SATURDAY saw the 150th running of Barry Island parkrun since it started in May 2015.

By the time this week’s volunteer tail walker had crossed the finish line in the rain, the impressive statistics for the 150 runs read: 3,518 participants; 17,303 parkruns, total distance 86,515 km and 3,332 new personal best times.

At the heart of every single parkrun, at Barry Island and another 1,300 events around the world every weekend, are the volunteers, who give their time to ensure the walkers, joggers and runners can all enjoy their safe, free, timed weekly runs.

At Barry Island parkrun, 490 different volunteers have now enthusiastically filled 3,398 roles, including timekeeping, barcode scanning, and some very vocal course marshalling.

Topping the volunteer list are co-Event Directors Ian Thorne and Lyn Evans. Involved right from the event’s concept stage back in late 2014, Lyn just edges Ian to the gold medal position, having volunteered at Barry Island for 122 of the 150 runs, with Ian having clocked up 118 events.

Not far behind is the newest member of the Run Director team, Dave Shields, on 107, and another founding member and Run Director Ian Jenkins on 90.

Claire Thorne now dedicates her time mainly to her role as Event Director of Barry junior parkrun, but has still racked-up 87 stints at the Island.

Many others have made significant contributions and earned their milestone T-shirts for volunteering on 25 occasions.

Lyn commented: “We’re very fortunate in having a great team of volunteers at Barry Island parkrun. I think the numbers speak for themselves, but every contribution, no matter how big or small, regular or infrequent is equally valued by us as Event Directors and by our runners. It’s a privilege to be part of this – come rain, snow, sun, gales or high tides.”

Ian Thorne added: “It’s been great to see the growth in the number of people becoming involved in running after getting their first taste at Barry Island parkrun. Running groups like Seriously Mad Runners and Major Milers have sprung up and are flourishing throughout the Vale.

“Local running clubs, Penarth and Dinas Runners, White Rock Runners and Pegasus RC have always been great supporters of parkun, and are going from strength to strength too.”

Ian and Lyn also volunteer as Event Support Ambassadors for parkrun, and are responsible for supporting 5k and junior parkruns from Cardiff all the way along the coast to Swansea and Carmarthen and further north in Neath, Maesteg and some of the valleys.

This week saw 92 people run, jog or walk the 5k course, of whom 11 were first timers and 16 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.

Despite the fact this was the first time in over a year that fewer than 100 people had taken part, the organisers were not disappointed. This was because Saturday morning saw the 4th running of the Vale Coastal Ultra Marathon - nearly 34 miles from Penarth to Ogmore along the Wales Coastal Path - and the shorter, 18.5 mile Vale Trail Race from Porthkerry Park to Ogmore.

Perfectly reflecting Lyn and Ian’s points, parkrun numbers were down because many regular parkrunners were actually taking part in the one of the 2 races or were out providing much needed support to friends and fellow runners.

The early Ultra runners, including regular parkrunners Yvonne Williams, Nigel Bleach and Michael Elliston (pictured) shared the parkrun course across Nell’s Point and the promenade and were enthusiastically cheered on by runners and volunteers.

It was definitely the least muddy and smoothest part of either of the two coastal path races.

Some of the highlights from the week’s list of 16 personal best times included Reuben Hopkin (Vale SLSC) - 20:00, visitor Steffan Bridger (Pembrokeshire Harriers AAC) - 23:00, Joe Turner (SMR Barry) - 24:05, Claire Connolly (Vale SLSC), in her 71st parkrun - 24:09, James McNabb - 25:03, Noel Clawson - 30:11 and Jennifer Murphy - 33:18. Jessica Smith, in her milestone 50th parkrun, also bagged a new PB of 28:47.

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

The event was made possible by 20 volunteers: Lyn Evans, Ian Thorne, Dave Shields, Claire Thorne, Tessa Matthews, Sophie Gott, Mary Beckett, Justin Doran, Louise Hunt, Sian Matthews, Peter Havard, Peter Trott, Kirstine Hughes, Julie Smith, Rebecca Marytsch, Helen McCarthy, Jane Spickett, Hugh Smith, Alison Woolcock and Hugh Simkiss. The all-important ‘150’ cupcakes were baked by Kirstine Hughes.

Next week sees a volunteer take-over by members Penarth and Dinas Runners, who’ll take on all the volunteer roles for the day.

The club will also be providing a pacing team for runners looking to improve their times by running alongside or chasing a pacemaker.

It was a pleasant Sunday morning at Romilly Park for the 32nd Barry junior parkrun. Another good turn-out saw 47 runners aged between 4 and 14 take to the two lap 2km course around the park, supported by the enthusiastic volunteer team under Run Director Nathan Dee’s leadership.

Before the juniors set-off, there were wristband milestone presentations to Owen Keegan, collecting his marathon wristband and Ivy Schmidt who collected her half marathon wristband.

Junior parkrunners can earn milestone wristbands by completing 11, 21 or 50 runs.

The event team were delighted to welcome 6 runners to the course for the very first time, whilst 4 juniors recorded a new personal best time - Heather Hislop (8:44), Libby Taylor (11:33), Ruby Mai Aspinall (12:15) and Bode Henricksen (15:47).

Barry junior parkrun is a free timed run for 4 to 14 year olds taking place over a 2 lap, 2km course within Romilly Park every Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m.

Find out more on the run website at:

Barry Island parkrun is a free, weekly 5km timed run and is open to anyone of any ability from age 4 upwards - runners, joggers or walkers alike. It starts at 9:00 a.m. every Saturday morning at Barry Island promenade, normally under the Eastern shelter.

Find out more on the run website at: