WITH the arrival of Storm Brian at the weekend there were fears that Barry Island parkrun may not be able to go ahead as usual.

As the weekend approached, it was becoming clear that the combination of high winds and high spring tides would make for some spectacular waves pounding against the promenade wall just before the 9am start.

With many other parkruns around the country choosing to cancel, including Newport, Llanelli and Porthcawl, it was decided that an early morning course inspection would take place. With the safety of the runners and volunteers a priority it became obvious quite early on that the promenade could not be used.

Barry Island parkrun are fortunate to have an Alternative Course that can be used and this was the case, away from the crashing waves and just about out of reach of the spray for most of the course.

Given the conditions on Saturday morning a low turnout was expected, however 100 runners braved the wind and rain to enjoy a stormy 5km run.

With plenty of wind and three laps of the alternative course instead of two regular laps it was never going to be a day for record times.

First across the finish line was Jeff Cox of Les Croupiers RC in a time of 20:24, his seventh first place finish in 49 appearances. Second place went to David Brown of Seriously Mad Runners (Barry), completing the course in 21:13 with Robert Newman in third place in a time of 21:25.

For the ladies, it was first timer Sarah Crandon of Manchester YMCA Harriers Club who crossed first, finishing ninth overall in 23:37. Second was Abi Anderson crossing the finish line in 24:02, closely followed by Lisa Cleary of Penarth & Dinas Runners in 24:04.

Charlotte Clarke of Seriously Mad Runners chalked up a milestone this week. While it was her very first parkrun, she became the 3,000th different person to complete Barry Island parkrun.

Looking after the course and making sure everyone was safe was a team of 29 volunteers who gave up their time on Saturday morning to help out. They were Emma Wookey, Ian Thorne, Richard Street, Ian Jenkins, Dave Shields, Ian & Evan Warburton, Claire Thorne, Ben Butler-Madden, Peter Havard, Jon Hussey, Kirstine Hughes, Phill Watts, Tracy and Paul Buckle, Paul & Harriet Kehl, Debbie Williams, Sarah and Chloe Brooks, Jason Elworthy, Lynsey Phillips, Nadia Hamandi, Bethan Apglyn, Andrea Walker, Katie Wright and Christopher Barnsley.

Without the help of the volunteers each week, the event could not go ahead and the runners appreciate the contribution they make each and every Saturday morning.

One runner this week, Louise Facey was just one of the many participants to send messages of thanks to the Barry Island team.

“I was really pleased it went ahead today as I’m here from Preston for my first Barry Island parkrun, but wasn’t sure it would with the windy conditions. So, a big thanks to all the volunteers and officials - great course and people, even with Storm Brian.”

It was also looking like the junior parkrun might be at risk from Storm Brian, but with the winds calming down the junior event went ahead as planned.

This week there were 69 4-14 year olds taking part in the 2km run which takes place at 9am every Sunday morning at Romilly Park. Of those 69 runners, 13 were first timers and six achieved new personal best times.

Both events are organised and run by volunteers and are free to take part in, but first runners must register with parkrun at www.parkrun.org.uk/register and print a personal barcode to bring along to the events.

Both parkruns are always on the lookout for volunteers to help out on a Saturday or Sunday morning. If you would like to help out, get in touch with the teams at barryislandhelpers@parkrun.com for the Saturday 5km event or barry-juniorshelpers@parkrun.com for the Sunday 2km event. No previous experience is needed.