April 2017 review

Saturday 1st – parkruns and Vale 18.5 / 32 Ultra

A lowest attendance in well over a year with 21 runners across 6 parkruns due to so many running the Vale races. There were PB’s at Porthcawl for Ashley H, Claire G and Darjia M. There was plenty of parkrun tourism with Saul at Southampton, Chris R at Knowsley, Karl J at Wythenshawe and Ann D at Llanelli. I ran at Barry Island parkrun before going on to the Vale 18.5. My parkrun marked a full year of not missing a Saturday parkrun. Only Nick H had previously achieved this with the club.

At the Vale races we had 43 runners with 23 doing the 18.5 miler (closer to 20) and 20 doing the 32 mile Ultra (nearer 33). The Ultra started from Penarth Pier whilst the 18.5 started from Porthkerry with both finishing in Ogmore by Sea. Christian Thomas lead the 18 milers home after I’d lead the Blue Wave for the first 16 miles. Emma Loyns was first female back of the ‘shorter’ distance whilst several members ran their furthest distance race. In the full Ultra, Neil Jones not only lead the Blue Wave home… he lead the whole field finishing first overall. Kirsty Evans was first of the female members home. Phenomenal running by all 43 runners including several runner their first Ultras. The day will also be remembers for the outstanding support by members who drove to various parts of the course and the big support crew at the finish who provided mountains of food and drink for the finishers.

Sunday 2nd – Cardiff Bay 10K, Liverpool Half Marathon and Manchester Marathon

The inaugural Cardiff Bay 10K seen 41 of the Blue Wave in attendance. Wayne Hayhurst lead the Blue Wave home but it was the ladies just behind who took the plaudits with Josie Bishop setting a NEW FEMALE CLUB RECORD with 46:29 whilst Claire Dunbar-Bowen set a new female veteran club record with 47:39. There were also PB’s for David M, Sara V, Hannah B, Amy W, Lisa J and Shareen B.

At the Liverpool Half Marathon another female club record fell as Amy Roberts ran a super speedy 1:44:32 with her dad Chris for company. An amazing day for our female members.

The Manchester Marathon seen PB’s for both our runners with a 4:10 for Karl Johnson and a 5:00 for Emma Morris.

Saturday 8th – parkruns

A massive 59 runners at Porthcawl for the 4th anniversary celebrations with Fiona D the only tourist this week as she visited Swansea parkrun. It was a Baywatch theme at Porthcawl for Christie Colemans 100th parkrun where the man himself was the Hoff for the day with plenty of lifeguards in support. In fact, a photo of Cwm Ogwr’s dressing up efforts made the local paper. As for the running bit, new member Chris T was first back in a PB time of 19:48. I paced Karl J to a PB of 22:19 with Mark Gabb grabbing himself a PB just ahead of us. Kim T, Amy W, Steph D, Alana L and Sarah K all bagged themselves PB’s as well. The parkrun was followed by a Presentation at the Hi Tide where Cwm Ogwr topped the stats for most individual runners at Porthcawl parkrun and most combined runs. We also featured in the volunteer stakes with a special mention for Maria Lalic as well as Jo Betty who had recently helped out with timing and barcode scanning whilst injured.

Sunday 9th – Paris Marathon

Josie Bishop took on her first marathon around the streets of Paris and became our first female to run sub 4 hours in their debut marathon. Her time of 3:54 clocking her a senior female club record.

Saturday 15th – parkruns

60 runners across a record 9 different parkruns. 49 at Porthcawl where there was just one PB which belonged to Nicola Allen. Pippa Clark got a PB at Swansea parkrun accompanied by Alun and Rhiannon. Dawn H ran at Grangemoor, Saul was at Dartford, the Hillmans chose Pontypridd, Peter W and Kimberley D were at Cardiff, Chris S at Trelissick, Fiona D at Inverness whilst parkrun tourism couple Julie and Shawn were at Burgess.

Saturday 22nd – parkruns

55 runners across a record equalling 9 parkruns again. 43 at Porthcawl where there were PB’s for Nicola P, Kim T, Sue R and Sarah K. I got a PB at Tewkesbury finishing 5th overall with a 19:47 – my third sub 20 and at 3 different venues. Karl J and Aled attended the inaugural Merthyr parkrun. Brett B ran at Poole, Chris P ran at Eastleigh, Jayne P ran at the Gnoll whilst Christie C ran at Blackpool ahead of the marathon the next day. There were also plenty of London Marathon runners and supporters in action warming up with a parkrun the day before with Mervyn at Basildon and Peter W, Kim D, Dai K and Keith C at Burgess.

Sunday 23rd – London Marathon, Blackpool Marathon, Madrid Half Marathon, Bryn Bach 6 miler

Our magnificent seven at London were lead home by Neil Jones in a NEW CLUB RECORD of 2:54:24. Next up were Dai K and Kevin R followed by a PB for Keith Coleman with 4:01. Emma L was first club female in 4:30:03 in what was her debut marathon. I’m sure she will want me to point out is 114 seconds quicker than I ran the same course in 2014. There were two further marathon debutants with Liz Sim finishing in 4:52 and Matt M in 5:36.

In Blackpool, Antony Lewis ran his 6th marathon for the club in a time of 4:05 whilst Christie Coleman completed the course in 4:53. In the Madrid Half Marathon, Fiona D and Dawn H completed the course in times of 2:07 and 2:16 respectively. Karl, Alica, Natasha and Angela P all opted for the Bryn Bach 6 miler.

Saturday 29th – parkruns

60 runners across a record 12 (TWELVE!) different parkrun venues. Cwm Ogwr haven’t just taken over Porthcawl parkrun.. we’re taking over UK parkrun. Starting at Porthcawl where the 47 runners were lead home by Stephen D who finished second overall in 18:20. Just 6 days after his marathon PB Keith Coleman ran a 5K PB. There were also PB’s for Ashley Howells, Sue Roberts (accompanied by husband Chris Roberts), Gwyneth Steddy, Shelley Evans (accompanied by Matt Murray), first timer Rachael LD and Hannah Kinsella who crossed the line with Dai Power. Awesome to see so many of our runners supporting each other.

Away from Porthcawl was a huge list of tourism. John B at Aberdeen, Chris S at Riverfront, Rhiannon B ran a PB at Torbay, Ann at Llanelli, I ran at Kettering, Niki ran at Aberystwyth, Karl at Longrun Meadow, Martin at Pomphrey Hill, Chris P at Colby, Mark G at Barry and the Hillmans at Grangemoor.

Sunday 30th – Pembrokeshire 100, St Ilyts Ultra 50K and Cardiff Race to Victory 5K

Nick Harris and Jamie Vanstone took on the 100 mile race organised by Run Walk Crawl. Not only was it 100 miles but it also had 16500ft/5030m ascent. For some sort of reference point it is roughly the equivalent of doing the Beast 10K 16 times in a row both in terms of elevation and distance. After 31 hours Nick and Jamie made Cwm Ogwr history becoming the first members to complete a 100 mile race.

March 2017 review

Saturday 4th – parkruns

52 runners across a record 10 different parkruns in 3 different countries. At Porthcawl Stephen Davies became our 3rd parkrun winner following in the footsteps of Neil Jones and Dai Kembery. His time of 18:15 was a huge 37 seconds clear of second place. Liz Sim clocked a new parkrun PB accompanied by Gareth Richards whilst Emma Williams made it 4 parkrun PB’s in 5 attempts. My February runner of the month Claire Taylor knocked 48 seconds off her PB making it an improvement of 2 minutes and 16 seconds this year.

Away from Porthcawl, Chris Pratt ran at Cambridge parkrun where an issue with the timers meant everyone was given a time of 59:59. Could argue Chris was joint first. Jayne P ran at Gnoll, Ann Davies ran at Llanelli, Shawn and Julie ran at Penrhyn, Niki, Brian and the Hillmans ran at Grangemoor, and Chris S ran at Hereford. Kelly ran at Florida’s Clermont Waterfront parkrun for the second week in a row and third time in total. Dai K was just 6 seconds away from a PB at Cardiff. Neil Jones clocked yet another sub 18 at Pontypridd parkrun with Karl Johnson also in attendance.

Sunday 5th – Newport HM, Cambridge HM, Anglesey 10K and HM, St Davids Day 5K and 10K

One of our busiest Sunday’s in a long while in terms of number of different events. 48 runners across 6 different events. Starting in Cardiff with the St Davids Day 5K where founder member Ross Jones made a return to running 2 and a half years after his last parkrun with a 32:17. New members Angharad Rees and Shareen Bentley also completed the 5K run.

Our biggest number of entries for the day was the St Davids 10K event which seen 30 of the Blue Wave in attendance. Chris Roberts lead the Blue Wave home with Daniel Clark and Mark Gabb getting PB’s just behind him. Nicola Symonds was our first female home in what could be her last event for us before moving to the newly formed Pencoed Panthers. Liz Sim joined a short list of runners who’ve completed a double PB weekend again accompanied by Gareth Richards. Claire Goldworthy and Sara Vowles got PB’s under the hour mark. The huge number of PB’s continued with Stephanie Dyke, Amy Williams, Joanne Rowling, Cath Griffiths, Angela Parry, Emma Jayne, Nicola Parsons, Alun Wylde, Rhiannon Whiteley, Mandie Owen and Pippa Clark.

There were 13 of the Blue Wave at Newport Half Marathon. I was first back with a PB run of 1:33:21 in my 37th Half Marathon. It also meant I temporarily held the record for fastest club HM time in 2017. Graham Mackleworth, Karl Johnson, Darjia Mann and Matt Murray all clocked PB’s as well. Great team spirit with 5 of our 13 runners finishing together as Matt had a team of pacers with the Garratts, Liz and Mark Worrall joining him.

Chris Pratt ran the Cambridge Half Marathon in 1:44:10… not bad after a parkrun time of 59:59 the day before! Shawn Cullen ran the Angelsey Half Marathon in a PB of 2:26:36 whilst Ellen Wyn Evans ran in the 10K event.

Saturday 11th – parkruns

48 runners across 7 parkruns.  A first sub 20 at Porthcawl for me with a 19:59 and a very rare parkrun where I was first Cwm Ogwr runner across the line. New member Chris Truman set an impressive debut parkrun time of 20:33. There was a course PB for Kirsty Evans accompanied by Stephen. Stephanie Dyke clocked her first parkrun PB since November last year. 2017 Zero to Hero recruit Leah Boon made it 3 PB’s in what is already her 5th parkrun appearance.

Away from Porthcawl Denise was first in her age category in Grangemoor and had the highest age grade percentage of the day. Dawn and Kevin ran at Swansea, David Sheard ran at Cwmbran and Karl Johnson ran at Pontypridd. Aled Hughes made one of the longest journeys ever to attend a parkrun and informs me it is the furthest West of any parkrun done by a club member as he ran at Crissy Fields parkrun in San Francisco.

Sunday 12th – Llanelli HM, Bath HM, Wrexham HM, Silverstone HM, Grisly 20 miler, Neath 10 miler

Another very busy Sunday with four different half marathons and a 10 miler.

Starting at Llanelli were we had 24 runners. Chris Pratt lead the Blue Wave home just ahead of Simon Harrison. Juliet Amner set a new club age category record and was 2nd her category in the race itself. Tula Smallman bagged herself a PB with a sub 2 hour finish.

David Shaun McCann, Matt Murray and Shawn James Cullen all made it two half marathon PBs in as many weeks. I helped pace Matt in what was my 5th half marathon in 24 days. A 3 minute PB for Lisa Jenkins. A huge 22 minute PB for Claire Taylor having run Swansea Half last year. Well done to half marathon newbies Angela Parry, Rhiannon Whiteley and Pippa Clark who pick up PB’s for their first half marathons.

The Garratts ran their half around Silverstone race track. There was a 9 minute PB for Emma Williams at Bath Half Marathon following a parkrun PB last week. Carole Bartle was 3rd in her age category with a PB at Wrexham Half.

At the Neath 10 miler there were PB’s all round. Niki broke his own club record. Neil was running his first 10 miler for the club whilst Kevin set an club age category record and knocked over 10 minutes off his 10 mile PB having only previously run the multi terrain Pembrey 10 mile course.

Richard Lowcock James took on the Grisly 20 miler. Described on the website as “Twentyish muddy, hilly, boggy, beachy miles of the multiest-terrain running experience you will find this side of the end of time.” It’s so popular entry is via a ballot. I can confirm RLJ made it out alive.

Saturday 18th – parkruns, Windsor Half Marathon and Darth Mannion

50 runners across 3 parkruns with 46 of those at Porthcawl. We had an influx of new runners with a few of the new Zero to Hero running their first parkruns for the club. Despite blustery conditions there were a number of PB’s. The first of which was for David McCann who I helped pace to a 86 second PB. David is just 1 second away from making it 5 minutes off his first parkrun time just 2 months ago.

Brett Bonnell bagged a PB in his first Porthcawl parkrun in over a year. Gwyneth SteddyAlana Lutwyche and Sarah C King all got PB’s as part of our Zero to Hero group. Alana was our 200th different finisher registered as Cwm Ogwr at Porthcawl parkrun.

There were also PB’s for Louise Bennett and Lisa JenkinsLeah Boon made it 2 PB’s in as many weeks and has now knocked over 4 minutes off her first parkrun time set just 6 weeks ago. The Hillmans ran at Cardiff whilst at Pontypridd Neil Jones got first place for the first time at that venue. It’s the 4th different parkrun venue he has finished first.At the Windsor Half Marathon Nicola Prior got her first sub 2 hour half marathon time whilst there were superb times across the board for our girls with a couple of others very close to PB times.As you’ll have seen from other posts, Richard Lowcock James managed to find another bizarre crazy mudfest of a run called the Darth Mannion. Haven’t seen any results for this one yet but I suspect our captain may convince a few more to do it next year.

Sunday 19th – Forest of Dean Half Marathon and San Dom 20 miler

We had 5 runners at the Spring edition of the Forest of Dean Half Marathon. There’s also an Autumn one in September if anyone interested a trial half marathon later in the year. Juliet Amner lead the way in 1:52 whilst Liz Sim clocked her 3rd PB of the month at her 3rd different distance with a 2:02 knocking 4 minutes off her PB accompanied by Gareth Richards. Ian Lewis clocked a 2:10 whilst Jonathan Mead got 2:17.

Before this date, only 12 Cwm Ogwr runners had done a 20 mile event so it was a bit of a surprise to see 18 signed up for the San Domenico 20 miler. Neil Jones lead the way in a 20 mile PB time of 2:13:31 putting him in the top 10 finishers. Niki Puleio was next up with an impressive 2:27:45. New member Emma Jane Morris was our first female and came in under the 3 hour mark with a 2:56:39. Of the ones that had run a 20 miler before, Christie Coleman picked up a PB knocking 5 minutes off his time set at Llanelli last year.

Saturday 25th – parkruns

57 runners across 5 parkrun venues. 52 of which were at Porthcawl were Stephen Davies became the second Cwm Ogwr member to be the first finisher with his first sub 18 as well and also a club age category record. Not many other PB’s due to a lot of Princess fancy dress efforts slowing most people down (except Stephen). However, there was a PB for Rhian Nolan in her first Porthcawl parkrun in almost a year.

Away from Porthcawl, the Denholms ran at Beeston, Dawn Hopkins ran at Parke whilst Neil Jones and Karl J ran at Pontypridd.

Sunday 26th – West Glam XC League and Merthyr HM

25 runners at Aberavon Beach for the final fixture of the West Glamorgan XC League. A 5 mile route along the beach with some testing sand dunes in the middle before battling a strong head wind on the way back. Stephen Davies was first Cwm Ogwr runner back with Gareth Richards, Simon Harrison, Chris Truman and Chris Thomas making up the remainder of the points scoring positions. A massive well done to our men’s team finished 2nd in Division 3 gaining promotion!

Betty Lee lead the women home with Kelly Owen, Victoria Hillman, Denise Bradley and Bethan Cross making up the other scoring positions. Bethan achieved a top 5 club finish in all 5 events and was one of only three members along with myself and Pippa to run in all fixtures. Our female team finished 6th in Division 2 which should secure them a place in the same division next year even if a third division is created with additional teams joining.

At the Merthyr Half Marathon, Karl Johnson picked up his second half marathon PB this month with Nigel Rees and Darjia Mann also running for the blue wave.

Chairman’s Runners of the Month

For one month only, I’m listening to the members for who the runners of the month should be as a few people have suggested these for this months choices…

Male Runner of the Month – Gareth Jenkins

Yes – it’s with some embarrassment but great pride that I’m writing about myself for runner of the month. My Half Marathon PB in Newport of 1:33:21 remains the fastest half marathon time in the club so far this year. A week later I got my first sub 20 at Porthcawl parkrun. I also helped pace Matt Murray to a Half Marathon PB in Llanelli and David McCann to a parkrun PB this month. I also ran the final fixture of the West Glam XC League and was the only male runner in the club to complete all 5 fixtures finishing second highest in the club in the overall individual standings.

Female Runner of the Month – Elizabeth Sim

An easy choice with Liz getting 5K, 10K and Half Marathon PB’s this month. She beat all by large margins and the Half Marathon was actually a hilly trail race in the Forest of Dean.