We ended up at Cardiff parkrun New Year’s Day by a bit of an accident but I am really glad we did. The children did not want to do parkrun having stayed up so late and it was misjudged how long it would take to our planned parkrun destination. If I am honest I knew Cardiff parkrun would also tick off a prime number (which is not encouraged).
Finding Cardiff parkrun Alternative Course
We headed for the Tesco Extra carpark. In actual fact we went to McDonald’s and had breakfast first. Although we did have to wait until 8am for them to open. This also meant we could go to the toilet!
So it was our first time at Cardiff parkrun so we don’t know what the normal course is like but for Event 757 it was the alternative course. Assuming this is to do with the festive goings on in Bute park but I don’t know.
Finding the alternative parkrun course was easy it was up the steps from the carpark and turn left. Keep going until you see the parkrun signs to your left. In reality we followed everyone else. It isn’t a small parkrun!
About Cardiff parkrun on New Year’s Day
The first timers briefing was great – the course so simple. Basically you keep going left until that one time you need to go right. That the finish isn’t quite where you would expect it and then there’s the magic of the multiple funnels! We were also warned about a fallen tree in the way – this was very well marshalled.
The one thing I will say is that there was a lot of talking during the briefing. To the point that we didn’t actually hear when it was started! There was also no sort of organising what sort of time people would finish in – there was a convoy of pushchairs overtaking everyone to the left quite near the start.
Note this is definitely a course for road shoes and not trails.
Friendly Cardiff parkrun New Year’s Day
Cardiff parkrun is possibly one of the friendliest I have visited. Someone made me feel welcome as soon as I opened the car door! Making sure I knew we were on the alternative course and how to get there. The friendliness just carried on from there.
Really I couldn’t put my finger on it but there was just an all-round nice feeling about it. From the Event director taking time to answer me about the first timers briefing (even though he clearly was busy trying to sort the mic out); people on the course being chatty and nice. People asking others to move over for me when jeffing overtaking.
The Lady with the Two Children
The course was two laps and this was this incredible woman running with two children in a pushchair, not babies, children. Both old enough to actually take part in parkrun themselves. Due to the crowdedness I didn’t start jeffing away and so managed to keep up with her. I just knew I wasn’t going to all the way round.
Not only was she running with what seemed ease but she was chatting to her children! As well as chatting to me. She told me that her husband would finish by the time she did a lap and so the alternative course meant he could take the children and she could do her second lap on her own.
She caught up with me on her second lap (more because once I started jeffing she couldn’t get past people as easily with a double pushchair). However, I knew it wouldn’t be long before she was long into the distance. She told me that she’d only just caught me up, and said some nice things. I don’t really like not knowing where the finish is so she explained and told me that it is further than you think.
Also I didn’t like how it was my first time for multiple funnels so didn’t know what to expect. That day there was apparently four funnels but to be honest it was so seamless I didn’t even notice! Even though it was crowded I did get some sort of sprint finish in too!
Afterwards we went into the massive Tesco Extra where there are toilets. We stayed to go to the Costa Coffee too. Then the heavens opened and it poured it down with rain so we had to run back to the car.
Cardiff parkrun New Year’s Achievements
Obviously it was my first parkrun in Cardiff so this added to my Cowell and Freyne Club totals. I achieved my festive double, another C for the pirates challenge and finally, as stated, a prime number.
Cardiff parkrun Stats New Year’s Day
There were 572 participants at Cardiff parkrun on New Year’s Day 2024. Their times ranged from 16:36-59:10. 356 of them finished under 30 minutes on New Year’s Day.
At that time the female course record was held by two ladies at a time of 15:49. The male course record at that time was 14:15 and the Age Graded Record was Age graded 100.6% (with a time of 19:34). At that time the average finish time was 27:33