So today myself, my husband and a friend decided that we would embark on a bit of local parkrun tourism and decided upon venturing out to try our hand at Penallta parkrun in the beautiful Rhymney Valley.
We had an easy journey there, and the directions given on the Penallta parkrun page were spot on, meaning that we found the location with plenty of time to spare. A big bonus of this parkrun is that there is ample free parking at the council offices which is only a minute or two walk from the start. The core team were busy setting up the start and finish area when we arrived, and we were afforded a warm welcome, with different volunteers taking time to answer our questions. Run Director Mike Heare gave a very informative first timers briefing explaining the route we were all to take which comprised of a one lap course, with two out and back sections.
The parkrun team had a fab PA system at the start, and put on some banging tunes to get us all in the mood. And then we were off. To my relief, the parkrun started off on wide, tarmac paths, with a dappled canopy overhead which kept some of the inclement weather at bay. Most of the paths on the parkrun were tarmac, or well-made stone dust paths, with very minimal mud. The route had a couple of minor inclines, but I never mind this, because it always means that gravity will assist me on the way back down! The route didn’t disappoint as it meandered past pretty ponds and through a willow tree tunnel. What made this parkrun special for me, was the amount of friendly and encouraging marshals dotted along the route. Every one of them shouted words of encouragement which kept me going as my energy faded. The support as I approached the finish funnel was epic, and the timekeepers and token ladies loudly cheered me on to a quick finish.
I would highly recommend Penallta parkrun to anybody thinking of visiting. This was their 233rd event, which saw 226 people cross the line. Today, nine people popped their parkrun cherry, with 25 individuals running at Penallta for the first time. 24 lucky people managed to secure PB’s today. Their results can be found here:
I am incredibly grateful to all of the volunteers who made this event happen. They are Anouska Beaumont, Jane Brunsdon, Andrea Butts, Stephen Cork, Caroline Davies, Michelle Feist, Michael Heare, Neil Hempstead, Malcolm Jeff, Malcolm Parker, Kerry Ralph, Carl Roberts, Ian McGregor Russell and Norman Spencer. If you are thinking about any New Year’s resolutions, why not commit to volunteering every now and again in helping this great team out? You can find their future roster here https://www.parkrun.org.uk/penallta/futureroster/