Porty parkrun turns nasty after competitive athletes ‘push child over’

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AGGRESSIVE athletes on a popular parkrun face a crackdown after reports of one runner pushing a child.

Organisers of the Portobello 5km event around Figgate Park have vowed swift action after the incident on Saturday.

“We have been made aware of an incident whereby a runner was seen to push a child during today’s event,” organisers posted on the Facebook page at the weekend.

“We have mentioned on several occasions the issues that have been caused by a minority of runners as they lap others.

This was also referred to in the pre-run briefing.

“Please be assured that the incident this morning will be dealt with robustly.

“We have identified the runner responsible and are now in contact with parkrun HQ to decide on a course of action.”

Runners immediately took to social media to tell of issues with over-competitive participants, while supporting event organisers.

One runner said: “I love Porty parkrun. It’s very well organised and has a great community spirit.

“I do, however, find the shouting to get past can be annoying and I think it’s quite unnecessary.

“I can see how this might discourage families from running the course as it can be quite intimidating to have a faster runner shouting something that usually indecipherable and then having to react so quickly to let them past.

“Even worse when others who are not over taking shout too.”

Urging everyone to “run it together”, he added: “The elite runners are a very small minority.

“Parkrun is for the majority who want to run and do their best.

And Fiona Morrison said: “So sad to hear about this. I have been shouted at before to ‘keep left’ when I was practically already on the grass.

“But then today the only shouting I had was someone saying ‘Well done’ as they lapped me on their last lap - that is what parkrun is all about.”

Two months ago, organisers threatened to pull the plug on the race if a minority of the 200 or so participants, continued to urinate behind homes in adjacent Hamilton Terrace.

Anyone caught will be struck from the results table with further sanctions threatened, they warned. “It’s not us putting the event at risk – it’s you.

“Think of others before yourself for once,” they added.

The Evening News reported in January how the run was under threat after nearby residents complained of participants relieving themselves in an alley behind their homes.

andy.shipley@jpress.co.uk