THE FIRST Christmas Pontypool Park Run has been hailed a real success.

More than 50 fitness fanatics turned up for the festive fun run held at Pontypool Park on Saturday.

The timed 5k run, which takes place every Saturday at 9am, is completely free and organised entirely by volunteers.

It was just the fifth park run to be organised in Pontypool, but already its popularity is growing with experienced runners and novices alike all trying their hand against the clock.

Close to 500 people have ‘liked’ the Facebook page, set up ahead of the first event on November 23.

The scheme has taken off massively in Newport where several hundred people regularly ‘park and stride’ at Tredeger House, following in the footsteps of 13 intrepid joggers from London who first met in Bushy Park in 2004.

They never looked back and now there are more than 35,000 runners pacing more than 200 courses across the country.

The fun events are giving the fast-start-to-the-weekend phrase a whole new meaning, and Cwmbran councillor Fiona Cross was among those who took part on the weekend.

The ward councillor for Coed Eva said: “It was a really positive event. Especially for this time of year.

“I did it for the first time and had great fun.”

“And I was delighted with my time – 29 minutes 11 seconds,” added the member of Pont-y-pwl and District Runners.

The fastest time of the day was Newport Harriers runner Mark Jones, who completed the course in 16 minutes, 37 seconds.

But the event was as much about fun as competition, as highlighted by the various array of Christmas attire on display – from Christmas hats and festive jumpers, to Mrs Santa Claus and mini-elves.

To get involved with Pontypool Park Run see

Simply register and print off your personal bar code.

Then at the end of the run scan your barcode and your time will be posted to the website.

Post-run everyone is invited to grab a coffee at the Active Living Centre too.

For more information or to answer any questions email