The ABP Barry Island 10K brought a festival of running back to the summertime hotspot as more than 3,000 participants laced up their trainers to make second edition of the race another emphatic success.
A total of 2,844 runners and even more supporters packed the promenade to watch the sold-out field take on the scenic 10K route, before hundreds more took part in a pair of relaxed Family Fun Runs and the Toddler Dash.
After an overcast start to the day, the sun broke through to shine down on the runners as they raced against the backdrop of Whitmore Bay and the Bristol Channel. Healthspan Porthcawl 10K champion and Team GB marathoner Josh Griffiths led the race through Barry’s regenerated retail area and past the iconic Barry Dock Offices and continued to hold off Exmouth Harriers runner Tom Merson through Romilly Park.
Swansea Harrier Griffiths kicked on the final loop before a sprint finish along the promenade to earn his second victory of the Healthspan Wales 10K Series. He finished in a time of 30:22 ahead of Merson in 30:38 and Cardiff AC’s James Hunt, who finished third in a time of 31:08.
Natasha Cockram also kicked on from her victory in Porthcawl to claim victory in the Women’s race in 34:43 and well clear of her closest rivals. There was a real battle for second as Cardiff AC’s Clara Evans pipped last year’s Healthspan Wales 10K Series champion Rachel Felton.
Amongst the packed field was Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns, who crossed the finish line in an impressive 48 minutes 34 seconds, and he hailed the event as a major success.
“It was fantastic, the weather was cooler which was welcome, the course is amazing, it’s magical to be able to run along the Barry waterfront,” Cairns said. “But the crowds really came together to make the event a real boost for Barry, the crowds came out in force to cheer the runners on. The event is great for Barry, but Barry is great for the event as well.
“This is the highlight of the year for runners in the town, every coffee shop and restaurant was jam packed and I’m sure the hotels were full because people have come from far and wide. There is also a great social element, so may people would have watched last year and got involved this year. It’s a great event and I’m privileged to be a part of it.”
Lead Charity Partner Tŷ Hafan had an army of runners raising money for the vital work they undertake to support children with life-lifting conditions and their families at their Sully base. The event is organised by Run 4 Wales, the team behind the Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon and Chief Executive Matt Newman, who hails from Barry, was delighted to bring running back to his hometown.
“As a Barry boy it has been a privilege to bring one of our world class mass-participation events to my hometown,” he said. “Barry Island has reestablished as one of Wales’ most popular seaside resorts and it has been fantastic to see how well this event has been received by runners, supporters and the local community. Barry clearly has an appetite for top class running events and we can’t wait to bring an even bigger and better event back to the Island next year.”
The ABP Barry Island 10K concluded the four-race 2019 Healthspan Wales 10K Series, which saw more than 15,000 runners race around four iconic South Wales locations. Season tickets will be going on sale soon so runners can take on the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run, ABP Newport Wales 10K, Healthspan Porthcawl 10K and ABP Barry Island 10K for a discounted price.
Runners were fuelled on by Healthspan’s unrivalled range of vitamins and supplements and were kept hydrated by water partner Brecon Carreg. The event would not be possible without strategic partners the Vale of Glamorgan Council, while event associate Cardiff Audi supplied the lead vehicle.
Race organisers would like to extend a massive thank you to the volunteers who give their time to ensure the second ABP Barry Island 10K was another hit.