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The Best parkrun in South Wales

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

Want to know what the best parkrun is in South Wales?

You’ve come to the right place... kind of! There are a few caveats!

Firstly every parkrun is awesome so technically there is no ‘best’ parkrun, so technically this is just comparison of events!

Secondly I’ve analysed some of the data that is available and worked out:

- the fastest (average time to make top 3, average male/female time and overall average time of all runners)

- the split by gender

- times by age category

- various 'loyalty' measures'

On some categories there is no best or worst e.g. just because a course is faster doesn't mean its better, it could be that you want to find a slower run. There are multiple factors why these results are what they are, for example a fast course maybe fast due to faster runners being there or it simply could be flatter or benefit from good elevation profile! Also some of the parkrun’s with lower attendance have volatile results as some days they may have quicker or slower runners that which has a disproportionate impact on the results!

There are many other things that I’d take into account if I was really trying to find the best parkrun; things like the community, proximity to coffee and cake 🤣, the scenery, car parking facilities and I'm sure there are many more too!

Therefore please read this in the spirit is meant to be taken, a bit of fun and to hopefully give you some insight if you are considering going further afield than your usual parkrun!

It’s also worth saying, I’ve not done all of South Wales, I’ve started with Cardiff and worked my way out, so covered a fairly good proportion of South East Wales, currently this blog includes:

Map of South Wales parkruns
parkrun's included
  • Aberbeeg parkrun

  • Aberdare parkrun

  • Barry parkrun

  • Bryn Bach parkrun

  • Cardiff parkrun

  • Coed Cefn-pwll-du parkrun

  • Cosmeston parkrun

  • Cwmbran parkrun

  • Grangemoor parkrun

  • Merthyr parkrun

  • Newport parkrun

  • Penallta parkrun

  • Pontypool parkrun

  • Pontypridd parkrun

  • Riverfront parkrun

  • Trelai parkrun

  • Tremorfa parkrun

I will extend this in the future, if there are any course you’d like for me to prioritise, message me to let me know!

Finally this has been done based on 4 weeks of data, as there were some cancellations the weeks aren't perfectly aligned. I have taken all data from these weeks and not the total event summary to make them more up to date and comparable.

Average Attendance

The below shows the average attendance for each event:

Average attendance table.  Top 3 are Cardiff parkrun, Pontypridd parkrun and Riverfront parkrun

Gender Splits

The following shows a graph of the percentage of male and female runners at each event. This is followed by a table showing the percentage of females, sorted by the events with the greatest gender diversity.

Graph of gender split per parkrun.  As an example Cardiff parkrun shows 42% female and Pontypridd parkrun shows 43%

Like I mentioned above, the smaller events are volatile and as this is only based on 4 weeks worth of data may not be representative.

Average Overall parkrun Time

The following table shows the average overall time run by all parkrunners. Time has been converted to decimals, for example 29.3 = 29 mins 18 seconds.

Average overall parkrun time Top 3 fastest are Aberbeeg parkrun, Cardiff parkrun and Grangemoor parkrun.  The 3 slowest are Penallta parkrun, Cwmbran parkrun and Aberdare parkrun

Average Male and Female Times

The following shows the average times by gender Times have been converted to decimals.

It is sorted by Average female time but male time is colour coded correctly with green times being the fastest and red being the slowest.

Average female and male parkrun times.  Highlights interesting Merthyr parkrun differences by gender for parkrun times

This is really interesting, Merthyr parkrun in particular, the second fastest course for women but the slowest for men.

Average parkrun Time to get in the Top 3

The following shows the average times for those within the Top 3. Times have been converted to decimals.

This is interesting in that the larger attended events have faster times to get into the top 3, but interesting some of the smaller ones feature quite highly too.

How to PB parkrun guide for those wanting a new parkrun PB, shows how to run a faster 5k



Average parkrun Time by Age Category

This table shows the average time by age category, you can click on the table to enlarge it.

parkrun times but age category.  Example the average time for Cardiff parkrun for males age 70 - 74 is 28:16

A lot of volatility in this table as some events have a small number of people within each category, but good if you are aiming to see where to go if you are targeting a high position in your age!

Uniqueness of Runners at each parkrun

This table shows how many unique runners ran each event across the 4 weeks and a percentage to the total number of finishers. For example, in Merthyr parkrun, there 163 finishes over the 4 weeks, this was actually made up of 97 unique runners which is 60%.

Shows table of how many unique runners attended each parkrun

"Stickiness" of parkrun runners

The measure is what is the likelihood to return in the following week, it shows the average percentage that return from one week to the next. For example on average 38% of people that do Merthyr one week are likely to return the next.

Shows table on how likely it is people come back to. parkrun.  Shows Merthyr parkrun, Penallta parkrun and Bryn Back parkrun being the most sticky.

I hope you found that useful, if you'd like any more metrics added or any other parkuns then let me know!


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