This month saw our members accumulate 270 parkrun finishes over 60 different parkruns across a record 41 different parkrun venues.
Amongst many others, tourism included Medina (Isle of Wight), Westpark (Germany) and Aviemore (Scotland). We also had members at Barry Island and Billericay parkruns on the same day for all you Gavin and Stacey fans.
The month kicked off with a huge turnout of 41 members running at Maesteg for their 2nd year anniversary run. Adrian Pearce also bagged himself a first place at the same venue later in the month.
There were PB’s in the month for Annemarie Morgan, Tyler Howells, Rosaleen Salvatore, Julie Lewis, Toni Howells, Mike Bright, Chris Collin, Jonathan Loo and Gary Loo.
Chris Pratt became only the second member of the club to reach 300 parkruns whilst James Beynon, Martin Beard, Saul Harris and Fiona Drysdale all joined the 100 club.
We also had members at Barry Island and Billericay parkruns on the same day for all you Gavin and Stacey fans. The month kicked off with a huge turnout of 41 members running at Maesteg for their 2nd year anniversary run. Adrian Pearce also bagged himself a first place at the same venue later in the month. There were PB’s in the month for Annemarie Morgan, Tyler Howells, Rosaleen Salvatore, Julie Lewis, Toni Howells, Mike Bright, Chris Collin, Jonathan Loo and Gary Loo. Chris Pratt became only the second member of the club to reach 300 parkruns whilst James Beynon, Martin Beard, Saul Harris and Fiona Drysdale all joined the 100 club.
Aled, Nick and I ran the Cardiff Running Events Summer Sizzler 5K whilst the day after Nick and Aled were in action again with 3 others at the Versus Arthritis Swansea 5K.
The first weekend saw 32 runners at the Barry 10K. Understandably the attendance was a bit lower than the other 10K’s in the series (Cardiff, Newport and Porthcawl) largely due to the Beer Mile being the evening before. There were 6 of us who did both. Other reasons for lower attendance is that the Barry course isn’t the flattest 10K and just like last year, it was incredibly hot and humid.
Despite the conditions, Niki smashed it with a sub 40 time of 39:14 followed by Chris Wonka Williams in 43:57 whilst I can claim first out of the Beer Mile entrants with a 45:50. Our first lady was Claire DB in 48:04 followed by Emma Loyns and Jo Gamba. Elsewhere, Ken Salvatore ran an impressive 56:20 PB.
There were several other smaller 10K’s in month with Sharon Pritchard and Debbie Bennion took on the Llandegfedd Reservior 10K, Chris Richards and Steve Nelson completed the Tough Runner Brechfa 10K and Chris was in action again later in the month at the Narbeth Nobbler 10K.
The Brecon 10 miler saw 6 members in action with Adrian Pearce first back in a club age category record of 1:05:55 which means he know has all the records in his age category bar the marathon. David Kembery was next up followed by Brian Cotton. The final 3 all came through with PB’s – Liz Sim, Dawn Hopkins and Jayne Bissmire.
42 members completed the Port Talbot Half Marathon with Adrian Pearce back first in another age category club record of 1:25:58. Our first female Phoenix was Claire DB in 1:49:29. The PB list included Jay Howells, Anthony Kavanagh, Tim Rees, Chris Richards, Kaye Pedler, Jamie Puddy, Stephne Puddy, Helen Griffiths and Sian Jenkins.
The Narberth Nobbler saw Denise Bradley, Fiona Evans and Melissa Humphreys complete the tricky course whilst we had 12 runners at the Severn Bridge Half Marathon on a very warm morning led back by Luke Jones in 1:47:57 with Sarah Davies the first Phoenix lady in 02:09:45.
Bath Two Tunnels Marathon saw Steven James, Liz Sim, Chris Pratt and Jo Kendall complete the course with Liz getting a new marathon PB. Chris was back in action a week later for the Narberth Nobbler Marathon with Mike Bright and Angharad Hinam also completing the course.
The month kicked off in unusual fashion with 2 very different mile events. First up was the ‘murder mile’ which Aled and Nick took on. A single mile with almost 700 feet of elevation and a constant incline until the last 100 meters or so. The second one was the increasingly popular ‘beer mile’.
The ‘beer mile’ attracted 29 members this year to take on the challenge of a 100 meter run – drink a 330ml can of cider or beer (or new for this year, a 175ml glass of Prosecco) – run 600 meters – drink again – run 300 meters – drink another – run 300 meters – drink a forth time – then a final 300 meters to finish. Aled Hughes clocked a crazy time of 7 minutes and 12 seconds whilst 10-11 minutes was around the average. It certainly doesn’t end up in the familiar order of results we normally see.
Later in the month we would also see a ‘normal’ mile race with Aled and Niki taking on a flat road mile in Butetown. Niki finished in 5:08 with Aled in 5:40.
Adrian Pearce and Aled Hughes took on the Machen Mountain Race on Bank Holiday Monday which included an eye watering 1000 feet of ascent in the first 2 miles before coming back down.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend, Nick Harris, Jo Gamba and I took on the CPR (Cardiff Pentath Running) challenge. This involved running Cardiff parkrun, followed by a 10K in Pontcanna Fields at 12.30pm, a 4.5K Cross Country race on Llandaff Fields at 4.30pm all on the Saturday, and then on the Sunday a Half Marathon at 9am and finishing off with a 1 mile time trial at 1pm. The 5 events add up to exactly 26.2 miles and whilst you get results for all the individual events, it’s the cumulative time that matters. Conditions were very hot all weekend which made the challenge even tougher and there were many hours spent in Tesco café on Western Avenue between events to refuel and hydrate.
On the same weekend, Liz Sim was taking on a very similar challenge in Portishead. The team behind Ben Smith’s 401 marathons in 401 days (worth Googling if you don’t know about this) had set up a series of 4 races adding up to 26.2 miles. This involved a 5K run at 2.30pm on Saturday followed by a Half Marathon at 4.30pm. Then a 10K at 10am on the Sunday followed by 6.2K at 12.30pm to make it up to 26.2 miles.
We had 85 members complete the 5th fixture of the Bridgend League at Newbridge Fields. A 3.6 mile race starting and finishing on the running track which was great for supporting at the end and some amazing sprint finishes. Gareth Battle was our first finisher closely followed by 5 other Phoenix all within 13 seconds of each other. Another strong performance by our top 15 and a massive turnout meant we finished as second team on the night and pretty much secured our second place in the league overall.
Over to Chris for Chairmans Runner of the Month.
Chairman’s Runners of the Month
Members out in force at training, August being the second highest monthly attendance of the year. The warm weather not putting people off for sure. Warm weather training is always popular!
Lots of events and lots of great performances as well as impressive stories of endeavour making it very difficult to choose from the midst of all the achievements. As I’ve said before, it’s not always about pure achievement…
Sometimes a story will capture the attention. We know that running fills a void for many people. It’s a distraction from the rigours of life. After a long passage of being away from running, often it’s signing up for an event that brings people back to it. Training doesn’t always go well but sometimes the event still needs to be done to exorcise some demons. Guts and determination are something I always admire. Facing the adversity of the situation and pushing through it. It doesn’t have to be a long way and it doesn’t have to be quick. It’s all about meeting the challenge and seeing it through. One such person took on a challenge against the odds. Things hadn’t gone quite to plan but it was necessary to stand on the start line and face it head on. Despite suffering blisters that would scare the more hardy of our bunch and finding it extremely tough, one of our midst dug in and pushed on to the bitter end. Crossing the finish line not only indicated the end of a tough half marathon but also put pay to many doubts and fears about returning to running and began a positive push forward in life. I am honoured to award my Chairman’s August Female Runner of the Month to Melissa Humphreys. Well done Melissa. Stick with it! We are very proud of you.
My next choice is someone who has caught my eye on a number of occasions. Also with a story to tell, my male choice for the accolade is someone who dedicates an incredible amount of time to family. With a particular reason for doing so, time is incredibly precious. Taking time out is very difficult but he manages it. Running is often an aid to dealing with the rigours of daily life. Not only that but events he does get to we are seeing improvements with two 10k’s completed during August and a new half marathon PB in Port Talbot. We harbour many members who have stories to tell and it is often those stories that help to shape them into the person that they are. Caring, thoughtful, dedicated and determined come to mind here. Not only inspiring with his outlook on life and the commitment he makes to his family but also to the pastime which gives him respite. I am incredibly proud to announce my Chairman’s Male Runner of the Month for August to Chris Richards. Well done Chris. I’m sure there’s much more to come. Keep on inspiring us.