THIS week’s Barry Island parkrun fully embraced the Halloween theme, with vampires, zombies and devils making their way around the 5km beachfront course.

The 146 runners also found themselves coming face to face with the Grim Reaper – otherwise known as Dave Shields – at Heartbreak Hill, with many later thanking him for their improved times.

Thirty-one runners recorded new personal best times, with Ben Butler-Madden of Penarth & Dinas Runners completing the course in 17:43 to finish in first place. Second place went to first timer John Bevan of Llyswerry Runners, crossing in 18:16, with third place going to junior runner and fellow first timer Iestyn Edwards of Cardiff AAC in an impressive 18:43.

For the ladies, Lisa Papura came home first in 23:03, finishing in 17th place overall with a brand new personal best.

Also securing a new personal best was Sarah Louise Fry, who took 23:10 finish second, while completing the top three was Leanne Hockey of White Rock Runners who ended the two lap course in a time of 23:45.

Barry Island parkrun is a free timed 5km event and is open to runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities. Participants must first register with parkrun at

This week Barry Island parkrun was made possible by John MaGee, Lyn Evans, Russell Thorne, Ian Thorne, Claire Thorne, Richard Street, Rhian Lees, Malcolm Bradley, Tessa Matthews, Justin Doran, Dave Shields, Evan Warburton, Lynette McNabb, Kirstine Hughes, Nicola Hardy, Hilary James, Gaynor Loveless, Rebecca Marytsch, Suzanne Blake, Rachel Gibbs, Rebecca Helmore, Owen Boffy, Sarah Thomas, Mike Jenkins and Hugh Smith.

With two parkruns taking place in Barry every week, Barry Island parkrun on the promenade on a Saturday and Barry junior parkrun for 4 to 14 year olds at Romilly Park on a Sunday, both events rely heavily on volunteers to make them possible.

One of the biggest challenges each week is to recruit the team of volunteers needed to ensure the safety of all involved. With a minimum of 40 helpers needed each week over the two events, it’s down to the volunteer coordinator of each parkrun to make sure all the places are filled before the run can take place.

This week the job was taken on by co-event director of Barry Island parkrun Ian Thorne.

“I had my work cut out this week as I was taking on the volunteer coordinator role for Barry Island parkrun as well as Barry junior parkrun. With the volunteers for Barry Island in place by the middle of the week I had to put in some extra work for Barry juniors”

“We have a fantastic running community in Barry and, so far we’ve always been able to get enough volunteers to put on the events each week”

If you would like to find out more about volunteering at Barry Island parkrun you can get in touch at or Barry junior parkrun at