Here's our first official run report courtesy of parkun tourist Karl Johnson.
I’ve been fortunate now to travel a lot with parkrun... Jersey, Dublin and Inverness to name a few. But today I was genuinely excited for my visit to event #3 of Cosmeston Lakes parkrun (phew, I got the name right - I’ve already had one telling off from ED Lyn Evans, haha!).
Having run at Cosmeston a few times for the locally famous Relay races - I just knew this was going to be a good event.
I chose event #3 for a reason - ticking off my Wilson Index #3 (it’s a parkrun challenge) and sensibly leaving the core team settle in for the first 2 weeks.
The sky cleared as I made my journey down the A4232 and through Wenvoe... even breaking into sunshine as I parked the car. Parking a-plenty - good toilet facilities and only a small walk to the start of this new parkrun.
The crowds gathered prior to the first timers' brief delivered by RD Lyn, calling the crowds to step closer into his office.... and we all got a first taste of the mud that awaited us on the sodden grass. The route was meticulously explained raising a ripple of laughter when Mr RD explained “You fork off to the right on the first lap” and “Fork off to the left on the second lap.” I thought it was funny, anyway!
So the route is very simple - a short climb up that hill and onto the main 'Mile Road' that runs right through the park. Firstly a small lap of the lake - then a larger extended lap of the lake before returning to the start (which turns into the finish, obviously).
Road shoes are perfectly fine but be prepared to get muddy - a few local lakes to navigate but an absolutely amazing course! Mud, trail, water grass, tarmac - everything you could ever want from a parkrun - with a few small climbs making it a pleasantly testing route.
This week 180 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 134 were first timers and 15 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part. Tourists included runners from Singapore, Newport, Bristol and (of course) Pontypridd. Congratulations to first finisher Sam Humphrey on setting a new course record in an impressive, muddy time of 16:46 and to Debbie Cumming on her 300the parkrun.
The event was made possible by 26 volunteers: Kay NELLINS • Christopher NELLINS • Lisa CLEARY • Sue ROBSON • Lyn EVANS • Mike DAVIES • Louise HUNT • James MCNABB • Oliver MCNABB • Rhys MCNABB • Jennifer GRIFFITHS • Terry MCCARTHY • Hannah MCCARTHY • Simon WILLIAMSON • Peter TROTT • Lauren EVANS • Jane EVANS • Nigel ADAMS • Debbie WILLIAMS • Karl JOHNSON • Hilary JAMES • Helen MCCARTHY • Bethan APGLYN • Karen ADAMS • Arabella CALDER • Emily KENNEDY
The full results and a complete event history can be found on the Cosmeston Lakes parkrun Results Page.
So in conclusion - amazing. Great route - lovely scenery - different types of terrain - amazing volunteers. All the ingredients for a perfect parkrun experience. We are so lucky in South East Wales to have some lovely parkruns, but this might, just might be the jewel in the crown.
Finally, may I wish you all, parkrunners and volunteers, a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. New Year’s Day double anyone???
Karl Johnson - A2301276