PARKRUNS across the world have proved to be a runaway success - and in Skipton, the event has just seen its 20,000th runner cross the finishing line.

It also means that together, the runners have completed a total of 100,000km since the Saturday morning, 5K run was first started just more than three years ago.

Every Saturday at 9am, around 150 adults, teenagers and children line up at the start line in Aireville Park.

And recently, Alan Chapman became its 20,000th finisher as the Parkrun celebrated its milestone with a couple of international parkrunners from Minnippi Parkrun, Brisbane, Australia.

Since starting back in 2013, with help and support from Bradford Athletics Network, Skipton AC and Skipton Rotary Club, the Parkrun - one of hundreds across the country - has gone from strength to strength.

The run, despite its name, is open to runners of all abilities, and is absolutely free.

To take part, all people need to do is is register on the parkrun website, obtain a personal barcode and just turn up - the barcode will be stored and will allow the runner to take part in an event anywhere in the world and will store the runner's time.

As a volunteer run organisation, Parkrun also welcomes people, who may not want to run but would like to help stage the event.

Regular runner, Neil Maloney, says it it a brilliant, fun race.

" I totally, totally love it. It is not training yet not a race, it is just a brilliant, fun run together with speedy, slow, young, old, wheelchairs, pushchairs, humans and dogs, everything goes and all through the generosity of cheering volunteers," he said.

Kathryn Radley took part for the first time in March last year.

"I loved it and now I run most weeks along with my husband and daughter when she's home from university. Thanks to parkrun I've joined Skipton AC and running has become a huge part of my life," she said.

"My husband has just completed his 50th parkrun and I'm just a few weeks behind him. The support and friendliness of the volunteers and fellow runners is extremely motivating, as are the lovely surroundings of Aireville Park. It's definitely worth getting up for every Saturday."

Rachel Gaunt said she does the parkrun for several reasons.

"It helps to keep me fit and gives me a sense of wellbeing. It is a friendly, welcoming run with a lovely community feel, everyone knows each other and helps each other out. It is something I know is there every week and if I am around I do it - and then reward myself with a big breakfast."

Craven councillor, Chris Rose, said: " I am totally convinced that parkrun is an inclusive event with nothing but positive outcomes for all who participate either as runner or as volunteer. I think it is an asset to Skipton as it promotes healthy choices, is family friendly and an excellent example of community spirit."

Susan Hird did her first parkrun in August, 2014 with her granddaughter, Clover.

"Originally I wanted something other than statins to help me lower my high cholesterol, and I'm down from more than seven to four. I then got hooked on running and have just completed my 100th parkrun.," she said.

"I love the friendly, family spirit of parkrun and the way that other parkruns welcome you as a visiting runner. Wherever you run the format is the same and you get a feeling of belonging. Its wonderful that parkrun works because of volunteers and its free for everyone."

Lauren Guest said the event has helped turn her into a committed runner.

"It has turned me from someone who never ran, or did any kind of exercise for that matter, to someone who runs three to four times a week and has just completed my first half marathon. Parkrun is fun and friendly whether you're a seasoned runner or a beginner and it would definitely not be the same without its dedicated group of volunteers and run directors who are there to cheer you on come rain or shine and are without doubt what makes parkrun the best way to spend your Saturday morning."

Colin Shackleton, has been taking part since the event started, in August. 2013.

" I was 59 and hadn't run since I was at school, but my wife who is keen on fitness

persuaded me to go along with her and a friend," he said.

"The first few runs were hard going but we had decided to take part in the Great North Run the following year to raise money for the British Red Cross, and used parkrun as part of

our training schedule. By the end of the first month I had improved so much that I won a pair of running shoes donated by Sweatshop, which I am still using every week."

He has now completed his 79th parkrun.

"I enjoy the atmosphere and friendliness of the participants of all ages, with up to 200

runners now taking part every Saturday at Aireville park, whatever the weather. I am grateful to everyone who has given up their time and worked so hard to keep this event going at Skipton."

To find out more about the Skipton Parkrun visit the website at or look on Facebook or Twitter.