Well what a weekend that was!!
I won’t be forgetting this one in a hurry – and I don’t want to!!
Saturday morning saw an interesting array of the obligatory parkruns. Elvis was “in the building” down in Porthcawl for the annual international festival that draws people from far and wide! The BBC, parkrun HQ and runners in fancy dress turned up in abundance to join in the fun. Prizes were dished out to those who made the effort. Roads were closed giving us a unique experience on the seafront this week and it was enjoyed by all!
For some Elvis didn’t appeal resulting in increased numbers at our other “home” event up the valley with impressive performances all round.
The usual tourism for varying reasons drew some to distant climes reporting back their experiences with pictures to whet our appetites to do the same in future weeks.
Saturday racing once more added another to the tally of one who valiantly battles on to fulfil a challenge set at the beginning of the year!
Saturday evening some some us journey to the Welsh capital to mix with the elite of now and yesteryear to celebrate sporting success throughout the nation. Impartiality aside, It was personally a night I will never forget receiving an honour in recognition of work spent helping to develop our wonderful club. A team effort. Something that was wonderful to share with other members who also dedicate their time to make this club go from strength to strength.
Sunday morning attracted the usual array of events. Half marathons aplenty.
Many travelled across the border to cover 13.1 miles around the beautiful surroundings of the forest. With an elevation to test any pair of legs it was a challenge for all. First timers and seasoned athletes met the challenge head on and all finished in admirable style. Emotions ran high but we saw spectacular achievements all round.
A lone quest, also across the border, elsewhere was tackled head on and completed with style.
A small, compact and bijou group remained relatively local to hit the mixed terrain route around one of our neighbouring villages to cover 6.2 of our recognised imperial units and all finished victorious with t-shirts and medals to show off for their efforts.
While one continues his challenge, today was a sobering experience in that journey and we send a whole heap of positive vibes in his direction towards completing it. One thing we are good at and renowned for is rallying for the troops. When one is fallen, we hear the call and make sure that they keep their chin up and soldier on. You know what to do… a message will help massively here…
Today was a reflective day. After last nights experience I took a step back. On not much sleep and a few “drinkies” I was picked up by club friends to join them for a saunter around the forest. While I did so I reflected on the last 18 months. Despite the challenges we’ve faced it has been a wonderfully uplifting experience, the like of which I never expected. Suffice to say I wouldn’t change a thing and long may it continue!
Today I watched someone that we all love dearly reach the end of a really hard race and met with the view of her daughter, wearing her own Ogmore Phoenix Juniors hoody, waiting to cheer mum down the final straight she filled with emotion and we saw a flurry of tears. They ran the final straight together and on crossing the line was met by dad, another member of the club and another committed volunteer, for a family hug filled with emotion. My heart strings were pulled to their extreme. These were complete non runners only a short time ago and now their lives revolve around their passion for the sport that we all love. I smiled. Welling up with emotion it epitomised what we have built here. A family. A family of like minded individuals who share a common goal.
Families look out for each other – let’s not forget those within our number who are currently struggling with injury and unable to join us in our weekly runs. If you know someone who is in that boat then please reach out to them and make sure they are OK. It only takes a quick message to do so.
On a very reflective note we see another week come to a close and feeling extremely proud to add the inevitable hashtags…