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Bumper Easter turn-out at Conwy parkrun boosted by a host of visiting UK club and social entrants...



*Pictured above and below - volunteer and photographer John Hatton captures the unique atmosphere as the large number of runners begin their Easter dash at Conwy parkrun last Saturday morning.



Bumper Easter turn-out at Conwy parkrun boosted by a host of visiting UK club and social entrants.

Report by Don Hale. Main photos by John Hatton.

 

It proved to be another bumper Easter attendance at Conwy parkrun last Saturday as some 435 entrants from all parts of the UK, tackled the picturesque but soggy 5k riverside route to help celebrate the Bank Holiday weekend, and they just missed out on setting a new attendance record!

Parkrun official Mark Jessett confirmed: "Saturday was our second highest attendance, and our highest since we restarted post-2020. Our highest attendance was at Easter in 2019. 

"Overall, across the UK, parkrun saw its highest attendances since the restart. Many parkruns in North Wales (Dolgellau, Nant y Pandy, and Nova Prestatyn, that I know of so far) set attendance records yesterday."

This latest event was unusually and additionally boosted by bright sunshine, and a relatively light breeze, which enhanced the unique atmosphere on this special date for both club and social runners.

And Conwy parkrun volunteer John Hatton repeated his recent efforts to help clear many large puddles from the start area, but the route still lived up to his unenviable reputation as one of the most challenging, and soggy parkruns in the region.



*Pictured above (l-r): John Hatton, with Peter Knight-Griffiths, and Glenn Grant.


Josh Keogh, shown (right):


North Wales Road Runners entered fifteen athletes, and won three age cats, three second placings and two thirds. with Josh Keogh once again the first man back with following an outstanding performance in just 17 minutes and 18 seconds, his fastest time this year, to additionally win his SM30-34 age cat. 

And Will Williams continued with his good form to finish 9th in 18.58, and he was second in his VM50 cat, with Steve Gardner 14th, and the winner of his VM60 cat in 19.33. Sion Thomas finished well in 37th place in 21.32, and Adam Lemalle recorded another course PB after finishing 40th in 21.39, with Steve Roberts 54th, and second in his VM55 cat in 22.25. 

Jamie Tharme returned from his recent marathon duties in Rome to enjoy a good result in 66th place in 23.03, and newcomer Sandy Johnston, celebrated his club debut, following his recent move from the Les Croupiers club, to win his master veteran’s VM70 age cat in 82nd place overall in 23.54, with fellow master Don Hale finishing 2nd in the same cat in 25.55, in 125th place.Veteran Rob Fryer was 142nd in 26.43, and Sarah Jones and Daniel Hennell ran the course together with Sarah 175th in 28.10, and Daniel just one place and one second behind. Hannah Griffith also ran around with a family member, and she finished 184th in 28.26, and claimed the third spot in her VW50 age cat. Master veteran And Mark Mason finished 3rd in his VM70 age cat in 186th place in 28.31, and his result also secured all top-three positions in that same respective age cat, and Steve Mason ran with his dog Coco again as the appropriate tail walker!

*Pictured above left - Newcomer and master veteran Sandy Johnston, who won his VM70 age cat, with Rob Fryer, and Hannah Griffith.

*Top male and female placings: Josh Keogh (NWRRC) was the first male runner in 17.18, and he also won his SM30-34 age cat, with Hamish Morton, (Cambridge and Coleridge AC), second in 17.47, and Conor Donaghy (Sale Harriers), took the third place in 17.56. 

The first female finisher was Gemma Moore (Eryri Harriers) - *pictured right - who won her VW40 age cat in 25th place overall in 20.37. And it was good to welcome back, Alice Johnston (Les Croupiers), who was second in 21.46, in 44th place overall, and she won her SW30-34 age cat, whilst Bethan Griffiths (Cardiff AAC), won her VW35 cat in 50th place overall, as the third female, on her course debut in 22.12. 

 

(*Plaudits were also given to Colwyn Bay AC youngsters Alfie Shiland and Ella Grundy, who both finished 4th in their respective male and female categories. Alfie won his JM11-14 age cat in 18.10, and Ella also won her JW15-17 cat in 22.16.)

*Praise was given to the run director Gwyn Williams and his team of volunteers and marshalls, and this is the link to the provisional results:


Special report by Gwyn Williams, the run director at Conwy

 

Gwyn confirmed: “Blimey! Mam bach, that was a big one! We thought we’d broken our attendance record with 435 finishers. A huge number swelled by tourists from Nottingham, Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Leeds to name just a few. “We didn’t break the record though, that still stands at 453 set at the Easter weekend in 2019. I was concerned today that we wouldn’t have enough finish tokens, our set only going up to 500, but we were fortunately well under that number.

“Congratulations to Daniel Calvert who joined the Cowell Club today running his 100th different parkrun. Thanks for choosing us to complete your challenge Daniel and well done, on to the next 100. I did mention the ‘donate’ page on our official Conwy parkrun website, if you feel flush at any point and are able to chuck a few quid our way it would be appreciated but please don’t feel obliged to donate. “Any money donated comes straight to us at Conwy parkrun and our core team carefully decide what to spend the money on, this week a new set of finish tokens but there is also the ongoing costs of servicing the defibs and other equipment items etc. 


The link can be found here https://www.parkrun.org.uk/conwy/aboutus/


"And finally, I’d just like to thank our fabulous volunteers. A tougher job today with the increased numbers but they stuck to the task and put on another fabulous event. And a special mention this week to John ‘the golden egg’ Hatton who was out on the course at 7.15 am this morning, brushing out the puddles on the home stretch. We have a fantastic team of volunteers, makes being an RD a pleasure and an honour.” 

Gwyn Williams.



*Volunteer Michael Finnie (*above left) with the Conwy run director Gwyn Williams.

















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