Bryn Bach #371 1st Jan 2020 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For the first parkrun of 2020 we were joined by 17 people using their barcode for the very first time and joining the parkrun family at Bryn Bach parkrun; maybe as a start of a New Year's Resolution, part of training for a bigger event in 2020 or maybe talked into it by another parkrunner as Big Ben chimed.  For whatever reason you turned up today hopefully you had a great time and once you get that text alert of your result and start racking up those T-shirt points, meeting and chatting to others before, during and after your run it's what your Saturday mornings will be all about from now on. So a huge welcome to:- Owen PRICE DAVIES, Richard PARRY, Ethan HUGHES, Adam HUGHES, Tiana ODUGBESAN, Gareth WILLIAMS, Sam BULLEY, Emily BESSANT-EVANS, Owen LORENTZ, Jennifer BIBBY, Zoe PHILLIPS, Nicola HUGHES, Gavin BESSANT-EVAN & Lucy BESSANT-EVANS.  It is lovely to see juniors and families join our ranks. Jules WILLIAMS, Sarah WILLIAMS & Emma WHITTAKER have really embraced parkrun on their first day as they travelled over to run a 2nd at Aberbeeg – good work.

For two days a year, parkrun HQ gives parkruns the chance to put on additional runs to the normal Saturday fun.  So depending on park availability and very importantly VOLUNTEERS willing to give up a little time with their family to help out, Christmas Day and New Year's Day see extra parkruns.  Flexibility is given to vary the start time to allow these extra runs to take place. New Year’s Day offers another special… The one chance in the UK to register two parkruns on one day; this does depend on lots of factors – start time and travelling distance being the main ones.


This event is so special and important to parkrunners that people create websites that list all the possible doubles – that when estimated run and travel times are factored in leave you with a number of options.


Most people pick their local runs - however being one of those rather fanatical parkrun tourists - the joy for me was finding two new parkruns to run to add to my tally of different events. As I keep ticking off different local events the travelling time to venues grows.  So a 5am wake up was on the cards. The travel time and the early start time put off my wife and teenage son from joining me. At least my 16yo daughter was happy to join me on the trip, as having a part time job as she studies for her a-levels involves Saturday mornings and she has been missing our parkrun adventures.


Tourism can often be affected by travel, but on New Year’s Day, fairly empty major roads made the drive into Wales a delight, but as it wasn’t Saturday Tony Blackburn’s Sound of the Sixties wasn’t the usual sound track towards my adventure.


The clear roads and a perfect postcode for the parking meant an early arrival in a near empty carpark and a choice of prime parking spots for a fast exit onto parkrun number 2.  However 479 other runners and marshals meant that by the start the carpark was heaving! In fact the total of 481 runners beat the previous record of 418 set on your 300th event and is almost double the normal weekly turn out.  A huge well done to the Hi Viz heroes as at the finish you ran out of tokens so went on to a manual system of recording finishers, making a lot of extra work for the person processing the results as they had to manually key in barcodes!  WOW! Amazing that you still managed to get the results out so quickly. But I do hope this meant that you didn’t miss an extra parkrun if you wanted to run a later one or you missed too much time with your own family – your hard work and dedication to your parkrun is really appreciated.


The main briefing / new runners briefing was a rather busy affair but very humorous and original as there were 192 First Timers to Bryn Bach today! – The run started a few minutes late as hundreds of runners kept turning up and the massed crowds needed to be moved so runners could get in the right place to start.  Shortly after 9am to a chorus of GPS watch beeps signalled the stampede of runners around the lake. 


Despite carefully picking a parkrun double with minimal travelling time between venues my daughter was under strict instructions to run as hard as she could and finish around 35minutes, to give time to scan and move to the next parkrun.  This would be a tall order for her as since July she has been working parkrunday and hasn’t been running! If the flat nature of the course wasn’t going to inspire quick running the beautiful course around the lake surely would.

The course would be perfect for fast times as the tarmac path trails around the lake with minimal undulations – my watch recorded 10m total elevation gain over the 2½ laps!  So it was a very good parkrun to have as your starting parkrun on a double. Despite the number of extra runners 53 parkrunners did put in a little extra – maybe out of need to get to event number 2? – and got those magic words on the text New PB.  Even first finisher Matthew Thomas JONES (VM35-39) took 22 seconds off his previous best and clocked 16:21! Parc Bryn Bach Running Club’s own Lauren Cooper was first lady over the line in 18:30 cruised past me with ease closely followed by 2nd lady home, City of Salisbury A & RC’s, Sophie NICHOLLS (JW11-14) who it appears she was encouraging in to, set a new PB and gain this week's highest age grading of 86.15%  Speedy running. Lauren also took a trip over to Aberbeeg and finished 5th overall and was again first lady home!  Top running. A huge well done to :- Matthew Thomas JONES, Evan PRICE DAVIES, Peter WOODWARD, Daniel EVANS, Andy DEAN, Sophie NICHOLLS, Steven LANE, James D ROGERS, Gareth MORGAN, Chris CUMMINGS, Dylan JONES, Hannah WILLIAMS, Shane BAKER, Ian WILLIAMS, Lou SUMMERS, Stephen DALLOW, Dominic HURFORD, Wesley HARRIS, Ryan LAMBETH, Michael RANSOM, Rob COLES, Rory GRIFFITHS, Wayne HUMPHREYS, Holly BIRD, Nyran BIRD, Diana ROGERS, Chris LEWIS, Grace BAYTON, Dan TAYLOR, Michael BARNES, Rhianne BEDDOE, Christina SHALLISH-LEWIS, Sarah BAYTON, Arthen BANNING, Tracey COAKLEY, Jayne WALTERS, Jamie LEWIS, Robert COLMAN, Lilwen BANNING, Michelle EDGELL, Richard BRILL, Kara EVANS, Carly BUNSTON, Karen MEYRICK, Angela LEWIS, Steve LEONARD, Nigel THOMAS, Andy NORMAN, Andrew GOULD, Emma BROWN, Mandy ROBERTS, Anaya OLEARY & Emma LEONARD on setting a new PB on the first day of the year!

Whenever I am organised on my parkrun tourism trip I check the volunteer roster to check for a role I like to try and do - Report Writer.  I do this for two reasons, one is to keep a record of my travels and the other is to offer thanks to the marshals who make these events possible.  I try and offer thanks as I run but hills, running hard or over-indulging over the festive break can make this a challenge. Normally I try and volunteer for this role before or after a run if I haven’t managed to e-mail in but today after gathering my daughter we had to race off to our second parkrun so this report is sent in hope.  If it isn’t published at least the RD of the day – Lee AHERNE will pass on my thanks. So a huge THANK YOU to :- Lee AHERNE, Phil BOWEN, Chris CUMMINGS, Ian DAVIES, Harry DAVIES, Tara FILDES-JACKSON, Mark HAYES, Laura HIRE, Maggie JAMES, Kathleen JERVIS, Jase KILBY, Miss Joanne KILBY, Mike MATTHEWS, Allyson POWER, Gareth WILLIAMS & Alan J WILLIAMS who made this event possible. As with parkruns around the world if you fancy giving scanning a go, fancy being the time keeper, marshalling and encouraging others or are happy to help out in any role please look on the roster and e-mail –   


As with many other runners today there was no heading to the café for a chat and post run analysis of this week’s parkrun but jumping in the car and heading off for a second parkrun adventure a few miles away.


Happy parkrunning


Daniel Connolly A58845