AMANDA and I did the Barry Island Parkrun over the weekend.

We used to be enthusiastic and regular parkrunners at the event in Cardiff, but haven’t been for a little while - if you count over two years or thereabouts as 'a little while'.

Sticklers among you may consider that a long while, but it’s all relative, and the nub being we turned up and took part.

For those for whom the phenomenon that is parkrun has thus far passed you by - like one of those people who run in shorts with a sweat band around their heads, powering along to finish the course in under 15 minutes - parkruns are 5km runs set up all over the UK and beyond.

They are free, the courses are usually somewhere scenic, like a park, and the idea is they are accessible and welcoming of all abilities; from those who run the course in less than 15 minutes, to those finishing in more than fifty minutes.

It helped that it was a pleasant day.

It helped that I was with my phenomenal friend.

It helped that Barry Island on a sunny Saturday morning offers beautiful views.

But that aside, the joy of parkrun in my experience is that it really is all that it says on the tin.

It is welcoming to all, no matter whether your running gear is designer or dingy.

It is friendly whether you are toned and fit or wobbly and more used to being slumped on the settee rather than galloping like a gazelle.

It doesn’t matter your age, ability, what you do or where you are from.

It is about coming together in a supportive environment to put one foot in front of the other and move, at whatever speed, around a 5km course.

And oh, the course... A fellow runner before we started mentioned the hill.

She assured us it was short, but steep.

You do the course twice and, my word, second time around that hill felt significantly less short and significantly more steep.

But the Steward at the top of that hill - I need to bottle her and pop her out whenever an editor rejects a pitch; or when I forget to send the kids in to school with a homemade jolly jar; or when I’m knackered and fraught and feeling overwrought and like I am constantly playing catch up, but never catching up.

Her encouragement and “Woo hoo” at the top meant more in that moment that passing my driving licence, GCSE Maths, A Levels or gaining a post-grad.

It was 100 per cent supportive and I got a tiny glimpse into what it must feel like to compete at the Olympics (I did say 'tiny glimpse').

I do love running.

I love that act of putting one foot in front of the other, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.

Sometimes there is an ache and sometimes there is a spring in the step.

Much like life, it’s about grit, determination, trying to move forwards.

A big “woo hoo” to all those keeping on and cracking on.