LAST Saturday's Barry Island parkrun saw yet another wet and grey day, but the weather again was not enough to deter the 129 participants who took to the the course to run, jog or walk the 5km route.

Sixteen of those running the course were first-timers to parkrun, while 24 recorded new personal bests. Representatives from 15 different running clubs took part.

This week saw a number of announcements, including birthdays and volunteer’s milestones. Tail walker and Barry Island regular Helen McCarthy celebrated her 25th volunteer outing, and was awarded with a purple parkrun t-shirt with the number 25 on the back.

Regular runner Sue Greshenson celebrated her birthday by running the course with fellow Seriously Mad Runners Lisa Williams, Ally Twigg and Penarth and Dinas member Bethan Apglyn. It wouldn’t be a birthday weekend without the compulsory balloon, banner and of course the numbered badge.

Towards the end of last year, regular volunteer Ritchie Hemlock passed away. Ritchie was a regular sight cheering and supporting not just his daughter Sue, but all the parkrun runners, and made the volunteer position outside Bay 5 his own.

Sue requested permission from both the council and Bay 5 owners to have a plaque installed in memory of her dad. The plaque was also given honorary approval from parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt, something that would have meant a lot to Ritchie.

This week saw regular volunteer Claire Thorne completing her last week as a run director for Barry Island, before stepping down from the role to concentrate on her role as event director for Barry junior parkrun.

Co-event director, Lyn Evans, said: “Claire’s been a core team member here from the very outset - nearly 3 years ago - helping to shape the event and get it set up. She’s volunteered 83 times at Barry Island, 20 times as Run Director.

“Over the course of 140 events, Claire’s helped 3,358 runners enjoy 15,942 runs, setting 3,090 Personal Bests, covering nearly 80,000 km."

The rain worsened as the race got underway, but that didn’t stop Jeff Cox of Les Croupiers RC complete the 5km course in a respectable 19.00, ahead of Phil Cross in 19.36 and Dave Mathews, of Penarth & Dinas Runners, in third place with a time of 20.04.

For the ladies’ it was first-timer Heather Sharp who was first to finish in 21.43. Lisa Cleary of Penarth & Dinas Runners finished in second place in 22:23, with Louise McKee of Eton Tri third in 23.45.

Barry Island parkrun is organised and run entirely by volunteers. This week, the event was made possible by 25 people: Julie Broughton, Lyn Evans, Nicola John, Ian Thorne, Richard Street, Dave Shields, Claire Thorne, Rachel Davies, Kirstine Hughes, Joanna Hanks, Nigel Adams, Beverly Ooss, Sarah Brooks, Chloe Brooks, Nicola Hardy, Michelle Green, Christine Thomas, Nadia Hamandi, Helen McCarthy, Alun Chapple, Nick Everitt, Karen Adams, Katie Wright & Christopher Barnsley.