parkrun #5: Cardiff (Blackweir)

I’ve done this parkrun a fair few times before as my boyfriend Dave used to live in Cardiff. I came very close to moving here myself a couple of years ago, so being back makes me feel quite nostalgic and gets me wondering what might have been!

Cardiff parkrun is an out and back course run alongside the river Taff. It’s just about the easiest 5k you could run – very flat, no corners, and run on tarmac. So ideal if you’re just starting out.

The other thing about Cardiff is that there are a LOT of people (676 this week). It’s good fun, and you feel like part of a serious parkrunning stampede. The downside is that you have to wait to get through the start line, and should expect to be stuck in the crowd for the first km or so before it spreads out and you can find your own pace. This means that PBs are a bit hit and miss (unless you fancy your chances at the front!).

Once we’d settled into the run, I started following a man in a shirt to try and keep pace. This tactic failed early as a had to stop to tie my shoelaces (not a pro manoeuvre). However, I soon spotted an even better target – the cross blades of a rowing tattoo up ahead. And I *had* to catch up so I could read what club it was for.

Mission set, I ran on. It took the best part of 3km to catch up with Ms Rowing Tattoo. Which was probably good for my time. But unfortunately, I don’t think that NESW is much of a competitor to Llandaff Rowing Club.

My time was 25mins 55, and the results are up here: Cardiff parkrun 23.01.2016

Many thanks to the volunteers this week. Organising such a big event is a massive undertaking, especially with so little space at the start and the finish. I particularly liked the 3-way ‘funnel dynamics’, which are a thing of beauty and do lot to stop queues at the finish.

Finally, this video by Oliver Williams shows the whole of a Cardiff parkrun in super-fast speed.



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