Aberystwyth parkrun is located in the historic market town of Aberystwyth in West Wales in Cardigan Bay. Located by the seaside, the town is a popular tourist destination, and even more so for parkrun tourists!
Anita Worthing, Event Director at Aberystwyth parkrun tells us more…
Aberystwyth was the fourth parkrun to start in Wales when we launched in September 2012. At the time, very few local people had even heard of parkrun, and the response of some of our running club committee members was “who on earth is going to turn up at 9am on Saturday mornings just to run round Plascrug?”
And then the next question was “how on earth will you get volunteers every week when we struggle to get enough for three races a year?”
But the runners did come, as did the volunteers (in practice they are mostly one and the same).
Our parkrun, known locally as “Aber parkrun” takes place in Plascrug Park in Aberystwyth, only a short walk away from Aberystwyth town centre, close to the bus and railway stations, so is ideal for tourists!
The course is run entirely on tarmac paths, and starts with an out-and back on the wide middle path through the park, followed by three anticlockwise laps on the outer paths, then onto the middle path again for the finish.
The beautiful park is tree-lined and shady in summer and relatively sheltered in winter.
Dogs are welcome (on a short lead of course!) and public toilets can be found en route to the park. Last year we welcomed our first VI (Visually Impaired) runner and guide. They did very well and enjoyed themselves, demonstrating that there are no barriers to participation in parkrun.
In September 2017 we celebrated our fifth anniversary. Back in 2012 when it all started, we were getting 20 – 30 runners a week. We now get around 90 walkers, joggers and runners every week, and we never imagined how big it would grow, how many friendships would be made, and how many people would get the running bug and go on to compete in proper races!
At our anniversary event we had an exceptional age span of runners from under 10 years old to over 80! It just shows how popular the event has been with the community, and how it appeals to people from all different ages and backgrounds.
The running club’s membership has increased, and lives have been changed for the better. Faster runners use our parkrun as a time trial, whilst walkers and joggers use it to improve their fitness, and in 2015, a junior parkrun launched in the town.
Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the Rugby Club at the top end of the park near the finish line (where showers are also available). Please come and join us – we’d love to see you!
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