Thousands of runners of all ages enjoyed a run in the sun as the ABP Barry Island 10K returned to the popular seaside resort after a three-year hiatus.
The event returned for the first time since 2019 and before the COVID-19 pandemic, attracting over 3,700 entrants across the 10K race and a series of junior events.
The 10K race took runners on a scenic and varied tour of the town taking in sights like Whitmore Bay, the Barry Dock Offices, Cold Knap, Romilly Park and Watch House Bay.
Runners enjoyed sunny but warm conditions, with impressive performances in the elite race despite the undulating course. Olivia Tsim continued her fantastic form to claim the title in the women’s race, clocking an impressive 35:21, finishing over a minute ahead of second placed Lauren Cooper (36:24) of Parc Bryn Bach Runners and Builth and District runner Donna Morris (37:09) in third.
“The atmosphere and support out on the course was amazing. It’s quite an undulating and winding course, but these kinds of runs put you out of your comfort zone and are great as part of my training for a half marathon. I enjoyed it, it’s been a great day”.
In the men’s race, Bridgend AC’s Adam Bowden took the victory in a brilliant 30:50, having been in second place at the 5K mark. Bowden pipped second place Paul Graham (31:00) from Pontypridd Roadents in a fiercely contested men’s field, with Healthspan Porthcawl 10K victor James Hunt (31:17) continuing his run of 10K form in third place.
“I’ve never done the ABP Barry Island 10K before, but I thrive in the sun as well and I just love running in the heat. I’m still training for the marathon distance, but as you get older and run with these younger guys, you need to work on your speed and get that feeling in your heart and lungs.”
The event was once again sponsored by Associated British Ports (ABP), whose support has been instrumental in bringing the event back to the town.
As well as supporting the event on race weekend, they’ve contributed to community engagement initiatives in the build-up, like sending an ice cream truck to visit event lead charity Tŷ Hafan to offer free treats to staff, patients and families at their summer picnic event.
Andrew Harston, ABP Port Director for Wales and Short Sea Ports, said: “It is fantastic to see the ABP Barry Island 10K encouraged so many people to conquer the scenic route of the race and challenge themselves in a positive way.
“We are proudly sponsoring this and a number of other Run4Wales charity events throughout the year, as part of our commitment to supporting local communities.”
Tŷ Hafan was the lead charity partner and had a large team of fundraisers taking part. Other partners and supporters included Brecon Carreg, HIGH5, Healthspan, Bridgend Ford, Nuffield Health, Cardiff and Vale Health Charity and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Run 4 Wales Chief Executive Matt Newman said: “We’ve had to wait three years for the return of the ABP Barry Island 10K, but it was certainly worth the wait. There has been a lovely atmosphere in the town today and we’re so pleased to see how much the runners have enjoyed the race and the way that the local community have embraced the event.
“I’d like to thank our sponsors and partners for their continued support in making the event possible. We’re already looking forward to the next edition. I hope we don’t have to wait as long this time!”.