Celebration marks 500th volunteering session for Margate Parkrun’s John Hales

John has completed 500 volunteer sessions for Margate Parkrun Photo Frank Leppard

A celebration has been held marking the 500th  session of a Margate Parkrun volunteer.

John Hales, 82, has been giving his time  as a volunteer at the Margate Parkrun since 2013 and, since it was set up last year, also helps at the Junior Parkrun held at Hartsdown.

The dad-of-two and grandad-of-three was surprised at this weekend’s event with a cake and speeches to mark the milestone.

Photo Frank Leppard

Daughter Alison said: “We started the Margate group in 2013 and it is a nice community thing to do.

“My dad likes getting out and about so I said to him to come and volunteer. He did and he loved it. He is there every week and everyone loves him.

“He scans the bar codes at the end of the run and this gives a time that is posted to the website.

“If he goes away he always makes sure he is back by the Saturday for Parkrun!”

Photo Frank Leppard

Former QEQM Hospital porter John, from Westgate, has racked up around 400 sessions for the Margate events and another 100 for the Hartsdown juniors which meets on a Sunday morning.

Alison said: “Every volunteer is important but we wanted to celebrate the 500 milestone as it is quite a big thing. Dad loves being part of the Parkrun community.”

Photo Frank Leppard

Parkrun is for every ability whether you want to run, jog, walk, watch or volunteer.

Margate parkrun is a free timed 5k event, taking place every Saturday at 9am. Members meet at the brown shelter at the end of Fifth Avenue in Cliftonville and follow a figure-of-8 course along the cliff-top.

It’s open to everyone and people can register for a free parkrun barcode (good at any parkrun event worldwide) at www.parkrun.com


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