After five weeks of parkrunning in Brecon the new event is currently going from strength to strength, writes Derek Osborne. 

After a deliberately low key first week (112 finishers) each subsequent week has seen more than 200 take part with a whopping 284 finishers last Saturday. 

Emails and event reports have been flying in with lots of positive comments about the views and the friendly volunteers.

The majority of those taking part have been ‘from away’ or parkrun tourists as they are known.

Brecon parkrun
There were 284 finishers at last Saturday's event (.)

Many of those have personal milestones such as running every parkrun in the UK (there are currently 1266 in the UK) or ‘collecting the alphabet’ (our ‘Y Promenad’ is one of only 3 Y’s in the UK). A good number of the participants have been staying overnight in Brecon and most can be seen either snacking at The Boathouse afterwards or heading into town to one of the other café’s and restaurants. 

Currently the fastest times are with Thomas Cornthwaite (16.49 in week two) and Addy Carter of Hay (21.16 in week four). Local runners Michael Holloway, Aimee Ferguson and Naomi Law have been first finishers if not record holders. It must be stressed though that parkrun is not a race, it is to get people out doing regular exercise and improving their health. The tailwalkers, who guarantee to finish last so that you don’t, will take approximately one hour while the midpoint of the crowd will probably finish at about 30 minutes. Participants run or walk or a mixture of both and the atmosphere is equally positive for all. 

On top of participation in the event, if any locals would like to get involved in volunteering they would be warmly welcomed. Currently there is a group of 60 volunteers and 40+ of those have been present each Saturday. Y Promenad is a course that needs more marshals and with the current high numbers there is a greater need for timers and finish officials. No qualifications needed – contact us through our Facebook page or just turn up.

For those wanting to take part in any capacity the format is the same each week. The start and finish is above the boat house. The pre-event guidance talks are from 8:45am and the event starts at 9am. It’s two laps of ‘Y Promenad’ making a total of 5km.

Parkrun is a free, community event where you can walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate. Parkrun is 5km and takes place every Saturday morning. It is designed to be positive, welcoming and inclusive - there is no time limit and no one finishes last. Everyone is welcome to come along.

Parkrun was founded by Paul Sinton-Hewitt on October 2 2004 at Bushy Park in London. The event was originally called the Bushy Park Time Trial. It grew into a network of similar events called the UK Time Trials, before adopting the name parkrun in 2008 and expanding into other countries.