October Review and Runners Profile #3
October seen another large turnout at the Cardiff Half Marathon, a first cross country event, a marathon with a couple of hills in it, plus ballot and club place results for London Marathon as well as an influx of new members.
Starting with the Cardiff Half Marathon, Cwm Ogwr had 15 entrants this year ranging from sub 1:30 to those aiming for 2:30, and from first timers to me running my 18 Half Marathon. Up front, John Burridge set a new club record with 1:29:05 and impressively now has the clubs 5 fastest half marathon times. Even more impressive was the fact he started in the Green pen (allocated for those aiming for 1:45 – 2:00) so there was a lot of overtaking involved to achieve that time. Pole Vaulter and former ultra runner, Lloyd Thomas moved up to second in the rankings with a time of 1:33:07. After one of his longest barren spells without a PB (5 weeks), Nick notched up another, beating his previous best by a few seconds despite being one of many of us who got into the pen very late and therefore started further back than we should have. David Kembery smashed his PB by over 5 minutes with David Cappell not far behind despite starting in the Yellow Pen (2:00+) becoming the 8 and 9 CORC members to achieve a half marathon personal best time under 1:40. I finished in 1:45 having been on for 1:42 at one point but struggled in the final miles. Brian finished in 1:52, whilst there were club PB’s for Richard and Fiona although both have quicker times prior to joining the club. Lorna and Kelly ran most of the way together and both admitted there was a little too much chatting than going all out for new PB’s. Anthony Williams came in just under 2 hours after a lengthy period out injured. Frances and Denise done brilliantly in their first half marathons coming in at 2:06 and 2:12 respectively whilst Jonathan Edwards completed the Cwm Ogwr finishers in his second Cardiff Half Marathon.
A week later and myself and Richard went to the first Gwent Cross Country Fixture at Newbridge Fields. Richard had done a couple of cross country events before with Liswerry whilst it was a first for me. We met up with a few Liswerry runners who were all very welcoming and let us use their tent to store our bags and then cheered us on as honorary members for the day. The course was 3 laps with a slight incline towards the end of each and despite some rain in the preceding days, the ground was still pretty firm with pretty much zero mud or water to contend with making it an easy introduction to cross country for me whilst maybe not getting the whole experience. There’s plenty more fixtures for that. Back to the race and Richard and I swapped positions a couple of times in the first lap and a half but then Richard managed to open up a few seconds gap which remained until the finish.
The weekend after I did my 15 different parkrun with Hereford the venue of choice for their second event. Meanwhile, back in Porthcawl we had our biggest attendance for a couple of months with the usual regulars, plus Brian, Erin and Rachel who all got PB’s. This month has also seen a few new affiliated members with parkrun regulars Richard and Heather Garratt joining the club as well as Chris Pratt whose parkrun attendance almost rivals Nick having barely missed a parkrun over the past year or so and notching up 73 parkruns in just 82 weeks. He’s also partial to a spot of parkrun tourism having done 6 different parkruns including Southampton on the final weekend of October. On the same day in Porthcawl, Brian beat his parkrun time again whilst Nick, Richard, Dai K and me ran down to the parkrun clocking up 12 miles with expectation of Dai who ran 17.
The final Saturday of October saw David Cappell take on his second marathon of the year with the Snowdon marathon. His previous marathon was Ras Dewi Sant which is another incredibly hilly 26.2 miles – you could say Ironman Dai likes a challenge. He completed the legendary course in a stunning 4:04:37. He even got on the S4C highlights program for a split second and it was great to see the Cwm Ogwr running t-shirt at the Snowdon marathon – along with the customary Ironman red cap of course.
Continuing with the marathon theme - this month seen several members receive one of two magazines delivered through their door as it was the London Marathon ballot results. I received a 4 rejection magazine in as many years whilst Steven, Lucy, Helen G, Kelly, Nick, Ross all received the same. However, there was some good news with multiple club record holder John Burridge getting in through the ballot as well as Anthony Williams who raised an incredible amount running this years London Marathon through a charity place for Cancer Research. Liz Davies who would join our club shortly after also got in on what was her 6 ballot attempt. That left the club place left for the rejected balloters. Ross and Lucy dropped out of the running whilst I felt it was unfair for me to be considered having got the place last year which left Steven, Helen, Nick and Kelly. All members were contacted by me with close to 100% responding within the tight deadline, and after going to the wire it was Nick who came out on top and will be the clubs representative at the 2015 London Marathon. For anyone who has read the previous blog posts, I think it’s well deserved after his efforts this year. The rest of us are considering an alternative marathon around the same time and the long runs have already begun with a runs to parkrun likely to be a regular fixture on the calendar over the next few months.
November will see a big turnout at the Richard Burton 10K, a few of us trying the Sospan Runners Multi-Terrian 10 miler for the first time, and plenty of parkrunning besides.
Runners Profile #3
For the third instalment of the runners profile, I’ve chosen Lucy Thomas. Personally, I think Lucy has been one of the clubs biggest success stories so far this year along with several others who started with the Couch to 5K program. She doesn’t know the runners profile is her this month so apologies if I’ve made any mistakes but hopefully having been there at her first Couch to 5K session and most of the races she’s done since, I should be able to tell the story so far pretty accurately. As I said before, if I start asking you a lot of questions – your probably next!
Name: Lucy Thomas
Joined Club: April 2014 (as official member)
Parkrun Age Category: W25-29
First Event: Porthcawl Parkrun (1 Feb 2014)
Total races / parkruns: 9
Breakdown of events with Club:
5K or Parkrun: 4 (PB 30:28)
5 Miles: 1 (PB 51:49)
10K: 2 (PB 01:07:04)
From the beginning
Lucy started running with the first Couch to 5K program which started in January 2014. After just a couple of weeks of the walk / jog program Lucy was already hooked and going out during the week trying to increase the amount of time running and reduce the amount of time walking. On Feb 1 after just 3 weeks of the program and encouraged to come along by myself and the other Couch to 5K ‘coaches’, Lucy joined several other Couch to 5K members for the Porthcawl parkrun. As it turned out, the weather was awful and due to waves crashing onto the promenade, the event was moved to the alternative course of doing the rest bay section twice making it more difficult than usual. I ran with Lucy and Lisa for the first few minutes before Lucy insisted we carry on so she could go at her own pace. She completed the course in 33:53 and even more impressively, did it without walking which sort of meant she’d completed the Couch to 5K program already! Despite that and some awful weather conditions during February and March, Lucy continued with the program often running back home afterwards or adding a couple of miles. Increasing the mileage by the week, Lucy completed a 9 mile run to Bridgend in early April. All of this made even more impressive by the fact she had also decided to quit smoking at the start of the year which she has stuck to throughout.
With the Club
April seen Lucy officially become a member of Cwm Ogwr Running Club. By this time, Lucy had done another 3 parkruns lowering her time by over 3 minutes to 30:28. They say running can be addictive and it definitely seemed the running bug had bit Lucy to the point where she was running nearly every day. In early May she ran the club’s Cwm Ogwr 5 mile event in 51:49. She signed up for the Women’s 10K run in Cardiff in May before I mentioned a multi terrain race in at Whitford Point down the Gower. It didn’t take too much encouragement for Lucy to join me, Kelly, Nick and her regular training partner from day one, Lisa, at the event. The race included hills, a long section across the beach, sand dunes, forestry trail and a steep uphill to finish. Lets just say I expected some expletives directed towards me at the end for encouraging her to come along. Although it might not have been her initial thought, I think she was glad she gave it a go and I’m not sure how many other runners would have done that event after only starting running 4 months previous. The event was also just 3 days before the aforementioned 10K which Lucy completed in 1:07:01. Unfortunately the amount of running caught up with Lucy and the next few weeks were spend recovering from injuries.
In September Lucy was back in action at the Cardiff 10K and a couple of weeks later the opportunity arose to enter the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest event. Lucy jumped at the chance and enjoyed the alternative event where the team stuck together climbing and jumping over obstacles and a quick dip in the white water rapids down Cardiff Bay.
As I said at the beginning, I haven’t spoken to Lucy about this but she did ballot for the 2015 London Marathon which indicates how far she’d like to take her running. I think half marathon is definitely on the cards for early 2015 and who knows from there. Lucy is keen to return to parkrun and I’m sure she will be aiming to get that sub 30 time once back up to full training and maybe even sub 1 hour for 10K at some point next year.