Weekly Waffle – 7th October

Yet another epic weekend comes and goes…

It’s been an odd one for me with a trip north consuming the whole weekend while a lot of significant events were happening back at home, not helped by my race on Sunday being in the back of beyond in a place where radio waves don’t quite reach!

Saturday saw two significant parkrun milestones celebrated by two and supported by many at the top of the Llynfi Valley with large numbers in attendance dominated by Phoenix!  Running and cake – what more could anyone ask?  A breakfast after at Wetherspoons maybe…. that will do nicely! 

Back down on the sea front two of our midst more comfortable with the fells set new club records in their first ever parkrun attendance and in the process admitted they enjoyed it more than expected!  To be repeated I’m sure with more records to come…

A couple had away days but this weekend most stayed close to home!

While these regular Saturday antics took place a few long distance heroes headed west to complete a route circumnavigating Penrhyn Gŵyr.  50 miles. 80km.  It’s a really long way on the flat but the coastal terrain makes it an extremely tough day out!!  In spite of that all who took it on completed it majestically!!  There’s a lot to be said for the people who stand on the start line of these races.  They are taken to places that not only test the legs but their character and strength of mind.  We all admire the endeavour of this special bunch!  

On to Sunday and 91 Phoenix from the club made their way to the Welsh capital for one of the highest attended events of the year with the ladies comfortably dominating the field!  With a huge array of PB’s achieved it’s a bumper year for improvement.  Some chose to support others on their journey to improvement around the well supported route, wile others completed their first running of the distance setting new goals for the future.  Some were just happy to get round the course battling against difficult circumstances – but in doing so earn themselves extra respect for digging deep and showing the courage to reach the finish line.  With the event caught on TV and it being so local it was always set to be a special event and it certainly didn’t disappoint.  The day was rounded off with many heading back for refreshments after the racing was complete – socialising in style as Phoenix always do!

One ventured north to an area of outstanding beauty but contrasting solitude when compared to proceedings down in Wales.  A tough course around the edge of the lake proved a challenge on its second running but the miles were completed and the spoils of racing were earned with maximum effort. 

An epic weekend for sure and one that will remain in the minds of many who took part as well as those at home watching the story unfold on social media and their TV screens.  

Well done to everyone who ran and a huge thank you to those who supported this weekend.  It is wonderful to see the pictures and hear the stories from all on occasions like these.

Keep up the good work you lot.

On to the next one!



Weekly Waffle – 30th September 2018

Well what a weekend that was!!

I won’t be forgetting this one in a hurry – and I don’t want to!!

Saturday morning saw an interesting array of the obligatory parkruns.  Elvis was “in the building” down in Porthcawl for the annual international festival that draws people from far and wide!  The BBC, parkrun HQ and runners in fancy dress turned up in abundance to join in the fun.  Prizes were dished out to those who made the effort.  Roads were closed giving us a unique experience on the seafront this week and it was enjoyed by all!

For some Elvis didn’t appeal resulting in increased numbers at our other “home” event up the valley with impressive performances all round.
The usual tourism for varying reasons drew some to distant climes reporting back their experiences with pictures to whet our appetites to do the same in future weeks.

Saturday racing once more added another to the tally of one who valiantly battles on to fulfil a challenge set at the beginning of the year!

Saturday evening some some us journey to the Welsh capital to mix with the elite of now and yesteryear to celebrate sporting success throughout the nation.  Impartiality aside, It was personally a night I will never forget receiving an honour in recognition of work spent helping to develop our wonderful club.  A team effort.  Something that was wonderful to share with other members who also dedicate their time to make this club go from strength to strength.

Sunday morning attracted the usual array of events.  Half marathons aplenty.

Many travelled across the border to cover 13.1 miles around the beautiful surroundings of the forest.  With an elevation to test any pair of legs it was a challenge for all.  First timers and seasoned athletes met the challenge head on and all finished in admirable style.  Emotions ran high but we saw spectacular achievements all round.

A lone quest, also across the border, elsewhere was tackled head on and completed with style.

A small, compact and bijou group remained relatively local to hit the mixed terrain route around one of our neighbouring villages to cover 6.2 of our recognised imperial units and all finished victorious with t-shirts and medals to show off for their efforts.

While one continues his challenge, today was a sobering experience in that journey and we send a whole heap of positive vibes in his direction towards completing it.  One thing we are good at and renowned for is rallying for the troops.  When one is fallen, we hear the call and make sure that they keep their chin up and soldier on.  You know what to do… a message will help massively here…

Today was a reflective day.  After last nights experience I took a step back.  On not much sleep and a few “drinkies” I was picked up by club friends to join them for a saunter around the forest.  While I did so I reflected on the last 18 months.  Despite the challenges we’ve faced it has been a wonderfully uplifting experience, the like of which I never expected.  Suffice to say I wouldn’t change a thing and long may it continue!

Today I watched someone that we all love dearly reach the end of a really hard race and met with the view of her daughter, wearing her own Ogmore Phoenix Juniors hoody, waiting to cheer mum down the final straight she filled with emotion and we saw a flurry of tears.  They ran the final straight together and on crossing the line was met by dad, another member of the club and another committed volunteer, for a family hug filled with emotion.  My heart strings were pulled to their extreme.  These were complete non runners only a short time ago and now their lives revolve around their passion for the sport that we all love.  I smiled.  Welling up with emotion it epitomised what we have built here.  A family.  A family of like minded individuals who share a common goal.

Families look out for each other – let’s not forget those within our number who are currently struggling with injury and unable to join us in our weekly runs.  If you know someone who is in that boat then please reach out to them and make sure they are OK.  It only takes a quick message to do so.

On a very reflective note we see another week come to a close and feeling extremely proud to add the inevitable hashtags…