Run Report – by Louise Woodvine

As we arranged to visit family in Pencoed, my next thought was which parkrun can I do? Looking at the map, the last parkrun I did in South Wales was Porthcawl so thought this time I would give Pontypridd a go - and for the tourists who are reading this - i’d also achieve one of the four Ponty’s! Driving up the M4 the mist was low and after a promise of a mild day, the temperature in the car wasn’t reflecting this! Mum and the girls were glad they’d wrapped up warm for marshalling. We arrived in Pontypridd and parked up (£1 for 4hrs - bargain!) and made our way to Ynysangharad War Memorial Park. As we walked over the bridge, we caught site of the new shopping centre development which looked amazing and we can’t wait to come back when it’s finished for a look round. We saw a hive of activity and a gathering of yellow hi vis’s and made our way to report into the RD and a lovely lady in festive wear made us feel very welcome and told my Mum and daughters where they’d be marshalling. I listened to the first timers brief which was enthusiastically delivered by Elspeth Wynn (she warned us about her lovely little woofy dog!) and we found out it was one small lap followed by 3 big laps of the park. We made our way down to the start and there was big Well Done for the milestone runners - Samuel Richards on 250, Elaine Rees on 50, Richard Hext on 100, Sarah Winstone on 50, Gail Griffiths-Warner on 100! We were counted down and off we set, first the little lap and then onto the bigger lap - it was a lovely route and all the Volunteers were really friendly and encouraging. There is a slight incline half way round the bid lap- but what goes up most come down! It’s quite easy to make abit of time up on the downhill! Passing my Mum and the Girls on each lap was a massive incentive to keep trying and it’s true that a little bit of encouragement goes along way. Before I knew it I was on the last lap and I could see the finish line, I was hoping for under 25 and managed a 24:47 which I was thrilled about! A huge Well Done also to James Griffiths who was the 1st male in 16:30 and Arianwen Thomas, 1st female in 20:33. Thanks so much to the core team and everyone else who gives up their to help run Pontypridd parkrun. Definitely one that I will recommend to my other running club friends.