LAST Saturday provided a first for Barry Island parkrun, in the sense that it was their first event to have to be cancelled due to snow.

The team of run directors took what could be construed as an unusual decision in cancelling the event before any serious snowfall had occurred, but with all forecasts indicating significant snow and prolonged sub zero temperatures, it was prudent to let runners and especially volunteers know that they didn't need to battle 'the Beast from the East' to make it to the Island.

While a disappointment to those set to take part, parkrun directors treat the safety of volunteers and runners as paramount. Icy conditions on the promenade and deep snow across parts of the course, ultimately vindicated their decision to cancel the event.

Run director Dave Shields made several trips to the 5km course over the weekend, noting that the headland path that runs alongside the old Butlins car park remained covered in several feet of snow on Sunday afternoon.

Normal service is due to resume on Saturday, March 10, where the Barry Island parkrun is set to welcome the Vale Surf Life Saving Club among their volunteers. Club chairman Simon Parker said that parkrun has benefited members of the club, with a regular turnout of club members each Saturday actively contributing to the club's fitness, which reaped success in the recent Welsh Pool championships.

The club would like to repay the time and effort put in by volunteers each week by filling most roles in a club takeover. This marks the second club takeover this year, and the first for the Vale SLSC.

Parkrun is a free, timed, weekly 5km run taking place at 9am every Saturday morning. To take part, register on, print off your barcode and arrive by 8.50am at the Eastern shelter on Barry Island promenade.

A first timers' brief is provided for those new to parkrun or new to the Barry Island course.

Junior parkrun

As happened with the 5km event on Saturday, Sunday's 2km junior event was also a victim of the extreme weather last weekend and had to be cancelled.

This Sunday's event is due to go ahead, but will only take place if enough volunteers have come forward. To get involved, please email the event run director at