September 2016 review

September 1 – Parc Slip


The 4th fixture of the Bridgend League seen a new event at Parc Slip. A record attendance of 83 for this one! There was some confusion over the distance as initially it was advertised as a 4 mile run and then due to an enforced change in the course we were told it was ‘nearer 5K’. I think a lot of people missed the ‘nearer’ bit so had a bit of a shock when it turned out to be around 3.5 miles. Neil Jones finished 4th overall but as there were two guest runners, he was 2nd in terms of scoring for league purposes.  This was a day after finishing 2nd in a tough off road hilly half marathon. As usual, there’s a few too many runners to go through every result but a great effort by all and plenty of support for each other with an out and back early on and a couple of other sections were you passed runners going the opposite way. Banana, water, welsh cake and hot drink for all finishers went down very well. A great event which I hope they repeat in the league next year.


September 3 – parkruns and Roman Run


50 runners across 5 different parkruns. Starting with the tourists for a change, we had Chris Pratt in Sunderland, Wayne in Swansea, David Sheard in Bryn Bach ahead of the Roman Run, and Aled, Kris and Brian in Grangemoor. Our Grangemoor runners were doing the parkrun before going on to run to Nash Point along the coastal path as a 30ish mile training run for the Gower 50. Jamie Vanstone joined them at the starting point of the Vale Ultra to run the whole course ‘just for fun’… 32 miles of it!


Back at Porthcawl there were 44 runners for Chris Roberts 100 parkrun. It was also Jackie Lewis’s 150. Niki Puleio was first Cwm Ogwr runner home back in 19:34. The girls dominated the PB’s with Kirsty Evans, Josie Bishop, Dawn Hopkins, Bethan (paced by Kelly and Heather), Mandie Owen, Rhian Peacock and Sharon Delahunty. The final 3 mentioned all doing their first parkruns for the club. Anne Lalic and Chris Stanlake took up the new tail runner volunteer role.


David Sheard, Gary Piper and Mark Worrall ran the 16 mile Roman Run from Brecon to Merthyr in horrendous wet and windy conditions. Gary took a tumble in the early miles and dislocated his shoulder but incredibly carried on and completed the race before going off to A&E to get it sorted out.


The 401 Marathons


For those who don’t know about this, Ben Smith is attempting to run 401 marathons in 401 days in various locations throughout the UK. He is raising money for two anti-bullying charities and is now into his final few weeks of the challenge. He did miss a week earlier this year due to an increasingly painful injury that could have caused long term damage had he not rested, but he is now looking to make up the lost mileage by tagging extra miles onto some of the remaining marathons.


On Friday 2 September the venue was Neath with Run 4 All helping organise the marathon route for the day. Chris Pratt went along and had originally intended to run the full marathon but other commitments meant he had to change his plans to running the first 8 miles. Sian Tossell joined in for the Gnoll parkrun part of the route as well. He was in Merthyr on the Saturday and then Pontypridd on the Sunday where Dai Power and I went over to meet him and run the Reverse 10 miler which he would be using for the first 10 miles of his run. More on the race below. Then on Monday 5 September, Ben ran a double out and back marathon course from Pontcanna Fields following the Taff Trail north. Chris Pratt joined him for the entire run which was organised by Les Croupiers Running Club.


September 4 – Reverse 10


Organised by Pontypridd Roadents, this was an event that have seen a small selection of Cwm Ogwr runners do over the past 3 years. The race is called the ‘Reverse’ because apparently when they first ran the event, someone put the mile marks out in reverse order so instead of saying mile 1 after a mile, it said mile 9. They stuck with this and it’s the only race I’ve done where the mile markers count down. However, due to some building works, the Reverse 10 course had to be reversed! So it started from what would normally be the turnaround point before heading towards the old start / finish and looping back… still with me?!


Anyway, as mentioned above, Ben Smith, the 401 marathon guy was there so Dai Power and I managed to get a selfie with him before the start and wished him good luck. The 10 mile had a long incline after 1 mile which sapped the energy from the legs early before a reasonably flat out and back barring a few humpback bridges. The route was a mixture of gravelly / stoney paths and cycle track. I decided to go for it but fell just 40 seconds short of my time from Neath 10 miler with a 1:14:16 – 2 weeks later I’m still debating whether it was actually a PB or not as most of us measured the Neath 10 miler that year as being about 0.2 miles short which doesn’t sound like a lot, but is more than 40 seconds worth. After finishing I got a post-race selfie with Ben before heading off to run the final mile or so with Dai who finished in 1:58:59.


September 5 – Rose Inn Relays


26 runners for this one which caused a bit of an issue. Teams of 3 required so that left us one short. A volunteer was needed to step in to run twice. Realistically there were 3 likely candidates – me, Christie or Nick.. but you couldn’t run for the same team twice which counted out Christie and Nick so I ended up taking one for the team. Let’s be honest, I didn’t need much convincing although did start wondering if it was such a good idea shortly after getting my two race numbers. On the positive side it was only 1.9 miles per leg… on the downside, it was only 1.9 miles per leg meaning pretty much a faster than 5K pace sprint a day after pushing for a 10 mile PB.


Nick ran the fastest leg of the day in the first leg. Given I was running 3 on his team, this meant less recovery for me. Kevin ran the second fastest leg whilst I ran both the 3 and 4 fastest. My second leg was actually 7 seconds fastest than my first which helped the team of Nick, Christie and I finish as first Cwm Ogwr team across the line. Aled had signed us up as was supposed to be part of the team and had called us “Bridgend Athletic A”! Some great performances throughout the field and in true Cwm Ogwr spirit Ian Lewis accompanied our final runner Angela Parry on the last leg whilst a few more of us joined for the latter stages. We later discovered that David Sheard. Jackie Lewis and Ian Lewis won the over 50’s all-comers prize which Diana Purnell collected on their behalf.


September 6 – Tuska Beach 5K


A late cancelation of the Sandy Bay 5K that Porthcawl were organising meant that Pencoed Tri stepped in to do a Beach 5K instead. The plan was that it would start at Rest Bay and go down to Pink Bay and back but the tides had different ideas so the course had to be amended to a 2 lap ‘just under 5K’. I think most of us expected that to still be 3 miles but I don’t think anyone was complaining when it only turned out to be 2.6 miles. Fortunately the sand was quite firm which allowed for some speedy times. What we didn’t expect was having to run through quite a bit of water further up the beach on both laps. To be fair, there was a mention of ‘bring dry shoes’ from the organisers.


49 Cwm Ogwr runners for this one. A combination of some not being keen on running on sand and mainly the early start time of 6:30pm meant a smaller attendance for Cwm Ogwr although still by far the most represented club there. Neil Jones set of like a rocket and lead from start to finish to win his first event outside of parkrun. Kelly Owen was first female home just ahead of Shelley who is on the comeback trail after several weeks out injured. After finishing 3 of the 6 teams at Parc Slip last week, we improved to finish 2 in this fixture and are now within catching distance of second placed Brackla ahead of the final event.


September 10th – parkruns


48 runners across 4 parkruns. Saul ran at Southampton, Shawn and Julie were at Reading whilst Neil returned to his home parkrun of Pontypridd finishing 2 to Daniel Bodman who is a sub 16 runner. Neil’s time of 17:26 was his fastest on that course and the 11 time he’s run under 18 minutes.


Back at Porthcawl there were 44 runners lead home for the second week in a row by Niki Puleio. It was Nick Harris’s 150 parkrun and he celebrated with his 21 sub 20 time whilst Dave Evans ran a seasons best of 19:49 making it a trio of club members under the 20 minute mark. Josie Bishop was first club female back with a parkrun PB of 24:10 which puts her 9 in the female rankings. Kristy Thomas ran her first parkrun with the club with a swift 27:22 whilst Seanne Sandford, Natasha Hodgson and Nicola Allen got first timer PB’s. Jonathan Edwards ran his first parkrun in over a year so automatically got a seasons best time.


September 11 – Cardiff 10K, Great North Run and Glynneath Triathlon


78 runners at the Cardiff 10K which is a record outside of parkrun / Bridgend League. With 2 at the Great North Run and Sian Tossell completing the Glynneath Triathlon it meant Cwm Ogwr had clocked up 342 individual results in the first 11 days of September which includes 135 DIFFERENT members! That’s 80% of our membership with many of them running 2 or 3 events, or 6 in my case.


At the Great North Run Dawn ran 2:23 after slowing towards the end to help her running buddy who was struggling with injury. Helen Griffiths was just a couple of minutes behind and broke her 3 year old PB with a 2:25:58. Helen has now clocked 5K, 10K, 10 mile and HM bests this year.


Back at Cardiff Neil Jones was first Cwm Ogwr runner back in a phenomenal 35:44. Amazingly, such is Neils determination to get even faster, he was actually disappointed with this. Niki Puleio became the second Cwm Ogwr runner to break the sub 40 barrier with a 38:26 whilst Aled knocked over a minute off his PB but just missed out on sub 40 with a 40:13. Back in 2013 I ran a then club record of 44:17 at Cardiff – this year we had 11 runners under that mark which helped us finish 4th, 7th and 10th in the team competition.


Despite the recent return from injury, Shelley clocked a PB of 50:06 and was first Cwm Ogwr female back with Kirsty coming in with a PB not far behind. Helen Davies was 10th in the F55+ category with a brilliant 52:10 and Jackie Lewis was 9th in the F60+ category. Our highest male age category finisher was Kevin with 16th place in the M55+.


There were 47 PB’s in total plus several season’s best times. More than a dozen of the blue wave were either running their first 10K for the club or first 10K ever.


Still to come


This weekend see’s the blue wave descend on Swansea 10K whilst Martin Beard makes his Ironman debut at Tenby. The following weekend will see Cwm Ogwr compete officially for the first time in the West Glamorgan Cross Country league at Llandmadoc whilst a few are off to Scotland to do the Loch Ness Marathon. Best of luck to everyone.

Saturday 17 – parkruns

52 runners across 3 parkruns. Away from Porthcawl Fiona Drysdale ran Pontypridd parkrun whilst Niki Puleio set a new PB with a ’18:39 at Southampton parkrun. There was a new record attendance at Porthcawl with 50 of the Blue Wave running. Last months Male Runner  of the Month Jamie Vanstone clocked his first sub 20 time with a PB of 19:57 whilst Dai Kembery beat a 2 year old PB with a 20:40. The PB meant he has achieved the Grand Slam of PB’s this year – 5K, 5 miles, 10K, 10 miles, Half Marathon and Marathon.  Last months Female Runner of the Month Juliet Amner also notched a PB of 25:07 which is a club age category record. Dawn Hopkins got her third parkrun PB in a row whilst I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so happy with a PB as Sian Llewellyn Goring was as she smashed her PB to go sub 30 for the first time by some margin.

Sunday 18 – Swansea 10K

33 runners for this one led home by Neil in 36:29 followed by a trio of PB’s from Wayne, Graham and Lloyd. Then it was the turn of the girls with an incredible 5 of them going sub 50 and all clocking PB’s. Shelley clocked the 3rd fastest female club time ever with a 48:17 followed by PB’s for Josie, Victoria, Claire DB and Juliet. The PB’s continued with Gary, Elizabeth, Shawn, June, Kimberley D, Julie, Anne, Louise and James. A special mention for Dawn Hopkins and Sian LG who made it 2 PB’s in 2 days!

Saturday 24 – parkruns, Disneyland 5K and Black Mountains Ultra

43 runners across 6 parkruns. Dai K ran in Falkirk whilst Nick H ran Inverness. Mark Gabb ran his first parkrun for the club at Barry Island (which is his home parkrun), Neil set a course best at Pontypridd parkrun with the Hillman’s also in attendance whilst Lisa J was at Colby. That left 36 at Porthcawl for the annual Elvis themed parkrun. Kelly, Pat, Jackie, Natalie and Heather wore inflatable ‘fat Elvis’ costumes which were very popular with the photographers in attendance and made the local papers.

Emma Loyns, Sarah Webb and Dawn Hopkins were in Disneyland for part 1 of the running festival there where they ran an early morning 5K event with their children and accompanied by Disney characters.

Jamie Vanstone decided to sign up for the Black Mountains Ultra just a few days beforehand. A roughly 36 mile Ultra with 7500 feet of elevation!! That’s the equivalent of climbing to the summit of Snowdon from Llanberis almost 3 times. Jamie completed the course in just under 8 and a half hours and is already looking at signing up for the next event in the series which is a marathon around the Brecon Beacons with 5500 feet of ascent.

Sunday 25 – Loch Ness 10K / Marathon, Bristol HM, Disneyland HM, Forest of Dean HM, West Glam XC, Ponty Aquathon

Cwm Ogwr runners at 7 different events across 4 countries! Starting in Scotland where Jayne Kembery ran the Loch Ness River 10K in 1:06:22 improving on her recent Cardiff 10K time. In the Marathon, Niki Puleio clocked 3:17 in his debut marathon putting him second to Neil in the marathon rankings. Nick Harris came in just under the 3:30 mark whilst Dai Kembery knocked a massive 10 minutes off his PB for a 3:30. Our final runner was Melanie Thomas who ran her debut marathon in an excellent 4:45.

Over in France, Emma and Dawn ran the Disneyland Half Marathon. Time wasn’t a priority and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I’m sure have convinced a few other members to sign up next year.

The Hillmans were at Bristol Half Marathon with PB’s for both. Graham picked up his first sub 1:40 time with a 1:39:00 whilst Victoria came in at 1:54:46.

Christie Coleman ran the Autumn Forest of Dean Half Marathon. A two lap off road half marathon with a very reasonable entry fee. He came in at 2:16:58.

Helen Griffiths completed the Ponty Aquathlon to add yet another multi-discipline event to her list. As a speedy swimmer she was actually first out of the pool after the 400m swim in her wave before being caught by some speedier runners on the 5K run.

The biggest attendance of the day was at Llanmadoc for the first fixture of the West Glamorgan Cross Country League with 20 Cwm Ogwr runners. This was our first fixture being part of the league. The course was 4.5 miles across multi-terrain with a few small sand dunes to contend with before heading onto the beach for an impossibly long 2 mile stretch into a very strong headwind. Kevin was first back followed by Simon, myself, Peter Walsh and Wayne who made up the 5 scoring positions. Martin and Chris R were close behind which meant they reduced the points available for rival teams so even if you aren’t in the top 5, you still make a difference. Captain Richard LJ, Gary P and Dai Power completed the male club runners.

There was an even split of male and female runners with 10 each and considering there were only 102 women in total then we were well represented despite the fact this will probably be our lowest attendance. Kelly was our first runner back followed by Denise, Fiona, Diana and Bethan who made up the 5 scorers. Kirstie, Natalie, Pat, Claire T and Pippa all fantastically represented the Blue Wave. We’ve already taken over parkrun and the Bridgend League in terms of attendance.. now lets get the West Glam League as well.

Chairman’s Male Runner(s) of the Month – Niki Puleio and Dai Kembery

I’ve resisted choosing two in the past but impossible to split these two who have had phenomenal success this month. PB’s for both at 5K with Niki setting another sub 19 time whilst Dai finally broke a PB that had stood for over 2 years. At the Cardiff 10K, Niki became only the second Cwm Ogwr runner to go sub 40 whilst Dai beat his PB set on the same course a year earlier. Then both rounded off the month with marathon PB’s with Niki setting the second fastest ever debut marathon time for the club and Dai knocking 10 minutes off his PB after already knocking 12 minutes off earlier this year at Brighton Marathon. Both have also represented the club in the Bridgend League this month with Niki our second runner across the line at Parc Slip whilst Dai was a top 15 scorer at both Parc Slip and Tuska Beach.

Chairman’s Female Runner of the Month – Dawn Hopkins

A very busy and successful  month for Dawn. Two PB’s at 5K making it 3 in a row including one from last month. Dawn also did a double PB weekend with a 10K PB at Swansea a day after one of the parkrun PB’s. Dawn gave up the chance of a good time at the Great North Run by helping her running buddy who was struggling with injury in the latter stages. Dawn also ran at the two Bridgend League fixtures this month, ran a great leg at the Rose Inn Relays and then rounded off the month with a well deserved couple of fun runs in Disneyland with a 5K and Half Marathon.

August 2016 review

Saturday 6 – parkruns

42 runners across 3 parkruns. A massive 39 at Porthcawl which is our second biggest attendance there after we had 46 at the 3rd anniversary run.  Joey Howland, Wayne Hayhurst, Graham Hillman, Victoria Hillman, Julie Webster, Nerys Jenkins and Karen Saunders ran PB’s whilst Natalie Griffiths ran a seasons best which was also a best time in 11 months. Victoria’s time was good enough to put her in the top 10 in the female 5K rankings. Julie Webster finally ran her first parkrun – for those that don’t know, she’s not exactly a beginner having done long course weekend, Ironman’s and is our female club record holder at Half Marathon and Marathon distance. Nerys knocked 52 seconds off her PB and was running her first parkrun since 2011. Karen knocked 48 seconds off her parkrun best.

It was David Kembery’s 100th parkrun but no PB attempt after running down with Melanie as part of marathon training. Chris Pratt, Gareth Richards (who also ran home), myself, Emma Loyns, Liz Davies, Fiona Evans and Steve Riddler carried out a nicely coordinated plan to all meet a different points to run the final few miles down together.

Away from Porthcawl, Julie and Shawn ran at Ashton Court parkrun in Bristol whilst David Sheard ran Pontefract parkrun which had a bumper attendance due to the 401 marathon team being there.

Sunday 7 – Gloucester Marathon and Brecon 10 miler

The inaugural Gloucester marathon was marathon number 7 in under 16 months for Antony who bagged his second marathon PB of the year with a 3:57. Jamie Vanstone was running his 3rd marathon or longer in just 6 weeks which included a 69 mile Ultra. His race didn’t quite go to plan today but still an great effort with 4:34. Wayne was running his second marathon of the year having done the Great Welsh Marathon in Llanelli and finished in a time of 4:15. Keith Coleman was running his second marathon in four weeks and beat his time from Tenby by over 10 minutes.

There were 23 of the Blue Wave at Brecon 10 miler where Niki Puleio broke his own 10 mile club record with a 1:06:34. Only 6 of the 23 had run a 10 mile race previously so it was guaranteed to be PB’s galore and there were excellent times across the board. Kirsty Evans was first Cwm Ogwr female across the line and was less than a minute off breaking the female club record which dates back to August 2013. There were age category club records for Fiona Drysdale and Denise Bradley. Special mention for Dai Power who had a stormer coming in at 1:49:48. Many were also using the event as an ideal training run for Port Talbot and Severn Bridge Half Marathons later in the month.

Saturday 13 – parkruns

45 runners across 3 parkruns which is just 1 below our record. 43 of which were at Porthcawl for Natalie Griffiths 100th parkrun which several Cwm Ogwr members wore fancy dress for to celebrate. There were PB’s for Lloyd West, Ellen Wyn Evans, Matthew Hopkins, Chris West and last months runner of the month, Pippa Clark. Elsewhere, Jamie Vanstone got a PB at Cardiff parkrun whilst Ann Davies ran at Colby.

Sunday 14 – Cottrell Park 10K

A quiet Sunday for a change with just 3 runners at this one. 61 of our runners had done part of the course in the relays back in May but clearly the thought of running ‘Bunker Hill’ as part of a longer race wasn’t too appealing. Also worth pointing out that many were doing final long runs before upcoming half marathons, marathons or ultra’s. Back to the race and Jamie Vanstone ran the course in a swift 46 minutes whilst Daniel Clark clocked just over 51 minutes which is quicker than doubling his 5K best at the time. Christie came in just under the hour mark but had done a lot of mileage in the previous few days again as part of marathon training.

Saturday 20 – parkruns and Welsh 5K Championships

A record 50 runners across 4 parkruns. Ellen Wyn Evans ran at the beautiful setting of Penrhyn Castle which Chris and I did a few weeks ago, Neil Harris ran his first parkrun in 3 months at Pontypridd, Ceri and Jackie ran at the Gnoll whilst there were a record 46 at Porthcawl. Due to a combination of wind, rain and high tide, it meant for only the second time in 177 Porthcawl parkruns that they had to use the second contingency course which means 4 and a bit laps of Salt Lake Car Park. This week was Peter’s 100th parkrun where the theme was ‘short shorts’. There were some fantastic efforts and I think the boys may out outdone the girls this week with Aled, Daniel and myself all wearing worryingly small, tight shorts (in my case, actually boxer shorts).

As for the running bit, a miscalculation meant the course was a little short which in turn meant a lot of personal bests and seasons bests although a few still would have achieved them on an accurately measured course so don’t want to take anything away. Incredibly Neil Jones equaled his club record time of 17:21 despite having run 20+ miles to Porthcawl. Graham and Wayne achieved their first sub 21 minute times whilst Daniel Clark knocked over 3 minutes off his PB from a few weeks ago. Peter came agonisingly close to beating his PB which has stood for 14 months, missing out by 2 seconds but still recording a second best time ever parkrun time. Kelly recorded her best time in over a year with a 23:59.

Diana Purnell smashed her PB by almost a minute with a 26:03 whilst Dawn Hopkins achieved a seasons best. A massive well done to our 3 new parkrunners with Kristie, Nina and Martyn. Completing the huge list of PB’s were Shawn, Jamie B, Chris S, Julie R, Matthew H, Angela and Rhiannon W.

That evening was the Welsh 5K Championships where Juliet Amner had signed up for the womens race with the exciting prospect of a medal as the age categories were split into 5 year segments like in parkrun. I didn’t intend running and only decided last minute to go down to support… only to end up signing up to run in the men’s race along with Christie. Neither Christie or I were near PB times and finished 78th and 74th respectively out of 80 runners which is unsurprising given this was the best Wales (or at least South Wales) had to offer. The winning time was 14:38 and 58 of the 80 runners in the men’s race finished sub 20. The guy who finished 2 seconds behind me who I needed a sprint finish to pip to line was in the 75+ category. I’d be happy with running 42 minutes at that age let alone 22 minutes!

An agonising wait afterwards as they went through all the age category top 3’s to find out if Juliet had got a medal… and she did! Second place and a SILVER medal in the women’s 55-59 category – amazing. Worth reiterating this was a National championship so a pretty major medal to win. She also smashed her 5K PB with a 25:09.

Sunday 21 – Port Talbot Half Marathon, Merthyr 10K, Tuska Tri and Cotswold Challenge

16 runners at the ‘inaugural’ Port Talbot Half Marathon. I say ‘inaugural’ because there has been a free half marathon run on the same course for a few years but in the opposite direction to this one, however, this was the first time it had been official with pre-entries, an officially measured course and chip timing. All at a very reasonable £15 for affiliated runners which included a medal, shirt and goodie bag. We probably would have had a lot more runners but a few had already signed up for the Severn Bridge HM a week later before entries for this one opened.

The course follows gravel paths and cycle tracks around the beautiful setting of Afan Argoed. The first 6.5 miles were a mostly gentle descent before a short sharp zig zag hill in the middle, followed by a shallow but constant incline for the second half. Nick was our first runner back in 1:38 whilst our first female back was Kirsty Evans in 1:54. As described, it wasn’t an ideal course for going for PB’s but Gareth Richards, Lloyd West and Neil Morgan were all recorded as PB’s with it being their first half with the club. Gary Piper improved on his Swansea by several minutes whilst despite the tougher course than Swansea, Denise beat her PB by 3 minutes.

Dawn Hopkins and June Parry ran the Merthyr 10K coming in at 57 minutes. Lorna and Helen Griffiths entered the Tuska Tri which due to sea conditions was changed to a Duathlon with a 5K run at the start instead of the sea swim. That actually worked out very well for them as Lorna ran her fastest time in over 2 years whilst Helen got a PB before going onto do the bike and then a 2.5K run to finish. Natalie Griffiths also did the bike leg as part of a team. Richie Pett completed the Cotswold Challenge Triathlon which was a roughly Half Ironman distance event – a great effort considering by his own admission he’d done very little training since his Ironman back in May.

Saturday 27 – parkruns, Llantwit 10K and Narbeth Nobbler

Yet another record attendance with 52 runners across 4 parkruns. The parkruns were part of ‘I am team GB’ day with many runners wearing GB / union jack / red, white and blue. Signs and t-shirts were also handed out with several of the blue wave getting involved. We now top the table at Porthcawl parkrun for most different members who’ve run there (159) and number of runs between us (3424).

Neil was first at Porthcawl and only missed out on his PB by 1 second. Gareth Richards got a PB with another sub 20. Sarah Littlewood knocked an amazing 45 seconds off her PB with a little encouragement from the clubs top pacers (me and Dai K) on the final 2K. There was an 18 second PB for Julie Griffiths and PB of the day went to Jayne Powney who knocked 1 minute 42 seconds off her pervious best for her first sub 30 parkrun finish. Well done to Rhian, Llinos and Claire on their first parkruns.

Elsewhere there were huge PBs for Dawn Hopkins and June Parry at Pontypridd parkrun. So close for Katie Wood at Raphael parkrun in Romford coming in 2 seconds short of a PB on her first parkrun tourism. Finally, Bethan Cross ran Barry before going onto do Llantwit 10K.

11 of the blue wave signed up for Llantwit 10K with 6 having done a parkrun before whilst Adam Rowe had done the Llantwit 5K event. A lovely but tough 10K course. However, it was the first race I’ve done were all the kilometre markers were out (too soon) but then they added it all in after the 9K mark which was about 1.3K from this finish which was a bit cruel. Great medal and good entry price.

As for the race itself, Nick Harris was first back in just over 45 minutes whilst new member Simon Harrison was next up. Graham Hillman and I ran the first 4 miles together before he pulled away to finish a few seconds ahead. Lloyd West and first female for the club, Nicola Symmonds was up next, followed by Victoria Hillman, Christie, Adam, Kimberley Thomas and Bethan. It was a PB for Kimberley as it was her first ever 10K race and first event overall outside of parkrun.

Kevin ran the inaugural Narbeth Nobbler Half Marathon. A tough off road half (bit longer than 13.1) with plenty of hills and technical terrain. Results not available at the time of writing but according to Strava data Kevin finished in just over 2 hours.

Sunday 28 – Severn Bridge Half Marathon

28 runners for this one which was run over a vastly different course to the previous years. Elevation profiles and comments suggested organisers had decided to make it much tougher with hills throughout rather than the old profile with was mostly downhill after the big hill in the middle.

Niki Puleio was first back in his first half marathon with the club in a blistering 1:30:35. Our first female finisher was Juliet Amner who finished in 1:58 and was 5th in her age category. First female finisher from last weeks Half Marathon, Kirsty Evans finished just a minute behind for her second sub 2 hour time in 8 days. Rob and Chris Pratt helped pace Nicola Prior to a PB – an amazing effort considering her previous PB was on the much flatter Llanelli course. Dawn Hopkins ran with Kirstie Edwards who got a PB of 2:34 whilst Rhiannon Buckley and Sian LG got their target of sub 3 hours and two shiny new PB’s.

Monday 28 – South Wales Trail Half Marathon

Organised by Run Walk Crawl who’s events include the Vale Ultra and Gower 50 miler, this was always going to be a tough event. A half marathon through Llanwonno Forest just North of Pontypridd with 2000 feet of elevation over varying terrain. Neil Jones finished second and actually beat the previous course record by 5 minutes. Jamie Vanstone finished in 7th place whilst David Sheard continued his year of off road events with another one ticked off the list.

Tuesday 29 – Parc Slip

ANOTHER RECORD ATTENDANCE. 89 Cwm Ogwr Runners registered for the event with 83 actually running it. This was the 4th fixture of the Bridgend League with the biggest combined attendance to date from the 6 clubs with over 220 runners. Neil was 4th overall but beaten by two ‘guests’ so was 2nd for league scoring purposes. The distance was 3.5 miles so you could either say we all got ‘3.5 mile PB’s’ or there weren’t any PB’s due to it not being one of the standard distances. I won’t go through all 83 results so will just say a massive well done to everyone that ran. There is one amazing stat I want to share from that race though, which is that 44 of our 83 runners only signed up to the club this year! That number increases to around 70 for members who’ve signed up in the last 18 months.

Chairman’s Male Runner of the Month – Jamie Vanstone

Runner of the month in his first full month with the club – it’s all downhill from here! Interestingly Jamie commented the other day that Christie ‘never misses an event’ however this coming from someone who this month did 3 parkruns (two of which were PB’s), the Parc Slip race, an off road 10K where he was first club finisher back in 46 minutes, a hilly off road half marathon in which he finished in 7th place, and the small matter of the Gloucester Marathon. The marathon was also his third race of 26.2 miles or over in just 6 weeks and one of those was a 69 mile Ultra. Jamie has also attended both Ogmore and Pandy Park sessions despite having to travel further than most showing great commitment to training.  Tomorrow he plans on running the 33 mile Vale Ultra course… despite not being in training for a marathon – bonkers.

Chairman’s Female Runner of the Month – Juliet Amner

Our first female ‘national medal winner’ with a second placed age category finish after her PB performance at the Welsh 5K Championships. Juliet followed that up by being our first female finisher in the Severn Bridge Half Marathon and getting a sub 2 hour finish for a 5th placed age category finish. Finally in the Parc Slip fixture, she was 1st in her age category for over 55 females.

Coming up in September

Another huge month ahead. Rose Inn Relays next Monday followed by the 5th fixture in the Bridgend League on Wednesday and 80+ members signed up for the Cardiff 10K on the Sunday. The following week will see another huge blue wave descend on Swansea for the 10K whilst the end of the month sees Cwm Ogwr compete in the first of the West Glam Cross Country League fixtures. It’s going to be another amazing month for the Blue Wave.