BARRY Island parkrun’s numbers continue to hold up well into 2017, with a 13th successive three-figure field, as 141 runners tackled the 5k course this week.
This was the 98th parkrun and the organisers are hoping for big turn-out to mark their 100th event on March 25, which could also see the 10,000th finisher over the line and 50,000th kilometre chalked up.
There are also reports of an attempt at the course record being planned.
Before setting the runners off, the day’s run director, Lyn Evans, presented a certificate to the men’s points league table topper, Robert Newman.
Despite being absent for the last few weeks with an injury, Robert had run consistently well since May 2016 to accumulate 3,325 points by the end of February.
Amongst the 141 participants who ran, jogged or walked the course, were 13 first timers and representatives of 14 different clubs.
Thirty-three runners set a new course best time, including visitor Geoff Partridge (20:25), Mark Harris (23:04), junior Evan Warburton (25:17), Emma Arscott (26:16), Helen Archer, who broke 30 minutes for the first time with 29:44 and Evan Quick (34:50). Run director Claire Thorne clearly enjoyed her run and set a new PB of 46:32.
Junior runners dominated the top placings this week. They took the first three overall places and two of the first three female places.
Alfie Davies (JM15-17) was first over the line in 19:28, his second time in five appearances. Thomas Lowrie (JM15-17) was in second place with a time of 19:45, just ahead of Tom Waters (JM11-14) who clocked his first sub-20 minute time and set a new PB of 19:49.
Louise Flynn was first female (11th overall) over the line in 21:07 - her eighth time in 10 appearances. Caitlin Williams (JW11-14) of SMR (Barry) was second female finisher in 23:15 and Harriet Kehl (JW11-14) was third over the line in 24:16.
Tom Waters (JM11-14) topped the age grades scores this week with 75 per cent. Malcolm Bradley (VM65-69), from Penarth and Dinas Runners, was just behind with 74.4 per cent for his time of 22:46, with Paul Kehl third. Paul’s 74.1 per cent score corresponded to a time 20:13 - a new PB.
As the week’s results illustrate with a 50-plus year age gap between the runners with the top two scores, age grading is a good way for runners of different ages to be able compare their times with each other and against benchmarks for their age.
With family groups increasingly running together too, age grades mean that the different generations and genders can compare their times alongside each others’ and set group, as well as individual, improvement targets.
Barry Island parkrun is a free, weekly 5k timed run and is open to anyone of any ability from age four upwards - runners, joggers or walkers alike.
It starts at 9am every Saturday morning at Barry Island promenade, normally under the Eastern shelter.
Find out more on the run website at parkrun.org.uk/barryisland
It’s entirely organised by volunteers. Anyone wishing to help out can get in touch by sending an email to email@example.com
After 98 Barry Island parkruns, 2,303 different runners, including participants from 202 athletics clubs, have completed 9,702 runs covering a total distance of 48,510km. There have been 2,027 new personal bests. They have been supported by 330 different volunteers in 2,146 roles. There are 1,581 runners who’ve registered Barry Island parkrun as their home parkrun.