Billericay parkrunners at Barry Island

Billericay and Barry Island are set to renew their love affair when dozens of runners swap the south Essex parkrun for one 200 miles away.

What’s occurring is the Billericay parkrun on Saturday has been cancelled due to the fireworks and rather than miss out organisers decided to look elsewhere.

And, for fans of the BBC sitcom sensation Gavin and Stacey, where better than the welsh island and cementing the relationship which began with the title characters.

While Smithy, Nessa and Bryn are unlikely to make it, Mayor of Basildon David Dadds will be there on Saturday joined by Barry Town Mayor Janice Charles.

It all started in January when five friends - David, Catherine, Rachel, Sam and Michaela - decided to visit their favourite locations from the series as part of the parkrun.

However since the idea of a Gavin and Stacey parkrun was launched more than 150 have signed up.

26-year-old Rachel Varnam said:

“We decided to email the Barry Island Parkrun to ask if we could visit them for a run event. And it’s just gone crazy from there, we have got about 30 people from Billericay coming and our event of Facebook has been seen by about 50,000 people. I never expected it to do so well as it has been quite a long time since the show was aired on television but I think it shows the series still has a special place in people’s hearts. As with all parkruns, this event is open to everyone whatever their fitness level - whether people want to walk, jog or run. It will be a free 5km course and we will be meeting at Marco’s Café on the island. The catch up afterwards is a big part of our weekly events.”

The show ran for 20 episodes, from May 2007 to January 2010.

It was written by James Cordon who played Smithy and Ruth Jones who played the role of Nessa.

Article by Southend Standard

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