Being the first leap day on which parkrun was happening meant we were geared up for many leap-type activities (dressing up as frogs, eating frog-shaped biscuits, leaping around the course and offering many leap related puns during the course briefing). All thoughts of this were pushed aside when we saw how full the river Taff was as we drove past at 7.10am on our way to Tremorfa. Cardiff declared their cancellation early, and we nervously decided to go ahead on the basis that we'd warned people about the additional footspas - there were 5 in total today, and that we'd hope some of the Cardiff volunteers would come over and lend a hand.
Thankfully a few of the Cardiff volunteers did turn up, we're very grateful that they came to us and of course our own crew of volunteers, some of whom had to wade through those footspas to get to their marshalling positions. Our valiant volunteer co-ordinator Kirsty managed to rearrange everything at lightning speed, so all the essential spots were covered and everyone had the necessary training. All of this happened while I was trying to erect a table which just goes to show how efficient she is.
We were quite anxious about being inundated with refugees from Cardiff and also Newport (who'd cancelled earlier in the week) - we only have 599 tokens, and given that Cardiff regularly has over 700 participants, it wasn't a dead-cert that we'd have enough! The plan was to just write everything down if we exceeded 599 participants! In the end, we had 217 brave souls who seemed not to mind getting extremely wet feet - perhaps splashing through puddles brings back fond childhood memories of carefree times? This number set a new course record for us, and we even managed some quite enthusiastic cheering and clapping as the sun came out during the event - blue skies above, but very wet underfoot.
Of this morning's participants, Karen Davis completed her 50th parkrun, David Davies ran his 100th, and a new female course record was set by Chloe Dooley completing the course in a very speedy 18:35. Massive well done to them, hopefully many more to come! A handy infographic is below, but all the results are now live. Congratulations to everyone completing the course today in pretty awful conditions. You can now claim that you've done a parkun on a leap day!
At the end, we celebrated by eating a few frog biscuits (some more than others!), and a few of our refugees remarked on how nice the course is. We agree, and hope you'll come back soon to see it in slightly better weather. Current predictions are that we'll have a nice parkrun day at Tremorfa in about 2024.
Mike Spencer, our hardy marshal at the footspa has posted a couple of short videos: 1 and 2, Mike Evans captured the action just off the central circle in his video and Patrick So videoed the first lap from his position at the far end of the playing fields.
Photos from Patrick and Tim are also available for viewing - if you'd like to reuse them, please credit the photographer and mention that they were taken at Tremorfa parkrun.
Next week will be a celebration of International Women's Day (a day in advance of the actual event on Sunday 8th March), so all the volunteers will be female (mostly courtesy of She Runs: Cardiff, many of whom were scoping out the course today), but of course everyone is most welcome to come along and take part no matter their gender.