AS the weather worsens, attendance seems to decline at the Harwich Parkrun.

This week, 80 people completed the five-kilometre seafront route, down on the numbers taking part during the summer.

It was visitors to the area who took two of the top three places on Saturday.

First back to the bandstand in Dovercourt Park, in a time of 17 minutes and 52 seconds, was Stuart Lumsden, from Northbrook AC.

It was his third visit and second win.

Third place went to Lyndon Meredith, of South London Harriers.

It was his second run at Harwich in a personal best (PB) time of 18m 15s.

Local club member Graeme Knott was second, in 18m 13s, and fourth, fifth and sixth places were filled by Harwich Runners Simon Day (18m 54s), Mark Rutter (19m 10s) and Archie Barrington (19m 28s).

In the junior 11 to 14 age group, it was a very close finish with club junior Michael Knowles setting a new PB of 21m 6s, finishing ninth and just ahead of Sam Plummer, tenth in 21m 10s.

The first three lady finishers were all Harwich Runners.

Claudine Benstead recorded her 24th win in 21m 30s - the 14th finisher overall.

Second was Alison Evans, in 24m 7s, just 11 seconds off her best.

The third lady finisher was Valentina Burley, in 26m 18s, her 84th appearance at the Harwich event.

Seven of those who took part this week achieved new PBs and one of those was Lian Meachen.

Her time of 31m 14s was a massive 53-second improvement on her previous best set at the beginning of November.

Parkruns are not all about fast times and first finishers.

While six running clubs were represented at the most recent event, about half of those taking part were not club members.

A lot of those running regularly now started out as walkers and some still walk as do many of those taking part for the first time.

Ages range from under ten to over 75 and all are congratulated as they finish. Members of running clubs can use it to gauge their current fitness or use it as a return from injury.

For most it is a chance to do some form of exercise or part of a week’s training or weight loss plan.

All are welcome and treated equally regardless of ability.

It costs nothing to take part.

All you do is register at, print a barcode and turn up any Saturday ready to start at 9am.

There will also be two extra runs over the festive break as well as the regular Saturday events.

One is on Christmas Day at 9am and the other on New Year's Day at 8.30am.