August saw 166 parkrun finishes across 32 events and 26 different venues. August included the inaugural Severn Bridge parkrun attended my Aled Hughes, Jo Betty and I. Emma Loyns clocked a tourism PB at Lee-on-the-Solent.
Other tourists outside of Wales in month were Kris Denholm at Lydney, Chris Roberts at Heaton and Fulham Palace parkruns, Chris Stanlake at Heartlands and Victoria Docks parkruns, James Littlewood at Sewerby, Angela Walsh at Colchester, the Sheards at Rothwell, Saul Harris at Dartford, Chris Pratt at Cotswold Feilds, Karl at Wotton and myself and Jo Betty at Sandwell Valley.
Even further afield Karl ran at Inverness and Fiona Drysdale ran at Aviemore whilst Jayne Powney ran at Nose Hill in Canada.
Highlights in month included a new PB for Wayne Hayhurst who is closing in on his first sub 20. Cath Griffiths got the perfect sub 30 with a 29:59. Niki Puleio had a first finish at Maesteg parkrun. Plus we had several first time parkrunners.
At the start of the month we had 43 runners at Porthcawl for our ‘parkrun celebration day’ where myself and Chris Pratt ran our 250th parkruns whilst Liz Davis and Jo Betty celebrated their 100th parkuns.
17 runners took on the inaugural Barry Island 10K in hot conditions on an undulating course. Despite the conditions, Ryan Evans managed a sub 40 finish with Niki Puleio just outside. Emma Loyns, Sam Miller, Tim Rees and Natalie
The Lovelucks were back amongst the prize-winners again at the Barry Epic 10K where Shawn Cullen also completed the tough course.
Emma Morris was the 55 minute pacer at the Westonbirt 10K coming in at 54:26.
We had 17 runners at the Llantwit Major 10K where Steve Loveluck picked up another age category prize and Anneliese was first female overall.
The month ended with Wayne Randall, Vickie Cameron Davies, Suzanne Harrison, Rhiannon Whiteley and Pippa Clark completing the Narbeth Nobbler 10K.
37 members ran the Port Talbot Half Marathon which included some a couple of very heavy rain showers. Gareth Richards was our first runner home whilst Claire DB continued her excellent form as 3rd club member across the line and first female in the club. Liz Sim picked up a sub 2 hour PB with a 1:57:29 with myself, Mark Burgess and Alun Wylde for company. Alun was only a few seconds off bagging himself a PB as well. Natalie Esp knocked another huge chunk off her half marathon PB with a 2:15:30 whilst Fran Collins completed our PBers on the day. On the same day, Dawn Hopkins completed the Dublin Half Marathon.
Two very different halves to finish off the month with 5 members completing the Narbeth Nobbler Half Marathon with all time in excess of 2 hours 30. At the Severn Bridge we had 8 runners all well under 2:30 led home by Wayne Hayhurst with a 1:35:10 knocking 4 minutes off his HM PB which had stood for almost 2 years. There were also PB’s for Chris Roberts and Deb Griffin.
The only marathon of the month was the Narbeth Nobbler. A very challenging trail race which Chris Pratt and Kris Denholm took on last year and were back again for more along with Gareth Richards, Simon Harrison (who did the Half last year) and Dan Clark.
A week before her heroic PB in the wet conditions at Port Talbot Half, Liz Sim ran a 10 mile PB at the Brecon 10 miler whilst Ian Lewis completed the course just outside of his PB in scorching conditions.
On the lighter side of ‘running events’, we had 30 members at the Bridgend Beer Mile. Some even had a second go when the organisers offered another round at the end. I went down to watch the first couple of groups and would highly recommend keeping it free next year either to sign up (if brave / stupid enough) or go along and support as it was a great atmosphere and sociable event.
Another fun event this month (but with a bit more running involved) was the 14 mile Race the Train event. It’s exactly what the title suggests. Fiona Drysdale did this one and highly recommends it with plenty of shorter distances available for younger runners as well.
Kris Denholm completed the Bath Two Tunnels 50K Ultra. The course includes over 20K underground in the tunnels.
Finally onto the Bridgend County Running League fixture this month which was at Newbridge Fields. A 3.6 mile, 2 lap course with a mixture of surfaces to contend with. We had an impressive 73 runners with Niki leading the way for the club. In the female standings, Anneliese had to settle for 5th this time out as Bridgend brought out their big guns for the race. Bridgend had 10 of the first 13 runners. A few of our top runners were missing resulting in Brackla clawing back more points and setting up an exciting last fixture in the race for 2nd place.
Well done all.
Chairman’s runners of the month
My first choice will come as very little surprise.
Here is someone who has shown immense strength of character. Life has thrown many things at her but she continues to get back up time and time again. She has taken life by the scruff of the neck and she’s showing it who’s boss!! Challenge after challenge we see her battle and win!! Last month we saw her and her very dear friend Fiona smash the Long Course Weekend in Tenby – 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and then run a marathon on three consecutive days!! (You might have got it now) Not only that but this month she organised a bike-athon on Wattbikes to cover the distance from John O Groats to Lands End in one day with friends. Not only did they complete it, they smashed it out of the park with several Ogmore Phoenix Runners along for the “ride” raising lots of money for Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), a charity very close to her heart. Then on the back of that she headed off to complete the North to South challenge, again for MNDA, cycling from North Wales to South Wales in 3 days but stopping off to climb the 3 peaks of Snowdon, Cader Idris and Pen y Fan on the way!! Not only that but she is one of our welfare officers and (as some of you may not know) a founder member of the club! A lovely person and wonderful role model for all of us. Without hesitation I award the chairmans female runner of the month to Helen Griffiths. What’s next Helen? Dare I ask? Whatever it is – we salute you!
My second choice goes to a runner who is returning to form. With a penchant for very long distance events his focus has changed slightly recently with a return to shorter distances which has had the inevitable effect of falling times. A PB at parkrun produced a time homing in on 20 minutes. The holy grail is within sight!! These are not isolated incidents – they are consistently being achieved. Severn Bridge saw a new half marathon PB so endurance is still good. Running long distance all the time leaves the body tired and performance suffers as a result. Sometimes you need to back off from it to allow the body to rest and recover properly and off the back of it better performances at shorter distances arise. He is a prime example of that. Chatting with him just last week revealed how excited he is to be regaining that form and pushing the boundaries again. Long may it continue! I am delighted to award the chairmans male runner of the month to Wayne Hayhurst. Keep it up Wayne.