IN THE best conditions of the year so far, 171 people ran, jogged or walked their way around Barry Island parkrun number 142 last Saturday morning.

At least 30 of these were first time visitors to the 5km course, with seven taking in their first ever parkrun.

Representatives of more than 15 different clubs took part this week, including local clubs: Brackla Harriers, Caerleon RC, Cardiff AAC, Les Croupiers RC, Major Milers RC, Pegasus RC, Penarth and Dinas Runners, Porthcawl Runners, Seriously Mad Runners (Barry) and a growing group from Vale Surf Life Saving Club. From further afield, visitors Liz Lewis and Paul Lewis represented Royal Manor of Portland AC, while the sole visitor from Scotland, down for the weekend’s rugby, was Paul Love from Carnegie Harriers (home parkrun Dunfermline), who bagged himself a top 10 finish on his first visit. Liz Lewis placed third in the ladies category with a course PB on her second visit to the Island.

The event was made possible by an enthusiastic team of 20 volunteers, including several newcomers and family groups. There were two husband and wife pairings – Jo and Dave Mathews marshalling the corner known as seafood swerve and Nigel and Karen Adams on finish tokens. Father and daughter Hugh and Daisy Connolly cheered on runners at the top of Heartbreak Hill and tail-walker Lynette McNabb was accompanied by granddaughter Alys. The other members of run director Lyn Evans’s team were Lisa Cleary, Ian Thorne, Richard Street, Tessa Matthews, Dave Shields, Evan Warburton, Richie Williams, Debbie Williams, Gaynor Loveless, Nick Everitt, Alison Woolcock and John Elward.

Some of the highlights from the long list of personal best times this week were: Mark Gabb (Major Milers RC) - 20:18, Lynden Mack - 22:11, Emily Parker (Vale SLSC) - 23:28, Jonathan Gough - 23:30, Oliver McNabb - 27:33, Rebecca James - 27:53, Tamzin Rose - 33:41 and Renee Gwatkin - 36:19.

PB’s spanned the full range of finishing times, ages and genders in this week’s results, full details of which can be found on the event website at:

Ben-Butler Madden (Penarth and Dinas Runners) was first over the finish line this week in a time of 17:16, with first-timer Laurence Thompson in third place in 18:20. First female finisher was Catherine Barker (Penarth and Dinas Runners) in 13th place overall in a time of 22:04, with Liz Lewis (Royal Manor of Portland AC) third female in 23:28.

It was quiet week for parkrun milestones, but Henry Gil Jubilan did complete his 50th parkrun – 31 of these on the Barry Island course – earning himself a prized red parkrun ‘50’ t-shirt.

Noticeable among this week’s runners was a large number of blue and yellow finisher shirts from the previous weekend’s ‘Lliswerry 8’ road race. The recent boom in running numbers has seen races like this, and January 21‘s ‘CF64 Winter Race’ at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, regularly sell out.

Local parkruns have been a significant factor in this growth. Barry Island parkrun has seen a 100 per cent increase in numbers between January 2016 (average 80 runners per week) and January 2018 (average 160 runners per week). More than 50 junior runners are also enjoying Barry junior parkrun each week, which reached its 25th event last Sunday.

Despite the cold, windy conditions that even a bit of winter sunshine didn’t warm, 43 runners took to the 2km Barry junior parkrun course at Romilly Park. It was tight at the front with Rebeca Harries and Alfie Osborne both stopping the clock on 8:51, with Rebeca just crossing the line first by a shoelace. Rhys McNabb followed them home in third place.

Prior to the start there were half-marathon milestone wristbands awarded to Angharad and Lowri Mack, and a marathon wristband awarded to Danny Crespo.

Barry Island parkrun is a free, weekly 5km timed run and is open to people of all abilities aged four and upwards – runners, joggers and 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:

Barry junior parkrun is a free timed run for four to 14 year olds taking place over a two lap, 2km course within Romilly Park every Sunday morning at 9am. Find out more on the run website at:

Both events are organised and run entirely by volunteers. Runners and volunteers must first register with parkrun at