Birthday Blog, Year 2!


Written By Michael Barnes with Special Thanks to Tanwen Cross for the photos


I wake up tired and with a fuzzy head, mainly thanks to last nights concert in Cardiff, but there's no time to feel sorry for myself as it’s Saturday and of course that means it’s parkrunday and not just any parkrunday! Today is Cwmbran parkrun’s second birthday which means only one thing - cake! But before that we all have 5km (3.1 miles) to run, jog, walk or volunteer the length of.


Cwmbran parkrun 2nd birthday

Gerry Gormley, Defibrillator volunteer

Cwmbran parkrun 2nd birthday

Timothy Murphy, Core Volunteer


As I turn the corner into the car park the fancy dress is in abundance with a Where’s Wally, Snow White and an inflatable unicorn all congregating at the start line. The pre race briefing begins with the standard safety points such as; please be considerate of other park users, ensure under 11’s stay within arms length of the appointed guardian, oh and that firm favourite “no funnel ducking please!”. All parkrunners are reminded “No Barcode, No Time”.


Cwmbran parkrun 2nd birthday

Fiona Cross and Anthony Hunt


With the safety briefing complete the Leader of Torfaen Council, Anthony Hunt, is invited to say a few words. He’s a genuine parkrun supporter having also achieved a parkrun 25 volunteer milestone t-shirt. I hear on good authority he’ll wear it to a council meeting too! Anthony congratulated Cwmbran parkrun on reaching its 2nd anniversary. “As a parkrun fan and volunteer it's great to be here to say a few words on your 2nd anniversary and to start the run off in a few moments. Parkrun provides an accessible and achievable opportunity to become more active or volunteer. I commend the volunteers especially, without them there would be no parkrun.”


Cwmbran parkrun 2nd birthday

2nd Anniversary Run Director, Sian Lance


The RD for the event Sian Lance concludes the briefing with a big welcome to the Spirit of Monmouth C25k graduates and some impressive statistics that the event has covered over the past 2 years. Since starting in June 2016, Cwmbran parkrunners have run, jogged or walked 85,785km which is more than two trips around the world!


Cwmbran parkrun 2nd birthday

Beginning of 101st Cwmbran parkrun


After the pre race briefings Anthony sets us off and we’re underway, we begin our journey at the Olive Tree, travelling through Northfields recreational grounds on our way to complete a lap of the picturesque boating lake before following the same route back to the finish at Northfields. While travelling along the route there are many things that stand out for me, firstly being encouraged by all the brilliant volunteers, then noticing more participants in fancy dress including Spider-Man, a jester and a Scouser from a popular 90's sketch all making an appearance.


Cwmbran parkrun 2nd birthday

Gaynor Lugg of Lliswerry Runners


After crossing the finish line I collect my finish token and get my printed barcode scanned. This ensures my time and position are registered so the team can process the results later. I move towards the side of the finishing straight to cheer on other participants as they cross the line. First over the line was Gareth Knight of Newport Harriers AC with a time of 18:43, second to finish was Miles Thomas of Lliswerry Runners with a time of 19:10. First Female was Lou Summers of Torfaen Runners (21:22) with the second female finisher Leonie Roberts (22:54) of Fairwater Runners Cwmbran which was also a new PB. In total 202 participants crossed the finish line.


Cwmbran parkrun 2nd birthdayCwmbran parkrun 2nd birthday


After closing down the course and storing away all the equipment ready for next week, it’s off to the Olive Tree for coffee and cake (or to process our results). The cakes have been kindly made by some of the generous volunteers. We’re even treated to an impromptu sing song by one of our regular runners Gaynor Lugg of Lliswerry Runners. Judging by the amount of smiles I saw around the course and the feedback from participants at the end, I'm sure we will be running, jogging, walking or volunteering at Cwmbran parkrun for many birthdays to come.


Cwmbran parkrun 2nd birthday


And so to conclude this blog I have a few words from our Event Director Colin Wilmott. “I’ve been involved in Cwmbran parkrun since it’s conception and helped bring it to life. It continues to amaze me. The best part will always be the volunteers and especially the core team. In recent weeks I’ve had to step back due to personal reasons. The team immediately stepped in and ensured the parkrun went on without a second thought or pause in service. They are all dedicated, professional, meticulous, kind, committed, quirky wonderful people with parkrun hearts. Thank you to all the volunteers and runners who make Cwmbran parkrun such a delight and privilege to be part of.”

Cwmbran parkrun 2nd birthday


Join us! - Cwmbran parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9am from the Olive Tree (NP44 2JJ), not local to Cwmbran? With many events taking place across South Wales (and the world!) there’s a parkrun near you. See to find your nearest event.

#loveparkrun #runjogwalkvolunteer


Cwmbran parkrun 2nd birthday


Christmas & New Year at Cwmbran


This year parkrun falls the day before Christmas & New Years Day so we've made the decision not to hold additional events on these days.

There's a handy compendium listing all events and their decision at present It's updated regularly so it's easy to find your nearest event.

We invite parkrunners to dress up on the 24th December in their best Christmas fancy dress! Would parkrunners like a fancy dress event on New Years Eve? If so please comment on our Facebook page or tweet us @cwmbranparkrun.

Please note that there will be no parkrun on the 10th December due to an annual Bloodwise charity run in memory of the late Emily Clark. The event will use the same route as Cwmbran parkrun.


Cwmbran parkrun Receive Defibrillator

Cwmbran parkrunPictured: Event Director Fiona Cross, Run Director Colin Wilmott, Chair of Cwmbran Trust David Barnet & Gerard Rothwell, Welsh Ambulance Service & Trainer.


Cwmbran parkrun recently received a new defibrillator. The core volunteers behind this weekly 5k fun run successfully secured funding to ensure that parkrunners and the local community would have this life saving equipment should the need arise. They'd applied to various organisations for the required amount of £1,000 with no joy and were ready to start fund raising via supermarket bag packing and social events. That was until Cwmbran Trust replied after a member of the team applied and was later invited to prepare a presentation. The Trustee's unanimously supported the application.

Cwmbran parkrun

David Barnet, Chair of Cwmbran Trust: "Cwmbran Trust is delighted to be associated with the Cwmbran parkrun and make available to the organisation and wider community a defibrillator which today is an essential piece of equipment. In doing so we wish the organisation every success in such a worthwhile cause."

Cwmbran Trust, formally Girlings Trust, has served the local community of Cwmbran for 40 years supporting both individuals and local organisations to the tune of £2 million of gift aid. The Trust which operates in the NP44 postal area aims to help with the provision of social amenities the relief of poverty, distress and sickness and welcome applications either directly from individuals, third parties or local organisation who know of people needing help. Please contact the Trust either by e mail outlining your needs or phone (Mondays only) 01633 835057 to discuss making an application.

Cwmbran parkrun

Welsh Hearts provided the defibrillator and arranged the training. Director, Sharon Owen said "Welsh Hearts are delighted to support The Cwmbran 5k parkrun with a Defibrillator. parkrun's are very popular events and hundreds of people take part in them! It is reassuring to know that there is a Defibrillator on site and more importantly people are trained in emergency life saving skills. For more information how your Sports Club can obtain a Defibrillator please visit or contact The Welsh Hearts Office on 02920 647735

Cwmbran parkrun

Cwmbran parkrun Run Director Colin Wilmott said: "Every Saturday morning at the Northfields hundreds of local runners, joggers & walkers take part in this free and inclusive activity. Since its introduction on 18th June this year 1,117 different runners, including participants from 71 athletics clubs, have completed 2,627 runs covering a total distance of 13,135 km!"

"Having a defibrillator in place will provide great reassurance for participants and organisers alike. As a member of the core team which organises Cwmbran parkrun each Saturday I am really grateful to Cwmbran Trust for their generous donation and to Welsh Hearts for providing the defibrillator & training."

Cwmbran parkrun

Cwmbran parkrun Event Director Fiona Cross "We learned during the training that getting the machine to the patient in time raises their chance of survival from 5% to 52%. Time is crucial. Every Saturday morning it will be located on the parkrun course but during the week it will be available from Woodlands Sports & Social Club. Naturally we hope no one will need to use it but knowing it’s available is reassuring news for the whole community."


Announcing the start of Cwmbran parkrun

Cwmbran parkrun starts 18 June 2016

We are delighted to announce the launch of Cwmbran parkrun on 18th June 2016, 9:00 am at Northfields Recreation Ground, Cwmbran. We hope you'll be able to join us for the launch and a coffee afterwards.

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