THERE was relief amongst the regular runners this week, as Barry Island parkrun returned to its regular two-lap course after two weeks using the alternative three-lap version to accommodate other events on the promenade.

This Saturday, 168 runners, joggers and walkers tackled the 5k route in some cold, breezy conditions in Barry Island parkrun 109.

For the tenth successive week, well over 100 participants took part, with the 2017 average now over 140 per week.

In total, 2,577 participants have now completed 11,380 parkruns covering a total distance of 56,900 km, including 2,360 new Personal Bests, since May 2nd 2015. This week 168 people completed the course, of whom 27 were first timers and 49 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different clubs took part, including a number of the recently formed and rapidly growing Major Milers, from Llantwit Major.

This week’s event was made possible by a team of 22 volunteers, including Helen Archer in her first outing as tail runner, and first female finisher Zoe Dobbs, who got her barcode scanned, cheered in all the runners and then helped sort out the finish tokens ready for next week. It’s possible to volunteer and run most weeks, in roles such as tail runner, token sorter and course set-up - just contact the Run Director in advance.

Jeff Cox (from Les Croupiers RC) led the strong field home, finishing in first place in a new course personal best (PB) time of 18:40. It was a 19:44 PB for Phil Cross in second place, with third placed Nathan Christoforato just 3 seconds outside his PB in 20:05.

First female finisher Zoe Dobbs (Penarth and Dinas Runners) also recorded a course PB of 20:21 to claim fourth place overall.

Second female finisher was Chloe Crossman (Guildford & Godalming AC), recording 20:48 in her first outing at Barry Island and only her second parkrun. Another Penarth and Dinas Runner, Rachel Eales, was third in 21:35.

There was a long list of course PB’s this week - 49 in total - stretching right through the field. As well as the three mentioned above, the list included veteran runners Ian Warburton (VM50-54) - 21:28, Stuart Keeping (VM50-54) - 21:46, Richard Treadgold (VM60-64) - 22:19, Malcolm Bradley (VM65-69) - 22:35 and Catherine Bourne (VW60-64) - 22:35.

There were two milestone runs this week which together represented the diversity of ages that is typical of the parkrun community. Evan Warburton reached his 100th parkrun whilst still only 15 years old, whilst John Deakin achieved his 50th parkrun on his 73rd birthday. A lifelong runner, John has run 49 of his 50 parkruns at Barry Island since June 2015. Evan’s parkrun career started pre-Barry Island, at Cardiff in 2013, but he’s run 61 of his 100 at the Island. Both of them also feature regularly on the volunteer rosters. They received applause from fellow participants before the run and were high-fived and cheered right round the course.

Earlier this year, plans to bring a junior parkrun to Romilly Park, Barry were announced and were making good progress through the Spring. A recent change in parkrun policy meant that the new parkrun would need to have access to a defibrillator in order to be given the go-ahead. As none was available in the locality, the Barry parkrun teams launched a fund-raising appeal a month ago. Donations came in steadily from many individuals, businesses large and small and local running groups. Others have been working behind the scenes to explore funding opportunities and other options.

After a surge in donations in the last week, the £800 target has now been reached. Speaking after announcing this to applause and cheers at Saturday’s pre-run briefing, parkrun volunteer Ambassador Lyn Evans commented:"We are very grateful for the generosity of everyone in the local running community for supporting our defibrillator appeal.

"It’s allowed us to hit our fundraising target in just a month. In fact, we’ve now exceeded the target by more than fifty percent and so we will also be purchasing additional safety equipment and providing first aid training for our volunteers, to ensure the runners’ safety at both local parkruns.

"Welsh Hearts, the heart charity for Wales, has kindly provided the portable AED for use by the two Barry parkruns, at a very favourable price, along with all the necessary AED and CPR training for our volunteers.

"Of course, this also means that Barry junior parkrun is now very much back on track, and we’re hoping to be able to announce a start date, likely to be in August, within the next week."

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: It’s entirely organised by volunteers. Anyone wishing to help out can get in touch by sending an email to:

Barry junior parkrun will be a free weekly 2k timed run for 4 to 14 year olds at 9am. every Sunday in Romilly Park, Barry. A start date will be announced soon. For more information or if you’re interested in helping out, email