Saturday 19th - parkruns
51 runners across 9 different parkruns. 41 at Porthcawl where despite 'character building' weather as Richard LJ would say, several new Cwm Ogwr members who started training with Shelley Smithson attended. Their times ranged from 28 to 37 minutes with first time PB's for all. Away from Porthcawl, Karl Johnson volunteered as tail runner at Pontypridd, Jayne Powney ran at Forest of Dean whilst new member Joseph Smith (son of Chris Pratt) ran at Cambridge in the fastest time of the day with a 20:23. The Hillmans ran at Cardiff, parkrun tourists Shawn and Julie ran at Llanhydrock, Mark Gabb at Barry, Martin Beard at Gnoll and Dawn Hopkins at the inaugural Llanelli parkrun.
Sunday 20th - Pembrey MT10, Margam Tough 10K and Valencia Marathon
For possibly the first time this year we actually had less members at an event than the previous year. The Pembrey Multi Terrain 10 miler seen 19 of the Blue Wave in attendance compared to 25 last year. The race sold out weeks in advance which I think caught a few out. The race includes a mixture of tarmac, forestry trails and lots of sand including a mile beach section and multiple sand dunes. Niki lead the way in an impressive 41st place and course record for a Cwm Ogwr member. A few PB's mainly for those doing their first 10 milers including Graham M, Aled, Wayne, Lloyd, Keith, Josie, Claire DB, James Beynon, Gary Piper, Dawn H, Lucy H and Liz Sim. Emma Loyns was the only non-first timer to set a new PB beating her time from the previous year by 38 seconds.
I ran at the Margam Tough 10K in place of Chris Stanlake who had to drop out through injury. A stunning course around Margam Park going up to the highest point with a mixture of terrain. It lived up to the 'Tough' name so I was pleased to finish 34th out of 333 finishers.
Fiona Drysdale ran her first marathon and went for an alternative venue with Valencia her choice. Her impressive time of 4:17 is a club age category record.
Saturday 26th - parkruns
A record 63 runners across 5 parkruns with several more volunteering. 57 at Porthcawl which is also a record for a single parkrun venue and where Brian Cotton was celebrating his 50th parkrun. Conditions were cool (cold some might say) but with minimal wind it made it ideal for going for some speedy times. Sian Price annihilated her own female club record by 68 seconds with a 21:14. Incredibly the old record of 22:22 was smashed twice as Amy Roberts who was the long term record holder became the second club female to break 22 minutes with a 21:53. Jo Kendall, Stephanie Dyke, Catherine Griffiths and Joanne Rowling all also achieved PB's whilst Richard LJ and Natalie Griffiths secured their best times of 2016.
There was a further PB away from Porthcawl with Katie Wood getting 30:49 at Burnley parkrun. Shawn and Julie continued their tourism at Cwmbran parkrun, the Hillmans were at Cardiff for their 50th parkruns and Dawn ran at Swansea.
Sunday 27th - West Glam XC League Kenfig fixture
The third fixture of the league seen the Blue Wave numbers increase against with 31 in attendance after 20 at the first fixture and 29 at the second fixture. This time it was advertised as a 4.5 mile route taking in the same course as the Bridgend League Kenfig 5K but with the additional mile or so thankfully being an extra loop around the trail part rather than the sand.
Neil Price was first of the Blue Wave back followed by Chris Pratt. Nick Harris, Brian Cotton and Graham Hillman made up the 5 male scorers. As for the ladies, Kelly led them home with Victoria Hillman, Sarah Littlewood, Bethan Cross and Denise Bradley made up the 5 female scorers. Both Bethan and Denise have been in the top 5 in each of the first 3 fixtures.
Chairman's Male Runner of the Month - Lloyd West
Lloyd started off the month with an impressive 46:21 PB at the Richard Burton 10K which was also his third 10K PB in just 2 months. A week later he followed it up with a huge parkrun PB of 21:38 equating to a 71.65% age grading which is amongst the best in the club. A week later Lloyd got a PB at the Pembrey 10 miler with a 1:22:22 placing him 15th in the male 55+ age category. He wrapped up the month with a great performance at the Kenfig XC finishing as our 9th male runner.
Chairman's Female Runner of the Month - Emma Loyns
Emma started off the month with 41 second PB at parkrun with a time of 25:21. A day later she ran the tough hilly 14 mile off road Bog n Bryn in Cwmbran showing some nifty footwork whilst running with me along one of the trickier sections and finishing alongside Bethan having thoroughly enjoyed the event. Emma was the only member at the Pembrey 10 miler to beat a previous 10 mile PB and then finished off the month with a run down to parkrun.
Hopefully members don't think Christmas is a time for relaxing. Very important to carbo-load and 'hydrate' of course but still a busy month of events. The opening weekend will see a few doubling up with parkrun plus the Aberavon Santa Run whilst there's plenty of other Santa / Reindeer / Elf fun runs to choose from over the coming weeks. The second weekend see's one of the highlights of the racing calendar with the Merthyr Mawr Pudding Run which I believe despite selling out in around half an hour, we have over 50 members entered. We have a few doing Cottrell Park 10K the week after and then over the Christmas period there's the Festive Four competition. This includes a Christmas Eve parkrun, Boxing Day 7K, New Years Eve parkrun and a New Years Day 4 miler. To a non-runner this sounds like the most horrendous idea ever but I think we'll see quite a few of the Blue Wave getting involved. Merry Christmas everyone!