Weekly Waffle – 28th May 2019

The warmer weather continues…

Training early in the week attracts a record number up the valley to recce Blackmill’s Beast on a warm summers eve…

Events appear on the calendar in abundance as the year progresses.

A few took a mid week trip to the Welsh capital to cover 5km in the evening sun to raise a few pennies for a respected armed forces charity while clocking up decent times.

Training continued to attract good numbers.

A couple rounded off the week with an impressive round trip clocking up even more events to their “Talley”.

parkrunday arrives.  It never fails to draw many out in numbers.  Many locations.  Many runners. All doing their thing, whether it’s running faster or just getting it done.  

Tick tock.  Sunday comes round.

The Liver Birds oversee half and full marathoners battle tough conditions to record admirable results.

The rain plagued all and a hilly tour of Treforest didn’t escape it’s fair share but all who tackled came away victorious.

5 hilly miles attracted a good club contingent to brave the elements with significant placings as a result.

Bank Holiday weekends never end there and as we said goodbye to the weekend we welcomed one more effort in the English capital to add to the weeks endeavours.

Temperatures remain high but the conditions swing, but none of it dampens the spirit as high numbers yet again make training as well as taking part in events.

The Phoenix spirit present in abundance.

On a week where we welcomed new leaders into our midst and we continue to develop.  

We build and bond.

Keep walking.

Keep running.
Keep socialising.

Keep looking out for each other!

#lovethisclub
#loveourclub

Weekly Waffle – 19th May 2019

As the year progresses and the weather improves, events appear in their droves.

Our numbers now swelling, there isn’t a single event that goes by without seeing at least one Phoenix taking the plunge!

Midweek events are commonplace…

Before the weekend even arrived a few headed way down West to tackle a multi-terrain course.  Others headed way up north to fly around a 1 mile course around the side of a lake.

Events being clocked up…

Before the weekend arrived the Phoenix descended on our favourite curry house to occupy the whole restaurant for an evening of great food and great company!

Saturday.  parkrunday.  While some got their regular fix with personal bests aplenty, others had made their way to mid Wales to tackle a Royal 10k course on the trails some of whom still snook in their constitutional on the way. 

A few more had made their way further north, parkrun included, to climb a significant peak in Snowdonia and all completed the task with honours.

The sun set on a glorious day and rose again, despite the forecast…

A half in Chester was tackled with guts while another in Manchester led to a PB.

There was safety in numbers as a 10k with hills was completed in style in the home of cheese.

Another brave couple headed back to Snowdonia to tackle a seriously hilly half and came back victorious with their spoils.

A local event drew a few away to tackle a variety of distances from extreme half to ultra marathon.

Four of our midst stepped up to the plate and spent the day learning.  Committing time to the club to learn how to lead training sessions and help to develop us all into becoming better runners.

And all the while we saw our 4th highest attendance of the year at training and not least our heroes continuing their running journeys.

What a fantastic week to be a Phoenix!

Great numbers at events.

Great numbers at training.

Great experiences had by all.

Continuing to do what we love and share the experiences of doing so.

Keep it up guys, you’re doing great!

#lovethisclub
#loveourclub

Weekly Waffle – 12th May 2019

We’re in a period where events come along in a flurry…

Multiple Summer Series are appearing on the calendar…

Wednesday saw the first fixture of the Bridgend County Running League and saw the highest turnout in the clubs history with 114 runners taking part.  Mother nature decided to make the circumstances of the evening a little bit more difficult with a few downpours creating havoc with parking and creating a little more mud than was initially anticipated.  It takes a lot more than that to keep the Phoenix down and huge numbers turned up to be involved in a significant result for the club!  

The Phoenix definitely flew very high over Ogmore Castle!

Thursday saw smaller numbers head up the valley to train – to be expected after such huge numbers racing the night before.  It didn’t, however, stop a few heading west to tackle a 5k summer series event on the seafront with significant placings and personal bests achieved.

Friday saw another event completed.  One of the attendees was our intrepid 100 mile finisher of only a week ago who clearly wasn’t going to sit back and rest his weary legs having completed all three races on the calendar during the week!

Already an eventful week before arriving at the weekend.

parkrun on the cards for many.  A change in weather saw the sun rise early and raise our spirits once again.  Long runs to the start line were witnessed in abundance.  A wide variety of locations, as ever, were completed.

One lone runner faced the Beast in a race where the profile would be enough to put fear into a lot of runners.  Suffice to say The Beast was tamed!

Ultra marathons often occur on Saturdays.  As a result they give adequate respite before heading back to “normal” life on Monday.  Any race that takes place in the Brecon Beacons will bring with it a serious elevation profile.  One of our own took on the challenge and completed such an event in a very admirable time in the warm conditions.  Another event in the build up to something even bigger.

The sun went down on a hot day and rose to reveal similar conditions…

Numbers headed to a Park near Barry to complete a 5 mile course with a couple of testing hills thrown in.  Admirable performances all round.

Another band headed in the opposite direction to cover a Toughrunner 10k course sending photos back with big beaming smiles from a job well done!

Some ventured across the border to run admirable times in a history city half marathon that makes full use of converted railway tunnels, one over a mile in length, which provide lighting and music to serenade you on your way.

Others also headed far afield to an event that provided financial help for a wildlife trust.

While all of this was taking place our improving group saw big numbers turn up to progress their running.  Admirable stuff.

Lots of events on the calendar now and with our increasing numbers we see many being completed every single weekend.  

It truly is great to see!

Keep up the good work you lovely lot!

Laters…

#lovethisclub
#loveourclub

Weekly Waffle – 5th May 2019

Some weekends will always stand out as special…

Not long ago we celebrated a huge club turnout for the coastal race to Ogmore by Sea…

Last week we saw incredible performances in London – an event we can all share in the excitement by tracking and following TV coverage.  

This week many events have occupied our attention…

Tuesday saw some attend training while a brave few headed to a tough hill race.  Admirable performances all round with one achieving an accolade at regional level for excelling.

Wednesday saw decent numbers on the track and improving down in Pandy Park as well as a significant contingent heading down west to the increasingly popular 5k on the seafront.

Good numbers turned up on Thursday night for a pleasant evening climb up the mast in Lewistown.  Lighter nights make these hilly sessions more accessible and it’s great to be doing them again.

Friday drew a couple up to Cardiff for a one mile event as part of an annual series.

Even before the weekend arrived we already had a huge number of events in the bag and decent training attendance!

Saturday brought the usual flurry of parkrun visits.  On the seafront, up the valley and beyond.  “May the 4th”, when it falls on a Saturday, always attracts Star Wars themed attire (as you might expect) and parkruns up and down the country share in the initiative.  Home locations were no exception but a few in our midst went the extra mile and travelled to Tredegar House where there was an abundance celebrating the occasion!

One of these parkrunners was set to take a much longer journey later the same day.  The equivalent of 33 parkruns back to back. 100 miles, plus 2.5 for good measure just to be sure!

I’ll set the scene… 

6pm.  Rhossili Beach car park.  A collection of brave souls prepared themselves for an epic journey along the coast to Cardiff Bay.  As if that wasn’t enough it would also wander up into the Afan Forest, at night, just to add some elevation and make up the distance to the scheduled 100 miles!  Nerves, excitement and wonder at what would be their fate!

As our esteemed captain said, while we’re having our tea – he was starting his run.  As we went to bed he was running.  When we woke he was still running…  

As the sun rose many were up from their slumber to head to Newport for the second running of the dual distance event.  The Phoenix were out in their numbers with the lions share doing 6.2 and the balance covering 26.2.  Great conditions made for an amazing event with great times and big smiles across the board.  First timers also earned their stripes at the event.  Phoenix volunteers aplenty gave up their time to line the outlying roads around Newport to support those taking on the challenge of the day.  Without doubt, a great day out for the Phoenix.

Two intrepid souls had taken a trip across country to the home of the Dons and tackled a double distance event there.  Great performances at both 5 and 21 metric units!

And while all that was happening, he was still running.  

Fellow Phoenix met him along his route.  60 miles as he entered Porthcawl he had support and all the way through the stepping stones at Ogmore Village to the car park where he gained more support with some running short stages with him to boost morale and keep him going.  79 miles in at Llantwit he received some cheers and was sent on his way after some well earned refreshments.  More supporters joined the trek at Porthkerry, 88 miles.  Shoes hurting so changed to continue with odd shoes.  Hot dogs and drinks consumed he went on his merry way.  Joined for some of the run from Barry to Sully where more had joined the support crew as he hit 95 miles.  Off he went at a jog and a run back from the finish to Penarth Pier gave him company for the last few miles to record an amazing finish of his second (and last I am told) 100 mile event, this time as a solo effort!  Almost 10,000ft of climbing and a distance of over 104 miles in the end!  A superhuman effort.

With all good intentions a 50th birthday party within the club was missed by those who followed and supported but in true Phoenix spirit the sentiments of those present was sent via the wonder of technology to will him on as he made his last few steps.

And while all this was taking place, almost lost in the excitement, were two lonely souls who represented the club admirably at the Race for Victory 5k in the Welsh capital. An event that slipped under the rader with all the activity taking place elsewhere, but not to be overlooked!

It’s weeks like this that rally the troops.  That put that Phoenix fire in the belly.  

As much as we love to run we love to support.  When events have tracking everyone can get involved.  Some of the excitement of London was recreated at the weekend as attention switched from following finishing times in Newport to tracking one heroic runner on his epic solo journey.  An amazing feat of both physical and mental endurance.

I say this a lot to people when they gasp in awe at these “crazy distance” events.  It’s all relative.  We all started somewhere and the journey to standing on the start line of a 100 mile run is long and arduous but with a huge amount of dedication and commitment it is amazing what becomes possible.  

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Always remember that you don’t have to have these huge goals in mind.  Your dream may be just to be consistently doing parkrun and if it is, that is fine.  We salute you for just lacing up your trainers and heading out of the door.  

If you do have aspirations to go further or faster, draw on the inspiration of our incredible members who push the boundaries and challenge themselves to discover exactly what they are capable of. 

Dream.
Believe.
Achieve.

Those words again ringing in our ears as the efforts turn into memories and we turn our attention to what next week will bring…

Whatever it is we shall meet it head on and continue to support each other through it.

As you were.

#lovethisclub
#loveourclub