2022 Review


2022 saw 2,683 parkrun finishes across 671 events. Our members visited 192 different parkruns around the world including Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, USA and Poland.

2022 saw our parkrun tourism obsession grow with 25 of our members running at 12 different parkruns or more (therefore averaging at least one new venue per month). A few years ago, this would have only been a handful of members. David Sheard’s ran in both Sweden and Australia during 2022 whilst Chris Roberts also finished his year off in Australia with 4 different venues.

Of course, it’s not all about tourism and we continued to have big numbers at our home parkruns of Porthcawl and Maesteg. Our biggest attendance at Porthcawl was 47 members running on 16th July, whilst we had 43 at Maesteg on Christmas Eve.

Maesteg parkrun has become a bit of a recruitment hub for our club just as Porthcawl was in the early days with multiple new members being signed up after seeing our runners or being approached at one of the events.

Number of parkruns completed in 2022

  1. Kris Denholm – 54
  2. Nick Harris – 52
  3. Aled Hughes – 47
  4. Dawn Hopkins – 46
  5. Gareth Jenkins – 46
  6. Sarah Davies – 44
  7. David Sheard – 44
  8. Sally Pensom – 43
  9. Melanie Thomas – 42
  10. Chris Roberts – 42

Kris Denholm didn’t miss a single UK parkrunday in 2022 joining Aled Hughes (in 2019) as the only member to have achieved this. It means Kris is also after Aled’s record of 80 parkruns without missing one. Also worth a mention for Jamie Verran who since his first parkrun in April, has not missed a single Saturday since. Others who ran 40 parkruns which gets them a ‘silver obsessive badge’ on the parkrun challenges include Dai Kembery, Linda Harris and Gareth Davies.

This year we’ve seen plenty of milestones…

  • 250 – Aled Hughes
  • 250 – Peter Harrop
  • 100 – Sharon Pritchard
  • 100 – Ben Davies
  • 100 – Gary Loo
  • 100 – Gareth Richards
  • 100 – Melanie Thomas
  • 100 – Sarah Davies
  • 100 – Ashley Howells
  • 100 – Sara Davies
  • 100 – Keith Coleman
  • 100 – Alun Wylde
  • 100 – Alexis Barrett
  • 100 – Toby Kearns
  • 100 – Sally Pensom
  • 100 – Tammie Clemett
  • 50 – Linda Harris
  • 50 – Sian Jenkins
  • 50 – Toni Howells
  • 50 – Paul Barrett
  • 50 – Melinda Thomas
  • 50 – Stephanie Dyke
  • 50 – Tom Mahoney
  • 50 – Kaye Pedler
  • 50 – Darija Keenor
  • 50 – Phill Iveson
  • 50 – Judith Jeeves
  • 50 – Karen Green
  • 50 – Adam Pohl
  • 50 – Leanne Parsons
  • 50 – Rebecca Newton
  • 50 – Sara Johns
  • 50 – Rob Loyns
  • 50 – Adam Kearns
  • 50 – Karen Dando

An honorable mention to Brett Bonell who finished the year on 99 and Claire Dunbar-Bowen who was due to run her 50th on New Years Eve only for her chosen parkrun to be cancelled at short notice.

parkrun tourism

Chris Roberts became the 4th member to achieve ‘Cowell Club’ status by running at his 100th different event. Dawn Hopkins then became the 5th member later in the year. Dawn was also our most prolific tourist this year as per the stats below. Sarah Davies, Alexis Barrett, Paul Barrett and Jay Howells all ran their 50th different parkrun events this year. Alexis and Paul also completed the alphabet challenge by running at parkruns starting with each letter of the alphabet (expect ‘x’ as that doesn’t exist).

Number of new parkrun venues visited in 2022

  1. Dawn Hopkins – 27
  2. Sarah Davies – 25
  3. Toni Howells – 25
  4. Paul Barrett – 24
  5. Melanie Thomas – 21
  6. Chris Roberts – 21
  7. Jay Howells – 20
  8. Sally Pensom – 20
  9. Alexis Barrett – 20
  10. Phill Iveson / Karen Dando / Melinda Thomas / Darija Keenor – 17

Most parkrun tourisms overall as at the end of 2022

  1. Karl Johnson – 115
  2. Chris Roberts – 113
  3. Julie Ransom – 108
  4. Shawn Cullen – 105
  5. Dawn Hopkins – 104
  6. Gareth Jenkins – 96
  7. Kris Denholm – 79
  8. Chris Stanlake – 74
  9. Sarah Davies – 74
  10. Jo Jenkins – 67

Looking at the two lists above really shows the influx of new parkrun tourists as only 2 of the top 10 overall made the list for most new parkruns for 2022.

Top 10 parkrun times

Jacob Tasker – 16:12, 16:22, 16:36, 16:36, 16:46, 16:50, 16:59, 17:05, 17:08, 17:09, 17:16, 17:18, 17:19, 17:33, 17:38, 17:44 – Jacob actually has the top 16 times this year out of his 17 parkruns. Gareth Richards is the next fastest with a 17:51 and Niki Puleio our third fastest with 18:01. Jacob has finished first in all 17 of his parkruns this year and now has 33 first finishes at parkrun from 34 parkruns in total.

For the ladies, Sarah Wilkes had the ten fastest times ranging from 20:40 to 21:38. Sian Price was next up with 21:45 whilst Claire Dunbar-Bowen is third on the ladies parkrun rankings for the club with a 22:46.


Stephne Puddy continues to lead the way with the highest number of parkrun volunteer days in the club passing 200 recently. Karl Johnson continued as co-Event Director for Pontypridd parkrun and joined the volunteer 100 club early in 2022 and is now on more than 150. Sian Jenkins continued her role in the core volunteer team at Maesteg as one of the Run Directors. Whilst we await the long anticipated new local parkrun (I have to keep it vague as the blog is public), Jay Howells and a number of others from the club who will be involved in the core team of that event have been regularly volunteering in various roles at our local parkruns to get experience. Dozens of other members have volunteered at our local parkruns with an increase in the number also volunteering at Bridgend junior parkrun whilst Judith Howells has continued to do some volunteer tourism. A huge thank you to all the volunteers.

5K races

What seems to have become the race to do for a PB attempt, the Race for Victory 5K in Whitchurch saw some astonishing times with Nicky Bennett running 16:46, Niki Puleio 17:21 (PB) and Gareth Richards 17:37 (PB) for the 3 of the fastest times of the year. 2022 saw the return of the Aberavon, Swansea and SSAFA 5K series adding 9 midweek 5K options during the summer. Jacob Tasker ran a PB of 15:37 at Aberavon finishing second overall before beating that time a few weeks later with another club record of 15:27 at the SSAFA 5K in Cardiff. Our biggest 5K of the year was actually the hardest, slowest 5K of the year at Kenfig Sands where we had 98 runners.

Top 10 fastest men (measured 5K races only excluding parkrun)

  1. Jacob Tasker – 15:27
  2. Nicky Bennett  – 16:16
  3. Niki Puleio – 17:03
  4. Josh Parry – 17:16
  5. Gareth Richards – 17:37
  6. Aled Hughes – 18:22
  7. Mark Teesdale – 18:39
  8. Neil Price – 18:53
  9. Rhys Williams – 18:53
  10. Carl Price – 18:55

In total, we had 24 men run a 5K or parkrun under 20 minutes this year. In our last ‘normal’ full year of events (2019), this figure was 9. Toby Kearns would be 7th on this list if parkruns were included with a time of 18:36 which he ran twice at two different venues.

Top 10 fastest women (measured 5K races only – excluding parkrun)

  1. Sarah Wilkes – 21:09
  2. Kate Lee – 22:09
  3. Jade Bazylkiewicz – 22:26
  4. Carys Cronin – 22:29
  5. Lisa King – 22:30
  6. Claire Dunbar-Bowen – 22:32
  7. Sarah Davies – 23:25
  8. Jo Jenkins – 24:20
  9. Melanie Thomas – 24:43
  10. Katie Plimmer – 24:57

Honorable mention for Rosie Salvatore who ran 24:18 in her final parkrun of the year which would have made the top 10 with parkrun times included.


OPR members ran in 44 different 10K events this year with 320 finishes and 42 PB’s. Sharon Pritchard our most prolific 10K-er with 10 events to her name. Our biggest attended 10K events of the year were Porthcawl (65) and Richard Burton (49).

Top 10 fastest males

  1. Jacob Tasker – 32:17
  2. Niki Puleio – 34:40
  3. Gareth Richards – 37:09
  4. Geraint Lewis – 37:18
  5. Steve Holloway – 37:24
  6. Aled Hughes – 37:28
  7. Nicky Bennett – 37:29
  8. Scott Gray – 39:13
  9. Mark Teesdale – 39:50
  10. Toby Kearns – 39:54

Top 10 fastest female

  1. Sian Price – 42:38
  2. Emma Morris – 42:44
  3. Sarah Wilkes – 43:41
  4. Carys Cronin – 45:56
  5. Claire Dunbar-Bowen – 47:34
  6. Sarah Davies – 48:06
  7. Rosie Salvatore – 48:47
  8. Jade Bazyliewicz – 51:13
  9. Carol Bartle – 53:19
  10. Kaye Pedler – 54:24

Half Marathon

OPR members ran in 30 different Half Marathon events this year with 289 finishes and 55 PB’s. Jade Bazylkiewicz was 3rd in the Afan Forest Half Marathon earlier in the year. Emma Loyns paced at several Half Marathon events whilst Emma Morris paced 1:45 at the Great Welsh Half which would have put her as the 5th fastest female of the year. This year was mostly dominated by having two Cardiff Half Marathons, The March edition saw 78 OPR runners whilst the October race saw 76. Other highly attended Half Marathons this year included Swansea and Port Tablot. In terms of official half marathons, Kris Denholm and Dawn Hopkins ran 8 each, however, Kris also completed his own personal challenge of running a Half Marathon every week of the year alongside his challenge of completing doing 54 parkruns.

Top 10 Fastest Male

  1. Jacob Tasker – 1:14:03
  2. Nicky Bennett – 1:15:52
  3. Steve Holloway – 1:21:00
  4. Niki Puleio – 1:22:22
  5. Gareth Richards – 1:22:22
  6. Scott Gray – 1:27:27
  7. Paul Smith – 1:27:27
  8. Mark Teesdale – 1:27:55
  9. Aled Hughes – 1:27:58
  10. Ryan Evans – 1:28:28

Top 10 fastest female

  1. Sian Price – 1:34:34
  2. Emma Morris – 1:38:02
  3. Lisa King – 1:40:09
  4. Claire Dunbar-Bowen – 1:41:56
  5. Jade Bazyliewicz – 1:47:47
  6. Kate Lee – 1:48:43
  7. Carys Cronin – 1:50:50
  8. Sarah Davies – 1:55:55
  9. Rosie Salvatore – 1:56:40
  10. Denise Bradley – 1:57:22


OPR members ran in 16 different marathons this year with 78 finishes and 23 PB’s. We also had marathon finishes in 5 different countries. Some highlights include Steve Holloway running 2:53:38 at Manchester whilst Sarah Davies knocked 40 minutes off her PB at the same event despite recovering from COVID just a week before. Rosie Salvatore and Rob Loyns take the title for slowest debut marathon and then subsequently the biggest marathon PBs having run 8:58 in the Snowdonia Trail Marathon and then knocking over 3 and half hours each off that time in Snowdonia Marathon 3 months later. Gareth Richards ran an outstanding 3:26 at Snowdonia Marathon which is our 3rd fastest ever time on that course where we had 44 runners this year. Emma Loyns ran the most official marathons this year with 5 which we’ll come back to later.

Jacob Tasker helped a fellow runner down the Mall to the finish line in London in his debut marathon where he clocked 3:12 despite being injured himself. There were another 11 OPR runners at London this year with myself (3:44), Emma Loyns (4:00), Jo Jenkins (4:22) and Steph Iveson-Holmes (6:01) all getting PB’s.

Niki Puleio smashed his marathon PB with a 2:48 at Chicago Marathon. There were outstanding performances at Abingdon Marathon where Neil Price and Mark Teesdale ran huge PB’s of 3:10 and 3:11 respectively.

Top 10 fastest Male

  1. Niki Puleio – 2:48:21
  2. Steve Holloway – 2:53:38
  3. Neil Price – 3:10:29
  4. Mark Teesdale – 3:11:18
  5. Jacob Tasker – 3:12:33
  6. Gareth Richards – 3:26:00
  7. Aled Hughes- 3:39:58
  8. Gareth Jenkins – 3:44:01
  9. Daniel Jenkins – 3:53:40
  10. Kris Denholm – 3:59:44

Top 10 fastest Female

  1. Emma Loyns – 4:00:56
  2. Sarah Davies – 4:19:01
  3. Jo Jenkins – 4:22:40
  4. Fiona Drysdale – 4:28:33
  5. Liz Sim – 4:38:57
  6. Rebecca Newton – 4:43:23
  7. Kirsty Evans – 4:46:10
  8. Claire Dunbar-Bowen – 4:47:29
  9. Denise Bradley – 5:14:21

Ultras / Challenges / Crazy Feats of Endurance

From 26.2 miles to 100 miles – there were some exceptional feats of endurance this year with many taking on multiple long distance challenges.

In June, I became only the fifth member in the clubs history to run 100 miles. My time of 26 hours and 42 minutes at the Centaur 100 mile event was a club record for 100 miles (which lasted a month). Since that event, I’ve gone on to run 50 miles at a charity ‘Loop-a-thon’ around Roath Park Lake when temperatures hit 36 degrees in Cardiff back in August. I then ran London and Snowdonia Marathons in October with a PB at London and a 12 minute course best at Snowdon before finishing the year with a 77 mile run at ‘Escape from Meriden’. I’ve now run 50 miles or more on 8 occasions which is the most of anyone in the club.

Gareth Richards ran the Brecon to Cardiff 44 mile Ultra in horrendous conditions back in February in an outstanding time of 6:26 before running the Vale 32 in 5:00 in May which are both amongst the fastest times we’ve seen from an OPR member on those courses. In July he ran his first 100 miler with the Dragon 100 from Rhosilli to Cardiff Bay where he smashed my 100 mile club record finishing in 24 hours and 20 minutes. Gareth later went on to run the Gower 50 in another outstanding time before running Snowdonia Marathon just a week later in 3:26. He then finished the year finishing in the top 10 (as he did in all of his ultras this year) in the Celtic Trail Ultra on an ice and snow covered course.

Our most prolific female endurance runner was Emma Loyns who set herself a target of running 10 marathons or ultras in 2022 for charity. In January Emma ran a marathon at one of the Infinity Running events before taking on Ras Dewi Sant Marathon in March. The first ultra of the year came at the Vale 32 miler in April before a hilly trail marathon in Brecon in May. The VOGUM 40 mile ultra followed in June with the Snowdonia Trail Ultra 38 miler in July. Emma’s first ever 50 miler came in the shape of the EDDUM in August before the 32 mile RIDUM in September. October saw Emma do both London Marathon where she ran a PB of 4:00 before running Snowdonia Marathon for her 10th event to complete her huge challenge.

After a significant amount of time of the sidelines, the king of notching up marathons and ultras, Carl Walsh, was back in September with the Berlin Marathon. Incredibly, he has since run Chicago, Snowdonia and Machen Trail Marathons as well an Ultra in the Brecon Beacons in the few months since.

Other highlights this year included Steph Iveson Holmes and Leanne Parsons getting their first Ultra finish at the Vale after agonisingly having to drop out of the Brecon to Cardiff Ultra a couple of months earlier after over 35 miles due to injury and weather conditions. Denise Bradley notched up another couple of Ultras including the 52 mile Race to the Tower. Rosie Salvatore and Chris Richards were the latest member to add an Ultra finish to their running CV at the Celtic Trail Ultra. Also a mention for long time ultra runner Nick Harris who ran Snowdonia Marathon just a week after the Gower 50 Ultra. We also welcomed Liz Sim back to the club not long after she had done a 200 – yes, two hundred – mile event called the Wildhorse 200 earlier this year.

16 runners at the Vale Ultra actually made it one of our biggest races this year with several members completing their first Ultra distance.

Longest distances achieved in virtual / race ultra’s in 2022

1. Gareth Jenkins / Gareth Richards- 100 miles – Centaur 100 / Dragon 100

3. Gareth Jenkins – 77 miles – Escape from Meriden

4. Denise Bradley 52 miles – Race to the Tower

5. Gareth Jenkins / Emma Loyns / Gareth Richards / Nick Harris / Mark Worrall 50 miles – Loop-a-thon / EDDUM / Gower 50

10. Gareth Richards / Jay Howells / Wayne Hayhurst 44 miles – Brecon to Cardiff

Race and overall totals

Total number of events in 2022 (parkruns plus races)

  1. Dawn Hopkins 95
  2. Aled Hughes 94
  3. Sarah Davies 89
  4. Gareth Jenkins 80
  5. Nick Harris 80
  6. Sharon Pritchard 74
  7. Kris Denholm 73
  8. Melanie Thomas 71
  9. Gareth Richards 71
  10. Debbie Bennion 70

Dawn sets a new female club record for most events in a year beating her own record from 2019 which was 89.

Most Races (not including parkruns)

  1. Dawn Hopkins 49
  2. Aled Hughes 47
  3. Sarah Davies 45
  4. Gareth Richards 40
  5. Sharon Pritchard 38
  6. Debbie Bennion 37
  7. Mark Worrall 36
  8. Gareth Jenkins 33
  9. Laura Worrall 30
  10. Melanie Thomas 29

A huge increase in events for Gareth Richards, Mark Worrall and Laura Worrall compared to previous years with the rest being regulars in the top 10 over the past few years.

Overall most events

  1. Gareth Jenkins 707
  2. Nick Harris 652
  3. Chris Pratt 505
  4. Aled Hughes 491
  5. David Kembery 426
  6. David Sheard 390
  7. Kris Denholm 360
  8. Dawn Hopkins 355
  9. Chris Roberts 350
  10. Denise Bradley 316

This year saw Dawn overtake Denise for most overall events by a female member. Our third highest female total is 305 by Jo Jenkins who is 11th overall. Our top 10 have run 4,547 events between them.

Overall most races (not including parkruns)

  1. Gareth Jenkins 309
  2. Nick Harris 260
  3. Aled Hughes 198
  4. Chris Pratt 192
  5. Dawn Hopkins 178
  6. Denise Bradley 161
  7. Mark Worrall 137
  8. Sharon Pritchard 129
  9. Gareth Richards 129
  10. Niki Puleio 127

I became the first member to qualify for the 300 club milestone t-shirt whilst Nick is due to receive the yellow 250 t-shirt. Aled is on the brink of becoming the third person to reach 200 having overtaken Chris this year who isn’t too far off himself. Dawn and Denise become the first female members to qualify for the 150 t-shirt. We also have 9 members who have run their 100th race for the club this year – Mark Worrall, Sharon Pritchard, Gareth Richards, Debbie Bennion, Emma Loyns, Fiona Drysdale, Kris Denholm, Sarah Davies, Wayne Hayhurst and Helen Griffiths. Whilst we have a further 8 members who ran their 50th race for the club – Wayne Randall, Steph Dyke, Kaye Pedler, Sian Jenkins, Ashley Howells, Paul Barrett, Rosie Salvatore and Steph Puddy.

Cross Country

Earlier in the year saw the conclusion of the 21/22 West Glam season where our men’s team finished top of division 2 to get promoted to the top division. Jacob Tasker was also the joint winner of the individual prize for the season. The cancellation of the Singleton fixture has meant we’ve only had one West Glamorgan XC event in the 22/23 season with a strong showing from both our men and women’s team. In the Gwent XC league, we’ve had participants in each of the 3 fixtures to date with the biggest participation being at the Llandaff event where we had a full scoring ladies team for one of the first times.

Nicky Bennett, Denise Bradley and Luke Davis also took up opportunities to run for the South Wales region at the Welsh Inter-Regional XC Championships in Monmouth where Steph Iveson-Holmes took on the role as one of the team managers for the region.

Bridgend County Running League (BCRL)

2022 saw the return of the BCRL. 158 different members ran at least one BCRL event. We had 627 finishes across the 7 events averaging just short of 90 per fixture. 26 members ran every fixture with a few more only missing one because they volunteered at our own event.

The first event at Rest Bay saw the BCRL returns almost 1,000 days after the last fixture in September 2019. We had 78 runners in attendance but for the first time in BCRL history, we were outnumbered with Porthcawl having 91. With a few of our top runners missing, Porthcawl also took a surprising win by 93 points. Our very own Jake Tasker won the event.

At the second event in Kenfig Sands, we were out in force with our highest attendance of any race in 2022 with a massive 98 runners. Porthcawl beat us again, but by just 5 points.  Jacob made it 2 wins out of 2 and annihilated the field winning by over 2 minutes.

Event 3 was our turn to hold an event. Plans changed from it being our old route of the Beast of Blackmill to looking at the Maesteg Miners route before finally settling on the Planka for a cross country style course. A massive well done to the race committee in getting this set up at short notice and to the 30-40 volunteers from the club that helped make the event happen. Despite needing a lot of people in non running volunteer roles, we still had 93 runners meaning we had around 120 members either volunteering, running or supporting on the day. Jacob won again – this time by over a minute and a half. We had 15 runners in the top 49 overall and ended up winning by 182 points over Porthcawl to take the lead in the team standings for the first time in BCRL history.

Event 4 took us to Pencoed for another cross country style course. This race is where we took on a new level with our top 15 finishing in the top 39 places overall. It was now getting to the point where people who would have been in our top 15 back in 2019 were now finishing about 30th out of the OPR runners. Combined with our 90 runners in attendance as well, it meant we won the event by 203 points.

Event 5 took us to Ogmore Castle. 92 OPR runners. Jake made it 5 out of 5 and had a bit more competition with Bridgend bringing out some of their big boys for their home event. He still won by nearly a minute though. We had 15 runners in the top 35 overall and ended up winning by 179 points over Bridgend despite them putting out a strong team.

Event 6 was Sandy Bowl. I think the fact we ended up with 90 runners for this is pretty impressive considering we were only told where the race was going to be with less than a weeks notice. We won by a BCRL record margin of 268 points. The top 3 overall were Jacob Tasker, Geraint Lewis (who since that event has joined our club) and Niki Puleio.

The final event took place at Merthyr Mawr Lane with 86 of our runners in attendance. Some absolutely astonishing times with our top 16 runners finishing in sub 20 including several getting their first sub 20’s. We won the final fixture to make it 5 wins in a row. Jacob won to become the first person in BCRL history to win all 7 events.

An incredible season.  I know I’ve mentioned the top 15 a lot in that summary but every single person made a difference whether our first finisher or our final finisher.

We also had 11 age category winners who will receive their trophies soon at a post Porthcawl parkrun gathering on January 14th 2023 and we also plan to have a big celebration of our BCRL win at the club presentation night.

This was a record breaking year – Five wins in a row – A record winning margin in a single event – The lowest points total for a single event – A record winning margin overall

A huge thank you to everyone who ran, volunteered, organised and supported in our championship winning year. And here’s to breaking even more records next year!

Age Category Records and serial PB-ers

2022 saw more age category records broken than ever before.

In our under 30’s category, Jacob Tasker lowered his own 5K and 10K records whilst Toby Kearns took the 5 mile record. In the male 40-44 category Niki Puleio set new club age category records at 5K, 10K and 10 miles. The 10 mile time was also an overall club record. Niki moved into the 45-49 category part way through the year and then got the Marathon record in that category. It was a similar story with Gareth Richards who started the year in the 45-49 category and broke the 5K and Half Marathons before tearing apart the 50-54 records getting the 5K, 5 mile, 10K, 10 mile and Half Marathon records all within 3 months. Kris Denholm claimed the 55-59 Half Marathon record whilst Kevin Raymond claimed the 60+ 5K record.

On the ladies side, Sarah Wilkes claimed the under 30’s 5K and 10K records. Emma Morris got the 35-39 Half Marathon record. Sian Price dominated the 40-44 category despite only completing a few events and claimed the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon records. Judith Jeeves claimed the 60+ 5K record.

Of course, you don’t have to be a record breaker to have a fantastic year of running and several of our runners claimed PB’s at multiple distances. Huge kudos to Aled Hughes – anyone who has been running regularly for 10+ years will know that it gets harder and harder to get PB’s but this year Aled smashed his times at 5K, 5 miles, 10K, 10 miles and Half Marathon. Chris Richards claimed PB’s at 5K, 10K, 10 miles and Half Marathon. Gareth Richards was another long time runner who reached another level of running performance this year already mentioned in the age category records with PBs from 5K up to Half Marathon. Mark Teesdale got regular PB’s throughout the year at 5K, 10K, Half Marathon plus a superb 3:11 Marathon PB improving significantly on an already speedy debut marathon time of 3:29 earlier in the year. Niki Puleio claimed PB’s from 5K right through to Marathon. Wayne Randall claimed PB’s at 5K, 10K, 10 miles and Half Marathon whilst he also helped pace Rosie Salvatore in the Vale 18 miler.

On the ladies side, Sarah Davies claimed PB’s at 5K, 10K, 10 miles, Half Marathon and Marathon. Rosie Salvatore matched that feat and finished the year with her first Ultra finish. Carys Cronin had an impressive year with huge PB’s at 5K, 10K and Half Marathons which all featured amongst the fastest in the club. Kate Plimmer also had PB’s at those distances in an impressive first year with the club. Kaye Pedler claimed PB’s at 5K, 10K and Half Marathon and was agonisingly close to adding a Marathon PB to that at Snowdonia.

Apologies I can’t mention everyone as there’s more than a dozen others who have had new PB’s at two or three distances this years as well. There were over 100 new PB’s achieved by our members this year whilst dozens of others ran their furthest distance ever whether than was 5K or 100 miles. Amazing effort by all.

Club Trail Championship

This year saw the return of the club trail championship with a mixture of local parkruns, BCRL races, XC fixtures and a variety of distances ranging at local events including the Rabbit Run, Beast of Bryn and Vale races. Some great competition throughout the series with the final showdown at the Merthyr Mawr Pudding Run. I won’t spoil the surprise and put the final standings as these will be presented at the presentation night.

Club Training in 2022

A steady return to normality has seen consistent sessions throughout the year. Emma Loyns continued her strength classes on a Monday which has regularly been one of the biggest attended sessions of the week. Tuesdays have continued with a mixture of effort and mile sessions. Wednesdays now consist of a Power Plodders session as well as Flyers and other club sessions. We also have Track twice a month where many of the sessions have come together. Thursdays have continued back at our original home in the Ogmore Valley where several themed / celebratory runs have taken place this year. Then there’s been trial Sundays as well the social Sunday run. Also not forgetting our junior section which meet on Mondays. We’ve had a number of new Lirfs this year as well as Liz Davis, Vickie Blake and Jayne Bissmire joining Emma Loyns, David Kembery, Kevin Raymond and Aled Hughes as coaches for the club. A huge thank you to our Lirfs and coaches for their dedication and time.

Other club activities in 2022

Back in April we returned to having an in person presentation night with Jacob walking away with four awards including the top prize of Runners Runner. There were several standing ovations for winners including Mark Worrall as a popular choice as runners up in the Runners Runner voting, Dai Kembery who finished 3rd and was awarded the Outstanding Achievement award for his return from being hopsitalised to running London Marathon. The loudest applause had to be for a non-running achievement which was the first ever Phoenix Hero award being given to Carl Walsh for his volunteer work on the Polish border with Ukraine supplying crucial items to those leaving Ukraine.

The Phoenix gazebo returned to Ogmore by Sea to welcome in the Vale runners. In October we saw the return of the Snowdonia Marathon weekend with over 60 OPR members and supporters travelling up to the event. Phoenix corner was bigger and better than ever with loads staying until the final runners came through – unfortunately the gazebo didn’t quite make it to the end – after being held down by multiple people for hours on end it snapped but will hopefully be repaired and sorted in time for its next outing at the Vale next year.

The Phantom Phoenix continues to keep us guessing. Our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages also continue to keep members up to date whilst earlier in the year we also had the captains log e-mails. There have also been a few blog posts during the year but look out for the return of more regular review blogs in 2023. Pippa and I have posted over 4,000 individual results throughout the year with the master excel file I keep now having over 27,000 results. We celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the club in August with a huge cake at the end of a training session and will be looking to celebrate the milestone further at the presentation night. There was also a monthly photography competition with the winning photos being used for the 2023 Ogmore Phoenix calendar. We have also seen some changes in personnel with long standing ladies captain Pippa Clark stepping down and Dawn Hopkins taking over with Steph Iveson Holmes as vice-captain.

A huge well done to every member who has participated in training, races, volunteered or simply encouraged others this year.