Grangemoor Parkrun, Cardiff Bay

After running/hobbling the Cardiff Half last month, I was determined to continue running, at least once a week. I’ve fallen into a routine of one hot yoga class a week (this is my current favourite) and Parkrun every Saturday. I should probably be doing more exercise than this, but with two young children, a job and loads of Netflix to watch, this works for me at the moment. 

You probably know that Parkrun is a free, weekly, timed 5k/3mile run at 9am on a Saturday, in various parks around the world. It’s operated by volunteers and is a great way to give you the motivation to get out of bed and go for a run, particularly on those chilly winter mornings! 

I usually do the Cardiff/Blackweir Parkrun (you can read my post about it here), which is a beautiful route starting on the Taff Trail, just off Western Avenue and moving along the River Taff. But my running buddy suggested we try Grangemoor in the Bay for a change this week. 

We parked at the drive-through Starbucks and had a brisk walk down to the start, which is located in Grangemoor Park, under the A4232 and next to the marina.

Luckily the weather was beautiful, very sunny and crisp, which always makes running a pleasure. 

The volunteers at Grangemoor were great and really took the time to explain the course to any newcomers. 

Grangemoor Parkrun race director giving us all the info at the start line

The course itself is flat and tarmac all the way. It’s a ‘Y’ shape, with two out and back sections, which you do two laps of. The course itself is pretty uninspiring, with a few power stations and the backs of industrial units forming the main view along the route, with some nice views of the River Ely on the other side. I’m not a massive fan of two lap courses. It’s always a battle with myself to actually do a second lap and not just stop after one! However the Marshals on this course were fantastic and really kept the runners smiling. 

At the start – beautiful morning for it

If you’re looking to improve your time, Grangemoor is a good option. There are less runners than Blackweir (130 at Grangemoor compared to the 764 that ran Blackweir yesterday!), which means you can get off to a good start and really push your time. Also the path at Grangemoor was very quiet, so you don’t have to worry about other runners, dog walkers and cyclists, unlike Blackweir (“BIIIIKE!”). 

This is my ‘Im-not-wearing-makeup-please-dont-take-my-picture face’

I did do a PB at Grangemoor too – 31.50. Until recently I was languishing around the 34 minute mark, so I’m pretty chuffed with that. Now that the Cardiff Half is out of the way, I can concentrate on my speed, rather than distance. 

Massive thanks to all the volunteers that give up their Saturday mornings to keep us running at Parkrun! 👏🏻

Parkrun is a free event and the organisers were not aware I’d be blogging about it. 

Follow my new CardiffGirlBlog account on Instagram for regular Cardiff-related witterings! 

Life’s a Cardiff Bay Beach

20130727-155529.jpg

Cardiff Bay beach opened in the Oval Basin last weekend, as part of Cardiff Festival, so we popped along to see what it’s like. We got there early to avoid the crowds, but that plan was foiled when we were told it didn’t open until 11am! However, a stroll around the Bay and a coffee later and we were on the ‘beach’.

The beach is essentially a funfair with a few rides, a bar (with food outlet) and coffee shop. But there’s also a mini beach with real sand and deckchairs (all occupied by about 11.01am!) and a good-sized paddling pool.

The rides were pretty good, there’s a helter skelter, giant swing ride (which our 8-year old nephew loved) paddle boats, inflatable orbs and a Cars ride (equally loved by our two-year old). Take some cash with you, as the rides aren’t cheap so if you have a few kids (or big kids!) it soon adds up. For example it was £2 a go on the Cars ride and adults must pay too, £4 for the swing. But it was good fun, for the younger visitors in particular.

Lets hope the good weather returns before the beach closes on 1 September! We’re already planning another trip back.

As usual, we paid in full for everything at the beach and the organisers did not know I’d be writing a review.

20130727-160005.jpg