Parkrun officially returned last weekend- and one Blackburn woman is particularly excited about the fact.

Nickie O’Hara said she is a “massive advocate” for the 5k running event and says it’s the perfect time socialise while also getting some exercise in.

She even featured in a parkrun segement on The One Show earlier this week.

In the short clip she was shown as a volunteer at Witton Park in Blackburn. She said:“It’s amazing to be back at parkrun.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Nickie O'HaraNickie O'Hara

Nickie also gave viewers a panning shot, saying: “Just gonna scan around just to show you what an absolutely beautiful park we run it.”

Nickie said it was strange seeing her face pop up on the television on Monday night (26 July).

The 49-year-old said: “My phone started pinging straight away and my social media was filled with people’s pictures of me on the television.”

Ms O’Hara said she has been involved in parkrun eversince it became available in the local area- both as a runner and a volunteer.

Witton parkrun is her local venue, but she has also taken part in other 5k events across Lancashire.

She said: “I love parkrun- I think it’s fantastic for all abilities and it really brings people all together.

“It’s not a race- it’s a timed 5k event and you can run, walk or jog it at your own pace.

“You’ll never come last as there is always a tail walker behind you- you’re only trying to better yourself”

Nickie is also a member of the Blackburn Road Runner but says she had to sit out of runs after an injury.

However, she explained that this has given her more time to volunteer at parkrun event.

Lancashire Telegraph: Nickie O'Hara as a Parkrun volunteerNickie O'Hara as a Parkrun volunteer

“parkrun can’t happen without the volunteers”, she explained. “You need so many every week to make it a safe place for people to run.”

“If you are a runner, consider running three times and volunteering once.”

During the pandemic last year, parkrun wasn’t allowed to go ahead and Nickie said she was “surprised” at just how much she missed it.

She explained: “It’s surprising how much I did miss it in lockdown.

Lancashire Telegraph: Nickie O'HaraNickie O'Hara

“I’m not a fast runner or particularly great runner- but getting up and doing it on a Saturday morning really just energises you for the weekend.

“You also get to socialise andhear people’s stories. Even as a volunteer on the sidelines, you can also see how much the runners are enjoying it.”]

Nickie encourages everyone to utilise their local parkruns.

She said: “I’m a massive advocate for it- it’s open to all abilities and you can take your kids along to it as well.

“It is a family and community event that everyone can get involved with.”

If you want to take part in a Park Run event, you can register for one online. You can also catch up on The One Show over on BBC iPlayer. 

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