February 2017 review

Wednesday 1st – Club Championship 1500m time trial

The first club championship event of this year seen 41 members run 5 laps of the 300m Bridgend AC track in a 1500m time trial. Times were compared to average mile pace for each members parkrun best over the past 12 months to come up with results. A great atmosphere on the night with each group being cheered around by the rest of the runners who were awaiting their turn. New member David McCann came out on top with Claire Taylor top female and Lisa Jenkins 3rd. Fastest time of the night went to Niki Puleio with 5:17.

Saturday 4th – parkruns and Presentation Night

60 runners across 6 parkruns. A huge turnout with 53 of the Blue Wave at Porthcawl. Chris Pratt clocked his second sub 20 in as many weeks whilst I knocked 28 seconds of my best at Porthcawl which dates back to 2015. Winner of the first club championship event David McCann knocked nearly 4 minutes off his PB in his second parkrun. My January runner of the month Angela Parry got her 3rd PB of this year whilst Joanne Rowling clocked her first PB of the year.

Claire Taylor was accompanied by Jo Betty for the 5K whilst I joined the party for the final 2K with a huge 88 second PB for Claire. We also had our first 2017 Zero to Hero graduate with Leah Boon running her first parkrun with a little help from Rhiannon, Sian T and Sian LG.

Away from Porthcawl Aled Hughes beat his PB dating back to May last year with a 19:19 at Swansea. Neil Jones ran a 17:48 which took him past 100 miles of running for the week! Stephen, Bethan and Dawn ran at the Gnoll, Chris Roberts ran at Grangemoor and Ian Lewis ran his 50th parkrun at Bedford.

We had over 100 attendees at the Presentation Night at the Heronstone Hotel to celebrate achievements of the club and it’s members for 2016. A massive thank you to the social committee and everyone involved in the evening and well done to all the winners listed below.


2016 Presentation Night Winners

Club Championship

Super Veterans – Denise Bradley and Christie Coleman

Veterans – Fiona Drysdale and Aled Hughes

Senior and Overall – Shelley Smithson and Neil Jones

Newcomers – Claire Dunbar-Bowen and Keith Coleman

Level Playing Field – Lucy Hancock and Neil Jones

Best Runners

Super Veterans – Denise Bradley and Kevin Archie Raymond

Veterans – Claire Dunbar Bowen and Aled Hughes

Senior – Shelley Smithson and Neil Jones

Most improved – Rhiannon Buckley

Best Newcomer – Pippa Clark

Zero to Hero – Shawn James Cullen

Runners Runner of the Year – Christie Coleman

Sunday 5th – Beast 10K

The first Cwm Ogwr event of the year seen the second annual Beast 10K which sold out weeks in advance. Despite a small delay with using our chip timing system for the very first time, the event was another huge success with the male and female course records broken. A huge thank you to everyone who volunteered – particularly as most had been out the night before at the presentation night.

Saturday 11th – parkruns

A record 64 runners across 7 parkruns. A record attendance at Porthcawl as well with 57 runners. Stephen Davies equalled his PB of 18:43 despite the parkrun being in the middle of a 22 mile run. There was a huge 70 second PB for Matt Murray accompanied by myself, the Hillmans and Chris Pratt.

A PB for new member Tula Smallman just behind us with a 25:50. Club Championship leader David McCann got yet another PB knocking another 20 seconds off his time. A great PB by Catherine Griffiths whilst Nicola Allen knocked 51 seconds off her PB.

Saturday 18th – parkruns and Hoka Trail Half Marathon

39 runners across 3 parkruns. A slightly smaller attendance than usual due to the Hoka Half Marathon later that morning. At Porthcawl, Stephen Davies ran an outstanding 18:08 and is now well clear in second place in the club 5K rankings. Aled Hughes ran a Porthcawl best of 19:33 whilst Karl Johnson also ran a course best with 22:40. There were also PB’s for Mandie Owen and new runner Leah Boon.

Elsewhere Neil Jones ran a 17:52 at Pontypridd whilst Ann Davies ran a 29:53 at Llanelli.

39 runners at the Hoka Trail Half Marathon at Margam. Simon Harrison was our first runner back in 1:47:54 on a tough hilly course with 1800 feet of elevation including a mile long incline from mile 10 to 11. Our first female back was Josie Bishop in 2:10:33. Well done to Bethan Cross who despite a injury managed to get a Half Marathon PB of 2:27:43.

Sunday 19th – Brecon to Cardiff Ultra Marathon

Last year seen over a several members enter the world of Ultra running which was a big factor in 6 signing up for this 44 miler following the Taff Trail from Brecon to Nantgarw. Jamie Vanstone ran a superb sub 7 hour time to finish in 18th place overall. Gareth Richards, Wayne Hayhurst and Gary Piper all completed their first ultras whilst Brian was running it for the second year in a row and his third Ultra in 11 months having not run much more than half marathon previous to that.

Sunday 25th – parkruns and Ras Dewi Sant Half Marathon

63 runners across 6 parkruns. 57 runners at Porthcawl where Neil Jones finished 3rd in a time of 17:43. Stephen ran another sub 19 whilst Niki ran a sub 20 making it 3 Cwm Ogwr runners in the first 6 finishers. There were birthday celebrations for myself and Nicola Cornock with a lot of cakes on offer.

Away from Porthcawl, Claire DB ran a PB at Swansea with a 23:38 for her first sub 24. Sarah Littlewood ran at Lanhydrock parkrun which interestingly has had 7 different Cwm Ogwr tourists. The Hillmans ran at Cardiff whilst Diana Purnell ran at Llanelli.

Meanwhile Richard LJ ran the Ras Dewi Sant Half Marathon in around 2:18 on a tough multi terrain course around the Pembrokeshire course with storm Doris.

Sunday 26th – Pontypool 10K

Just a single Cwm Ogwr runner for this one with Matt Murray getting his first sub 1 hour 10K and knocking 3 minutes off his PB in the process.

The “Three halves and a little parkrun”

As part of my 2017 goals I wanted to run Half Marathons on consecutive days. I’d seen a running events company that do a week of events in Hartlebury which is 5-10 minutes drive from my in-laws in Worcestershire so having already signed up to the Hoka Trail on Sat 18th Feb I decided to enter their Thursday and Friday events to make it 3 in 3 days. The Hoka race didn’t start until 11am so I couldn’t resist still including a parkrun as well.

That particular week of events was called ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ with a different deadly sin medal for each day. There was 10K, Half or Full Marathons options each day. It turned out I was the only one doing the half so am down on their website as the Half Marathon winner for that day! My intention was run around 1:55 to save myself for the subsequent halves… I ran 1:47:33 but felt comfortable.

Day two I felt surprisingly good.. I did have one competitor on day two but she was a 2 hour plus runner so I’m down as winning twice! Ended up running slightly quicker than the first day with a 1:46:43.

Traveled back Friday evening which meant Porthcawl parkrun that morning. The original plan was to leave early Saturday morning and do a parkrun tourism on the way back but it was cutting it too fine. I ended up offering to pace 25 minutes at Porthcawl which was pretty much the exact pace I’d done in the first 2 halves. Legs felt a bit heavier. Off to Margam for the final half marathon where I’d arranged to run with Bethan would be running around 2:30. We ran 2:27 with Bethan being the only runner to PB.

Really pleased with how the challenge went and definitely looking to extend it to 5 or 7 days of half marathons.

Chairman’s Male Runner of the Month – David McCann

Following in the footsteps of Matt Murray, Jo Betty and others, I’ve chosen David as my runner of the month in the first full month with the club. David has reduced his parkrun PB from 31:03 to 27:24 and only narrowly missed out on making in 4 PB’s in 4 parkruns at last weeks event. David was also the overall winner in the first club championship event of the year at the start of this month.

Chairman’s Female Runner of the Month – Claire Taylor

Second place overall and first female in the first club championship event of the year. Claire followed this up with parkrun PB knocking 88 seconds off her PB. This month has also seen Claire training for Llanelli Half Marathon including running to parkrun. An inspirational runner.

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