The weekly run is so successful they need to expand to ensure the safety of the runners and the public.
Cardiff ParkRun is a free weekly amateur run on a Saturday morning. Runners of all abilities are welcome and everyone’s five kilometer run is timed.
Two runs are held ever week , one is the Blackweir trail into Bute Park and Grangemoor in Grangetown. The runs usually attract between 700 and 800 people a week but one of the first events in the New Year had more than 1,000 people taking part in Bute Park. This was only the second time in Cardiff ParkRun’s history that they had this number of runners in a single event.
The event was set up by Phil Cook in February 2008 as he believed it was exactly what was missing from the running community in Cardiff.
But now the organisers are looking for two further courses to cope with the growing number of runners and want to expand and are currently looking at areas in the east of the city.
In an interview with the founder , Phil Cook, he said they face a number of challenges they face before this is possible. For example, before an event can go ahead each ParkRun needs a team of twelve volunteers.
“Firstly we need to find an area and visit it to check whether it is suitable, for example, are the paths suitable?
“Then is it big enough to cope with the numbers, not just for the runners but for the members of the public as well?
“Accessibility of parking is also important because we don’t want to upset local residents. We also have to find out who owns the land so we can get permission.
“With the ParkRun community, we like to have a coffee afterwards so there needs to be somewhere within the vicinity to accommodate that.”
However, some runners say they would be reluctant to move to other venues . George Watkins is a passionate runner and often attends some of the Cardiff ParkRun events. He says “If ParkRun opened a third venue, I would probably continue to go to the one at Bute Park just simply because it’s a lot more accessible for me but it’s also in such a scenic part of Cardiff.”
Cardiff ParkRun hopes to have four weekly events up and running by the end of 2019.