Alfy's "life-saving" runs.

A former prisoner says running has saved his life. Alfy Kirkley from Blackburn got involved in Black Combe Park run in Cumbria, the first parkrun to take place inside the grounds of a prison. As he left prison, Alfy handed a letter to a fellow prisoner thanking him for introducing him to parkrun as it has transformed his health and wellbeing. Since his release Alfy has ran his local parkrun every Saturday.

Alfy Kirkley (on the left) completing another park run Credit: Parkrun

Here's an excerpt from Alfy's letter:

'I was at the brink of suicide at one point as I was trapped in a big hole, so what I would do in that situation was get high on drugs. I loved it, because it took me away from all my problems until I'd run out then bang, they would hit me again all at once. I'd then create problems not just for myself but for others too. I felt as though nobody could help me because they didn't understand my problem...... I thank you for all the training you've taught me and I can honestly say it's paid off because one minute I was known as a jail junky and now all of a sudden I'm the fittest and fastest man in HMP Haverigg. I'm not just physically healthy, I'm mentally healthy and prepared for release and to continue this work out there'