DESPITE the atrocious weather conditions on Saturday morning, 79 hardy runners tackled a cold, wet and windy Barry Island parkrun, supported by an even hardier 21-strong volunteer team.

Experienced parkrunner, Sally Wilder was one of many runners to pay tribute to the volunteers.

She said “Thank you all so much. I rate this morning as possibly the worst parkrun weather in all my 270-something parkruns.”

There were 13 first time Barry Island runners, including three of the first 10 finishers. Representatives of eight different athletics clubs took part, amongst them a group of old and new members of Penarth and Dinas Runners, most notably Clem and Janice Clement, visiting from their temporary home in Glasgow.

Battling the elements, eight runners recorded new course personal best times this week, including Kelson Mathias (34:08), Peter Trott (27:13), Susie Lyn Jones (36:34), Brian Jones (37:57) and Gaynor Loveless (39:10).

There was a milestone run this week for John Magee (Les Croupiers RC), completing his 200th parkrun. Amber Condy recently reached her 25th volunteering milestone and proudly sported her new aubergine t-shirt for a quick photograph before wrapping back up for duty as one of this week’s barcode scanners.

Both were applauded by the assembled runners before the start of the run.

Chris Alborough led the field home in a time of 18:50, with Andrew Birch second over the line in 19:53. Both were first time visitors to Barry Island.

Scott Redfern was third in his ninth visit with a time of 20:13.

Sally Wilder, from San Domenico RC, claimed the first female finisher spot (13th overall) in 22:32. This was the 24th time that she’s finished as first female, but the very first time since the birth of daughter Lilly, who shared fourth place overall in her buggy after being pushed around the course in a time of 20:53 by dad Richard.

Keeping up her recent good form, junior runner Harriet Kehl was second (23rd overall) over the line in 26:22, with Rhian Lees third in 27:54.

Andrew Birch (VM45-49) recorded the best age grade score with 71.8 per cent for his time of 19:53, in second place. Frank Atherton (VM55-59) was graded second, with 69.4 per cent for his time of 22:31 (12th place).

Paul Kehl (VM50-54) was graded 69.3 per cent with a time of 21:28 (sixth place).

Plans have recently been firmed up for the Barry Island parkruns over for the holiday period. Saturday parkruns will take place as normal at 9am on Saturday, December 24, Christmas Eve, and Saturday, December 31, New Year’s Eve, with an extra New Year’s Day parkrun at 10.30am on Sunday, January 1, 2017.

The unusual start time is to allow runners and volunteers the option of doubling-up (a parkrun tradition) with a nearby parkrun - in this case Cardiff parkrun in Blackweir, which will take place at 9am.

There’s also the opportunity for a unique to treble by taking in the New Year’s Day charity beach swim at noon.

Barry Island parkrun is a free, weekly 5k timed run and is open to anyone of any ability - runners, joggers or walkers alike. It starts at 9am every Saturday morning under the Eastern Shelter of Barry Island promenade, near the beach huts.

Find out more on the run website at It’s entirely run by volunteers.

Anyone wishing to help out can get in touch by sending an email to

Since Barry Island parkrun started in May 2015, 81 runs have now been held with 1,957 different runners, including participants from 180 athletics clubs, completing 7,497 runs covering a total distance of 37,485 km. There have been 1,589 new course personal bests set.