parkrun author apologies for missing boy’s record

A record-breaking schoolboy has received an apology from the author of a new book about parkrun.

James Hickman, 11, who goes to St John the Baptist primary school in Colwick near Nottingham, was just nine and a half when he reached the astonishing milestone of completing 250 parkruns, back in 2019.

He had tackled the first of the globally-popular 5k weekly events when he was just four and a half, running with dad Iain.

Runner James and his family

But a new book about parkrun * has overlooked James’ achievement. Writer Eileen Jones said: “While researching the book I came across Dexter Pattison and his family. He was only ten when he got to 250 parkuns three years ago. Since the book went to press I’ve learned that his record has since been broken by James. It’s astonishing what youngsters can achieve when they are determined. But even more important, it proves what a fantastic event parkrun is for families to do something together, that they can all celebrate.”

Children under 11 have to run within arms length of a “responsible adult” and proud dad Iain said: “Saturday morning is my favourite time of the week because of the family aspect of parkrun.”

James joined the 250 club on May 24, 2019 at Valentines parkrun in north-east London. “We chose Valentines to gift the occasion,” said Iain. “I was working in London that weekend too, and it meant we could collect the letter V.”

James has now run 294 parkruns, and while the Colwick course is his home event, he has visited 81 different venues. “And he’s volunteered 62 times as well; that’s the lifeblood of parkrun,” said Iain.

Eileen said: “It’s another wonderful story about the impact that parkrun has on people’s lives. I met so many who walk, jog, run or volunteer and they talk about the joy it brought them, and how desperate they are to have parkrun back in their lives.”

How parkrun changed our lives is published by Gritstone Publishing (£9.99)

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