King’s Lynn Parkrunners in a poignant race

King's Lynn Parkrun members at the Thiepval Memorial to commemorate the Battle of the Somme ANL-160713-164837001
King's Lynn Parkrun members at the Thiepval Memorial to commemorate the Battle of the Somme ANL-160713-164837001

A group of Lynn Parkrun members recently travelled across to France to take part in an iconic 10-mile run to mark the centenary of the Somme.

The runners, who meet at 9am each Saturday in The Walks for a 5km outing, ran along what had been the frontline between British and German forces during the World War I battle.

The battle, in which the British Army suffered the highest-ever casualty rate of its entire history, started at 7.30am on July 1, 1916, and has been the subject of national commemorative events.

The run was organised to commemorate the start of the battle and took place between the villages of Gommecourt and Thiepval, this also being the site of the magnificent memorial to the missing, containing the names of 72,195, of those who died in the fighting but have no known grave.

The visit was arranged by local Parkrun director, Gary Walker, who having conducted a number of studies of the Somme, has an intimate knowledge of both the battle and the area in general.

A wreath was laid at the end of the run by the park runners to commemorate those who has lost their lives in the battle and whose graves now lay in the numerous Commonwealth War Graves Commission graveyards that are scattered across the area, many of which were passed by the runners, as they made their way through the 
now peaceful French countryside.”