Parkrun and Leeds Building Society launch The Big Community Relay at Woodhouse Moor

The Tranter family at Woodhouse Moor parkrun for The Big Community Relay launch

By Alice Young

Leeds Building Society has partnered with parkrun to launch the Big Community Relay – a nationwide relay race passing golden batons around parkrun communities.

The launch event took place at Woodhouse Moor parkrun in Leeds on September 28 where 15 gold batons were released into the parkrun community.

Each is fitted with a GPS tracker to record its journey.

Image credit: Banana Kick

Laura Hodgkins, Head of Marketing at Leeds Building Society said: “By launching the Big Community Relay we hope to bring together communities throughout the UK with our partner, parkrun.

“We’re hopeful that the batons travel wide in the coming weeks to demonstrate the importance of communities.

“In some ways, it’s less about the miles they travel and more about the communities they reach.”

Parkrun organises free, weekly, timed community events for runners of all ages and abilities.

Every week in the UK just under 200,000 people walk, jog or run 5km at parkrun, supported by more than 20,000 volunteers.

Giulia Gada, of Highbury Lane in Meanwood, is a regular volunteer at Woodhouse Moor parkrun. She said: “I’m happy there are so many initiatives like this which give a sense of community.

“I got involved with parkrun by chance – I fell in love with the people and the community.

“It gives me a reason to wake up early on a Saturday and be outdoors.”

Russ Jeffries, Head of Communications at parkrun, said: “Parkrun is all about bringing communities together.

“People have an innate desire to be social.

“Much like the post-parkrun coffee shared with friends has become a Saturday morning fixture, we hope the Big Community Relay is an experience that spreads to as many parkrunners as possible.”

Paul Tranter, from Otley, was one of the lucky parkrunners at the launch event to receive a gold baton.

Mr Tranter regularly runs with his family at Woodhouse Moor parkrun. He said: “Parkrun is all about people participating – they say it’s not a race, it’s a run.

“We are hoping to take the baton to Frickley Country parkrun next Saturday on our way to the Leicester half marathon.

“We started ten years ago, and we’re addicted! It’s great to get out there and it’s free.”

To find out more about The Big Community Relay, visit: www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/bigcommunityrelay

To find your nearest parkrun event, visit: www.parkrun.org.uk

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