside Council and the race sponsors should be proud of a job well done.
Despite the wet and cold conditions, spectators turned out and there were plenty of shouts of encouragement along the way.
The events department at North Tyneside Council made sure that there was a real sense of occasion by providing marshals, start and finish line structures, finish line clock, water stations, PA systems, changing facilities, marquees, goody bags and more.
This is in addition to closing off major roads in North Shields and Tynemouth.
When the government and local authority are so keen for us to get healthy and active it is surely events like this that will spur people on to keep fit.
So, whilst I praise the organisation and those involved, can I please ask that the leaders of the local authority stop putting unnecessary obstacles in the way of the proposed weekly parkrun.
If a free timed run around the Links needs planning permission then there are dozens of people breaking the law each and every day.
In the goody bag after the 10k was a North Tyneside leaflet advertising organised activities provided by the council in the region, one of them was a walk around Whitley Bay Links, I assume there is no planning permission for this and the only difference is perhaps the speed at which the participants are travelling.
The events have no fixed structures (or even temporary ones as far as I know), the roads do not need to be closed, no PA systems or water stations are needed.
Parkruns I have been to involve a start line marshal and the same for the finish.
Within moments of the last runner finishing you would not know there had been a 5k run. No fuss, no big occasion.