THE BLUE WAVE - Cwm Ogwr Running Club
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December 2016 review part 1

Saturday 3rd - parkruns, Aberavon Santa 5K, Might Contain Nuts Brecon 10 miler and Christmas drinks

The month kicked off with 43 runners across 5 parkruns. 38 of which were at Porthcawl where Brian lead the Blue Wave home with his first sub 20 at Porthcawl. There were overall PB's for Wayne Hayhurst, Bethan Cross, Matt Murray and Jayne Kembery. Away from Porthcawl, Fiona D ran at Penallta, Ellen Wyn Evans at Penryhn, Simon M at Newport whilst Nick Harris and Mark Gabb warmed up for the Santa run by doing the Gnoll parkrun beforehand.

Later that morning, 40 of the Blue Wave got into their Santa Suits for the Aberavon Santa Run 5K. A dozen had already run a parkrun but we totaled 73 different runners for the morning. Brian led us home for the second time in two hours and despite wearing Santa Suits, Lloyd West and Rhiannon Buckley managed to bag themselves 5K PB's. 

Meanwhile, in Brecon, Gary Piper and Mark Worrall were taking on the 'Might Contain Nuts' Brecon 10 miler. A very hilly off road race with technical ascents and descents.

Later that day around 40 members met at the Wyndham Arms in Bridgend for the annual Christmas drinks with a few going onto the Wicked Lady and a small hardcore group carrying on until the early hours. A great night had by all.

Sunday 4th - Childrens Christmas Party

Our social committee are evil and decided to organise the clubs first childrens Christmas Party for the morning after the Christmas drinks. The chairman was in attendance and a little worse for wear and this was a theme for a few adults in attendance. Another fantastic event set up by the new committee and a massive thank you to everyone involved... even if they did insist on me getting involved in the party games!

Saturday 10th - parkruns

43 across across 5 parkruns with 36 at Porthcawl. Neil Price clocked his second sub 20 and improved his PB by a further 2 seconds. Jamie Bevan, Kim Thomas, Amy Williams, Louise Bennett and Joanne Rowling all got PB's as well. Away from Porthcawl, Neil Harris ran a PB of 19:36 at Cardiff putting him up to 6th fastest on the Cwm Ogwr rankings. Julie and Shawn ran at Perry Hall, Chris Pratt ran at Huddersfield and Karl ran at Cheltenham.

Sunday 11th - Merthyr Mawr Pudding Run

An amazing turnout with 61 runners making the Blue Wave by far the biggest represented club at the event. Our top 5 runners were seperated by just 51 seconds with Aled, myself, Nick, Dai K and Graham H. Kelly was our first lady in with a course best. A special mention for Rhiannon Buckley who ran the event last year having only started running a few weeks before and on her return this year, beat her time by over 18 minutes. Plenty of the Blue Wave ran in fancy dress so it was a mixture of fun running and competitiveness with the race also being a club championship fixture which ended up confirming several winners which I'll post about in the final review of the year. The race also marked the 102nd event of the year for Christie Coleman, setting a new record which again, I'll write more about in the final blog of the year.

Saturday 17th - parkruns, Cottrell Park Christmas Cracker 10K and Christmas Party

40 runners across 8 parkruns with one of our lowest Porthcawl attendances in a while at 29. Neil Price set a PB for the second week in a row knocking another 8 seconds off his time for a 19:49 with Graham Mackleworth up next also beating his PB. David Kembery shaved a second off his PB whilst Jo Betty smashed her first parkrun with a 27:38 after apparently telling others she'd be happy with sneaking under the 30 mark. PB of the day has to go to Jayne Kembery who on her 50th parkrun beat her PB by 26 seconds and in the process got her first sub 30 with a 29:42. Oh, and did I mention we were all wearing Christmas jumpers as well! 

Away from Porthcawl, Aled, Karl, Christie and Brian ran at Grangemoor before heading to the Cottrell Park 10K which started by 30-40 minutes after they'd finished their parkrun. Aled ran a super-speedy 19:43 making it the 3rd different parkrun he has achieved sub 20. Neil J and Niki are the only others to achieve this. Neil Harris followed up his overall parkrun PB last week with a 19:51 at Pontypridd. Bethan Cross was first in her age category at Bognor Regis. The Hillmans ran at the Gnoll, Chris R at Harlow and Fiona D at Linford Woods. Martin Beard ran the Rhodes parkrun in Australia - his 3rd different Australian parkrun and despite a slightly earlier start time, the temperature was around 28 degrees.

14 of the Blue Wave headed to Cottrell Park for the Winter version of their 10K that just myself, Brian and Christie ran the year before. Neil Jones finished 6th overall and would have finished higher had it not been for a fall around the halfway mark. Jayne Powney was first Cwm Ogwr female whilst Llinos Humphreys won a prize for being the final runner. 

That evening around 20 odd of the Blue Wave descended on the Hi Tide in Porthcawl where the local Bridgend clubs got together for a joint Christmas Party. A great night had by all with the highlight being the secretly new formed band 'Caution Runners' which included our very own Chris Pratt as well as representatives from Bridgend AC, Porthcawl Runners and Cornelly Striders.

Still to come in December

The Festive Four competition is due to get underway with parkruns on both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, an option of either the Porthcawl Lions 7K on Boxing Day or a 5 miler in Glynneath, plus the New Years Day 4 miler in Kenfig. Nos Galan 5K can also be used as one of the options. Rhiannon Buckley won the most improved category last year having beaten her previous bests by more than anyone else and is back to defend her title.

My next blog is likely to be after Christmas, so a Happy Christmas to everyone. Hope Santa brings you lots of running related gifts! 
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December 2016 review - part 2
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