THERE was a record turn-out of 526 at Thames Valley Park on Saturday to celebrate Ian Giggs becoming the first local parkrunner to complete 500 runs.

The 37-year-old member of Reading Roadrunners has also participated in the recreational five-kilometres event at 291 other runs worldwide.

He is ranked 12th in the world for trips to parkruns in 12 different countries, with New Zealand being his furthest port of call.

Since Reading parkrun staged its inaugural event in 2009 — it celebrates its 10th birthday on September 14 — parkruns have also started to thrive at Woodley, Dinton Pastures, Prospect Park and California Country Park, as well as Newbury, Bracknell, Henley and Didcot.

Ian, who lives in Whitley, is one of the quicker runners, almost always finishing in under 20 minutes and, with regular ‘tourism’ to other events, has become the first person in the Reading area to reach the magic 500 figure.

His achievement was marked by club-mates sharing a huge cake specially baked for the occasion by Peter Higgs, one of the Roadrunners’ coaches.

Roadrunners’ chairman Phil Reay said: “Ian has been a pillar of the running community for over two decades and it was pleasing to see him have his day in the sun for his 500th parkrun. He regularly volunteers at junior parkruns and sits on various race committees. Congratulations to him on reaching such an impressive milestone.”

For Ian, the quest for more parkrun participation goes on and he is looking forward to trips to Denmark next month and Finland in September.

WOKINGHAM school girl Hannah Roberts was again among the medals at the English Schools Athletic Championships.

Two years after winning the junior 800 metres title, she won silver over the same distance at the intermediate level in Birmingham last weekend.

The Luckley House pupil, who is a Bracknell AC member, won her heat in 2mins 16.27secs before clocking 2.11:96 in the final, where she was narrowly edged out by Susannah Lecoutre, who was representing Surrey.

Berkshire’s only gold medal winner in the two-day event was Charlotte Payne from the Kennet School in Thatcham. She secured the senior girls’ hammer title with a throw of 57.53 metres.

Zara Obamakinwa, who attends Queen Anne’s in Caversham, took the silver medal in the intermediate girls’ discus with a throw of 38.11 metres. The same event saw The Holt’s Lucy James finish sixth with 33.90m.

There were bronze medals for Eton College’s Basil Tuma in the junior boys’ 100m, Charlotte Dewar (Windsor Girls) in the junior girls’ 1,500m, The Downs (Compton) pupil Phoebe Hoaen in the intermediate girls’ javelin and Lionel Owona-Bunung (Windsor Boys) in the intermediate boys high jump final, where Joseph Cox of Little Heath (Tilehurst) was fifth.

Berkshire finished fourth in the intermediate boys’ 4x100m relay, just being denied the bronze medal by Surrey.

Overall at the end of the weekend, the 70-strong Berkshire team finished a creditable ninth in the Group A Broadbridge Trophy with a total of 175.50 points after 101 finals.

Their highest placing was fifth in the senior girls’ competition for the Joan Hayward Cup, while the intermediate girls were seventh overall and the junior girls eighth.

Berkshire were sixth in the intermediate boys’ event, while the senior and junior teams were both ninth, with all teams competing at Group A level.