WITH the International Food Market taking over the promenade this week it was another chance for Barry Island parkrun to use the alternative course and give the runners the chance to attack Heartbreak Hill three times instead of the regular two. Most of the regular runners will jump at the chance of an extra challenge but as usual, there were a few groans from those that are still aching from the last time the Alternative Course was used.

One of those that rose to the challenge was Barry Island parkrun Core Team member Ben Butler-Madden of Penarth & Dinas Runners, making his way around the three laps to cross the finish line in first place in a time of 18:16. It was a full minute and a half before Junior runner Thomas Lowrie became the second finisher in 19:46 followed by Jeff Cox of Les Croupiers RC in 20:03.

For the ladies it was Cheryl Evans of Victoria Park Harriers & Tower Hamlets AC who made it to the finish line first in a time of 22:35, the first time in six appearances that Cheryl has finished first. Second place went to Bethan Apglyn of Penarth & Dinas Runners, crossing the line in a new personal best time of 24:52 and Ally Twigg of Seriously Mad Runners coming home in third place in 25:24.

There were 133 runners taking part in Barry Island parkrun’s 110th event. There were 20 first timers this week, some were in the area for the Champions League final in Cardiff while others were just visiting from as far away as Australia. Making sure everyone was safe was a volunteer team of 21 helpers.

Parkrun takes place every Saturday and is not just a UK event. There are weekly runs in 14 countries across five continents. With well over 1000 events worldwide and in excess of 116000 runners taking part at the 442 events that took place in the UK alone this week, parkrun is definitely a growing event.

It’s not just the 5km events that take place on Saturday mornings that are growing. The number of junior events is rapidly approaching 200. Junior events are 2km in length and are for 4-14 year olds and are safe and fun to take part in.

Plans to bring junior parkrun to Barry are almost complete and the organising team have been given a start date in mid August for the first Barry junior parkrun to take place at Romilly Park. This will be a free weekly timed run that takes place on Sundays at 9am.

Barry Island parkrun is a free 5km timed event that takes place every Saturday morning at 9am at The Eastern Shelter on the promenade. It’s organised and run entirely by volunteers.

Each week the team need to recruit volunteers to help keep the runners and other users of the paths safe and to ensure the event goes as smoothly as possible. If you’d like to get involved in volunteering then please get in touch at barryislandhelpers@parkrun.com. You don’t have to be a runner and no experience is necessary.