Christmas Drinks – part 3 and 4
The week leading up to Christmas seen the club take the usual quick stop at a local pub a bit further. Tuesdays session involved more than 20 members running to the Wyndham pub with most staying for at least an hour and some (Kirsty Evans and Claire Dunbar Bowen) staying considerably longer. Then Wednesday’s session also decided to do a more swift pub stop at Tondu Railway club. No doubt this will now be an annual fixture with potentially more focus on the drinking than the running!
Christmas Eve - parkruns
Surely people got other things to do on a Christmas Eve morning? Apparently not… a staggering 70 runners across 5 different parkruns setting a new parkrun participation club record and a record at Porthcawl with 65 of the runners there. It was a triple celebration with Dai Power, Sian Tossell and Mervyn Beckwith all carefully timing their 100th parkruns for the occasion. Many dressed up and the less said about my outfit the better. As for the running bit, Stephen Davies got himself into the sub 20 club despite starting towards the back of a record 425 strong crowd at Porthcawl with a 19:53 and was first Cwm Ogwr across the line. Richard Lowcock James set a late season PB whilst Jo Betty and Matt Murray got PB’s – both for the second time in December. Bethan Cross helped pace Kimberley Thomas to a PB whilst Amy Williams had the unfortunate sight of my outfit for the entire run as I paced her to PB exactly one minute faster than her previous time – she may have been trying to run away from me which might have helped. Nicola Allen completed the set of Porthcawl parkrun PB’s for the morning.
Away from Porthcawl, Neil Jones notched up another sub 18 run at Cardiff whilst Neil Harris ran another sub 20. Karl Johnson ran at Pontypridd, Simon Melksham at Newport and Brett Bonnell at the Gnoll.
Christmas Day - parkrun
Yes – this is a thing… Cardiff and Newport have both done Christmas Day parkruns for a number of years with Richard LJ, Dai Power and Sian Tossell attending in previous years. Sian was back again, along with Fiona Drysdale, Gavin Lewis and Juliet Amner.
Boxing Day - Porthcawl Lions 7K and Glynneath 5 miler
35 runners in attendance for the Porthcawl Lions 7K which starts at the Hi Tide and takes in the entirety of the parkrun course plus a bit extra at either end. Neil Jones finished 3rd overall with a time of 25:36 for the 4.5 mile course (roughly 7K). Several members including Aled, Brian and myself improved on our times from the previous year in what was also the final club championship event of the year. There was an unfortunate incident with Tammie falling at Rest Bay which resulted in a broken finger and hospital admission. A massive thanks to several of our club members who stopped to help and others that ran back to assist.
5 members attended the Glynneath 5 miler where Shelley Smithson smashed her PB and was agonisingly just 4 seconds short of the female club record. Carole Bartle set a PB with a superb sub 40 time. A PB for Helen Griffiths meant she joined a select group of runners to have achieved the ‘Grand Slam of PB’s’ in a calendar year which includes 5K, 5 miles, 10K, 10 miles, Half Marathon and Marathon distances. Joanne Rowling also set a PB with it being her first 5 miler and was encouraged around the course by Keith Coleman.
New Years Eve – parkruns and Nos Galan 5K races
55 runners across 4 parkruns. 49 at Porthcawl where we had yet another new member of the sub 20 club with Joey Howland clocking 19:51. Mark Gabb got a PB of 23:24. I paced Jo Betty for the second half of her run to a PB of 26:13. Incredibly this beat a time that was set over 6 and a half years previous. Richard Lowcock James became only the second member to run his 200th parkrun. Away from Porthcawl, Claire Taylor and Pippa ran at Swansea, Chris S, Julie R and Shawn ran at Llyn Llech Owain and Neil Jones ran at Pontypridd. Julie and Shawn’s run at LLO parkrun marked their 20th parkrun venue putting them on the UK parkrun most events table.
That evening 19 Cwm Ogwr runners were in Mountain Ash for the Nos Galan races. Neil Jones and Neil Harris ran in the Elite 5K race where Neil Jones set yet another club record of 17:08 whilst Neil Harris got 19:57. Neil Jones had also run a 17:37 at Pontypridd parkrun that morning. In the fun run 5K they were no more PB’s to be had as many enjoyed the party atmosphere on the course. The final race of the year resulted in Christie Coleman finishing on a club record 108 events for the year.
Chairman’s Male Runner of the Month – Matt Murray
Two parkrun PB’s for Matt in December as well as great performances in the Pudding Run and Cottrell Park 10K.
Chairman’s Female Runner of the Month – Jo Betty
The only member to get three parkrun PB’s and beating that 6 and a half year previous best. Jo also ran at the Pudding Run and accompanied Pippa on the Boxing Day 7K.
That’s it for 2016. Bring on 2017!