Marathon runner, 105, joins Rutland Water parkrun members to celebrate group’s first birthday

Rutland Water parkrun celebrates first birthday, Pictured is the   country's oldest runner Fauja Singh, 105, with event organisers Calli Robertson, Paul Rogerson, Manjinder Jagdev and Richard Evans EMN-161029-175849009

Rutland Water parkrun celebrates first birthday, Pictured is the country's oldest runner Fauja Singh, 105, with event organisers Calli Robertson, Paul Rogerson, Manjinder Jagdev and Richard Evans EMN-161029-175849009

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A free running group which has encouraged hundreds of people to get active, boost their fitness and make new friends celebrated its first birthday at the weekend.

Rutland Water parkrun sees people of all ages and abilities meet at Normanton Church at 9am every Saturday morning for a three-mile run or walk.

Over the past 12 months, the group has gone from strength to strength with around 140 people taking part every week.

To mark its first birthday, members celebrated with home-baked cakes and there was a special appearance by 105-year-old marathon runner Fauja Singh.

Mr Singh, who lives in London, took up running in his 80s and has since completed eight marathons.

He completed the Rutland Water parkrun on Saturday alongside just over 200 other runners.

The country's oldest runner - Fauja Singh who is 105 years-old EMN-161029-175732009

The country's oldest runner - Fauja Singh who is 105 years-old EMN-161029-175732009

Rutland Water parkrun director Manjinder Jagdev, who lives in Oakham and is a lecturer in education at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, said the past year has been great.

She said: “There are parkrun groups all over the world now – allowing people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to run or walk three-miles in an informal, non-competitive setting.

“I helped set one up in Norwich, where I work, but thought the Rutland community could benefit from one.

“It’s entirely free and a really good way to get active. You don’t have to run – we have people who walk with children in buggies, Nordic walkers, anyone is welcome.

“It’s by a team of unpaid volunteers for the benefit of the community and is proving to be very popular.”

If you would like to take part, register at www.parkrun.org.uk and head to Rutland Water on a Saturday morning.