PERRY TWP. – The Lake Sippo parkrun group is gearing up for a notable milestone this weekend, as the members gear up for their 100th installment.
Samantha Collmar and Stuart Hamilton are the founders of parkrun and often run the weekly dash, which will celebrate its 100th event on Saturday. Those interested can come for a run or walk beginning at 8 a.m. — weather dependent — in the northern part of Lake Sippo Park, adjacent to Exploration Gateway, 5712 12th St. NW.
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“We’ve removed the barriers to flight here,” Collmar said, noting that the organization is always looking for new members and visitors. “This (event) is free and people can walk (the 3.1 mile loop). It’s not a race.”
All weekly Lake Sippo runs are scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday. Many have been canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coffee and cake will be provided for Run/Walk participants for Run #100. A visit from FeLeap, the hiking frog who is Stark County Park District’s mascot, is also planned.
Hamilton and Collmar started running as friends in 2017, when they decided to organize a local parkrun chapter.
“We thought (running in numbers) was really cool, so we started making a group in Stark County,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he had previously run with his sister at parkrun events in the UK.
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Long-time walker and hiker Donna Moore of Massillon has been participating in parkrun events since the organization was founded a few years ago. She noted the inclusiveness of the group.
“I’ve always loved being outdoors and hiking,” said Moore, a retiree and member of the Friends of Stark Parks board of directors. “I love seeing parents pushing a stroller with a child, and the child jumping across the finish line.”
“This (parkrun) is so awesome because all ages participate in it,” she added.
Parkrun run by volunteers started in 2019 with the cooperation of Stark Parks
Hamilton and Collmar organized the group parkrun in April 2019. The free, volunteer-led, timed 5k run — or 3.1 miles — at Lake Sippo Park typically draws around 50 runners, walkers, and sometimes pets.
The group once had 99 participants on a Saturday in June 2019, Collmar said.
“It’s super inclusive, in the sense that we welcome anyone with two or four legs,” Collmar said.
Stark Parks is involved in the Lake Sippo parkrun and provides volunteer participants at each event. Volunteers are certified in basic medical training and can help anyone on the trail who might need a helping hand.
Parkrun is a global organization from the UK, which promotes physical and mental well-being and inclusiveness.
“We want as many people as possible to feel part of the community (through) our events, as well as part of the parkrun family,” Hamilton said, noting that the Sippo group has attracted tourist runners from other countries. such as Australia, South Africa and England. .
Currently, there are five parkrun chapters in Ohio. The Sippo Lake band was the second formed in the state.