Newport parkrun turns 5!

On Saturday 26th March it will be five years to the day that Newport parkrun first started, it also happens to be Easter Saturday and in the spirit of a five year old's birthday party we'd like to invite you to join us for birthday cake and to parkrun in your fanciest Easter bonnet (hats to the uninitiated!)

Since that first run around Tredegar House back in 2011, 618 individuals have volunteered to do almost 4000 different roles over all of our events. So, at our birthday event we want to celebrate these wonderful 618 individuals as without them we wouldn't have reached this anniversary at all. We would like to stage a mass photo of as many Newport parkrun volunteers as possible so please come along ready to say 'cheese'!


Newport parkrun family day

This is the season of giving, of families and friends and in our house at least, of competiveness over a Monopoly board! We thought we'd bring this to parkrun and challenge you this Boxing Day, our 250th event, to bring along as many members of your family as possible, to help celebrate this incredible milestone for Newport parkrun.

We have seen over the course of the last 250 events our little parkrun family grow and grow and we’d like to celebrate this with you and your family. Whether you run with your son, daughter, nephews, nieces, mum and dad, husband or wife, brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles, grandparents or grandchildren – however your parkrun family is made up, we want them to come with you on Boxing Day to help us celebrate.

Bring your family along on Boxing Day to cheer, run or volunteer, and we’ll put together an album on our Facebook page to celebrate our families.

Photos in the album will be of the biggest family groups participating through a run (or walk around the course) volunteering or simply cheering everyone on. Bring your family along from 8:30am in order to get a photo captured!

With love and Christmas cheer, from our parkrun family to yours, this Christmas!


Final Sweatshop monthly prize winner

A few weeks ago we asked you to nominate the person who has shown a combination of dedication, perseverance, consistency or improvement, PBs, total runs and volunteering efforts for Newport parkrun.

Your votes came in thick and fast and were for some very deserving individuals.

The Core Volunteer Team met to discuss the nominations and decide upon an overall winner. We were initially able to reduce down the number of nominations by removing those who had previously won the Sweatshop prize in the past, as the monthly prize rules state that you cannot be awarded this prize more than once. Once this was done we started to discuss and decide upon a final winner.

We eventually managed to shortlist to three but found it very difficult to choose between them and so to this end have decided to start up our own 'Newport parkrunner of the Month' award, which you are all invited to submit nominations to via

Now to the important announcement as to who wins the final Sweatshop monthly prize for Newport parkrun...

This individual was nominated by a number of people for a variety of reasons, the main one focusing on the perseverance and tenacity of this individual when facing a disability that would ordinarily put most of us off taking part in Newport parkrun. This person regularly runs both Newport parkrun and Newport junior parkrun, clocking up over 120 parkruns between them. This person has achieved 14 PBs in this time and their best time is 23:46 which is almost 10 minutes faster than their first ever parkrun time.

This person was diagnosed at the age of two with a condition called Nystagmus (wobbly eyes), and has been registered partially sighted since the age of 6. Despite this condition, this person initially ran with mum and dad on their first few parkruns and, having learnt the course, was determined to run by themselves. Over the course of the first few weeks this person struggled, falling many times, but always picking themselves up and continuing on the course.

As well as running, this person can often be seen behind the camera lens taking photos of other runners which then go onto the Facebook pages.

This person has encouraged others to run, and has recently become a member of Lliswerry Juniors where he continues to train and run with his friends.

This person shows quite amazing dedication and perseverance to Newport parkrun and to running, showing that parkrun is not just for people of varying abilities, but also those with disabilities, including the visually impaired.

For this and many reasons we are delighted to award Rhys Jones with the final Sweatshop Monthly Award.

Congratulations Rhys!



Couch to 5k

The couch to 5k beginners programme at Newport parkrun has been a successful partnership between Caerleon RC and Lliswerry Runners. The programme itself is a free course, open to anyone of any age or running ability and lasts for 9 weeks.

A record breaking 101 individuals initially signed up to the free programme which started at Newport parkrun on a Saturday morning and saw an additional two training sessions take place across Newport during the week.

Our group of runners, by their own admission, were complete running beginners, many simply looking for a way to get started and motivated to do more.

Many of the beginners managed their training by themselves, unable to make the organised weekly sessions, but a large number have returned to Newport parkrun week after week, over the course of 9 weeks, with the assistance of our coaches and volunteer marshals, and worked their way up to running 5k.

Many of those involved have said that they couldn't have done it without the support of the coaches and fellow team members and one of the ladies who joined the group said “Final week of C25k completed. The support and encouragement we have had has been amazing. Special mention to Pete who has led us round week after week. Still can't quite believe I've gone from struggling to run 1 min to completing 5k! New PB as well, 2 mins quicker than last week.”

Those who have taken part in the couch to 5k are encouraged to continue through parkrun or through continued training programmes to push them to a faster 5k and beyond.

The next couch to 5k programme will begin on 9th January 2016 at Newport parkrun. Contact Newport parkrun on or visit the Facebook page (click the link or search ‘Newport parkrun’) for more details.


Your nomination needed!

Until now the Sweatshop prize has been chosen by the Core Volunteer Team and awarded every month to the person who has shown a combination of dedication, perseverance, consistency or improvement, PBs, total runs and volunteering efforts. It's never given lightly and always to someone who epitomises the spirit of parkrun.

In the last month of the Sweatshop prize we want to open this nomination out to you to award an individual who epitomises the above in regard to Newport parkrun.

You can make your nomination by sending us a Facebook message or emailing with the name of the individual and your reason for the nomination.
Nominations must be made by 9am on the 7th November.

Please bear in mind that an individual cannot win this prize twice so previous winners will have to be excluded from the nominations.


Monthly Sweatshop Prize Winner

A huge congratulations to our latest monthly Sweatshop prize winner, Dave Cook.

Dave receives this prize for being an absolute volunteering stalwart at Newport parkrun, at both the Saturday and junior parkrun and has volunteered at them over 100 times to date!

parkrun simply couldn't exist if it wasn't for those who give up their time, and the opportunity to run, each and every week, and Dave is a brilliant example of this selfless attitude.

If you would like to volunteer we would love to hear from you. Instructions on how you can sign up to receive the volunteer requests are here:

Come and be part of the team one week - we'll find you a role to suit, whether cheering on the other runners or something slightly more technical - we've roles for all ages and abilities and will guide you through.

There's nothing quite like cheering on the runners, and as a runner yourself you'll know the surge you get from cries of 'well done' and 'keep going, nearly there!'


Halloween spooktacular at Newport parkrun

Join us for a Halloween 'spook-tacular' on Saturday 31st October when we invite you to come along in Halloween fancy dress for the scariest run of the year! Come along and embrace the Halloween spirit by dressing up for this event, whether witch, warlock, walking dead or simply just the straight out of bed look!

Not for the faint hearted, Newport parkrun will be turned over to the ghosts, ghouls and creatures of the night as you stomp, crawl, sleep-walk and shriek your way around the 5k course.

The fancy dress option is open to both runners and volunteers and we hope to see you embrace your dark side and run like your life depends upon it!

Most importantly don't forget your broomstick, sorry barcode! #dfyb


Dogs at Newport parkrun

Hi Newport parkrunners, I need some help.

We have never had a serious incident involving dogs since we started the Newport parkrun thanks to the good sense & good control of their owners, but today it came close.  It is a consequence of the higher attendance that it may be necessary to review our policy. As a result, I will be monitoring the situation carefully & briefing dog owners at forthcoming events.

I need your help to identify any owner who is not able to control their dog or is risking the wellbeing of runners. Owners are allowed to run with one dog on a short lead. Please contact Nick, Howard or me (Race Directors) if you see anything which you think is dangerous.

Many thanks






Happy Christmas Newport parkrunners

Hi all,

Thanks to everyone for turning up in the wet & the cold today, all 152 of you!

Some great fancy dress also. The cooker complete with turkey deserves a special mention.

Have a great Christmas & hope to see you next week.

Let's hope for some dry weather before then!




Happy Birthday Newport parkrun!

March 24th will be our 53rd Newport parkrun and so our first birthday! It's been a year in my life that I'll never forget.

The story started in September when I had the good fortune to be in Eastliegh & did my first parkrun. Wow! We needed one of these!!! A short time later Paul & I were begging funds from Kerry Griffiths of Newport CC Sports & Leisure. Happily Kerry was the champion we needed & helped us get things going applying for funds.

Worried about the size of the commitment I was more than grateful to get willing support from Nick, Yvonne, Jules & julia from our running club, Gareth & Kelly from NEWT and Peter, Gareth & Sian from Caerleon RC. The core team was formed. Howard was to join later as Mr Reliable.

The first meeting at Tredegar House was not all smooth. My idea to start in the main car park did not go down well with groundsman Bob. But I didn't know Bob then. A man of few words but with a can do attitude that i was to get to know. Anne Tame, the manager of Tredegar House loved the idea & we all agreed that plan B scheme was worth a go.

The core team was trained in February 2010 by Anita from parkrun office. Then we ran a few test events on club nights to get used to the bar coders & timing system.

We held two pilot events in Tredegar House grounds with willing guinea pigs from the three clubs, San Domenico RC and a few others who had offered their services.

Using the original course, which started & finished in the overflow car parkrun we included a sprint up and down the car park with a U bend in the middle. The feedback was either that they loved it or hated it. We tested the timing system with 30 runners and we were ready to go but......would anyone turn up?

I had advised Newport CC that my expectation for the first 3 months was approximately 50 participants based on how Cardiff parkrun started. So imagine my suprise & happiness when Event 1 attracted 125 participants. Things built up steadily. ther were no shortage of runners!

Then in early summer thanks to a group travellers who parked on our (then) start/finish line, we had to move to course No 2. This was a great success as it was a faster course during the summer months and a whole new crop of PBs resulted.

As winter moved in the grass section became quite wet under foot, so it prompted a rethink. Not wanting to go back to the original course and with a preference to parking in the main car park so that access to the Brewhouse is easier, the latest course (No 3) was conceived. Hey presto! This one is even faster, so lots more PBs resulted.

The good news is that we can stay with this course. My meeting this week confirmed that National Trust are right behind us and we seem to have a good future for Newport parkrun.

All my thanks go to the parkrun core team and the ever increasing number of happy smiling faces on Saturday morning, not forgetting our sponsors Newport CC, Lucozade Sport, Adidas, London Marathon & Sweatshop.


Event Director

Newport parkrun

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