Weekly Waffle – 7th July 2019

The week started, as it always does, with training.  

Numbers still maintained despite a distinct increase in events week on week.  A recce of an upcoming race fixture drew many curious souls to a warm Tuesday evening session.

Midweek saw the end of a popular series down west with a huge turnout on a different seafront once again.  As we drew towards the weekend two went on a mission to complete the final race in a series in the capital.

As they did our multi-disciplined contingent started a journey, some towards a coveted fourth medal.  Miles in the sea were the order of the day and battling jellyfish all returned to terra firma victorious.

The hot sun set and rose.  Tired bodies set off early on two wheels to complete a second stage.  Supported by fellow Phoenix they all completed their quest, but before they were done the obligatories of a Saturday morning were completed in a multi-tude of locations.  The weekly equation was repeated.  Home x 2 + away = many.  At home on the seafront, an impending race resulted in closed roads and a unique opportunity to return the course to a familiar and enjoyable finish.  

Not long after this regular start one lone soldier set off on a historic journey from the English capital to battle.  Over 100 miles to the finish line, this quest was always going to be a long one…

Tired bodies from most of the days activities slept well.  While they did one carried on his journey through the night.  Others closed their eyes with a nervous disposition for a first…

Running is our passion.

It’s what brought us together and it’s the glue that keeps us together.

But, at the risk of sounding repetitive, it’s so much more than that.

Weeks come and weeks go. 

Tales of valour. 

Stories of endeavour.  

Words I use a lot – but they’re so apt.  Many of these stories are deep rooted.  They built from somewhere.  Every story was created from a seed.  All the seeds were different but they grew.  Bodies were transformed.  Minds were transformed.  Every story takes time to build.  Every story has with it tales of woe.  There’s heartache.  There’s pain.  There’s joy and optimism.  There’s often disappointment and misery – I won’t sugar coat it.  But when there is – and through sensible choices, hard work, focus and dedication these are put to bed and the mind and body get stronger – the outcome is so much sweeter!  

Imagine, if you will, a love story.  Not for another person.  For a routine.  For something that takes hold.  For something that, at first may be a chore, but it becomes a necessity.  An obsession.  Not “do I have to go out for a run” but “when can I get my next run in”.  When you’re sneaking out of the door in a morning with a bag packed with running gear in case you can squeeze a couple of miles in at lunchtime to clock up on Strava or lift your mood.  We see it happen.  We know it happens because it’s happened to us!

Then a local event comes along.  It coincides with a graduation.  Our Zero to Hero programme developed.  It became something more as we took them further.  The culmination of this played out, as it often does, on the seafront at Porthcawl…

10 kilometres.  The first race of this distance for several.  Joined by the seasoned athletes in their quest for better times they made their way to the start line.  Simultaneously, way down west, others grouped to start the final leg of their three day journey joined by others for just the one stage on foot.  5k, 10k, half and full marathons were on the cards.

The sun streamed down and made the conditions testing for all distances in all locations. 

The Phoenix was born in the flames.  Sure enough, as the sun beat down, everyone rose from the heat to meet the challenge.

With two across the border to the north tackling another event and our soloist still moving forward far to the east, almost a half of the club were out on their feet to complete their goals.

Banding together we all battled on.  The Phoenix spirit was strong and all who felt it flow through their veins showed valiant effort to reach the end.

All distances completed, short and long – all of equal merit in our eyes!

Their stories are all different, but they are intertwined.  

They run in parallel, but they converge.  

Working together or on their own they found their way home.  The mutual support never tired.  Willing each other on.  Those who couldn’t run sent strength.  Many supported.  Many volunteered.  The Phoenix spirit flowed from the heart with many giving their time to ensure safe completion of the events.

Not only that but numbers taking part broke records.  A sheer volume of members never seen before stood on a start line and made their way along the route to the end.  A record number of finish lines crossed in one day was recorded with a three figure sum that was approaching half the current membersip!

All finished triumphant, but all stories are not finished.

They will continue.

Good times are shared.

Memories are made that will last.

Bonds are being strengthened.

New dreams are forming. 

Future adventures are being planned.

Boundaries are being broken.

Lives are being changed.

What’s next?

On a weekend where I didn’t achieve much but I followed a whole host of stories I am inspired…

Tonight I will dream big… because of you all!

You should do the same!

#lovethisclub
#loveourclub

Weekly Waffle – 30th June 2019

It’s that time again as we look back on the weeks events…

As the temperature rises we enjoy some warm weather training…

Strength training on the beach – what better way to enjoy the change in climate!

Tempo sessions encouraged everyone to push their limits.

The Planka was the destination for those who headed up the valley.

As much as we have weeks where we are inundated with events this week there was an obvious drought.  With many having tested their legs last weekend in Swansea in hot conditions a rest week was always on the cards for a few – and well earned it was.

A period over which to recharge the batteries which was welcomed in the warm weather.

It didn’t stop decent numbers heading for their local parkrun start line.  Many also took to start lines dotted around the country.  Two targeted the last running of one particular Welsh parkrun as the venue closes its doors resulting in a long journey the length of Wales to take part!

Many completing their 5k on the seafront at Porthcawl met by the entrance to the pavilion to be given their instructions for the inaugural Phoenix 5 event… 

6 teams, 5 in a team, started by finding the Welsh Wally.  Carpool Karaoke.  School sports day.  Selfie in a phone box.  Ice creams on high while chasing sheep.  Scaling the infamous Coronation Street to retrieve their duck!


A fun filled morning of entertainment culminated in returning to base camp at Tondu Rugby Club where the annual BBQ was waiting for them.  More milestone t-shirts handed out.  Big prize winners of the Phoenix 100 Club were drawn as the current running of it comes to a close.

Music, dancing and impromptu karaoke followed to round of a fun-packed day!

A special occasion indeed as many got to meet the new addition to the Clark family.  Lovely little Arthur came along to say hi to his Phoenix family and we all fell in love with the little fella!

Sunday arrived and those who could raise their heads from the pillow took on a favourite club trail run while our improvers did a recce of the Porthcawl 10k route ready for their second graduation next week at the actual event!

Training numbers restored after being affected by last weeks plethora of events culminating in a high turnout at a half marathon.

A definite focus on fun this week!  The feel good factor of the sun shining down on us much more than it has in previous weeks.  Less races but still the Phoenix continue to band together to share great times.

Spirits are high once again as we move further into the summer.

Keep it up!

#lovethisclub
#loveourclub

Weekly Waffle – 23rd June 2019

Another week draws to a close…

A week of highs and lows…

During the week the promise of a donkey cwtch drew decent numbers up the valley.

A midweek dash around Bute Park drew a few up to the capital while others got their fix of track training.

Warm and light nights allow more adventurous routes in our spiritual base with views and climbs to take the breath away.

Over the pond members sought out fellow runners with which to share some miles… and drinks after!

As the nursery rhyme goes Jack and Jill went up a hill and so did some of our own on a tough little route for an extra event to their name.

Saturday arrived.  

parkrun.

Milestones, birthdays and club championships resulted in huge numbers in the Llynfi Valley.  The seafront still attracted it’s regular contingent.

Tourism always draws some away from home.  One in particular literally on the shores of the emerald isle was spotted by a local runner who sent back best wishes and pictures of them sharing the beach parkrun experience.  How wonderful our community is.

A lack of parkrun on an island in the Adriatic forced one to seek a similar distance event.  A tough course tested the legs but resulted in another admirable finish position!

A two day event saw one within our midst cover a significant distance helping a family member to reach a goal.  Another step in the build up to something bigger was a tough day as illness took its toll but the goal was achieved in spite of it!

The sun fell on a glorious day and rose but hidden by cloud – for which many were grateful as a bus load joined others for a half marathon by the sea that regularly attracts large numbers.  Volunteers did their bit providing official support for runners taking on the challenge at the turnaround point.  Others donned their hi-viz to ensure the safety of those bringing up the rear.  Brave souls, some with nervous faces, lined up in the warm to tackle the distance.  Some for the first time.  Despite the lack of sun it was warm.  A head wind back through the final miles provided resistance when the legs were getting tired.  All battled through and crossed the finish line with stories to tell of valour along the way.  Almost three score and ten Phoenix took on the challenge and soared high over the sea to the west.  With supporters and volunteers alike over a hundred members were involved in the days proceedings!  Phoenix family day out!

As we said farewell to the day news broke of the loss of a fellow runner at the days event.  Our running community is one bound by strong bonds.  When one has fallen we all feel the pain.  As the sun disappeared below the horizon our hearts were heavy in mourning the very sad loss of one of our own.  Our thoughts go out to those who were very close to them. 

Highs and lows.

We are privileged to be in a position where we can pursue this wonderful hobby of ours.  It brings with it feelings of amazing achievement, whatever the distance and whatever the speed.  We salute all who lace up their shoes and head out of the door.  It’s a chance to escape the world and disappear into ourselves.  Discover what our bodies can achieve and just how powerful our minds are when we push them.  “I’m not a runner” is something I have heard a lot.  I’ve seen lots, and I mean lots, of people say that and then find themselves discovering what they are capable of when they give it a go.  It makes you stronger in so many ways.  Combine that with community and a whole new magic develops.  A magic that is born from the ties that bind us as a club and within the running community at large.

Reflectively on a weekend where we are reminded of our own mortality and contrary to normal weeks I will offer some of my own thoughts.  On a personal level my life has been transformed by running.  It filters through so many aspects of it.  I have lost weight.  I feel fitter.  I feel stronger, both mentally and physically.  I have made an enormous number of amazing life-long friends.  Thankfully I have someone wonderful with me who supports all the crazy plans.  I have shared the experience not only with friends but very close family members and sharing an experience when pushing ourselves creates an incredible understanding of each others strengths cementing those bonds even stronger.  It is a passion that will stay with me for life.  I feel so privileged to be in a position to do so and that is massively down to our Phoenix family.  Thank you all for enriching my life and the lives of each other.

Risen from the ashes and flying higher than ever!

The Phoenix spirit.

#lovethisclub
#loveourclub

Weekly Waffle – 16th June 2019

A busy week ahead…

Once again, training is affected by other responsibilities.  

The impending fielding of a fixture in the local league that brings all the clubs in the Bridgend area together was the focus.  Preparations build in the final days up to the midweek event.  A huge commitment for those devoting a great deal of time to organise.  A huge commitment for those giving their time during the day and on the night to make sure things run smoothly.  A huge commitment from the captains to organise a team from those who remain.  A huge commitment from the runners to perform for the club and gain crucial points after an admiral performance in the first fixture.

Mother natures was on our side despite the forecast.  The old adage “Proper prior preparation prevents poor performance” was observed to great effect.  261 runners started and 261 runners finished.  Despite our commitments to organising and volunteering, the runners did us proud with incredible individual performances for a fantastic team score!

A very worthy hashtag for a job well done.

#proudPhoenix

Training resumes as a calmness descends.  Smaller numbers attend as The Beast of Blackmill takes a toll on legs.

This doesn’t stop some attending other races as a couple travel to the capital to complete the next event in an increasingly popular series.

The pride from an incredible week is heightened by one of our number receiving another Welsh Athletics medal through the post for an admiral performance.  Phoenix flying very high, again!

Friday night. 

Lights out.

Saturday morning. 

Wakey, wakey.  

Alarms not required as body clocks detect the impending trip to a parkrun.

Home or away?  That is the question…

Home for many.  On the seafront and up the valley we get to start lines in numbers.  Milestones were clocked up in number with celebrations all round.

Away locations attract others.  Within our borders and “across the pond”.  

All getting their 5k completed.

Clouds part and the sun pokes through to appropriately reflect the season.

Phoenix in numbers head down to the local country estate to chase Rabbits.  Bunnies and toddlers took to the stage before their parents joined others on the start line to tackle a trail event with a multitude of different terrain.  Many Phoenix flew the flag on the tough course with many fantastic performances and club cameraderie worthy of note.  Sand dune descents that led many to “release the inner 8 year old” as they “helter skeltered” to the bottom.  Mud, grass, tarmac and sand in varying quantities challenged all, culminating in a river crossing that saw some fall foul of an uneven river bed producing spectacular photos as a result!  Smiling faces from all told the story of a job well done!

As the light fades and a new day dawns a few head down the coast to the west to complete a number of distances.  Wether 10k, marathon or more, all completed their target with admirable endeavour.  Medals earned.

And while all this happens our heroes still turn up to continue their journey!

It’s been a busy one.

It’s been a tiring one.

But The Phoenix endured.

Resilience.  
Endeavour.  
Commitment.  
Grit.  
Determination.  
Pride.  
Phoenix pride.

Continue to fly!

#lovethisclub
#loveourclub

Weekly Waffle – 9th June 2019

With the furore of last weekends preparation for our race on Wednesday night this review didn’t get completed.  Not one to forget our amazing runners if I can help it – the story will be told…

Sunday, Sunday…

The end of the week.

Again we contemplate what has been…

Midweek races battled with track session for numbers.  High numbers at both.  Local and distant 5k events drew many away.  Seafront miles produced many smiles.  Pleasant conditions led to decent times amongst the large numbers.  Away from home one didn’t want to miss out and booked in a race to complete the same distance.

Thursday saw a number head up the Bwlch for a testing session that always results in praise from those who dare to tackle the inclines!

Give me a ‘p’, give me an ‘a’, give me an ‘r’… you know where I’m going with this.  It’s Saturday morning and it wouldn’t be the same without it.  Home and away the Phoenix collected their tokens and were scanned.  Some came back with inspirational stories, not uncommon with the wide range of ages and abilities taking part.

One took on the challenge of racing equine opponents and whilst not victorious recorded impressive results on a notoriously tough course.

Goodbye Saturday, hello Sunday.

The traverse from North Wales to South Wales broken into stages drew a couple of our midst away from home to represent a local squad with admirable results.

One headed north to run, ride and row around a multi-discipline course with incredible results worthy of accolade.

Several teams headed to the golf course, working together to represent the Phoenix on a tough little course.  Bunker Hill failed to claim any victims with admirable results from all, yet again!

One cycled long distance locally coming back with the rewards for their efforts.

With high numbers on the trails and epic performances from our Zero to Hero improvers completing their full 10k, training sessions enjoyed large numbers once again!

What a week!

Everyone keeping busy with their running…

Everyone sharing experiences as we continue to turn up to events in significant numbers!
Well done guys – stick with it!

#lovethisclub
#loveourclub

Weekly Waffle – 2nd June 2019

What a week – yet again!

Training numbers were affected this week by a huge Phoenix contingent heading down the lanes through Merthyr Mawr for a local 5k that always attracts big numbers.  Impressive times and gutsy performances were in plentiful supply on the night in this regional championship event!

A trio headed to the capital once again to record swift times over 2 miles at the next in a series of events.  Events completed on the rise!

parkrunday or as it’s alternatively known, Saturday.

A new month.  

High numbers spread all around the country.  

One of our home runs saw a takeover where members give up their runs to provide the core roles required for the event to take place while those do it week in, week out get to run.  Huge numbers headed up the Llynfi Valley to volunteer and run!  An excellent morning was had by all with a few enjoying the hospitality of Wetherspoons after for some much needed recovery! 

Still high numbers at our other home while many got their fix wherever they found themselves for the weekend.

Missing their parkrun constitutional were a brave few taking on the might of Carten.  100 miles of cycling from Cardiff to Tenby – amazing stuff!

One lone runner started early to navigate the Wales Coastal Path between Porthcawl and Penarth.  The 40 mile journey was completed in style and finish line photos with a happy smiling face tell us it was a great day out!  Inspirational stuff!

The sun set and rose on a historic day for the club…

Rack Raid.
Participation by invitation only.
Captains and Vice Captains past and present worked hard to deliver a plan for qualification.
13 members set impressive qualifying times to gain selection.
100 miles.  
13 stages.
A very early start took them east to tackle each stage in turn.
Nerves abound as each section carried cut-off times.
Mutual support within the team strengthened the determination to succeed.
Every runner put in incredible performances.
News filtered back through the wonder of social media and we all revelled in the excitement of the day.
A great day for the Phoenix with an impressive finishing position cementing our future in the event.
We asked them to fly high and they rose with valour!  

Immensely proud.

At home we had numbers heading back up the Llynfi Valley to take on the Keeper of the Colliery and despite the rain they all completed in style.

Others wore pink to show their support for Cancer Research UK on a 5k route around familiar surroundings.

We saw newbie triathletes smash their first events as they challenge themselves to new things.

What an incredible weekend yet again…

A weekend that yet again demonstrates that being a Phoenix is all about being together – sharing experiences.  If you run super quick or super long, we salute you.  If you’ve just completed your first Zero to Hero session, we salute you.  If you’ve just run 5k for the first time, we salute you.  It doesn’t even matter if you run.  To walk, run, support or volunteer, we salute you.  What we do, we do together.  

Team photos from all over the country appear with any number from one to over a hundred.  

It’s that team spirit that pulls us together.

One big team.
One big family.
Family Phoenix.
We salute you all.

#lovethisclub
#loveourclub

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