There was much excitement at Chippenham Playing Fields parkrun at the 47th event (Saturday, July 1), as Monmouth Firefighters tackled the 5k course in full kit to advertise their recruitment drive.

A visiting hen party also strode out alongside watch manager Sam Harding, crew manager Joe Maloney and firefighters Owen Batty and Daf Davies, who almost had to bow out after an alert but made it back in time to make the start.

Monmouth Fire Station are currently recruiting and anyone interested should call in on a Tuesday night between 6.30pm and 8.30pm or contact station manager Darren Cleaves.

The hen party had fun with the bride looking very happy and colourful before they cracked a bottle of bubbly after crossing the line.

It was also the halfway point for Kate Stafford, who is running a 5k every day this year in aid of Breast Cancer Now having undergone surgery after being diagnosed last October with stage 2 grade 2 invasive cancer.

Kate said of her £2,500 fundraising challenge: “It started unintentionally on New Year’s Eve running a 5k parkrun in Bristol, and again on New Year’s Day.

“Then on January 2 I realised I’d run three 5ks over as many days and decided it would be a good idea to keep going.

“It was something I realised I could do that felt positive, and hopefully is as good for me physically as it is feeling psychologically.

“The initial motivation was to get as fit as possible ahead of chemotherapy, but this was later withdrawn, to commence other treatment, but by this time I was ‘enjoying’ the new running routine, so saw no point stopping.

“I will not look to skip a day unless there is no physical way I can lace up my trainers and pound the streets.

To support Kate, whose combined runs will total 1,825km over the year (1,134 miles), go to

Julie Essex also reached her 50th volunteer during the event, which was her 38th outing as a tail runner, while Kate’s son Tom Forde ran his 50th parkrun.

Fastest on the day was Lliswerry’s Nick Tulp in a searing 17.05, while club mate Emma Wookey was fastest woman in a fast 19.53, followed by Sprit of Monmouth’s Faye Johnson in 20.37.

This Saturday (July 8), start 9am, the free weekly event is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the NHS and has asked runners and walkers to come dressed as doctors and nurses.

The parkrun is also celebrating its first anniversary later this month with a party at the Pig and Apple near Penallt on Saturday, July 29 (6.30pm).

It’s £15 a head for a hog roast and all the trimmings, with veg, vegan and GF options also, and tickets are available on the event’s Facebook page, the website [email protected] or by messaging 07939 558814.