So once again this Saturday saw a couple of parkrun tourists from Preston making their way to Wales to indulge in a spot of parkrun tourism. While the weather forecast was certainly not in our favour as Saturday dawned we had at least made most of our journey the previous evening to a lovely hotel about an hour away from our final destination.
As we arrived and parked up in Pontypridd a few minutes walk from Ynysangharad War Memorial Park we could tell that we were not the only ones who had braved the journey to South Wales as we were joined at the mornings first timers briefing by 19 other tourists from far and wide along with another 19 first timers to parkrun! A HUGE welcome to the parkrun family to you guys, I hope you all enjoyed Pontypridd as much as we did whether this was your 1st or 391st parkrun (kudos to Gwyn Jones who was our most experienced parkrunner this week.)
Our reason for venturing just over 200 miles this week to join all of you wonderful people was simple. The completion of another parkrun challenge. For those of you who may not be aware there a number of unofficial challenges which some parkrunners choose to undertake in the pursuit of tourism from completing the parkrun alphabet (running a parkrun starting with every letter of the alphabet except X, as there are no parkruns starting with X yet) to the Staying Alive challenge (3 B’s and 3 C’s). Pontypridd is part of the Full Ponty challenge which involves running 4 different parkruns named Ponty (or Ponte) namely:
Pont Y Bala
AND OF COURSE
After Simon (who was also to be our fabulous run director for the morning) had finished telling us about the course we would be running it was on to the mornings announcements. There were quite a number of milestones to applaud on Saturday. Three people had earned their 50 t-shirts this week. Make sure you wear them with pride Sam, Jack and James! We also had two fresh centurions in our midst in Martin and Elspeth who earned their black milestone t-shirts this week! Fantastic achievement you two! Finally hitting the heady heights of completing 250 parkruns (that's 750km in parkruns!) was Lee who also managed a sub 20 minute run which in those conditions...just WOW! MASSIVE CONGRATS TO YOU SIR!
After all that applauding we still had the biggest round of thanks to give. Of course this was for our hi-viz heroes. Please allow me to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all the below, without whom we would not have been able to enjoy a morning 5k:
Adrian BRAGGER • Alison JONES • Amber Rose EDGE • Chris PANES • David MORGAN • Dianne DAVIES • Irene BLOW • Jaime MOLLOY • Laura MCCARTHY • Laura PINNEY • Lianne EDMUNDS • Lisa PRITCHARD • Maad KHALIL • Martin CARROLL • Nigel THORNE • Paul WILLIAMS • Rachael ROBSON • Rhian HOPKINS • Robert JOSLIN • Ruth COCHRAN • Scott KUPERUS • Sean LYNE • Sian KHALIL • Simon PRITCHARD • Tanya REES • Trish TAZZINI-LLOYD • Viv BURBIDGE-SMITH
With all that done, and our runners potentially starting to get a bit damp it was time for the off as we raced Off along the main path and took a left turn having passed our first few smiling and cheering marshalls helping to brighten our rather rainy morning. From there it was a short lap round and back to the finish catching a glimpse of the rather full river before coming back to the finish line passing more hi-viz heroes as we went. Subsequently we came to a right turn to complete our three long laps with constant shouts of well done spurring us on and before long we were back to the finish line for a forth being congratulated by the awesome finish line team. Simon was even on hand with his camera so make sure you see if you got your parkrun glory captured digitally in the usual places.
Speaking of parkrun glory 34 of you managed a personal best in challenging conditions. Pontypridd must breed em tough! Well done all of you.
Once our barcodes had been scanned it was time for a spot of breakfast in the conveniently placed caffi in the park before heading back on the motorway to head back to Preston.
Pontypridd you were a fantastic finish to our Full Ponty so until next time round keep being as awesome as you are!
Run Report written by Ben Smithers (Preston parkrun) - Cheers Ben