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Moray Parkrun stalwart Wenzel Dunnett looking forward to 200th event

By Chris Saunderson

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PARKRUN veteran Wenzel Dunnett is looking forward to completing his 200th run this Saturday.

Wenzel Dunnett (inset) will take part in his 200th Elgin Parkrun this Saturday.
Wenzel Dunnett (inset) will take part in his 200th Elgin Parkrun this Saturday.

The 75-year-old from Rothes will line up for his milestone run at the weekly Elgin Parkrun in the Cooper Park.

Wenzel has been running since the age of 14 and after suffering a stroke five years ago, the Parkrun has become even more important to him.

He said: "I just enjoy going along every Saturday morning. It keeps me going.

"I am a slow runner but I get there.

"I do it every week and volunteer sometimes too."

The former lollipop man is a popular figure at the event, and he has no plans to hang up his running shoes just yet.

"I have no injuries so I want to keep on going to 250."

Wenzel has no sight in his right eye and poor circulation in his right leg, but that does not impact his ability to complete the 5k run.

"I am very independent. It is a very social event and I like meeting all the runners. I don't go out socially to the pub or clubs, and I just enjoy when I can get to Elgin Parkrun on a Saturday morning."

The national charity Parkrun event has opened up opportunities to many people who never thought running was for them and is as much about the social aspect, as it is about the running.

Parkrun is a collection of 5-kilometre events for walkers, runners and volunteers that take place every Saturday morning at more than 2000 locations in 22 countries across six continents.

"I used to do half marathons and remember doing a marathon once in 4hrs 18minutes. I used to do a lot of 10ks as well," added Wenzell.

He worked for 38 years with the Combination of Rothes Distillers making cattle feed pellets and syrup.

Wenzell then became a lollipop man for a number of years, splitting his time between Rothes, Aberlour and Buckie.

"It was a fine job and it was nice meeting all the kids," he said. "I would still have been doing it if it wasn't for traffic lights coming along."

Wenzell and wife Mary, of Green Street, have been married for 51 years and have two daughters, Donna and Julie, and granddaughters Chelsea and Paige.

Although very modest and not keen on attention, Wenzell is set to get a great reception from organisers and fellow runners on Saturday morning. The Elgin Parkrun starts at 9.30am, next to the skatepark, for anyone wanting to take part or go along to give Wenzell a cheer.

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