February saw 322 parkrun finishes by our members across 65 parkrun events with 41 different venues. All 3 figures are records for a month that doesn’t include additional parkruns e.g. New Years Day Double / Christmas Day… although we did of course have the leap year day parkrun which meant there were 5 Saturdays in February which only happens every 28 years so you could argue it was a very special additional parkrunday. The numbers are remarkable considering a series of storms meant a number of cancellations during the month as well.
Tourism included the home of parkrun at Bushy where Kris Denholm was joined by 4 other members for his 250th parkrun. We also had a huge month of international parkruns with Callum Denholm running Krakow parkrun (Poland) whilst the Littlewoods did parkrun du Boise de Boulonge in Paris, Sarah, Luke, Alexis, Paul and Dawn were the first to run a ‘Z’ parkrun with Zamek w Malorku (Poland), and Karl Johnson traveled to Kralingse Bos parkrun for the inaugural weekend of the Netherlands joining the parkrun family.
As well as Kris becoming the 6th member to reach 250 parkruns we had a record number of members reach 50 parkruns including Sian Jenkins, Carl Price, Stephanie Dyke, Sarah Davies, James Phillips, Tara Phillips and Gregg Harris.
At the top end of things, Dai James run an incredible 17:42 to become the fastest current member and set a new club age category record for under 35’s. He was second overall at Porthcawl on that occasion but ticked off a first position later in the month with a 17:58. Nicky Bennett was our second fastest member this month with 19:09 at Maesteg which was good enough for a second finisher spot.
Our fastest female this month was Sian Price with 23:44 at Porthcawl whilst Jo Gamba was next up with parkrun PB of 24:25 at Northampton parkrun.
Claire DB, Denise and Amy Norwood kicked the month off with the Winter Warmer 10K in Cardiff with Claire setting a fast time to beat for all the other ladies with 47:52 whilst Amy recorded a PB of 1:13:52.
12 members took on the tough multi-terrain Wormshead trail 10K as part of this years club trial championships with Luke Jones leading the club members home whilst Emma Loyns took top points for the ladies.
Aled, Paul Iskander, Sharon and Debbie also completed the Pontypool 10K towards the end of the month.
7 runners took on the Hoka Winter Trail HM with Paul Smith being our first member across the line in an incredible time of 1:38:01 considering the course has almost 2000 feet of elevation. Anneliese Loveluck was 1st female overall in 1:45 with Steve Loveluck first in his age category just a minute behind.
Sara Johns ran the Scandicci Half Marathon in Florence, Italy in a PB of 2:40.
The Lovelucks were back in action at the Red Kite HM with Steve finishing a couple of minutes ahead of Anneliese on this occasion with Simon Harrison and Angharad Hinman also completing another tough trail half.
The fourth fixture of the West Glamorgan League saw 21 members take on the mud at Margam Park. Gareth Battle led what was probably our strongest men’s field ever in a XC fixture with Nicky Bennett, Adrian Pearce, Steven James and James Dennison in the other scoring positions. Our next 5 were Wayne Hayhurst, Simon Harrison, Chris ‘Wonka’ Williams, myself and James Phillips which would have been a good team in itself. A great showing from the ladies as well with Fiona Drysdale followed by Liz Sim, Jo Gamba, Rosie Salvatore and Bev Sheard.
Nick, Shawn, Julie, Sarah D and Dawn took on the Rogue Runs night race in Chepstow with some interesting reports of narrow trails beside steep drops and river crossings with only head torches to light the way.
Aled, Claire DB, Nick and Sarah D braved stormy weather conditions to complete the latest installment of the Severn Bridge 5 mile series. Claire DB set a new 5 mile PB and club age category record with 39:06.
Liz Davis, Chris Pratt and Kayley Griffiths set the first 10 mile times of the year at the Reverse 10.
The Brecon to Cardiff ultra went ahead in horrendously wet and stormy conditions that led to several members having pull out during the run for risk to their health. Steven James managed to keep himself warm by running an outstanding time of 7:00:22 for the 44 mile course. Kris Denholm was next in 9:00:58 with Liz Sim, Luke Jones, Angharad Hinman and Mark Worrall all completing the course.
An impressive month of running despite horrible conditions pretty much throughout.
Chairman’s Runners of the Month
February was another great month for running.
We had many who had a great January getting that boost of motivation the new year brings. Starting the year with vigour can lead to a run of form through the end of winter into spring and 2019 was no exception. Mother Nature tried her very best to dampen everyones spirits, literally. As the flooding continued many braved the conditions for the races that remained on and battled to the end.
As I’ve said before the reasons for choice will be many and varied. Some will be speed, some will be distance and some will be endeavour. All admirable and worthy of commendation.
Someone caught my eye in February. It was a month that saw a recap on a journey that told a story of huge achievements. Everything’s relative and everyone is different, so one persons achievements are what they mean to them. This is a story that started with a plan to improve health. Improvements were made in time and distance. The process was working. It was all going swimmingly. Then a change came. We all know how that can affect us. A move. Relocation. The switch that changes circumstance and causes a glitch can be the bump in the road that upsets the apple cart. Mojo impacted. Inconsistency affected numerous things. Then a set back due to ill health again temprorarily added to the list of growing obstacles. It took a battle through the month of February with sheer determination, revisiting all those early sessions and learning new ones to regain fitness and ability that had once been there. February resulted in the most elevation covered in a single month since starting running, most distance covered for 8 months, best 5k pace for 6 months and best 10km for 10 months! Not only the improvements but the mojo came back with a vengeance. Consistency. Focus. Determination. All returned within one month and already improvements have been made. Impressive stuff. I am absolutely delighted to award my Chairman’s Male Runner of the Month for February as Paul Iskander. Well done Paul, keep it up.
Some of us tackle speed. Some of us distance. Some of us just target putting one foot in front of the other. All are celebrated with equal vigour. I think this month it would have be a focus on endeavour. February threw many things at us. Mainly high wind and rain. Rain in such quantities that many of our communities suffered signficant hardship as a result. Many events were cancelled or postponed as the conditions worsened. Some remained steadfast in their desire to host their events and in the face of far from ideal conditions several of our midst chose to battle the elements to get the job done. My second accolade of the month is for someone who did exactly that. Not content with standard distances, here is someone who seeks out off road races with significant mileage. 44 miles in extreme high winds and lashing rain were the order of the day. A character building experience. It takes a lot of determination to stand on a start line and face those conditions. Here is someone who has that in bucketloads. To battle through it for hours shows true grit. Mightily impressive stuff. Not satisfied with having completed the first mission, she then went on to face the Mother Nature again later in the month on a particularly tough off road half marathon as the storms still raged, completing it with the same determination as she had before. I am delighted to award my Chairman’s Female Runner of the Month for February to Angharad Hinam. Huge well done Angharad, keep inspiring us!