This month saw a record 393 parkrun finishes by our members across a record 79 parkruns. This was significantly helped by the extra parkruns on New Years Day where we recorded 75 finishes with 29 members taking up the option of doing 2 parkruns which is the only opportunity each year that this is allowed.
Some new parkruns added to our growing list in month included Witney, Yeovil, Henstridge Airfield, Tamar Lakes, Land’s End, and the newest Welsh parkrun – Coed Cefn-pwll-du. Our members have now run at over 300 different parkrun venues in total.
There were some super fast times in the month with Nicky Bennett finishing 3rd at Porthcawl with 18:35 on the first Saturday. Then on the final Saturday, Dai James became the fastest current member of club at 5K with a huge PB of 18:06 to finish 2nd overall with Ryan Evans finishing 3rd overall in 18:37. The first time the club has had 2 of the top 3 in Porthcawl and we also had Adrian in 10th. 7 different runners clocked sub 20 with 4 of those clocking sub 19 times which bodes well for the upcoming BCRL.
For the ladies, Anneliese Loveluck went top of the club 5K rankings with a 21:13 at Gnoll parkrun on the first Saturday of the month. Our next fastest female was Sian Price with 24:19 at Porthcawl, although I’m sure there’s more to come from our second fastest female in the club across almost all distances.
Milestones in month included Bethan Denholm, Mark Worrall, Peter Harrop and Chris Bimson all running their 20th different venue to achieve ‘parkrun tourist’ status. Bethan is by far our youngest member to run at 20 different venues. Jayne Powney ran her 100th parkrun whilst Stephanie Dyke and Rachel Marcarian ran their 50th parkruns.
10 runners took on the Tough Runner 10K which is now in its 4th year. Steve Loveluck was our first runner back in 46:50 on the tough, hilly, off road course and bagged himself 3rd in his age category. Anneliese Loveluck was less than a minute back with 47:48 which was good enough for first in age category and second female overall. Martin Beard ran the Bath Skyline 10K… twice. I haven’t looked into this but I assume they run it a couple of days in a row and Martin did both.
We also had 8 runners at the first Infinity Running Margam 10K. Aled Hughes finished 4th overall in an impressive 42:59 over the undulating course. Philippa Rees smashed her previous best 10K with a 1:45:59.
Although there are too many ‘standard distance’ (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon) events in January, there were still plenty of alternatives. The first day of the year saw 24 runners take on the Kenfig Prince of Wales run which was the final event of the Festive Four. Niki Puleio led our runners home just ahead of Adrian Pearce. Our first lady was Sarah Davies followed by Liz Davis. Anne Lalic completed the event and picked up 3rd place in the Festive Four most improvement category where times are compared to seasons bests.
Adrian and Aled took on the Kymin Winter Race – a 4.2 mile fell race. For those that aren’t aware – fell races are basically very hilly, off road, and often not even following standard foot paths. 15 runners took on the popular Riverbank Rollick for yet more mud and mayhem with Luke Jones and Sarah Davies our first two finishers. Nick Harris obviously forgot he wasn’t going for most events this year when he signed up to another Friday night race with Rogue Runs in Beechenhurst.
We had a great turnout of 22 runners for the Margam Reservoir fixture of the West Glamorgan XC league. An interesting ‘Cross Country’ fixture to say the least with its 2 laps of the reservoir… on tarmac paths. Paul Smith was our first runner back with Aled, Steven James, myself and Kris Denholm making up the scorers for the men. Jo Gamba was our first lady back followed by Bev Sheard, Claire Goldsworthy, Claire Worthington and Stephne Puddy to make up the first 5 scorers. Well done to everyone who represented the club.
Aled and Kris also ran the Abercarn 5K – another hilly offering with the first half entirely uphill before coming back down. We had 19 runners for the first trail championship race of the year at the CF64 race around Cosmeston Lakes with the 2019 champion Adrian Pearce picking up maximum points ahead of Luke Jones, Paul Barrett and David Sheard. 2018 champion Emma Loyns was first lady back ahead of 2019 champion Sarah Davies.
The final race of the month was the ever popular Lliswerry 8 where Wayne Hayhurst was our first runner back in an impressive 52:28. Only Neil Jones in his time with the club has run the course faster than that time. Our first female was Rebecca Newton in 1:12:29.
Steve James did the only race over 10 miles and some by some distance with the 40 miles Winter Wychavon Way. On Strava he described it as ‘the toughest event’ he’d done… ‘relentless mudfest ankle deep for at least 35 miles and 2 miles towards the end knee deep’. Considering some of the other crazy Ultra’s Steven has already completed, that must have been extremely challenging.
The final Saturday of the month saw a presentation take place in the Hi-Tide after Porthcawl parkrun to award the Festive Four and BCRL winners. As already mentioned, we did have one Festive Four winner with Anne Lalic but we really excelled at the BCRL where awards were given to the top 3 in each 5 year age category. Our list included… 1st place in age category Adrian Pearce Kevin Raymond Clifford Searle Sian Price Denise Bradley 2nd place in age category Paul Smith Garry Jones Hannah Knight 3rd place in age category Ryan Evans Mike Nicholson Lewis
- Our members completed 501 event finishes between them in January
- Aled completed the most events with 10 Ffion Smith and Dawn Hopkins have the most events for the ladies with 8 each
- 10 members have completed every parkrun so far this year (6)
- Our members have now accumulated over 8000 Porthcawl parkrun finishes between them
Chairman’s Runners of the Month
The start of a new year.
The start of a new decade.
2019 was epic!!
It’s set the benchmark rather high for the future!
The new year always starts a little slowly. Coming out of the excesses of Christmas and New Year it gives rise to new plans.
Many start slowly and build.
Some keep it clean through the festive period and keep the focus and hit the ground running as the new year begins.
January. It’s still dark early in the evening. It takes a while for the sun to rise. Still in hi-viz. Still wearing a light. It’s cold and very often wet. In spite of this, we got out and trained and raced!
Many hit the ground at speed and for my first choice that is exactly what happened. With such ferocity that you can tell there is a plan. Huge mileage and the talk is of it increasing. Building on a strong base to lead to improved performance and endurance. Again this is a story of someone who has put in several years of training. Improvements have come along the way but a renewed focus is now visible. It’s not entirely about the running though, this has also come with a lifestyle change. A new outlook on food has fuelled cleaner living and a sensible loss of weight has followed. 230 miles run this month. Increased mileage. A stonking new PB at parkrun almost reaching a new minute milestone clocking 18:06. Absolutely outstanding. On fire! What an amazing start to the new year and setting an incredible marker in the sand that makes us wonder where this will lead to in 2020!! I am delighted to announce my Chairman’s January Male Runner of the Month to Dai James. Huge well done Dai, keep it up and show us some amazing running throughout the year!
Many aspects of running are a measure of ability. One thing that we honour greatly is improvement – in whatever form it comes. I tend to push the reset button at the start of the year and measure myself by improvements over the year – seasons bests – that is IF I am targeting improvement at all. It’s not for everyone. The Festive Four competition spans the festive period and encourages focus when many are prone to excess. One aspect of the competition is to honour improvement compared to the years best. The final event takes place as the clock ticks over to the new year. The Prince of Wales Run is a compulsory finale. One runner who often falls under the radar completed the series and in the competition based on improvement picked up the third female place overall. Mightily impressive stuff. For a runner who has been running for several years to suddenly make improvements against focused competition over what is notoriously a time of over indulgence is admirable. Sealing the accolade with a performance on the first day of a new decade is the crowning glory. Inspirational dedication. I am delighted to announce my Chairman’s January Female Runner of the Month as Anne Lalic. Well done Anne, keep up the commitment!