HUNDREDS of runners started 2019 off on the right foot in a record-breaking Chester Parkrun event.

A total of 614 people took part in the special New Year's Day event at the Countess of Chester Country Park, smashing the venue's previous record entry of 406.

Such were the crowds that many runners had to queue at the finish line for upwards of 50 yards to be classified, but thanks to the hard-working volunteers who organise the Parkrun each Saturday morning, the results were tallied up and made available to all that afternoon.

The huge number of entrants, organisers have explained, was down to the Chester Parkrun beginning at 10.30am instead of its usual 9am slot, meaning hundreds of runners doubled up by taking part in Parkruns at nearby Delamere Forest or Wepre Park, Connah's Quay.

Volunteers who helped at the course on New Year's Day in a variety of roles, from scanning runners' barcodes, marshalling the course or helping to run along with those at the tail of the field, were Alison Leavens, Angela Morley, Edward Austin, Elinor Jones, Gaynor Harper, Gwenda Jones, Heather Whittaker, Helen Dolby, Ian Ainscough, Ian Warrell, Jackie Hughes, Jayne Noble, Joy Wilkinson, Karen Murphy, Malcolm Roberts, Mark Gallagher, Michael G Waring, Muriel Green, Nicola Perrins, Ronnie Sumner and Steve Evans.

Chris Smithard, of Deeside Orienteering Club, was the run's top finisher in a time of 16 minutes and 57 seconds.

Chester Parkrun is held each Saturday at 9am. For more information, and/or to find out how to volunteer at the event, visit