The second half of October for Cwm Ogwr included the Snowdonia Marathon, the club London Marathon ballot, Richard Burton 10K and yet more parkrun records.
Club London Marathon Ballot
The club ballot was drawn on October 22 before our final training session before Snowdonia. Unfortunately, due to changes in allocation, we only had 1 place… and the winner was… Natasha Kerr. Really pleased for Natasha who was keen to run her first marathon in 2016 and will now get to do it at one of the best in the world.
Our club Facebook page was even busier than usual in the couple of days following the marathon with many members inspired to do their first marathon and many others considering their next challenges and planning for 2016. I think next year can almost be broken down to a few key events.
Mar / Apr – Half Marathons – choices of Newport, Llanelli, Merthyr, Cardiff World Half, Bath, Great Welsh.
2 April - Vale Coastal Ultra – choice of 18 miler or 32 miler. Already 10 members signed up for this.
1 May – Brecon to Cardiff Ultra – a 42 mile Ultra! Only Dai K signed up at time of writing but there has been some interest from others
26 June – Swansea Half Marathon – think we have quite a few members looking to do this as their first half marathon and should be big attendance
25 September – Loch Ness Marathon – Dai K and Aled championing this one in their quest to run a marathon in each of the four home nations
29 October – Snowdonia Marathon – several have already booked accommodation and it looks like we could even exceed the 13 runners from this year.
Of course – this is all without mentioning Cardiff 10K in September and the October Cardiff Half where we had amazing turnouts this year, and there’s at least 100 other events to choose from within an hours drive.
October 24th – parkruns
Despite a lot of regulars being away in Snowdon, there was still a decent parkrun contingent with Cwm Ogwr represented at 5 different parkruns. The main one of course being Porthcawl where Nick finished in 5th place with a 19:45. There was a unexpected return by one of our former members, Brian Cotton who got a 22:20 personal best. David Sheard celebrated his 100 parkrun with his best time since joining the club. Cwm Ogwr now have seven 100 club members with Dai Cappell also due to join in the next couple of weeks.
As mentioned, there was plenty of parkrun tourism with Fiona Drysdale running at Newport, Chris Roberts at Delemare parkrun and Niki clocking a super fast 19:26 in Cardiff parkrun. Whilst all this was going on, current record holder Neil Jones was eyeing up another club record attempt at Pontypridd after setting a time of 19:00 a couple of week previous. He did it, becoming the first Cwm Ogwr member to go sub 19 minutes with a 18:58.
Sunday 25th – Gnoll XC and Cosmeston Duathlon
Christie Coleman was Cwm Ogwr’s only representative for the West Glam Cross Country league fixture at the Gnoll in Neath. It sounded like a good one with a bit of mud and even a water crossing included. Christie is fast becoming one of our most regular runners now and is rivalling me, Chris and Nick when you look at events entered over the past couple of months.
Ann Davies entered the Cosmeston Duathlon involving a 5K run followed by a 20K bike with a 2.5K run to finish, and much to her surprise, she was first in the female super veteran category! Well done Ann.
October 29th – Ghost Run
There’s not many running events I haven’t tried – from road, trail, cross country, fell, other multi-terrain, super flat, super hilly… but this one was a new one on me – a cross country run requiring head torches! Organised by Run, Walk, Crawl –who also organise the Vale Ultra and Brecon to Cardiff Ultra – fancy dress was also encouraged. I decided to give it a go and take along my Ghostface costume (from the Scream franchise) which in the end I decided against after a quick inspection of the first part of the course suggested I'd be lucky to go 10 meters without falling over and potentially injuring myself. Baring in mind I’d run Snowdonia Marathon the weekend before, had given blood 3 days before, I wasn’t exactly looking for a fast time on the 5 mile course.
A much bigger turnout this year with 60 odd runners compared to just 35 last year. As mentioned. head torches were required as the course started on a pitch black field before going on paths, up Leckwith Hill and into a very muddy undulating forest. Back onto a field before doubling back through the forest with small reflective markers showing the way.
It was clear after the first half mile that there were 4 in contention.. and two of them were me and Nick! Nick and the other guy disappeared into the darkness within the first mile whilst i closely followed the guy in third. Overtook him on a hilly section through the forest just before mile 2 - third place! I don't care if it's a Halloween fun run, I want a podium finish. Slowly managed to pull away and finished a good 300-400m in front in the end.
Nick got SECOND place, I got THIRD! Damn that guy who turned up and ran the tough course in 35 minutes. Still, first ever double podium for Cwm Ogwr.
Lewis enjoyed the race as well and is even eyeing it up as a potential training run from his work which is just down the road. Juliet got into the Halloween spirit with a skeleton theme. She was third woman across the line.
A brilliant race. Highly recommend as a Cwm Ogwr on tour training night next year.
October 31st – parkruns
Two years ago I took my GhostFace costume to Porthcawl parkrun on what was advertised as the Halloween parkrun to find no one else was wearing fancy dress when I got there – thankfully I was wearing shorts and a running vest underneath so just took the costume off. Last year I wore a witches costume with some 'wardrobe malfunctions' during the run. I promised this year would be even better. I went as a zombie bride wearing an actual wedding dress and makeup. Someone said I'd gone as the 'Bride of Dracula' so lets say that's what I was going for. There were some other great efforts and one of the photo's including me, Pat, Chris Pratt and Natalie was actually used as the parkrun uk cover photo on Facebook for a few days.
There were 21 Cwm Ogwr members in attendance but with so many either dressed up, recovering from Snowdon Marathon or keeping a bit back for the Sunday 10K there were no PBs to be had but all enjoyed it which is the main thing.
November 1 - Richard Burton 10K
Despite not much talk about this on our Facebook page, we had 18 turn up for this one. Unfortunately, most of us got held up in the first couple of kilometres due to a combination of a disorganised start pen plus most of us going to the start too late.
Nick was first across the line just over a minute ahead of me. Denise managed to get a PB despite an achilles injury reducing her to hobbling the final 400 meters or so. Denise was also 3rd in her age category. Juliet Amner also finished in an excellent 5th for her category in her first 10K for the club. Sian Llewellyn-Goring ran with Rhian Nolan who completed her first ever 10K and is already signed up to go further with the Lliswerry 8 in a couple of months.
You may recall a couple of months ago I posted that having done so many events this year, getting to 100 might be possible. Well after Richard Burton 10K I'm now on 85. This is already a record as Nick previously held it with 82 last year. Plans are in place but 15 events with less than 2 months remaining is a big ask.
Chairman's Runner of the Month - Nick Harris
Bit controversial not going for any of the Snowdon runners but it's been an amazing month for Nick with a new 5K PB which was also a club record at the time. This was followed up with a Half Marathon PB in Cardiff just a day later. A week later he set a brilliant time in the Newbridge Fields Cross Country. There's been a couple more sub 20 clockings at parkrun where he finished as high as 5th. This month marked an entire year without missing a parkrun. Plus there was the second place in the Ghost Run. Well done Nick.
Cwm Ogwr in numbers
Number of events: 404
Number of CORC runners in those events: 2,155
Number of miles run in those events: 11,421
Number of members who've ran for CORC: 110
Number of career parkruns ran by CORC members: 2,455
Number of different parkruns ran at: 56
Two awards ceremonies, more cross country and a huge turnout at the Pembrey Multi-Terrain 10 miler in the next couple of weeks. Another amazing month for Cwm Ogwr.