2017 Year in Review

The producer of this “Review”, Rob Gale, asked me for a few words to add. First and foremost, it would be amiss of me not to publicly thank Rob for his hard work in not only preparing this review, but also for the weekly review which I know is something we all very much look forward to. Also, for his work developing and maintaining our fantastic website which has become the envy of not only other running clubs, but many other sporting organisations throughout Wales and beyond. Rob, the Green Army thank you!

Rob has spent time capturing SOME memorable moments from 2017. I say “some” because there are simply too many too mention, but what I can say is that this year has been a fantastic year for PBBRC with the Club going from strength-to-strength.

Our success is due to one thing – teamwork! There are too many people to thank individually, but to everyone that has helped our Club in some shape or form during the year and to all our Members, thank you for being part of it.

As already mentioned, there have been many memorable moments during the year but amongst my favourites is the Club being awarded the prestigious Gilbert Legge Memorial Award. This award is voted for by the member clubs of the Gwent League which includes not only clubs from West, South and East Wales, but also some leading clubs from over the border. It goes to the club which has shown “Sportsmanship, Endeavour and Achievement” which says it all!

As we enter the Xmas week, no doubt our Members will still be as active as ever and pop up in races, events and social running gatherings here, there and everywhere but don’t forget …….. “Tis the season to be jolly”…… so enjoy yourselves AND get some well deserved rest!

Merry Christmas everyone and enjoy “Rob’s Review”.

Damian Williams
Chairman, Parc Bryn Bach Running Club

January

Green Army Cake Eating Club

The first GLCL XC fixture of 2017 and the Green Army Cake Eating Club was out in force! It’s great that we’re all still running eyeballs out each XC fixture so we get our fix of cakes made by Lauren and others.

Lliswerry 8

The annual ‘Flattest Race on the Planet’ and the Green Army was well represented. I’m not sure if the photo of Milo was taken towards the end of the race or BEFORE.

New Members This Month

  • Sam George
  • Cerys-Scarlett Swift
  • Delwyn Tyler
  • Peter Jackson
  • Sam Jackson
  • Nathan Harper
  • Leigh Thomas
  • Maricel Jenkins-Belohorska

February

GLCL XC: Usk

The month started with a visit to Usk for the third GLCL XC fixture. This was the first time that it had been run at this location and boy was it muddy! Thick mud along the disused railway line tried its hardest (and succeeded) to suck trainers off feet and the tricky downhill sections required some steady footing.

GLXC: Newport

Despite being a flat course, the Gwent League fixture at Newport was a tough one. Energy-sapping mud around the majority of the course made it a challenging race for many.

Brecon to Cardiff Ultra

Rob Gale completed his third ultra by completing the 44-mile Brecon to Cardiff race. He completed it in 07:45 and some club members were on hand at the 26-mile-marker to help spur him on.

Welsh XC Championships

Lauren Cooper competed in the Welsh XC Championships in Swansea this month and finished 1st U23 and 7th overall.

Snowy parkrun

The Swifts celebrated their 24th Anniversary with a snowy parkrun.

New Members This Month

  • Marcus Smith

March

Merthyr Half Marathon

20 club members participated in the Merthyr Half Marathon with Damian Williams first home for the club in 9th position (and first in his age category) and Lauren Cooper first female home for the club (and 1st female overall!). Nicola Jukes also finished 2nd female overall.

GLCL XC: Chepstow

By far the wettest of the GLCL XC fixtures, Chepstow and its deep water feature didn’t deter members from turning up.

GLXC: Pembrey

The final fixture int he GLXC calendar and a very important race, particularly for the men. We rallied up as many as we could for the long journey to Pembrey and together we finished top of the third division securing promotion for the next season.

The ladies finished 5th in division 1 meaning another season in the top flight.

Other Honours

  • Nicola Jukes won 2nd lady in the Reverse 10.
  • Rachel Lewis won 1st Vet 35 in the Reverse 10.
  • Tony Lewis won 2nd Vet 50 in the Reverse 10.
  • Michael Lewis won 1st Vet 75 in the Reverse 10.

April

New Members This Month

  • Marcus Smith

Kymin Dash

There was an excellent turnout from the club for the Kymin Dash with 19 Green Army representing. The Kymin Dash is known for starting on a long, long hill climb over the first 1.5 miles. And even on the descent there are more climbs to contend with.

Parc Bryn Bach Six Mile Road Race

The annual Parc Bryn Bach Six Mile Road Race in aid of Hospice of the Valleys took place in April wand was well supported by our club members (and First Strides) both in terms of those participating and those that volunteer their time to organise, setup and marshal the race.

Lee Aherne was the first club member across the finish line in 34:08 (2nd place overall) and Lauren Cooper was the first female club member in 39:33 (2nd female overall).

New Members This Month

  • Beth Jones
  • Caroline Matthews
  • Emma Bennett
  • Jamie Parry
  • Ricky Jones
  • Sue Gray
  • Colin Rees
  • Alan Pritchard
  • Johanna Wiles
  • Lee-Ann Taylor
  • Sian McGoldrick
  • Emily Rose Smith
  • Darren Kippest
  • Terry Watkins
  • Keri Young
  • Sharon Newell
  • Mike Williams
  • Melissa Pearce
  • Lynne Jones

GLCL: Road Race Series: Parc Bryn Bach

The first GLCL Road Race fixture of the season was in May and the Green Army were out in force with 83 runners competing out of a field of 502.

Everyone put in a cracking effort with Lee Aherne romping home to take first place with Sam Lewis Jones not far behind in third position.

Notable Results

  • Lauren Cooper (3rd F1734)
  • Simon Lewis (3rd M5054)
  • Stephen Williams (3rd M5559)
  • Stephen Carter (3rd M4559)
  • Nicola Gething (1st F4549)
  • Neil Lloyd (1st M6064)
  • Rachel Lewis (1st F4044)
  • David Smout (2nd M6569)
  • Jillian Matthews (2nd F6064)
  • Margrett Monk (2nd F6599)
  • and the ever-consistent Michael Lewis (1st M7099)

Cross Country Award Ceremony

An award ceremony took place after the race for the GLCL Cross Country 2016/2017 season.

  • Lauren Cooper | FSEN | 2nd
  • Julie Cashell | F4044 | 1st
  • Simon Lewis | M5054 | 1st
  • Damian Williams | M5054 | 3rd
  • Phillip Miles | M6569 | 1st
  • David Smout | M6569 | 3rd

Bluebell Blunder

The very scenic Bluebell Blunder, deep in the Wye Valley, is a 10K trail race with almost 1,000ft of ascent. Sam Jones had a stunning run finishing 2nd position in a time of 45:41 and Rhi Griffin, Helen Williams and Sian Jones got 3rd ladies team!

Mikkeller Beer Mile

Fancy drinking 4 cans of beer and running a mile?  It’s a lot harder than it sounds as Robert Gale found out in Copenhagen. The race started with downing a can of 5% pale ale and then running 400m before repeating another 3 times. Vomiting is likely and you will feel bloated. Rob managed to drink the four beers and run the mile in a time of 10:15. The winner finished in a crazy time of 06:07!

East Wales Regional Championships

Two team members (Lauren Cooper Stephen Mathers) represented the club at the East Wales Regional Championships with Stephen Mathers taking a gold in the 800m as well as a bronze in the 1,500m and 3,000.

Other Honours

  • Lauren Cooper was first lady in the Lady Windsor 5 Mile multi-terrain race held in Ynysybwl.
  • Nicola Jukes was first lady in the Sorbrook 10K Hilly Race.
  • Julie Cashell was first FV40 and 3rd lady overall in the Steam Bunny Stomp.
  • Katharine Collins was 2nd female in the Hereford Marathon.
  • Neil Lloyd 1st age cat in the 10K Hereford Festival of Running 10K.
  • Sian Jones 1st female in the 10K Hereford Festival of Running 10K.

New Members This Month

  • Neil Beynon
  • Kiley Tyler
  • Karen Thomas
  • Cathy Johnson
  • Jordan Hawkins
  • Gary Bartram
  • Ian Munro
  • Helena Hunt
  • Cath Price
  • Claire Briggs
  • Taff Palfrey
  • Andrew Gunter
  • Lesley O’Connell

June

June was a huge month for the club. Not only did we compete in the annual Rack Raid race but we also competed in the prestigious Welsh Castles Relay for the first time. Until 2010 we participated with San Domenico but this was the first time that we had participated alone.

Rack Raid

Our Teams

A Team – Kim Price, Stephen Mathers, Helen Williams, Martin Chammings, Richard Sheehy, Phillip Miles, Rhi Griffin, Tony Lewis, Mathew Ellis, Claire Sullivan, James Thomas, Sian Price, Hayley Jackson.

B Team – Rebecca Foley, Danielle Phillips, Ruth Butterfield, Cyril Williams, James Williams, Terry Vaughan, Hannah Williams, Lee Griffiths, James Ashley, Bobbie Swift, Gareth Williams, Katharine Collins, Delphine Jones.

Welsh Castles Relay

Our Teams

Saturday – Rachel Lewis, Andrew Jones, Damian Williams, Gavin Patterson, Julie Cashell, Darryl Cook, Marc Bloomfield, Michael Cope, Ian Kent, Stephen Carter.

Sunday – Simon Lewis, Matthew Trinder, Ian Davies, Sam Lewis Jones, Damian Caswell, Nicola Jukes, Neil Lloyd, Lauren Cooper, Robert Gale, Lee Aherne.

Swansea Half Marathon

The Green Army was out in force at the 4th annual JCP Swansea Half Marathon. The race is Wales’ biggest summer half marathon and one of the UK’s fastest growing races and voted one of the best half marathons in the country.

A total of 24 Green Vests ran the race with Jamie Parry finishing in 01:20:14 in his first half marathon! There also numerous other PBs.

Iron Trail 5

Phillip Miles’ infamous Iron Trail 5 race took place this month and apart from some rain halfway around, there were no casualties to report. A huge number of club members and First Strides participated in the race in aid of the North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation and Aftercare charity.

Other Honours

  • Michael Cope finished 2nd male in the tough Brecon Midnight Half Marathon .
  • Julie Cashell finished 3rd Lady and 1st FV40 in the very tough Tour de Calch fell race near Crickhowell.

New Members This Month

  • Victoria Main
  • Sarah Jeremiah
  • Liz Beynon
  • Callum Schofield
  • Brian Evans
  • Brian Wiles
  • Rob Bennett
  • Paul Lewis

July

GLCL Road Series Pontypool

The fourth race in the GLCL Road Series and another fantastic turnout from the Green Army. A total of 65 runners (39 men/26 women) headed to Pontypool Park for the 6 mile race following the same route as the Pontypool 10k Home Run.

Notable Results

  • Lee Aherne – 1st Male & 1st M5054
  • Sam Lewis Jones – 2nd Male & 2nd M1739
  • Lauren Cooper – 1st Female & 1st F1734
  • Nicola Jukes – 1st F4549
  • Stephen Williams – 3rd M5559
  • Neil Lloyd – 1st M6064
  • Phillip Miles – 1st M6569
  • Rachel Lewis – 1st F4044
  • David Smout – 2nd M6569
  • Jillian Matthews – 2nd F6064

Sunday Runch

The inaugural Sunday Runch took place with a 10 mile run from Parc Bryn Bach to the Coach and Horses in Llangynidr. 2018 needs to have more runs that end with a giant Sunday Roast.

Beer Ultra

Rob Gale participated in a low-key Beer Ultra near Caerphilly. The event involved downing a can of beer and running a 5K trail loop followed by downing another beer followed by another 5k trail loop followed by… you get the idea. The ‘race’ finished after a total of 50K and 10 beers plus one at the end before the clock stops.

Lee Aherne – World Record Holder

Lee Aherne celebrated his 51st birthday by running the third race in the Rose Inn Series with the aim of taking the 4 mile world record for his age. There was no current record holder so he was guaranteed to get the record but with a 5 second course record at Rose Inn, he ensured that the record had a good chance of staying.

Happy Birthday Parc Bryn Bach parkrun

July 22nd saw the 5th birthday of Parc Bryn Bach parkrun and 8 members celebrated by scoring a PB on the day.

Cardiac 6

Organised by Phillip Miles, the 4th Annual Cardiac 6 took place this month. The tough 6 mile race is in aid of the North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation and Aftercare charity and is well supported by members of the club. As such we’re always in with a good chance of winning some prizes. Jamie Parry was the first Green Vest (3rd Male and 3rd overall) across the line followed by Lauren Cooper (1st Female and 6th overall) and Simon Lewis (8th overall).

Skipper Damian Williams was 3rd male, although Michael Cope did finish ahead of him but he was running in a Mynydd Du vest. Julie Cashell took the prize for 2nd Female. We took a few age categories including MV50 (Simon Lewis) and 1st MV60 (Dai Smout running in a Mynydd Du vest). In addition to those, we also had a clean sweep in the team prizes with Jamie Parry, Simon Lewis and Damian Williams taking the title for the men and Lauren Cooper, Julie Cashell and Sharon Newell for the women.

Leadership in Running Fitness

A number of members attended the Leadership in Running Fitness course this month. It was funded by the money we received from the Tesco grant. 10 members successfully completed the course so we now have a total of 22 qualified leaders who will help ensure that each training session will be both enjoyable and most importantly, safe.

Merthyr Mawr Trail Festival

We were well represented at the tough-looking Merthyr Mawr Trail Festival with Julie Cashell attacking the Giant Rabbit Run and Richard Sheehy, Delphine Jones, Darren and Bobbie Swift, Nathan Harper, Sian Price, Hayley Jackson, Rhys Lewis, Nicola Lewis and Gwyn Palfrey entering the Rabbit Run.

Julie Cashell had a blinding run finishing first female in the Giant Rabbit Run and completing the race in ~02:37:00. She also beat Welsh international runner Sharon Leech which make the victory all the more sweet.

Jamie Parry competed in the 7.3 mile Rabbit Run and finished was 2nd male and second overall.

Great Celtic Trail Half Marathon

Rachel Lewis took 3rd Female at the Great Celtric Trail Half Marathon at Margam Park and along with Helen Williams and Claire Sullivan took 1st Ladies Team.

Other Honours

  • Dai Smout was 1st MV60 at the Waun Fach Fell Race
  • Lee Aherne was 1st MV50 at the Magor 10K

New Members This Month

  • Deanne Griffiths
  • Keri-Lyn Jones
  • Matthew Crowle
  • Claire Walters
  • Rebecca Rees

August

Steve Jones: Honorary Member

Our first Honorary Member was welcomed to the club In August – none other than the legend that is Steve Jones.

“I regard this Honorary Club Membership as something to treasure and belongs amongst the major achievements in my running career. I am especially proud to be recognised and welcomed into PBBRC given my local connection to Hilltop, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar”. Steve Jones

GLCL Road Series Race 5: Cwmbran

The final race in the GLCL Road Series and an excellent turnout from the club with 64 members running. The race itself was one of the busiest of the series with 548 runners taking part.

Honours

  • Lee Aherne – 1st Overall and 1st M5054
  • Stephen Williams – 3rd M5559
  • Nicola Jukes – 2nd F4549
  • Neil Lloyd – 1st M6064
  • Phillip Miles – 1st M6569
  • Rachel Lewis – 1st F4044
  • David Smout – 3rd M6569
  • Margrett Monk – 2nd F6599
  • Jill Matthews – 2nd F6064
  • Michael Lewis – 1st M7099

GLCL Road Series: Final Standings

After 5 road races, the club performed amazingly taking 7 1st placing out of 16!

  • Lauren Cooper – 1st Senior Female
  • Rachel Burr-Lewis – 1st FV4044
  • Nicola Jukes – 1st FV4549
  • Jill Matthews – 1st FV6064
  • Margrett Monk – 2nd FV65+
  • Sam Lewis Jones – 1st Senior Male
  • Jamie Parry – 3rd Senior Male
  • Lee Aherne – 1st MV5054
  • Stephen Williams – Joint 1st MV5559
  • Neil Lloyd – 1st MV6064
  • David Smout – 2nd MV6569
  • Bernie Monk – 3rd MV70+
  • Ladies A – 4th Position
  • Ladies B – 2nd Position B Division
  • Men A – 2nd Position
  • Men B – 2nd Position
  • Ladies – 4th in Combined League
  • Men – 3rd in Combined League

Wedding Anniversary Present

Mike Matthews knows how to treat Caroline right and celebrated his Silver Wedding Anniversary in style with a trip the final GLCL Road Race followed by a bag of chips on the way home!

Rose Inn Series 2017: Race 4

The final race in the Rose Inn Series and heading into the race we had already secured a number of awards including Lee Aherne in the MV50 category, Nicola Jukes in the FV45 category and Beth Jones in the Junior Ladies category. The ladies had also won the first three races and were hoping for a clean sweep with a fourth victory. Unfortunately they were beaten by Lliswerry so couldn’t get the clean sweep.

Honours

1st Junior Male: Sam Jackson

1st Junior Lady: Beth Jones

1st FV35: Kim Price

1st FV45: Nicola Jukes

1st MV50 & 2nd Male Overall: Lee Aherne

Senior Lady Prize: Lauren Cooper

Ladies Team: Lauren Cooper, Nicola Jukes, Danielle Phillips, Hannah Williams, Rachel Lewis

Other Notable Results

  • Sam Jackson: 2nd JM
  • Beth Jones: 2nd JL
  • Rachel Lewis: 2nd FV40
  • Nicola Jukes: 1st FV45
  • Melissa Pearce: 3rd FV45

New Extension for our Tent

We gained a new extension for out club tent but after just a few months of use, we could do with an even bigger tent to accommodate the Green Army and its kit.

Race the Train

Julie Cashell was in north Wales for the annual Race the Train event. She opted for the 14 mile race and finished first in her age category.

Lauren Cooper – LiRF

Lauren Cooper became the latest Club Member to complete the Leadership in Running Fitness Course.

Damian Williams – “We now have a good blend of youth and experience amongst our Leaders which can only bode well for the future.”

19th Welsh Athletics Inter Regional Championships

Four club members were selected to compete in East Wales vests in the Welsh Athletics Inter Regional Championships. Louise Kirby competed in the 100m and 200m, Hayley Jackson competed in the 3,000m (and was roped into the 800m), Lauren Cooper competed in the 3,000m, 1,500m Steeplechase and Stephen Mathers competed in the 800m.

Lauren took gold in the 3,000m and silver in the steeplechase.

Severn Bridge Half Marathon

It was a cracking turnout for the annual Severn Bridge Half Marathon and it was a hot one! Our superstar Jamie Parry finished in 8th position in a time of 01:19:30 and Damian Williams and Julie Cashell were both third in their category positions.

Narberth Nobbler

Rachel Lewis competed in the Narberth Nobbler trail half marathon in West Wales and came away with second female.

Machen Mountain Race

Other Notable Results

  • Mathew Ellis competed in the Alpine Race in Cwm. The race involves scaling a very steep hill before running back down. He finished in 2nd place overall.
  • Lee Aherne competed in the Summer Sizzler 5K in Cardiff and finished 1st in his age category.
  • Nicola Jukes came 2nd female in the Cottrell Park Summer 10K.

New Members This Month

  • Ethan Sayce
  • Nicky Osman
  • Nicola Haines Jones
  • Stephen Dallow
  • Richard Price (Snr)

September

Roman Run

Some new recruits and past centurions embarked on the Roman Run on Saturday afternoon – 16 in total! The weather was much more favourable this year than last but that didn’t make it any easier. Everyone gave it their best on the 17 mile run from Brecon to Merthyr with Julie Cashell romping home in 02:09 to get 2nd female, Michael Cope taking 1st Vet and Kath Jervis getting a PB.

Cardiff 10K

There was a great turnout from the Green Army at the Cardiff 10K. There were plenty of PBs to report with Darren Kippest dipping under 42 minutes in his new super-fast shorts, Cerys Swift knocking a whopping 17 minutes of last year’s time, Brian Evans also knocking 5 minutes of last year’s time and Sarah Jeremiah feeling the effects of wearing a green vest with a PB of 48:57. Lee Aherne and Nicola Jukes bagged 2nd and 3rd in their respective age categories.

Welsh Road Relay Championships

The Welsh Road Relay Championship took place in Pembrey and the Green Army were out in force – literally! We had numerous comments about how many of us were there. With 13 teams we were a force to be reckoned with and came away with a gold, 2 silver and a bronze medal.

Women 35

Silver: Rachel Lewis, Julie Cashell and Kelly Collins

Women 45

Gold: Sharon Newell, Sian McGoldrick, Keri-Lyn Jones
Bronze: Caroline Matthews, Suzie Tew, Alison Holton

Men 35

Silver: Michael Cope, Stephen Mathers, Gavin Patterson

Mic Morris 10K

We were out in force for the annual Mic Morris 10K race with over 40 runners participating. Notable results for the race were Lee Aherne who took 2nd position in 32:25, Nicola Jukes who took 3rd lady and Nicola Jukes, Julie Cashell and Danielle Phillips who together won the award for the ladies team.

Stephen and Ruth

Stephen Carter and Ruth Butterfield headed over to East Sussex for the Rother Valley 10K and Stephen had more in mind than simply running the race. He surprised Ruth with a marriage proposal at the finish line, and whilst both still wearing green vests!

Swansea Bay 10K

It was a fantastic turnout for the Green Army at the Swansea Bay 10K with in excess of 30 runners taking part. Lee Aherne bagged 1st MV50 and Nicola Jukes 1st FV45. There were also numerous PBs to report including Alex Thomas who ran her first sub-60 10K and Marcus Smith who ran his first sub-50 10K.

British Masters 1 Mile Championships

As part of the Cardiff University of Festival of Races which includes the half marathon, Saturday saw the British and Welsh Masters 1 Mile Championships. Lee Aherne, Rachel Lewis,Keri-Lyn Jones and James Williams all competed and they walked away with a whopping 6 medals!

Lee Aherne took the gold in both the Welsh and British MV50 category, Rachel took the Silver in the Welsh and British FV40 category and Keri-Lyn took the silver in the Welsh and British FV45.

Other Notable Results

  • Julie Cashell ran the Forest of Dean Half Marathon in a fantastic time of 1:36:05 and secured 2nd FV35.
  • Stephen Mathers took 1st place in the 400m event at the Welsh Masters Athletics League in Newport.
  • Julie Cashell took first vet over 35 in the Islwyn Scenic 7.
  • Rachel Lewis was first female in the Caerphilly to Cardiff Mega Run.

New Members This Month

  • Calvin Thomas
  • Alan Nash
  • Sarah Lane Coote
  • Mark Binding
  • Nick Webb
  • Liz Carpenter-Davies
  • Sarah Williams
  • Sian Steadman
  • Dai Parry
  • Alison Stevens
  • Anna Smith
  • Roger Freeman
  • Owen Davies

October

Cardiff Half Marathon

Merthyr Marathon

Gavin Patterson and Claire Sullivan ran the inaugural Merthyr Marathon which followed the Merthyr Half Marathon route and then headed up to Pontsticill Reservoir. Gavin finished in an excellent 3:04:50 taking 2nd place.

GLCL XC: Parc Bryn Bach

Cross Country is not supposed to be a walk in the park and this race certainly wasn’t. A total of 79 club members participated and was supported by club members and family around the course. We had a crack team of marshalls that offered support not only for the green army but for all runners.

There were many first time XC runners including Suzie Tew, Ruth Butterfield, Sian McGoldrick, Suzanne Court, Sarah Jeremiah and Stephen Dallow. Thankfully none of them appear to have been discouraged by the experience and will be running future races.

Course Preparation

Our course architect, Clive Cooksey did a superb job in creating a challenging cross country course and worked tirelessly in preparing it for race day by cutting back overgrowth, painting all those troublesome rocks red and even strimming grass on race day.

GLCL XC Awards

The fixture was used to present awards the Road Race Series and a total of eleven members were awarded prizes – Sam Jones, Neil Lloyd, Rachel Lewis, Lee Aherne, Lauren Cooper, Bernie Monk, Stephen Williams, Margrett Monk, Nicola Jukes and Jill matthews.

Welsh Half Marathon Championships

The Cardiff Half Marathon incorporated the Welsh Half Marathon Championships  and three members took away medals. Julie Cashell took a bronze in the WV40, Damian Williams took a silver in the MV50 and Michael Lewis took gold in the MV75 category!

GLXC: Llandaff

The Green Army was out in force for the first fixture of the Gwent League 2017/18 season in Llandaff, Cardiff. The race coincided with the Cardiff Cross Challenge and featured some incredibly fast runners. The fixture featured a full fixture of races throughout the day and in addition to the usual senior women’s and men’s races we were also fielding runners in the Under 15s and Under 17s men’s races.

Gilbert Legge Award

At the Llandaff Gwent League fixture the club was presented with the prestigious Gilbert Legge Memorial Award. The award has been presented to clubs since the second season of the Gwent League and is ‘voted for by the member clubs and it goes to the club which has shown “Sportsmanship, Endeavour and Achievement”‘.

With an awesome team behind-the-scenes that ensures everything runs smoothly at events such as the Gwent League, an ever-growing and passionate group of runners and support from family members and our honorary member Steve Jones, receiving an award like this just goes to show how the club’s efforts are being recognised by others.

Run for Rebecca

There was a huge, hug turnout for the Run for Rebecca with many club members, First Strides and other supporters in attendance. In excess of £650 was raised!

I’m so proud to be part of such a fantastic club. The support showed to the amazing Rebecca Cooksey was unbelievable this morning. We are all so proud of you! Keep fighting. You are a beautiful person inside and out. Alex Thomas

New Members This Month

  • Julie Heal
  • Sue Gibbs
  • Adam Roberts
  • Lucy Skelly
  • Sharon Woods
  • Lydia Cawsey
  • Emily Sams
  • Patrick O’Leary
  • Joanna Jones
  • Georgina Seed
  • John Evans
  • Paul Mann
  • Robert Lee Price

Welsh Cross Country Relay Championships

What a huge day for the Green Army at the Welsh Cross Country Relay Championships! With such a huge turnout from club some may say it was more like the Parc Bryn Bach Relays!

Inclusivity

As always a huge number of members from the club turned out and we were well supported by those that couldn’t run, family members and our photographers Adrian and Nigel. And with such a large following means we have a creche for the little ones!

Determination

Despite the distance of each leg being approximately 3 and 4km – less than a parkrun – this didn’t make it any easier. Every club member went out there and gave it all as these finishing photos show.

Honour

In the MW45 category we dominated with a full podium! We were the only club that entered teams in that category but so what? You have to be in it to win it and 9 club members walked away with a Welsh medal; the same applied to the MM55 category. But even though there were no other clubs in those age categories, every member of those teams had no idea and like everyone else on the day, gave it 100%.

We also won a bronze medal in the senior category which could be the first in the club’s history.

  • Senior Women – 3rd: Lauren Cooper, Danielle Phillips, Rebecca Foley
  • MW45 – 1st: Nicola Jukes (+ Gold for Fastest Leg), Sharon Newell, Keri-Lyn Jones
  • MW45 – 2nd: Melissa Pearce, Alison Holton, Louise Kirby
  • MW45 – 3rd:  Suzanne Tew, Sian McGoldrick, Suzanne Court
  • MM45 – 2nd: Damian Williams, Simon Lewis, Lee Aherne, Richard Price
  • MM55 – 1st: David Smout, Phillip Miles, Cyril Williams, Stephen Williams (+ Gold for Fastest Leg)

Nobody Gets Left Behind

GLXC: Brecon

The second fixture in the Gwent League 2017/12018 season returned to Brecon this month. In addition to the standard cross country race the East Wales and South Wales Regional Championships were being held and many club members entered both.

The Green Army had heard the rally calls and over 80 stepped up to the plate to attack what was a very tough and energy-sapping course. With some short and very steep hills and patches of thick mud, the course was relentless but everyone gave it their all despite the pain that some experienced.

Honours

We came away with a clutch of East Wales medals with Lee Aherne and Nicola Jukes taking silver in the V45 category, Damian Williams a bronze in the same category, Sharon Woods took a silver and Margrett Monk a bronze in the V55 category and Lauren Cooper a bronze in the SW category.

Gurners

East Wales Championships Medals

At the Gwent League XC fixture in Brecon, both the ladies and men secured medals in the East Wales Championships. The ladies team came away with a silver and the men a bronze.

Ladies Team
Lauren Cooper, Hannah Williams, Nicola Jukes and Rachel Lewis

Mens Team
Lee Aherne, Harry Davies, Sam Lewis Jones and Stephen Mathers

GLCL XC: Rogerstone

There was another cracking turnout for the second fixture in the GLCL at Rogerstone. The weather was in our favour and mud was barely a patch on our fixture earlier in the season. As always, everyone gave it their all with Jamie Parry taking 1st position and Lauren Cooper 2nd. And both Lauren and Maricel excelled with some outstanding cakes for everyone post-race.

How To Finish a Cross Country Race: Jamie Parry-Style!

British and Irish Masters Cross Country International

Six members were selected to represent the club on Saturday at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International in Northern Ireland. Lee Aherne, who had been ‘living like a monk’ in preparation for the race, was joined by Damian Williams, Michael Lewis, Margrett Monk and Julie Cashell.

The evergreen Michael Lewis bagged himself a rather impressive looking silver medal.

Mo Run

The annual Mo Run, a laid back event with a 5K and 10K race around Bute Park, took place in Cardiff on November 12th and a number of members took part with some donning fancy dress.

New Members This Month

  • Neal Thomas
  • Beth James
  • Claire Steer

December

GLXC: Pembrey

We had a fantastic turnout from the Green Army for the 3rd fixture in the Gwent League 2017/18 season. Pembrey is not the easiest place to get to but you can rely on members to turn out both to compete and to support. The course is a favourite for many and is a stunning area to run in. Both men, women and juniors performed excellently with the men finishing the fixture finishing top of the second division with a very good chance of being promoted to the first division.

Charity Santa and Elf Run

The Rivers of Llangynidr

The second annual Llangynidr Run and Meal took place with 20 or so members descending on the Red Lion pub for huge portions and some festive fun. The rapidly thawing snow from the days leading up to the run meant the lanes had turned into rivers with numerous ankle-deep patches to run through. With so much water to run through, rather than shouts of ‘water’ from our leader Sam Jones, there were shouts of ‘dry patch’!

Run and Games

Before the run Sam revealed that he had placed a number of cards around the different routes and that we should seek them out and pick them up. He warned that those that failed to pick up a card would have to sing in front of everyone. Little did we know that the cards we were collecting were sections of the 12 Days of Christmas song and that we were ALL going to be singing the song.

12 Days of Christmas

Christmas Tree Race

The annual Christmas Tree Race in the Forest of Dean and this year some members had their eye on the Fancy Dress Contest. We had two Christmas trees, a Santa Claus riding a reindeer, three snowmen and other festive hats and t-shirts.

Sam Lewis Jones finished in third position (despite taking a tumble early in the race), Helen Williams took 1st FV40 and Rob Gale took the prize for best costume!

Christmas Paarlauf Relay

The regular track sessions have proved to be a success with many club members reaping the benefits. For the last session before Christmas, we spiced things up with a paarlauf relay (literally means “pair running” in German). We were split into teams of three (varying abilities) with the first person running 9 x 400m and the second and third running 8 x 400m. Christmas attire was compulsory.

Despite a chilly night and an icy track, everyone put in a great effort and appeared to ‘enjoy’ the experience. The winners on the night were Lauren Cooper, Tony Lewis and Robert Gale.

New Members This Month

  • Emma Finlayson
  • Kevin Hale

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