Pontypridd parkrun #308 – the one with photos on the hill!


So, how good was that?

A fabby Ponty parkrun this week, with lots of smiley faces - a great way to start the weekend.  We had a 1, 2, 3 full of Roadents with our first three finishers: Gethin Edwards, Sam Jody Richards and Martin Carson (with a PB) leading the dash to the finish line.  Plenty of fantastic runs up and down the field as well - we particularly enjoyed one of our patient token sorters Blaine Burbidge-Smith and perennial Ponty parkrun and junior parkrun favourite Neil Hook-Mackenzie going head to head out on course.  Good running lads!  Overall, 282 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 39 were first timers and 44 recorded new Personal Bests (another great number - well done all of you). Representatives of 30 different clubs took part.

This week we were also very blessed that James Francis  - our B&Q gate marshal - had come armed with his camera and took some amazing photos of our parkrunners emerging from over the Lido Rise and heading toward the downward sprint at Lyndon’s Hill (who else is loving this as a feature on our course now???). Here he is, posing with one of our new signs...


The full album is on our Facebook page - see below...


Thank you to James for his efforts - you can see more of his work here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lookstidy/  .  Between yourself and our New Runners’ Brief on the day - Mair Johnson - we have some incredible photography talent in Pontypridd.  All the better we say, it will certainly help make these run reports “pop” (that’s what the cool kids say these days, right?).  Some of our favourite photos are below...

Look at those flying feet!

Look at those flying feet!

Has there ever been a more parkrun photo than this?

Has there ever been a more 'parkrun' photo than this?

co-ED of Ponty junior parkrun Rhys Roberts apparently taking it easy...!

co-ED of Ponty junior parkrun Rhys Roberts apparently taking it easy...!

We had plenty of marshals out on course which added to the electric atmosphere - something many of you picked up on.  We were blessed to have tourists from several locations (worldwide! Did anyone catch our visitors from France?) and many of them came up to us at the end to praise the efforts of the volunteering team - with one telling us that they felt they had just run at ‘the best parkrun ever’. High praise indeed!  We say it a lot, but the efforts of our volunteers, participants and supporters alike are hugely appreciated.  Our unique community of Ponty parkrun would not be the same without you.

Talking of which, our 37 pink-viz heroes this week were...

Michael H DAVIES • Ryan TYLER • Michael LOCKE • Dianne DAVIES • Ruth COCHRAN • Iestyn HENSON • James FRANCIS • Gareth HOWELL • Anthony CARROLL • Alison JONES • Emily MORTON • Mark DOUGLAS • Trish TAZZINI-LLOYD • Rebecca HOUSE HOWE • Christina SHALLISH-LEWIS • Mair JOHNSON • Dan TAYLOR • Karl JOHNSON • Liz HENSON • Lyndon WALKER • Sean LYNE • Joanne DENDLE • Patricia TAYLOR • Martin GREEN • Andrew REYNOLDS • Ruth NORTHWAY • David SANSOM • David SHEWRING • Richard COSTELLO • Rob CLARKE • Blaine BURBIDGE-SMITH • Viv BURBIDGE-SMITH • Lianne EDMUNDS • Jean MARCHANT • Sharon PUNTER • Leo PUNTER • Nicola MORGAN

Our full results and a complete event history can be found on the Pontypridd parkrun Results Page.  If you'd like to join the roster for the 30th October onward (see below, next week is the PRR takeover), please let us know via email (pontypridd@parkrun.com) or DM.

View from the Tail

We’ve captured the below from Ruth Cochran’s lovely message on our facebook page...

“Well done to the 282 people who ran, walked and jogged Pontypridd parkrun today. Was perfect weather for a Saturday morning. It was lovely seeing all the extra Marshalls on course and some very familiar faces urging us on. Pat's junction is now motorway rules which is getting better and Michael Locke gave out some excellent moves today. Our challenge is what do we now call his spot!!!!  (ed: it’s down in our rota as the “Pitch-n-Putt Hut”, we probably need a better name than that though!)

I'm super proud of Krysten Hughes today as we took our 1st run on the last lap and she was amazing!!! She'll be leaving me behind soon.
No foxes tail next week as there is a takeover at Ponty so see you in 2 weeks “


Thanks Ruth!  Which is a great segue to out next event - which will be a takeover from the Pontyclun Road Runners! A great way to celebrate our 10th parkrun since the restart.  You’ll be in safe hands with our newest RD to the fore... Mr Dave Shewring.  He’s already in his bedroom posing with a hairbrush as a pretend mic, practising his best speech voice...


Did you Notice any Tweaks?

The main new additions to the course this week were our new “Keep Left” and “Keep Right”  signs.  We hope they helped you navigate your way around.  Having run the course last week ourselves, we decided that some of the advice we’d previously given about positioning was a bit confusing .. so hopefully we’ve cleared that up now (and made the RD brief a bit punchier):

  • Keep Left on the Riverside Sprint
  • Keep Right everywhere else (unless overtaking).

This is to make sure that we keep the flow of traffic away from the entry/exit points to the park the best we can, while also maximising the use of space that we have since reversing the course (which itself was a decision we took to stop overcrowding on the riverside once faster runners had completed their ‘small’ lap).  Hopefully this has all helped maximise your enjoyment of the event - but please do keep your feedback coming, it has been really valuable.

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The bits we have tweaked since the start have also given us the capacity to start the process of bringing dogs back to parkrun as well... more on this to follow shortly.  We’re targeting the 6th November as the start of a 4-week trial period where we can test whether or not the course is suitable in its new configuration for runners with dogs to participate... it’s a complex process but please bear with us.  We’re on the lookout for thoughts / info from runners across the board on this - please do drop us a DM or email if you have anything specific you’d like to raise.


We didn't get any selfie frame requests this week, but we did have a few milestones to announce - a few of which we caught on the day.

  • Paul Davies hit a big milestone - 250 parkruns!  It's an impressively diverse CV that makes up those 250 events as well - check it out here. Well done sir!
  • The very aptly named William Strong got his 50.  Nature matched name here as well, with a terrific 25m23s run - a 72.29% age grading (wowee!)
  • Nerys Rees also hit her magic 50.  We just caught this one trying to sneak away from our stats fairies :-) .

While we didn't have any parkrun milestone-related selfie requests, we did catch this one thanks to the power of social media.  Our founding father and keen runner Allen Bevan... happy birthday!


Aside from his 195 volunteer credits (wowee!) and the 168 parkruns Allen has taken part in, we can also reveal that he's run at Cardiff more than at Pontypridd.... Allen, you naughty boy!

Many happy returns sir, it's always a pleasure to see you at Ponty parkrun.


Pontypridd parkrun #307 – the one where it was our birthday!

Hello Ponty parkrunners!

A little later than usual with the run report - sorry all (G: the parkrun pixies up to their old tricks with my PC).  Plenty lined up for you this week - guest writers, birthday celebrations and shoutouts galore.  Ponty parkrun #307 was a truly epic event - and best of all, it didn't rain!  What better way to get us started than for a view from Mr "Any New Runners" himself, the supremely talented star of Ponty parkrun, Simon Pritchard (click the link to launch):


Read on to see more about what we were up to this weekend just gone, starting with a fabby run report from Carl Thomas, Ponty Town's mayor...

A View from the Mayor...

As always, it was a real party at the tail!

As always, it was a real party at the tail!

It was birthday fever and festivities at Pontypridd parkrun as it celebrated its 8th birthday, and Pontypridd must have had someone looking down on us today, as the rain stayed away. How fantastic that something that began on a Saturday in 2013 has continued and gone from strength to strength through the weeks and years. Today I had the pleasure of being invited as Mayor of Pontypridd to join in the anniversary event, but only 6 days post running the virtual London Marathon, I opted for the more leisurely parkrun and spent it accompanying the wonderful Ruth Cochran, the regular tail walker every Saturday, who amazingly was volunteering at her 250th parkrun. That is devotion.

parkrun isn’t just about running, and spending 5km walking at the rear with Ruth, plus the lovely ladies, Cath and Krysten, you get to see so much greatness taking place. The dedication and commitment from the fabulous volunteers that help setup, time, scan, marshal and direct each week, and spend their Saturday morning encouraging so many to keep going and cheering them on, is simply awesome. parkrun just couldn’t happen without them all. Of course there’s the runners themselves, who help and support each other around the 3 laps of the park, but also take time out as they run past you at the back, shouting thank-you to Ruth and the other volunteers as they speed on by.

Saturday mornings would not be the same without parkrun. It’s the place to be in Pontypridd, because it’s not just a run, it’s a place to meet friends, have a chat, or a laugh and be part of a fantastic family.


The View from the Core Team...

This week 308 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 25 were first timers and **63** recorded new Personal Bests - another incredible number. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.  We were also very lucky to witness the 10th fastest female parkrun in the UK this weekend, with Olivia Dyer clocking an outstanding 17m22s.  That meant a mention in fast running magazine; as a twisty, undulating course we don't often get featured on these lists but we sure do breed them tough in Ponty - well done Olivia, outstanding running!


All of Saturday's results and a complete event history can be found on the Pontypridd parkrun Results Page.

Let's hear it also for the 36 pink-viz heroes who helped make this all possible:


Will be great to see all of our fabby runners and volunteers again next week. Gareth will be our RD, taking over following Cath’s excellent debut and Karl heading off on holidays.  For those wanting to offer a helping hand - please let us know by email (pontypridd@parkrun.com) or our social media channels. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll find yourself in the v250 just like our Ruth (oops, we haven't got to the shoutouts yet...)?


Please see the forthcoming volunteer roster page at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/pontypridd/futureroster for the current state of the volunteer roster for the next few weeks at Pontypridd.


Thank you also to everyone who brought us a gift of a donation to Salem Food Bank - the response was - as always in Ponty - absolutely phenomenal.  We know that your kind donations will go a long way.  Diolch o galon i chi gyd.


Special Shoutouts!

Did we mention something about a v250?? Our ever-present Tail Walker, Ruth Cochran reached the incredible milestone of 250 occasions volunteered at Ponty #307 - which is truly astonishing when you consider that she's also run a fair bit in her time!  In amongst the excitement of the day, we forgot to announce it on the start line, so an extra loud shoutout coming its way for you this Saturday.

parkrun HQ recently announced that they would recognise the same milestone achievements for times volunteered as they do with runs completed - and we think that's absolutely the right call.  Thankfully for this colour-blind run report editor, the palette is the same, but we just had to make the most of this opportunity to design a selfie frame that was a little special in its own right.  We hope you like it Ruthie - thank you!


Also featuring in our Hall of Fame entrants this week:

  • Erin Howells reached 50 parkruns
  • Laura Martin also reached her 50th parkrun

Nice to see the red frame back - it's a been a little while since the last one.  Congrats, both!


By the way, did we mention there was cake???  A very special shout-out to Sam Kear for her wonderful creation, which also included a batch of vegan cupcakes.  We're no prospective GBBO contestants - but we have heard that vegan baking is a skill in its own right.  Thank you!


We know a certain Rob Joslin who seemed to be a fan!  Diolch!!



Pontypridd parkrun #305 – the one with volunteers galore and a guest writer!

The very awesome Daniel Connelly - our parkrun tourist completing his Full Ponty challenge - has penned this week’s run report.  Read on to get his take on this weekend’s fun!

We also have the solution to Thursday trivia (click here) and our fabby Sunday shoutouts below.  We hope you agree - this week’s report is EPIC! Enjoy...

#305 - Lido Envy!

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I love writing run reports!

My wife on the other hand doesn’t like me writing run reports!  Not because it takes me a good few hours tapping away at my computer when I could be meaningfully engaged in household tasks… In all probability she probably delights in the fact that I am out from under her feet causing more chaos than actual help!  It is the proofreading she dislikes.  Not because she finds it a challenge - she is amazing at it!  But she has to turn my stream of poorly punctuated prose into something readable - I get the plaudits, she just gets the pain!

And it is a lot of pain as I have written over 121 run reports!  It all started a while ago at my first home parkrun of Coventry, then as a way of recording my tourism journey and thanking those hi viz heroes who made the run possible.  Then one year as a resolution that grew and went slightly bonkers - to write a run report for every parkrun I visited that year!

Today it will be made worse!  Normally, my wife is with me on my trips but as she is currently injured and banned from running she decided that an early start wasn’t necessary for her so remained at home and would be timing at Stratford Upon Avon parkrun.  Although my son is on 95 different parkrun events he opted for 2 hours more in bed and would run as his mother timed.  And my daughter… She is at University in London!  So it was I would parkrun alone and my wife would have to decode my missive with no knowledge of the parkrun I am writing about - it wasn’t the first time and I doubt it will be the last!

Run report writing, just like parkrun itself had become a habit… One I am sure many of you reading this epic monologue would understand, especially Andy DAVIES today’s most experienced parkrunner (444 - blue t-shirt by Christmas 2022?), Saturday isn’t complete without your regular free 5km run in a park.  In fact it stops being Saturday but becomes parkrunday!

That was until 14th March 2020… when parkrun paused!  I am sure like many we thought it would be a few weeks… maybe a couple of months…  certainly not 17 months (more for Pontypridd parkrun as you closed early due to a flooded course!)

On the first Saturday, like many others around the UK I tried to replicate a parkrun that I was missing!  So just before 8:30 I woke my wife and son and walked them, bleary eyed, to our local park for our (not)parkrun.  They weren’t even that grateful that, unlike previous parkrun days, where they were woken and quickly bundled into a car at 6am and driven across the country to a parkrun, they could sleep in a bit.

For me, my (not)parkrun was very stress free! No worrying about car parking and finding the start - mind you Pontypridd parkrun today was a breeze for me!  Okay it was a 6am start but Gas Road car park was easy to find and £1 to park all day on a Saturday was a bargain, before a quick walk over the bridge crossing the Taff and I was in the park!

My first timers briefing at our (not) parkrun was a very small affair with my wife and son both parkrun veterans, and we had no first timers as you could only run with people in your household!

Karl Johnson’s briefing today was a very different affair! 16 tourists and 18 first time parkrunners!  So a huge welcome to Andrew Phillips, Carol Evans, Daniel Bateman, Dominic Barnes, Helen Odell, Josh Roderick, Kieran Cooling, Leah Marshall, Macauley Lewis, Maria Rees, Mark Glen, Nathan Morgan, Paige Myers, Rebecca Down, Rosalie Jones, Sai Bateman, Simon Kinsey & Tina Hughes; now you have used your barcode for the very first time at Pontypridd parkrun your Saturdays will never be the same!  So a huge welcome to the parkrun family and I hope that you will return to a parkrun soon and use your barcode again.


My route was an accurately measured (always useful to own a calibrated measuring wheel - mind you, you do get some odd looks as you push it slowly around a park!) hilly two lap affair around a beautiful local park and just like Pontypridd my own course passed by a river, tennis courts, and a lido!  Mind you Kenilworth Lido is far smaller, hasn’t reopened and is threatened with closure, unlike the vibrant and fully booked National Lido of Wales in your park.  I was suffering from Lido envy before, during and after parkrun. It was with great regret that I didn’t plan my tourism earlier to book a post parkrun swim!  Next time!


My (not) parkrun run briefing was a very quick affair, not because of a COVID framework that parkrun currently operates in but because we had no milestones!  Looking over the results there were 3 official milestones today.  Jim Mccann hit 50 parkruns today and with that will get an icon on the results and the option to buy a red milestone t-shirt & Carl Webber & Louise Lloyd both reached 100 runs, so they will have a chance to have a black 100 t-shirt.  Previously, milestone t-shirts were free but long term that wasn’t sustainable so last week alone - 746 runners joined the 50 club & 411 the 100 club.  There is also the chance for people to buy a replacement milestone t-shirt and I can’t wait to get a more roomy 250 t-shirt as my COVID kilos have made it more of a compression outfit than it was in March 2019!  The first time I got to wear my green parkrun at was at Wycombe Rye; another parkrun that has a lido!

Our (not) parkrun start line was a line over the path, wide enough for the three runners to toe the line side by side but 242 runners take up a lot of space in a line - you need a wide start like Bushy park for that!  However the estimated finish times that have appeared at parkruns post COVID to reduce crowding and passing make self seeding so much easier.  Just looking at someone doesn’t give you any idea how quick they move!  So knowing I would take about 34-35 minutes I moved back past the 30 minute marker, joined by Co-ED and first timers briefer Karl Johnson who claimed he would run with me as he would be going at that pace!  Always great to have company and a chat on a run.

As Gareth Howell and training RD Catherine Powell started the runners, it wasn’t long before chatting away over the first short lap I was blowing!  So I told Karl to enjoy his run and we would chat afterwards and whoosh he was gone!  However unlike my (not)parkruns, where my family ran off and left me, and I would follow the route on my own, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park was full of runners spread out onto the 3 longer loops running, jogging and walking parkrun at their pace.  But more importantly the route was packed with marshals!

Every parkrun needs marshals, not just to keep runners on course and turning to the finish after 3 laps or to offer encouraging shouts, claps and ringing cowbells to help keep us parkrunners motivated and moving; they are important for safety for us and other park users.  Event teams think carefully where they are needed, where interactions could occur, like by the Lido exit, at paths crossing the park and bridges and entries and like the AED are there in case we need help.

For my initial few (not)parkrun route, if any dog walker moved over to allow me to waddle past I would give a cheery, ‘Thank you marshal’ to them.  However, I stopped this when one lady gave a loud and rather confused comment to her husband, ‘But your name is James!”

If this was my regular parkun or run it would be amazing; add in a warm up and cooldown loop and you would have an amazing 7km run route with 5 hill reps!  However, a quicker than expected first small lap, my post lockdown chunk gain and total lack of any training meant by the time of the start of the uphill section by the Lido I was blowing… So I decided a brisk recovery pace was a good idea - okay it might have looked like a walk to none runners but I am sure my Garmin log will read fartlek run once I edit the description!  The one advantage of a walk, despite not needing oxygen at the top of the park, was that I could give a proper, ‘Thank you marshal’ to all those in pink our #HiVizHeros but as I volunteer to write a run report I get to post a huge THANK YOU to :- Andy REARDON  •  Anthony CARROLL  •  Anthony WILLIAMS  •  Bethan FORD  •  Blaine BURBIDGE-SMITH  •  Catherine HUGHES  •  Catherine POWELL  •  Charlie BLEASDALE  •  Clair STEVENSON  •  Claire COSTELLO  •  Claire LLOYD THOMAS  •  Dan TAYLOR  •  Deborah PRICE  •  Dianne DAVIES  •  Elaine COOPER  •  Elspeth WYNN  •  Emily ADAMS  •  Esther SOWERBY  •  Gareth HOWELL  •  George HOWELL  •  Glyn HICKS  •  Graham BINGHAM  •  John CARROLL  •  Karl JOHNSON  •  Kerri ALLEN  •  Lianne EDMUNDS  •  Lindy NALLY  •  Lyndon WALKER  •  Michael LOCKE  •  Patricia TAYLOR  •  Rebecca HOUSE HOWE  •  Rhys RICHARDS  •  Richard COSTELLO  •  Ruth COCHRAN  •  Sean LYNE  •  Steve NICHOLLS  •  Trish TAZZINI-LLOYD  •  Viv BURBIDGE-SMITH  •  Wendy COLLIE who made this event possible.


As with parkruns around the world Pontypridd parkrun relies on volunteers to happen and the forthcoming roster is looking a bit sparse.  Don’t worry if you have never volunteered before or aren’t sure what to do, most roles are very simple but the RD of the day or volunteer coordinator will gladly show you what to do.  Just to prove how easy one of the roles is, have a look at my son’s quick 5 minute how to be a barcode scanner Youtube film… https://youtu.be/6WZyewcyPYw It is great fun to be involved with parkrun but without getting sweaty! So if you need a rest week, or you have picked up a niggle or an injury or you  have a non running relative who will come along,  just email in to pontypridd@parkrun.com There are even a few roles you can combine with a run…one is barcode scanner!  My aim is to be able to whizz around a parkrun, grab a Hi Viz, pull out my phone and jump on the scanning.  Unfortunately I am just not quick enough yet!

At the top of the slope in the park, with my breath under more control I started to run again and enjoy the long slope.  My speed picked up and I felt like a lion chasing it’s prey when whoosh… whoosh... woosh… Those speedy first finishers shot past!

With my family (not)parkruns I missed seeing those faster runners and how effortlessly they seem to glide past.  There are very few sports where elite athletes and the average person can take part in the same event but running and parkrun especially, get a whole spectrum of joining in.  So it was as I was half way into my first larger lap Pontyclun Road Runners’, Neil JONES (VM40-44) passed me and only a few minutes later crossed the line in 17:08 to be this week’s first finisher.  Another Pontyclun Road Runner, Cheryl LEE (VW40-44) passed me by the river and crossed the line in 18th overall in a new PB time of 20:21 to be the first lady home. Great running.  A full set of results can be found on the website.

By lap two the mizzley weather had lifted and although the sun was yet to break out the temperature rose and I was warm and clammy; not great weather for me to run in but it didn’t stop 30 runners from seeing those lovely words in the parkrun text - New PB. Aimee Jones, Aimee Panes, Allen Robin Isaksen, Angela Foster Swailes, Cameron Hopkins, Cheryl Lee, Crystal Jacobs, Emma Legge, Ffion Howe, Haydn Smith, Imogen Jones, Jacob Norris, Jenna Watts, Jon Harvey, Kristian Phillips, Leanne Addis, Leanne Talbot, Liam Hatch, Louise Nuttall, Luke Davies, Oliver Hughes, Paula Taylor, Ramaraj Ayyappan, Rebecca Woodridge, Sanna Ollula, Sebastian Haigh, Steve Baker, Steve Payne, Thomas Richards & Victoria Oreilly. Great running.  And if you didn’t manage it this week, you can always try again next parkrunday!


The only thing I didn’t replicate in my own (not) parkruns was finish tokens!  When I started my family I used the parkrun APP to time us running so as each of us crossed my finish line I pressed the screen to time our runs - my wife and son may have measured and timed their run on their own GPS devices but nothing beats the thrill of a results text later with your official time!  Yes, I even sent them a results text a few hours after the event!

Turning into the final finishing straight at Ynysangharad, my legs had no sprint left in them, and thankfully no one was right behind me racing me for me to test this out.  Collecting my token and heading over to the scanners I was ready for the most important part of my parkrun day!

From my travels I have realised that parkrun is not just about the run but about the chatting and socialising after – and enjoying a chat post run in the café over a coffee, no matter how elaborate I made my own (not)parkrun breakfast it was always missing the most important element - other parkrunners!  My family are nice but… (ok Daniel, your proof-reader is not amused here…)


As the team of volunteers finished up I headed over to the cafe and managed to order and eat a delicious vegetarian breakfast before the Core team had got their coffee!  Well I did have an early start!  So as the results were processed I enjoyed a lovely post parkrun chat with others.  If you have never gone back to the cafe after, give it a try!  You will gain so much more than the hour of your Saturday morning.


With my final Ponty parkrun collected for a virtual challenge the drive home started; on route home my daughter rang to tell me all about her parkrun at Bushy Park!  An hour later, my son delighted in telling me that he had run an all time parkrun PB (well Stratford Upon Avon is a pancake flat three laps) - but was my wife the timer assisting him? So whilst we may not have been together but we could all enjoy parkrun!

Once again thanks to everyone at Pontypridd parkrun for a lovely parkrun and day out today.

Happy parkrunning.

Daniel Connolly


co-ED’s comment: Thank you Daniel, your kind words meant so much to us this weekend.  We hope your parkrun travels bring you back our way again sometime soon.  Diolch Daniel, mor braf i weld chi ym Mhontypridd wythnos yma; gobeithiwn byddwn eich gweld chi cyn bo hir.



We also owe you an answer to our “extremely fun” Thursday Trivia question - what are our top 5 clubs by number of Ponty parkruns completed by their runners? We included the group of “No Club” participants as well.  So without further ado, our “tops of the pops” are...

  1. No Club (35,800)
  2. Pontypridd Roadents (6,190)
  3. Roberttown Road Runners (3,862)
  4. Pontyclun Road Runners (1,910)
  5. Aberdare Valley (1,524)

A special shoutout to one of our One Hit Wonders... Abu Dhabi Striders (event 276).  Now that’s a cracking bit of tourism!

Some great answers and debate on the Facebook channel ensued when we posed the question on Thursday.  A few of you forgot the “no club” group though - that’s by far our biggest, and our Number One.  Whether you belong to a club or not, we welcome all comers at Ponty. If you fancy taking the plunge and joining a running group or a club and need some help with the process or picking the right one for you, please do reach out to us - the Ponty/RCT area has some amazing running and athletics clubs and we can happily put you in touch with one.  There’s a strong tradition of club takeovers at Ponty - our next is on October 23rd with our friends at Pontyclun Road Runners.  Watch this space for more soon!


We don’t have any milestone selfies this week, but panic we must not. We’re chock-a-block with callouts anyway - as you saw from Daniel’s report above.  The ones we had on the sheet on Saturday morning were:

  • Carl Webber ran his 100th parkrun overall
  • Louise Lloyd ran her 100th parkrun overall
  • Gareth Jones ran his 200th parkrun overall - not an official milestone, but we’ll take it!
  • Daniel Connolly completed his full Ponty (but you probably guessed that already!)
  • Owen Pugsley had his 30th birthday.  Oh, and what’s this special little picture... ??! We have the name of the culprit in our AC-12 files (it’s quite a treasure trove), their secret is safe with us!


We also got news of two of our Ponty parkrun family on tour in North Wales (Conwy) this week.  Peggy and Abby - we hope you enjoyed, see you again soon!


One last (but not least) - a special shoutout to all runners at the Cardiff Bay 10k on Sunday!  Was great to see some of our core team and runners alike hitting the streets and smashing out the times.  Da iawn!





Pontypridd parkrun #304 – the one with fast buggies, dinosaurs and bad weather predictions

RD’s view....

Wow - well that nice weather was unexpected! After the Met claimed a 60% chance of rain last night, I’m sure a few of you will have packed your wet weather gear ready for a soaking this morning. Then - glorious late summer/early autumn sunshine. Oh, the joys of living in Wales.

Results are here.  A very smooth process this week; the only delay coming from having to stop Thomas (my 1 year old) stealing my sausage bap at the Lido Caff.  We did pick up on a couple of funnel duckers though - please please do remember to take a finish token if you cross the line (and please only cross that line once).  Kudos also to Rebecca - our finish token distributor today who coolly coped with the slight mishap of our box of tokens tipping over.  You’re awesome!  To the token magpies, queue jumpers and funnel duckers out there, watch out for our new security system - sneak peak below! :-)


(NB: it’s not a real dinosaur, and we actually do love all our parkrunners really).

As for the run/walk/jog itself... congrats to James Thie, our first finisher over the line for equalling Jac’s “unofficial record-not-record” since we started using the new course design, from last week. A pretty stellar 16m 18s. Also, to our brave volunteers and parkrunners at the tail, coming in at 55m 46s - that’s a fair bit quicker than walking pace. Good effort guys - congrats!

This week we had 274 parkrunners at Ponty - a bit lower than recent numbers but we still love seeing you all, whether it’s 50 or 500.  We had 31 first timers and **42** recorded new Personal Bests... wowee!! There must have been something in that weather for sure.

We had participants from 29 different clubs and some fab tourists from Daventry, Evesham and Loughborough. I didn’t get everyone’s names (sorry!), though I couldn’t resist a special shoutout for Steven and Aimee Mears, our double-act from Loughborough who ran an incredible 18m 18s with a buggy and also celebrated a 50th parkrun milestone respectively. Thanks for coming guys, you smashed it!

Let’s also hear it for our 31 volunteers - including one very familiar and famous name who gave up his run to cover one of our marshal spots at the last minute. Thank you Mr. Pritchard! Was lovely as well to see Mrs H and George on the bridge - they had a lot of fun out there: thanks to you all for giving them a big Ponty welcome.

Rhian HOPKINS • Simon PRITCHARD • Dianne DAVIES • Ben REES • Ruth COCHRAN • Darren WARNER • Maad KHALIL • Gareth HOWELL • Carolyn SMITH • Gail GRIFFITHS-WARNER • Trish TAZZINI-LLOYD • Rebecca HOUSE HOWE • Mair JOHNSON • Karl JOHNSON • Alan EARLY • Lyndon WALKER • Sean LYNE • Patricia TAYLOR • Paul JONES • Teri HOWELL • Diane DAVIES • Ruth NORTHWAY • Alison JONES • Peggy EDWARDS • Rebekah DANIEL • Richard COSTELLO • Blaine BURBIDGE-SMITH • Viv BURBIDGE-SMITH • Lianne EDMUNDS • Claire COSTELLO • George HOWELL

Want to add your name to this list of superstars? Slide into our DMs or send us an email (pontypridd@parkrun.com). You can see the future roster here...



The moment none of us has really been waiting for - the latest reveal of our Thursday Trivia question.  We asked you to guess how many of our 8686 finishers prior to event 304 were ‘one hit wonders’ at Ponty parkrun.  The answer was... 3849!  That might surprise many of you - but we think the role Pontypridd has as a member of The Full Ponty (see here) may very well have something to do with it.

Of course this does mean ample opportunity for yet another totally-pointless-but-utterly-fascinating graph showing how often we get our lovely runners, walkers and joggers coming back for more.  So here you go!


Look at that bar on the left!  Chesney Hawkes himself would be proud of that (thanks to Rob Joslin for the much better reference to ‘the One and Only’).



Ahhh yes, those magical selfie frames.  It’s such a privilege to put these together every week.  Thanks to everyone who has sent in images - we’ve created a Facebook album as a “hall of fame” to keep them in forever.  Fair play - you’re a good looking lot!  Featured this week are:

  • Anthony Williams - for his 100th Ponty parkrun
  • Paula Taylor for her 100th parkrun overall
  • Linda Edwards for her 100th parkrun overall (we hope we got that one right - we just caught it at the last minute!).

Please put your hands together for our latest Hall of Fame inductees!  We don’t know if that means you get to call yourselves “HoFfers”(?!) - but it’s a cool thought anyway :).


Last but by no means least - massive congratulations to one of our regular Pontypridd parkrunners Neil Jones who finished first this weekend at the Vale Coast Ultra! For those not familiar, it’s a run from Penarth to Ogmore-by-Sea along the Welsh Coast Path.  A mighty effort - see you back at Pontypridd soon!


Have a great week all, see you soon. Diolch pawb, gweld chi wythnos nesaf. Bydd Gareth nol yn y sedd boeth am rif 305. Hwyl am y tro!

Tim parkrun Pontypridd. x


Pontypridd parkrun – Event Number 302. The sun is back for more fun!

We have just finished up at Pontypridd junior parkrun, amazing turnout…. Here is this weeks run report - from the RD (Karl) and team...

Perfect conditions for parkrun this morning as ED Karl Johnson was back on the bench after ED Gareth Howell’s first stint as RD the previous week. Perfect conditions saw our biggest attendance since the return of parkrun in Wales.

We were joined by a tourist from Lancaster (you were most welcome, maybe adding to the “full Ponty” challenge?) and a group of runners supporting “50km for Kev”, was lovely to see and speak with you all, thank you for choosing Pontypridd parkrun…….

May be an image of 11 people, people standing and outdoors
May be an image of 2 people, people standing and outdoors


A small wait for the off (sorry I couldn’t set you off early, parkrun rules) which saw 407 of you cross the finish line….. another missing token however.  Token 387 decided to go walkabouts, we think we know who so hopefully get it back this week.


Thank you once again to our amazing group of volunteers, I know I always say thank you, but truly this event wouldn’t happen without you.  Please consider helping us the next couple of weeks, we seem to have a big shortage of volunteers. Email at pontypridd@parkrun.com or DM us on social media.


We headed off to Café Lido after for a coffee, and a pretty trouble-free results processing… don’t forget guys: 50p off all hot drinks and a £1 discount off a drink + bacon/sausage bap.  We hope you all enjoyed, we are continually learning but things are certainly starting to settle down and we hope you are all loving being back with us all.

The shout-outs also keep coming - which we are absolutely loving.  So congrats to John Mead who ran his 100th overall - fantastic effort!  Also to a certain Ruth Cochran - who thought she could naughtily sneak her 150th Ponty parkrun past us.  No chance, we see all, from token thieves to milestones!

Well done both of you - amazing achievements. Llongyfarchiadau!
Some other shout-outs as well, first to Andrew How - who has crossed the line first at two of the three events since our return, running in at about the 17 minute mark. Excellent running, well done. The other is to Peggy Edwards - who not only came extra early to help us set up, but also set a barnstorming new PB during the event as well. Top bombing!


Thanks to Thursday Trivia we learned that the most popular surname at Ponty parkrun was indeed.... JONES !


It's unlikely that Sir Tom was one of them, but we couldn't resist posting a completely unnecessary photo of him here - just because.
May be an image of 1 person
We've also got a nice infographic of the clans of Ponty parkrun mocked up here - take a look below. The bigger the name, the more finishers there are. We're nice and GDPR compliant here, so those who are "unique" names we've had to exclude.... enjoy having a gander though.
Screenshot from 2021-09-06 13-08-00
Karl again next week on the bench, don't forget any coming milestones, birthdays or shoutouts, please let us know.


Until next Saturday at 9am (830 if you're a volunteer, 845 for first-timers at Ponty) , have a great week.


========= THE VITAL STATISTICS =========
This week 407 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 46 were first timers and 68 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 29 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 27 volunteers:
Abby Louise FORSTER • Glyn HICKS • Dianne DAVIES • Clair STEVENSON • Ruth COCHRAN • Gareth HOWELL • John CARROLL • Ceridwen BOON • Mark DOUGLAS • Trish TAZZINI-LLOYD • Rebecca HOUSE HOWE • Karl JOHNSON • Catherine HUGHES • Sean LYNE • Joanne DENDLE • Kerri ALLEN • Ruth NORTHWAY • Wendy COLLIE • Alison JONES • David SHEWRING • Peggy EDWARDS • Huw DAVIES • Richard COSTELLO • Viv BURBIDGE-SMITH • Lianne EDMUNDS • Rebecca LEES • Claire COSTELLO
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Pontypridd parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Tom MARSHALL who recorded a time of 14:43 on 26th November 2016 (event number 148).
The female record is held by Clara EVANS who recorded a time of 16:47 on 19th October 2019 (event number 282).
The Age Grade course record is held by Ros TABOR who recorded 93.49% (22:01) on 4th April 2015 (event number 74).
Pontypridd parkrun started on 12th October 2013. Since then 8,656 participants have completed 64,020 parkruns covering a total distance of 320,100 km, including 12,433 new Personal Bests. A total of 672 individuals have volunteered 6,642 times.

Events 300 and 301 – Our big return!

You may have noticed that we’ve been away for a little while... well now we’re back! We’ve had everything life could throw at us over the last 18 months but we’ve stood tall, dusted ourselves off and got going again.  Whilst we’ve been away, you may have noticed some changes to how we do things:

  • A whole new event team - who have inherited an amazing parkrun courtesy of the incredible work done by Simon and Lisa Pritchard over so many years.
  • A facelift to the park! We certainly welcomed this change after the devastation caused by the floods last year.
  • A new course design - we’ve flip-reversed the big lap!
  • New rules and tweaks to the way we do things. All in the spirit of doing our bit among the chaos of Covid-19 these last months.

It’s great to tell you though that we’re back on line, and thanks to the magic of parkrun event support - have our access to the run report system back up and running!  Look out for the run reports for events 300 and 301 - they’ll follow shortly!

Diolch a croeso nol!

Gareth and Karl.



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