Every Saturday morning, Rogiet parkrun takes place in Monmouthshire, in south east Wales.
Heather Bovill from Rogiet parkrun gives us the inside story from her home event…
Our course consists of three mainly flat laps around the beautiful Rogiet Countryside Park on a mixture of trail paths and grass. The three-lapper is a buggy-friendly route that gives you plenty of opportunities to see and cheer on other participants as you make your way around the course.
In summer road shoes are fine but it gets muddy in the winter so remember your trail shoes, and prepare to get a little bit dirty!
We’re sandwiched between the Swansea-Paddington mainline and the M4 on reclaimed railways sidings land. Our park was once the site of the train marshalling yard and now we marshal the parkrun there every week.
Our event starts next to a train sign which explains the history of the park and the wildlife that can be found there. This landmark is also known by Rogiet regulars as ‘Strip point’ as runners often de-layer at this point,with the marshal having to catch clothes as they are flung in their direction, while continuing to cheer on the runners!
Providing an ‘R’ for the alphabeteers or for anyone doing the pirate challenge, Rogiet parkrun is easily accessible by road and train although it still feels secluded. The park is next to Severn Tunnel Junction Station and very close to the M4 and M48.
The route is entirely off-road and the scenery changes with the seasons, with protected wildflowers blooming in Spring and Summer.
We are lucky enough to have tea, coffee, hot chocolate and very often cake provided for a donation at the finish by Friends of Rogiet Countryside Park.
Another famous, but non-permanent, landmark on our course is ‘King Cone’. King Cone is our most famous RD, Mark, who started off as a core team member, regularly coming to parkrun straight from a night shift and keeping himself awake by taking pre-run cone selfies!
We acquired a cone outfit and he sporadically dons it and appears at some point around the course, but you can never tell when! He provides runners with a much-needed boost when they see him, although many do a double take to ensure they are not simply imagining a human-sized cone!
On one occasion, after a landslide vote by Rogiet regulars, King Cone even ran the course. If you aren’t lucky enough to see him on your first visit please do keep trying. Sightings are much more common than the Loch Ness monster and we have strong photographic evidence to prove it.
Rogiet parkrun has had a huge impact on the park and local community. The park was little known before the parkrun started but it has now been transformed. We have a Friends of Rogiet Countryside Park group and use of the park has increased considerably, not just on parkrun day, but throughout the week.
The parkrun has also helped lots of teenagers achieve the necessary volunteer hours to complete their school courses and Duke of Edinburgh awards.
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