July 2017 review

Saturday 1st – parkruns

38 runners across 8 parkruns which included Saul Harris at South Bank parkrun in Australia. A single PB with Jackie Lewis running 27:23 accompanied by Heather Garratt for the highest age grade percentage of anyone in the club that day including Niki who ran 18:38 for context.

Sunday 2nd – Aim to Tri Triathlon

A growing number of members are now diving into the world of triathlon with 6 members taking on the swim, bike, run. The girls (Shelley Evans, Sian LG, Sian Tossell and Rhiannon Buckley) upstaged the boys (James Beynon and Christie Coleman) in the swim. However, speedy bike, run combinations from our two male triathletes seen them come out on top with James just pipping Christie to the finish line.

Wednesday 5th – Aberavon Run for All 5K Series (Race 3)

21 runners for more pleasant conditions than the heat of the race 1 and wet and windy conditions of race 2. Niki headed us home in a PB time again of 18:21. There was also PB’s for Juliet Anmer and Jackie Lewis (second 5K PB in 4 days) who were both first in their age categories. Claire Taylor was delighted with her PB of 40:23 celebrating with a now customary ‘PB jump’ photo.

Saturday 8th – parkruns

A reasonably small turnout of 30 across 5 parkruns but amazingly across 4 different countries. As usual, Porthcawl ticked off the Welsh parkrun but this week we also had parkrun tourism couple Shawn and Julie ticking off an English parkrun at Cheltenham, Jayne Powney in Scotland at St Andrews parkrun, and slightly more further afield, Denise Bradley at Western Springs parkrun in New Zealand. Jayne also got a PB at her tourist parkrun.

Sunday 9th – Wales Half / Full Marathon, Two Tunnels 10K / HM, Heroes and Villians 5K

A busy day for the club ranging from a fancy dress 5K to a Marathon at the end of the Long Course Weekend for others. The Heroes and Villians 5K was attended by Rhiannon Whitely on her birthday along with my June runner of the month Alun Wylde and Jo Betty.

The Two Tunnels events saw Chris accompany his wife Sue as she ran a new 10K PB. Juliet Amner completed the Half Marathon event in Bath which is run 3 times a year.

The biggest attendance was at Tenby where we had 6 runners in the Half Marathon and 7 runners in the Full Marathon. The unrelenting hilly course meant the only PB was for Mark Gabb in his first marathon with the club and first marathon overall in over 10 years. Nick Harris, Chris Pratt and Mark ended up running most of the course together bumping into Karl Johnson and Kirsty Evans along the way. Kirsty had completed the bike course the day before whilst Martin Beard finished just a few minutes behind having completed all three Long Course Weekend disciplines which consist of Ironman distances over three days.

Thursday 13th – Thornbury 10K

On the hunt for shiny medals, Christie Coleman, Shawn Cullen, Rhiannon Buckley and James Beynon completed this one. I mention the medal as Thornbury runners who organise 3 events cleverly decided to design the medals so that if you complete all 3 events, the fit together much like they do for the Long Course Weekend. I’m sure we’ll see the result of completing all three on our Facebook page soon.

Saturday 15th – parkruns, Celtic Half and Full Marathon, MMTRF

25 runners across 3 parkruns including Saul Harris notching up another Australian parkrun. A much lower attendance than usual with both the Celtic (Margam) and Merthyr Mawr events later that day.

The Celtic Half was due to start at 10am but not wanting to miss parkrun, I did Porthcawl parkrun first before a mad dash to Margam for the start. I was joined by Juliet Amner, Martin Cowan and Sara Bayliss for the Half Marathon whilst Kris Denholm opted for the Full Marathon. A tough course which included the long climbs of the Hoka half earlier in the year. The Half included 2000 feet of ascent so I was delighted with a time of 1:53. Juliet finished in 2:09 whilst Martin and Sara came in together in 2:26. Kris completed the full in a very respectable 4:40 on the hilly course.

31 of our runners opted for the Merthyr Mawr Trail Running Festival events with 23 completing the 7 mile ‘Rabbit’ run whilst 8 completed the 18 mile ‘Giant Rabbit’ run.  Simon Harrison and Jamie Vanstone leading our runners home in the respective races in damp muddy conditions.

Wednesday 19th – Kenfig Sands 5K

The first race as Ogmore Phoenix Runners. 70 runners for what I consider not only one of the toughest 5K races I’ve done, but one of the toughest races overall. Sand sapping the energy and a head wind on the one short flat tarmac section. A decision was made to show solidarity and camaraderie with the usual top 20 told to fight it out for the the point scoring places whilst the majority of our runners ran the course together. Neil Jones was our first runner back and 5th overall in 20:26. We finished 3rd overall in the event.

Saturday 22nd – parkruns

52 runners across 4 parkruns and for the first time in the clubs history, Porthcawl wasn’t the most attended parkrun. That went to Maesteg where 35 of our runners went for their inaugural parkrun. Local boy Niki Puleio ran 18:59 to lead our runners home with Claire Dunbar-Bowen our first female.

At Porthcawl, I ran my 200th parkrun and had the honour of being the first Ogmore Phoenix across the line at Porthcawl parkrun replicating being the Cwm Ogwr runner across the line in the trial event for Porthcawl parkrun over 4 years previous. I also matched my best overall position of 14th. Jo Betty also achieved her target of being first in her age category having attempted to get her best time possible for several weeks in a row.

Sunday 23rd – Snowdonia Trail HM and Marathon

Having done this last year I can safely say this is the toughest race I’ve ever done. This year Ian Lewis signed up for the half marathon which climbs to close to the summit of Snowdon before a further climb in the final 3 miles which is the equivalent of our Beast run just to finish you off. Chris Pratt joined me for the half last year and somehow decided that doing double the distance with the Snowdon climb in the second half of the run seemed like a good idea! He ran with David Sheard and completed the quite frankly bonkers course which includes 5,400 feet of elevation in just over 7 hours.

Saturday 29th – parkruns and club BBQ

40 runners across 3 different parkruns which included 8 at the inaugural Calicot parkrun.  A big day for PB’s with new runners Sharon Pritchard and Debbie Bennion setting their first times, plus new PB’s for Rebecca Newton, Jackie Lewis, Beverley Sheard and Claire Goldsworthy.

Later that day was the club BBQ which was moved at the eleventh hour from Bryngarw park to Tondu Rugby Club. However, it worked out brilliantly with everyone thoroughly enjoying the evening. A big thank you to the social committee for arranging and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the next event.

Saturday 29th – Magor 10K

Having been out of action for several weeks with a wrist injury caused by a bike accident, Stephen Davies was back with an incredible PB of 38:41 followed closely by Niki Puleio with 39:00.

Stato’s Runner of the Month – Jackie Lewis

A tough one to choose for July with most of the races being trail or hilly meaning PB’s were few and far between. However, 3 PB’s for Jackie at 5K with each also being age category wins is very impressive. It’s also worth pointing out that her 27 minute 5K runs give her an age grade percentage that is not only among the best in the club but among the best in Porthcawl parkrun each week.