November 1 – Halloween Party
The first event set up by the social committee was a kids Halloween disco in Ogmore Life Centre. A great evening had by all and I think some of the adults enjoyed it even more the kids. Great costumes by those who attended and a mountain of fabulous food. Thanks to Natasha and her team for decorating the room and for the music and party games. Definitely one to be repeated.
November 5 – parkruns
A record equalling 55 runners across 8 parkruns. 44 of which were at Porthcawl where there were PB’s for Joey, Emma Loyns and Kimberley Thomas with her first sub 30. We had another new parkrunner with Amy Williams completing the course in 32:22. There are now 180 different Cwm Ogwr runners who’ve ran Porthcawl parkrun.
Away from Porthcawl there were plenty of tourists with Martin B in Bath, Neil Harris running his 50 parkrun in Pontypridd, Wayne running in Colby and Neil J finishing 3rd in another sub 18 time in Grangemoor. We had 3 runners at Cardiff where Jamie V set a new PB of 19:44 with the Hillmans also in attendance. Another 3 at Penallta where Shawn Cullen set a new PB of 27:04 with Dawn and Julie also running there. Kirsty Evans ran Swansea parkrun and obiliterated her previous PB by over a minute to finish in 23:07 to go equal 5th with Lorna in the 5K female rankings.
November 6 – Richard Burton 10K and Bog n Bryn
37 runners at the Richard Burton 10K, smashing last years total of 18 (which seemed a lot at the time). Niki Puleio was first Cwm Ogwr runner back in 40:50 with Aled just 5 seconds further back. Peter Walsh ran 43:53 to add a 10K PB to his 5K and Half Marathon PB’s he achieved in October. Both Lloyd West and Shelley Smithson made it three 10K PB’s in 2 months with Cardiff, Swansea and Richard Burton. Shelleys time puts her up to 3 fastest club female in the 10K rankings with her 48:03 and second fastest this year. The PB’s continued with James and Carol whilst Emma Williams knocked almost 4 minutes off her time set at Caerphilly earlier this year. June Parry, Bev Sheard, Rachel G, Cath Griffiths and Julie Ransom completed the PB list. Impressive running by all.
Starting at Cwmbran Stadium, 8 crazies from the Blue Wave turned up to take on the Bog n Bryn Trail ‘Half Marathon’ (actually 13.8 miles). A multi-terrain course with a mixture of tarmac, fields, mud and forestry paths. With countless amounts of styles, a few narrow wooden bridges and a couple of small streams added to the 1800 feet of elevation – this was certainly a good challenge. Most of the elevation is included between mile 5 and 10 and is agonisingly mostly undone with a mile of steep descent similar to the final mile in Snowdon Marathon. Jamie Vanstone completed the course in the most satisfying time of 1:59:59 and was 15th overall in a small field of just 130 odd runners. Graham Hillman was up next followed by Daniel Clark and then myself. Victoria Hillman was first Cwm Ogwr female over the line followed closely by Richard LJ. Emma Loyns and Bethan Cross came in together just under the 3 hour mark. All eight of us really enjoyed the event with Bethan even declaring it as her favourite race so far, so I’m sure we’ll be looking to recruit a few more to take on the challenge next year. Just a gentle warning though – it’s almost always the week after Snowdon Marathon so bare that in mind.
November 12 – parkruns and Gower Trail Half
46 runners across 5 parkruns with 41 of which at Porthcawl were there was a plethora of PB’s. Neil Jones was first finisher for the 3rd time at Porthcawl and beat the club record he already held with a 17:12. Neil Price got the perfect first ever sub 20 with a 19:59 making him the 17th club member to achieved the feat. Joey Howland was just a few seconds off making it 18 members with a PB of 20:11. Daniel Clark smashed his parkrun PB by over a minute which was set on the short Salt Lake Car Park course, so realistically it was a 2 minute PB if only counting times on the original course. Lloyd West also beat his previous best a parkrun by around 2 minutes although this was only his 3rd parkrun. I helped pace Bethan Cross to a 55 second PB with a 26:08. She has knocked over 5 minutes off her parkrun time in just 7 months. Natalie Griffiths ran a late season PB and her fastest time since August 2015 whilst Angela Parry completed the PB list.
Away from Porthcawl, Mark Gabb ran at Barry, Shawn and Julie ran at Newport whilst new member Karl Johnson ran at Pontypridd. Shelley took on the super fast Swansea parkrun course and finished as 3rd female overall with her second fastest parkrun time of 22:48.
An event that really slipped under the radar for the Blue Wave is the Endurance Life Gower Trail Half Marathon. They also do a 10K, Marathon and Ultra although all distances tend to be very approximate and the events are pricey which is maybe what’s put members off. The Half Marathon is slightly long at 13.6 miles (and probably longer in reality) and includes nearly 2500 feet of elevation – that’s not far off Snowdon Marathon but all the elevation squeezed into half the distance. Simon Harrison and Nicola Symmonds took on the challenge finishing in 2:16 and 2:38 respectively.
Sunday 13 November – Cardiff Mo Run 10K and Las Vegas Half Marathon
A bumper 22 runners for the Mo Run 10K this year after only having 5 last year and 2 the year before. A fun event with lots of people dressed up and a good atmosphere. A super flat course but not ideal for racing as the paths are narrow in places and it’s very congested at the start. The two lap course also includes a footbridge that is very busy with walkers and cyclists crossing which resulted in bottlenecks and even having to stop for a few seconds. However, despite all this, it was one of the most successful PB races we’ve ever had. Chris Pratt was first club member across the line followed by Josie in a PB time of 48:59 putting her 6th in the female 10K rankings for the club. I was next across the line in what was my 300th event for the club. Mark Gabb came in with a PB time of just under an hour with Matt Murray and Kirstie Ellen picking up PB’s just outside the hour mark. Then came a huge group of PB’s with Nigel H, Tammie, Stephanie, Cath, Angela, Rhiannon W, Nicola A, Llinos, Claire Taylor and Pippa Clark. Myself, Chris Pratt and Mark Worrall all returned part way up the course to run in with some of the girls whilst almost everyone stayed to cheer on the runners in the latter stages.
Kelly ran the Las Vegas Half Marathon in 2:01:11 under the bright lights as it’s run in the evening. She commented that it was an amazing atmosphere and the medal was pretty decent as well.