Brent Mayor and superheroes help mark Gladstone parkrun’s first birthday

Award-winning runners in their fancy dress costumes

Award-winning runners in their fancy dress costumes - Credit: Archant

Cllr Bobby Thomas joined Superman, Batman and other runners in Gladstone Park

Cllr Bobby Thomas is no stranger to running

Cllr Bobby Thomas is no stranger to running - Credit: Archant

A popular running event celebrated its first birthday in style after the Mayor of Brent swapped his chains for a pair of running shoes by taking part.

Ben Pearce decided to run rather than fly through the air

Ben Pearce decided to run rather than fly through the air - Credit: Archant

Cllr Bobby Thomas put his best foot forward to participate in the Gladstone parkrun on Saturday with 150 people.

The 5km fun run takes place every Saturday in Gladstone Park at 9am, and has grown in popularity from having seven participants on its first run to more than 800 people in the last 12 months.

Anyone of any running capability, whether a beginner or a hard-core enthusiastic, can take part.

Cllr Thomas is no stranger to running as he has taken part in 10 London marathons and runs 16 miles every Sunday.

He told the Times he had a great time and would definitely take part again.

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He added: “It was absolutely brilliant to see such an event in a local park where everyone can take part whether you’re a fun runner or serious runner and can turn up on a Saturday and go.

“It’s a fantastic event.”

Before completing the run he handed out awards to Ben Pearce, Tony Peacock, Ryan MacBain, Lisa Alvarez and Ilaria Cireddu.

All five took part in a competition at Christmas by doing the run in a Dalmatian-inspired onesie.

This time they carried on the tradition by dressing as superheroes.

Mr Pearce, who lives in Willesden and is also a sports reporter for the Brent & Kilburn Times, said: “Having done our first Gladstone parkrun in horrible conditions at Christmas, we were all looking forward to getting involved again this summer when the weather was a bit nicer.

“The costumes were even less functional than the onesies – particularly for Tony in his Batman mask - so we decided to stick together, take it slowly and just enjoy the experience. It’s the first time I’ve noticed the view of Wembley stadium from the top of the hill!

“Every time we interview a new housemate we ask them how they would feel about dressing up and running 5k around a local park. If they look unimpressed then they don’t get the room!

“We got a tip-off that we would be winning some kind of fancy dress award on Saturday because of the onesies, so we thought we’d better turn up in something similarly ridiculous to collect it.

“It was great fun and, as usual, there was a great atmosphere and fantastic support - but I’m looking forward to going back in shorts and a t-shirt and trying to beat my best time again.”

Glen Turner from Gladstone parkrun is appealing for more residents to take part.

He said: “Our aim is for everyone in Brent to know that there is a 5km fun run that is open to people of all ages and abilities in Gladstone Park every Saturday.

“The fact that we offer a free event in a friendly informal environment, where people can just turn up and run with no commitment, really appeals to people.

“Just sign up and bring your barcode.”

To sign up and for information visit