August 2017 review

Wednesday 1st – Cardiff Summer Sizzler 5K

I was the only Phoenix for this one in what couldn’t have been further from a summer sizzler with wet and cold conditions for the time of year. The event is run on the same course as Cardiff parkrun but with only 150 runners rather than the 700+ on a Saturday there was a much better chance of a good time. I finished in 19:48 which I was absolutely delighted with. A fifth sub 20 this year at five different locations.

Saturday 5th – parkruns

32 runners across 3 parkruns.  PB’s for Rebecca Newton, Debbie Bennion and Sharon Pritchard at Porthcawl.

Sunday 6th – Brecon 10 miler and Gloucester HM

11 at Brecon runners lead home by John Burridge who set a new club age category record beating his own PB by 1 second. Sian Price smashed the female club record by almost 10 minutes with a time of 1:16:36. There was also age category records for Claire Dunbar-Bowen and Josie Bishop who were both also within the old female record time.

Karl Johnson and Ashley Howells completed the Gloucester Half Marathon whilst Dai Williams, Wayne Hayhurst and Mark Gabb all celebrated PB’s in the Full Marathon.

Saturday 12th – parkruns, Gower Tri and Brecon 50

41 runners across 6 parkruns. A first timer PB for Elaine Christian whilst Andrea Self bettered her debut parkrun time in her second event. Sian Price was first female overall in Maesteg adding it to a first female finish at Porthcawl last year despite running 3 minutes slower than her PB. John Burridge ran 19:39 at Swansea Bay parkrun which was just 1 second slower than his PB time set in January 2015.

Helen Griffiths notched up yet another triathlon finish in the Gower Triathlon completing the 750m swim, 25K bike and 5K run.

Jamie Vanstone and Gareth Richards completed the Brecon 50 mile Ultra which contained over 7000 feet of elevation! Despite going off course, they ended up finishing 3rd and 4th in the event.

Sunday 13th – Port Talbot Half Marathon

40 runners for the second annual Port Talbot Half Marathon. Lead home by Niki Puleio who ran a PB of 1:26: 14. Sian Price was first female back in 1:45:49 which is one of the fastest times by any female member in the history of the club. Her PB which was set before joining the club would actually beat the current club record. A plethora of PB’s including Keith Coleman, Dan Clark, Nigel Hitchings, Mark Burgess, Jo Betty, Kimberly Thomas, Steph Dyke, Amy Williams and Claire Taylor.

Karl Johnson was the only Phoenix at the Cottrel Park Summer 10K finishing in 54:22.

Saturday 19th – parkruns

47 runners across 6 different parkruns. After Sian Price claimed first female at Maesteg last week, Niki Puleio claimed first male and first overall at Maesteg this week. 38 runners at Porthcawl was a biggest attendance in a while so a nice rare surprise that I was first Phoenix across the line. It was Jackie Lewis 200th parkrun and she celebrated in style knocking over 30 seconds off her PB. My runner of the month for July had the 5th highest age grade percentage of the 376 finishers. There was another PB for Sharon Prichard whilst Maria George and April Kitchener also got in on the act.

Tuesday 22nd – Bridgend League 5th fixture – Newbridge Fields 4.5 miler

50 runners for this 2 lap course around Newbridge Fields with a steady climb towards the end of each lap. Niki Puleio lead us home and was 3rd overall. Chris Truman were 2nd and 3rd Phoenix across the line and also 2nd and 3rd in the Senior Male category overall. Juliet Amner was our first female across the line. Well done to everyone who ran the tough course including several running their first Bridgend League event and / or first trail event.

Wednesday 23rd – Aberavon Duathlon

Taking place the same time as qualifiers for the Commenwealth Games, 7 of our athletes rubbed shoulders with the elites to complete the swim, run course. Sarah Littlewood was first club member home whilst Philip Buckley completed his first multisport event.

Saturday 26th – parkruns and Llantwit Major 5K / 10K

37 runners across 7 parkruns. At Porthcawl there was a first sub 20 for Dai James whilst Wayne Hayhurst, Jayne Bissmire, Sharon Pritchard and April Kitchener. At Maesteg parkrun I had my highest parkrun finish with 2nd place overall. Jo Betty was second female.

At Llantwit, Mark Gabb completed the treble doing the 1K, 5K and 10K distances that were on offer. Alun Wylde did both the 5K and 10K. Chris Stanlake just went for the 5K option whilst 10 other club members did the 10K which takes in a section of the Vale Ultra course.

Sunday 27th – Narberth Nobbler HM and Marathon, Severn Bridge and Malmesbury 10K

Emma Morris ran at the interestingly named ‘Flying Monk Malmesbury 10K Carnival’ where she offered to pace 55 minutes and came in at 54:35.

There were 8 runners at the Severn Bridge Half Marathon where Chris Roberts helped pace Karl Johnson to his first sub 1:50 clocking.

5 members took on the Narberth Nobbler Half Marathon whilst marathon regulars Kris Denholm and Chris Pratt notched up another to the list in the full distance event. The half marathon course had various terrain with 1500 feet of elevation spread over numerous hills throughout the course. Resident King of the Trails Richard Lowcock James commented he’d never done a race with so many water crossings with several streams in the half marathon. The marathon followed the same course for 10 miles before branching off to do even more hills and a waist deep river crossing that required ropes. The temperature rose significantly just as most of us doing the half were finishing leaving even tougher conditions for Kris and Chris. They both battled through finishing yet another tough marathon.

Monday 28th – Machen Mountain Race

Emma Morris was in action again for the 3rd day in a row, this time taking on this fell race which includes 1300 feet of elevation in just 3 miles. In fact, nearly 2 miles are downhill so you could argue its 1300 feet in just over a mile. A great event to end what was a big weekend of trail with the Llantwit, Narberth and then this race.

Wednesday 30th – Tuska Beach 5.2K

50 runners for the final Bridgend League race of the year. Neil Jones lead the club home with a 3rd placed finish overall on the course run entirely on sand from Rest Bay to Pink Bay. Sian Price was our first female runner and 8th female overall. Great performances throughout the field. We are awaiting final results but a great turnout in the final event should have secured us a second year of finishing 3rd club overall. A great achievement with almost all clubs fielding more runners than last year.

Statos Runner of the Month  – Sian Price

After a lengthy lay off due to injury at the start of the year, Sian is returning to her best form. She started the month with a PB at Brecon 10 miler which beat the previous club record by almost 10 minutes with a 1:16:26 to finish 7th female overall. Sian followed that up a week later with a 1:45: 59 for the 3rd fastest female time ever for our club. Sian also finished 1st female at Maesteg parkrun and finished off the month finishing 8th female overall at the Bridgend League Tuska Beach event.

Chairmans runners of the month

With our ever increasing membership, the task of choosing a male and female member that stands out during a month is very difficult.  There are so many amazing people doing amazing things within the club every single day and so it’s an arduous task.  I wanted to award about 20 of these, but there will be other months where myself or Sian can celebrate others.

I wanted to choose people not based purely on their running abilities or scale of achievements but on steps they have taken to better themselves.

For those who might not know there is a group operating on Facebook under the title “Phoenix Lites“.  The idea is for members of Ogmore Phoenix (and some friends) to encourage each other in weight loss.  Every week there is a weigh in on a Monday morning and progress is shared within the group.  I love it when someone suddenly takes control of their life and has a eureka moment where they change something significant.  The reading of a book whilst on holiday, “The Cool Impossible” by Eric Orton inspired one member so much they took the big step to cut sugar out of their diet.  A 10lb weight loss followed within a week whilst battling with sugar withdrawal!  This led to further losses bringing his weight down by a stone by the end of the month.  He also achieved an increased running mileage of 27 miles in the final week of the month and a renewed vigour and attitude towards the running.  He’s looking a lot trimmer as well.  What an awesome change!  Inspirational.  Well done Ashley Howells, my chairman’s male runner of the month.

My female choice is someone returning to running after a very tough couple of years.  Illness forced a long rest and coming back from such an illness is a tough battle.  A battle that some would really struggle with.  It’s a testament to someone’s character when they come back fighting.  Our fundamental club ethos of being inclusive to all means we never leave anyone behind so no matter where you place in a race you are a hugely important member of the club.  Despite really struggling this runner has fought back by attending races undeterred by her plight and crossed finish lines with her head held high.  I have been inspired by this and it should be celebrated.  Hence I have chosen Lynda Denholm as this months chairman’s female runner of the month.

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