Conwy Parkrun has reached the final of the World Cup of Parkrun Tourism following a dramatic battle with Welsh rivals Barry Island.
They now face Newborough Forest in a surprise North Wales local derby final (tomorrow) Sunday (26th April).
This virtual running match starts at 12-noon and will continue for 24-hours with supporters of both parkruns expected to ensure it becomes another memorable occasion.
Another unexpected twist, means that local runners, who often take part in both parkruns, will face a difficult choice before confirming their support by an online vote.
Newborough enjoyed a comfortable 115-46 semi-final victory over The Eden Project last week, but Conwy, after racing into an incredible early lead in the second tie, were eventually pegged back by their Welsh counterparts in a dramatic late finish, with both teams sharing a record number of more than 2,700 votes.
Conwy finally claimed success on Saturday morning, winning by 1,500 votes to 1,200, with Barry Island, more famed as popular tourist spot, a former railway scrapyard, and the fictional home of TV’s Gavin and Stacey, making a fantastic comeback to keep supporters of both camps firmly on their toes.
In a global competition which originally included 24-teams from Norway, Germany, Holland, Australia, together with a varied range of UK parkruns, it seems ironic that two North Wales teams should now clash in the World Cup final!
And it seems even more extraordinary, that whilst both venues offer scenic locations in this inaugural tourism contest, their outstanding performances are noted by chance, at a time of this international lockdown.
Both parkruns however, have already beaten quality opposition, with Conwy defeating Bibra Lake from Australia in round 2, Amsterdam in the quarter final, before finally knocking out Barry Island.
Newborough too, also overcame quality opposition, after beating Swansea Bay in round 1, Georgengarten, from Hannover, Germany, in round 2, and Australian team Yeppoon in the quarter final, before eventually defeating ‘The Eden Project.’
First round results:
The Eden Project 68-28 Richmond, Ashton Court (Bristol) 12-80 Bibra Lake (Western Australia), Stavanger (Norway) 47-55 Amsterdam, Rother Valley 25-81 Edinburgh, Riverside (Chester-Le-Street) 72-22 Queen Elizabeth (Horden, Hants), Newborough Forest (Anglesey) 103-10 Brokenhurst (New Forest), Fountains Abbey (Yorkshire) 61-43 Fell Foot, Swansea Bay 25-69 Barry Island.
Lovstien (Norway) 38-63 Barry Island, Normandy Hall (North Lincs) 60-31 Cardiff, Georgengarten (Hannover, Germany) 38-67 Newborough Forest, Yeppoon (Australia) 49-29 Riverside (Durham), Amsterdam 55-12 Doddington Hall (Lincoln), Whitley Bay 27-47 The Eden Project, Edinburgh 53-43 Fountains Abbey, Bibra Lake (Australia) 45-53 Conwy.
Normandy Hall 26-57 Barry Island, Amsterdam 47-100 Conwy, Yeppoon 12-95 Newborough Forest, The Eden Project 51-50 Edinburgh.
The Eden Project 46 -115 Newborough Forest, Barry Island 1,200-1,500 Conwy.
On Sunday, North Wales rivals Newborough Forest will meet Conwy in the World Cup Final.