WITH the tide out and weather much more conducive to running than the previous week, 151 people ran, jogged or walked their way around the 127th Barry Island parkrun number last Saturday morning.

Thirty of these were first time visitors to the 5km course, with 13 taking on their first ever parkrun. Four of the first-timers were the Edmonds family visiting from the Isle of Man, which is about to get its own ‘Island’ parkrun later this month.

Representatives of 13 different clubs took part this week, among them Mynyddwyr De Cymru, BRJ Run and Tri (Huntingdon), Royal Wootton Bassett Hounds RC, Cardiff Triathletes, Run4All Neath and a growing contingent from Llantwit Major Milers.

The event was made possible by an enthusiastic team of 21 volunteers, including several newcomers. Some, such as Hugh and Julie Smith, Rebecca Helmore and Owen Boffy, and Richard Rendell and Lindsay Capus came as a pair, while others like Kate Mears, Mike Rossiter and Chris Barnsley combined volunteering with cheering on family members. Despite some initial reservations, it seems they all enjoyed seeing parkrun from the volunteer’s perspective and would readily do it again. Rhian Lees was this week’s tail walker.

Exactly 18 minutes and 11 seconds after this week’s run director, Lyn Evans, set the runners off, first finisher Matt O'Keefe crossed the finish line, setting a new course personal best time. This was Matt’s first time taking top spot in four appearances at Barry Island. He also has first place finishes at Grangemoor and Dolgellau parkruns.

Jeff Cox of Les Croupiers RC, was second in 19:04, also topping the age grades scores this week with 79.9 per cent. Junior runner Thomas Lowrie continued his series of strong performances to finish third in a time of 19:08.

It was the juniors leading the way in the female placings this week, with Imogen Davies (JM10) first (23rd overall) over the line in a new PB time of 23:27. This was Imogen’s first time placing first in nine appearances at Barry Island.

Caitlin Williams (JW11-14) of Seriously Mad Runners (Barry) was second female finisher in 24:10. Both Imogen and Caitlin have been sharpening their speed at Barry junior parkrun, where they took the first two female positions, with Caitlin just ahead, the following day at Romilly Park. Catherine Hooper was third female over the line, setting a new course PB of 24:27.

A total of 40 runners, more than a quarter of the field, recorded a new personal best time this week. Amongst the long list were regulars Richie Williams (21:52), Jane Spickett (24:42), Sarah Brooks (27:05), Tracy Elliston (35:31) and, to probably the largest cheers of the day for her and her pacemaker Helen McCarthy, Sarah Thomas in 39:30.

Spanning two generations of the same family, Anna Mears (JW11-14) set a new PB of 28:33 with grandfather Mike James (VM75-79) equally impressive with his PB of 34:55.

Barry Island parkrun is a free, weekly 5k timed run and is open to anyone of any ability from age 4 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: parkrun.org.uk/barryisland.

This week, Barry junior parkrun reached its milestone 10th event, with 67 runners happily walking, running or jogging the 2km course around Romilly Park. There were 27 personal best times in the results, with five of the field taking part in their first ever junior parkrun. In just 10 weeks, 272 different runners have already completed 762 runs and covered more than 1,500 km around the park.

Barry junior parkrun is a free, weekly 2k timed run for 4 to 14 year olds at 9am every Sunday in Romilly Park, Barry. There’s more information on the run website at: parkrun.org.uk/barry-juniors.

To register as a runner or volunteer, visit parkrun.org.uk/register. Registering just once gives a unique barcode number that allows people to run or volunteer at any parkrun anywhere in the world.