Cardiff ParkRun

Got to love a New Year’s Resolution right, it means that even when it’s pouring with rain on a cold Saturday morning, you still get up to go to parkrun!

I dragged Tom out of bed to try out the Cardiff parkrun, (Tom- my boyfriend, has recently been relocated to Cardiff). Neither of us were thrilled with the weather conditions, and as we drove through ever heavier rain, he reminded me that not many other boyfriends would do this with their girlfriends and that I definitely owed him.

Cardiff Park Run

Cardiff Park Run

After taking these photos one of the friendly volunteers (the man smiling in the above photo) started chatting to us about Tom’s sulky face. He and his son were hardcore parkrun runners and volunteers, and had done the double the previous day, running the Cardiff and Barry park runs to welcome in the New Year. We discovered that Cardiff ParkRun is very popular, with 300-400 people turning up each week, and a peak week of 800!

Clearly we weren’t the only crazies to be up for a 5K in the pouring rain, as we lined up about halfway through the throng of runners. It soon became clear that we should have started nearer the front but never mind.

Cardiff Park Run

The route is a flat, frying pan shaped loop along the Taff trail in Bute Park. It was gorgeous although lined with deep puddles. Although my Salomon trail trainers were waterproof, the water soon breached my shoes and drenched my feet. Tom wore his new Christmas present Lululemon top and Adidas shorts for their first outing although I wouldn’t let him wear his new trainers.

Tom and I ran together for most of the run and kept up a decent pace, around an 8.30 min mile. I could feel my chest feeling a little tight towards the end (I’d been fighting off a cold and cough for the past 2 weeks) but overall I felt great to be out and running. Tom took off down the final straight – apparently he’d had his eye on a woman that he wanted to beat and couldn’t let her finish in front of him!

Cardiff park Run

Cardiff park Run

There were runners of all ages, fitness levels and sizes pounding out their first 5K of the New Year with quite a few newbies to the pack. DON’T love this picture of me being nailed to the finish line by a 10 year old boy that looks like he’s walking! I do however love the number of pictures from the run that went online- do they do this at all ParkRuns?

Cardiff Park Run

Check that heel strike! Whoops.

I set Tom’s RunKeeper app to track us (as I’d forgotten to print out our barcodes, whoops) which had us finishing in just over 26 mins – my hands were so cold it took me a good few seconds to open up the app and stop it!

Cardiff Park Run

What a fab and friendly way to start our New Year. We’ll definitely be back to the Cardiff parkrun and to the other city parkrun in Grangemoor which we could actually walk to from Tom’s flat. Looking forward to exploring more running routes around Cardiff and southern Wales – if you have any suggestions please do let me know!


  1. January 6, 2016 / 12:22 pm

    Given the fact my sister and I are doing a half marathon in a few weeks – – I better get on that first run of 2016 ASAP.

  2. January 6, 2016 / 12:40 pm

    This parkrun looks great – they don’t take pics at the parkruns I have been to here in South Africa – what a great idea tho!

  3. January 6, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    Seriously – what is WITH those superhuman children on Park Runs? It ought to be stopped. It’s just too humiliating. (Although in my local over the summer there was one poor sausage who was belting it to keep up with dad, and ended up throwing up everywhere at the end. Bet mum had a few choice words after). Good for you keeping up rainy resolve.

  4. January 6, 2016 / 1:20 pm

    Well done getting out in that weather! Pontypool is my local parkrun and we very often have a volunteer photographer – I love it! Mostly I volunteer there because I’m not a morning runner, but I would like to run it more often and eventually do a bit of parkrun tourism.

    • charlotte
      January 6, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      Let me know if you ever make it to the Cardiff on your park run holiday!!

  5. Hannah
    January 6, 2016 / 2:03 pm

    Cardiff is great for running. I do most of my runs (including long runs) in the area around where parkrun is – Bute park leads directly onto Pontcanna Fields (go over the bridge that you pass near the 1km mark in parkrun) and then these fields lead straight onto Llandaff fields. Lots of green space for running! Cardiff Bay would be good as well – run over the Barrage to Penarth perhaps.

    There’s a photographer at Cardiff every week. It’s a volunteer role at every parkrun but depends if anyone volunteers to do it as it’s not essential. I look so bad in running photos though that I tend not to look at them!

    If I see you at a parkrun I’ll come and say hello!

    By the way, there’s also a great swimming pool near Grangemoor parkrun. A 50m pool and a pool with slides!

    • charlotte
      January 6, 2016 / 2:07 pm

      Oh yes definitely do! I’m thinking of trying out the Grangemoor park run this weekend, or going back to the Bute park location! Wow the swimming pool sounds amazing, SLIDES!!! I did try to smile as I ran past the photographer as I have had some shockers before too!

      • Hannah
        January 6, 2016 / 2:18 pm

        Haha, yes, we were so impressed by the slides! It’s stepped up a level since I was a child! Unfortunately they were closed when I went though. If you did fancy meeting up at a parkrun this weekend, just let me know where you’re heading, I live within easy reach of both of them.

        • Hannah
          January 17, 2016 / 8:34 pm

          Just thought of another running route today for you – follow the Taff Trail north out of the city. It goes all the way to Castell coch.

  6. January 6, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    Well done for getting out there in the rain (although I have to say, if I wasn’t injured I would be running in the rain too, but volunteering at parkrun will have to do for now!).
    I go to Perth parkrun and there is often a volunteer photographer.

  7. January 7, 2016 / 3:12 am

    Tom’s face. Brilliant.

    In a few weeks I’m finally going to make the San Francisco park run. Pretty excited about it.

  8. January 7, 2016 / 7:29 pm

    Great to get out & do it even in crappy weather. I do our local parkrun most weeks too & even when the rain is pouring or it’s stormy, I always feel great at the end of it because the people are so nice & there’s a huge sense of community. They take loads of pics too. I’m a big fan of the whole parkrun setup & love seeing all the different ages & people taking part every week. Enjoy!

  9. January 8, 2016 / 10:45 am

    Well done. I did 3 cardiff parkun’s over Christmas but not this on as I was back in London, I love the course and atmosphere there although it does get very crowded these days. I would recommend running the taff trail, running in cardiff bay over the barrage to penarth too.

  10. W. Purves.
    January 9, 2016 / 1:49 am

    What a VERY unhappy looking Tom in pictures 1 and 2. G.

    • charlotte
      January 10, 2016 / 9:11 am

      He is not a fan of running, let alone in the pouring rain on a Saturday morning! I had to bribe him to come!

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