Runners mixing it with the best

Llanelli Half

Llanelli Half

Porthcawl Runners have once again been out in force in recent weeks with some outstanding performances and results across the board.

The club’s athletes are now mixing it with the very best in the region on a regular basis and a special mention for Alun Williams, who posted a time of 1:25:50 to bag a top 65 finish from over 1,700 competitors at the Llanelli Half Marathon.

Team mate Mark Bowen was also home in under 1hr 30 mins while there were excellent performances from Joseph Mainwaring, Dennie Mainwaring, Gareth Mole, Louise Mordue and Alistair Thomson.

Deb Goule is always a contender for the podium places and it was no different at the 114th Wales Cross Country Championships at Singleton Park in Swansea – where she brought home a bronze medal in the Master Women 45 category.

Meanwhile only the Beast from the East could stop the Runners’ charge towards promotion to the top flight of the West Glamorgan Cross Country League.

Both the men and women’s teams were well placed to push for the top two heading into the last of the six races at Aberavon Beach, but the inclement weather conditions meant it was cancelled.

And, as it will not be rescheduled, the tables heading into the last race stand, meaning both end the season third in their respective Division Two standings.

The success of the men, led by skipper Will Edwards, was notable though as they finished as the highest ranked Bridgend club in the area – which bodes well ahead of the new Bridgend County Running League season this summer.

There was individual success too with Deb Goule third female overall and first in her F45 age category.

The frustrating weather also forced the postponement of the St David’s Day 10K in Cardiff and the Newport Half, but the club will be well representedC25K when those races are rearranged – with many also competing in the Cardiff Bay 10k on March 25.

Parkrun is also a regular attraction for the Runners with PBs flying in from everywhere on a weekly basis.

Congratulations, in particular, to Mark James and Dave Bennett who recently achieved their 50 and 100 parkrun milestones respectively.

And last Saturday’s club parkrun also featured the latest batch of graduates from the Couch to 5k programme, which was run by Owen Dobson in conjunction with South Wales Police.

 

Article written by Carl Field

Runner Mark helping the fight

Runner Mark helping the fight

Mark James

RUNNER MARK HELPING THE FIGHT

 

They say that cancer will affect most of us at some point.

Those sentiments certainly ring true for Porthcawl’s Mark James, who has watched a close family member and friends battle the deadly disease in recent times.Mark and the bear

And it was those courageous battles that made him decide he wanted to do his bit to help the fight.

The 53-year-old, a member of the Porthcawl Runners, completed the London Winter 10k Run for Cancer Research UK on February 4 while has already smashed his initial £470 fundraising target via his JustGiving page.

“My dad is a survivor,” said Mark, who only took up running a little over 12 months ago.

“I also know some people locally that are bravely fighting so this cause really rang home to me.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing though, having been laid low by flu in the weeks prior, which set him back in terms of preparation for the big day.

However he was on the start line in Trafalgar Square and was supported on the day by wife and fellow runner Louise right to the finish in Whitehall.

Mark on the run“The atmosphere of this race was rumoured to be outstanding and did not disappoint,” continued Mark.

“The support and encouragement I’ve received has been superb – and I needed that as running really suffered over Christmas when I had some sort of flu.

“I was nervous and the aim was just to finish, as my fitness was not back to where it was.

“The support on the way round from the public – supporters dressed as penguins, yetis and polar bears – was brilliant.

“The run was amazing; so many stories, people had signs on their backs, there were many survivors and many running to support or in memory of people.

“There were choirs, snow machines and a percussion band too and that all made the run easier.”

On what was a freezing cold day, Mark also filmed some of the run on the way and was pleased as he came home in just under 1hour 10mins.

To make a donation, visit Mark’s JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-james73

yeti

Runner Will’s coast path challenge

Will Edwards

Will Edwards

Runner Will’s coast path challenge

 

Porthcawl Runner Will Edwards last week began his attempt to cover the entire Wales Coast Path throughout 2018.

The 45-year-old doctor has set himself the challenge of completing the full official 870 miles (1,400 kilometres) of the path – which opened back in May 2012 – while also raising money for both prostate cancer and breast cancer care.

Will has long been inspired by Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods, which is about Bryson’s attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail, which stretches more than 2,200 miles in the Eastern United States from Georgia to Maine.

But it is the heroic battles of people much closer to home which have given Will the extra motivation to take on the challenge – friends and fellow Porthcawl Runners who have been diagnosed with prostate and breast cancer in recent times.

The path starts from Flintshire in the north and runs around the whole Welsh coast to Chepstow in the south, with Will attempting to run and walk the distance – in sections – this year while also plans to cycle parts, too.

Will made the trek up to North Wales last week to start the journey properly and clocked up 36 miles in total, while will return there later in the year to finish that stretch.

He will be flanked by family, friends and fellow club members at various stages along the way and, given course diversions, it is also likely he will exceed the official 870-mile distance.

Will is fundraising via his JustGiving page. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/william-edwards11

He is also blogging his journey at: wilfyporthcawl.wordpress.com

Article written by Carl Field

Porthcawl Runners gunning for promotion

Porthcawl Runners gunning for promotion

 

At the halfway stage of the 2017/18 West Glamorgan Cross Country League, Porthcawl Runners are gunning for promotion on two fronts.

The club have made a solid start in Division Two of both the men’s and women’s team competitions and are in with a real chance of securing top flight status for next year.

With three events still to come, the men are third while the women sit fourth, but are within touching distance of the top two promotion places in both.

The Runners are also the highest-ranked Bridgend club in the men’s competition – ahead of the likes of Cornelly Striders, Brackla Harriers and Ogmore Phoenix.

In the individual standings, Deb Goule is leading the way in the vet 45 women category and is also third female overall.

Running between September and March, the league sees teams compete across six scenic events, with fun runners competing alongside some of the best athletes in the region.

The first three were at Llanmadoc North Gower, Gnoll Park and Kenfig Nature Reserve, with fixtures at Tata Reservoir (January 14), Margam Park (January 28) and Aberavon Beach (March 4) still to come.

The Runners are led in the West Glam League for a seventh year by captain Will Edwards, who said their success simply sums up the “buzz” in the club generally at present.

There was also success for the club at last weekend’s Run4All Santa Run at Aberavon where Deb bagged the first female prize with Dave Bennett third man home.

 

Article written by Carl Field

Runner Mark’s epic challenge

Runner Mark’s epic challenge

 

Getting out for a run can be a struggle at this time of year for even the most enthusiastic of runners.

But Porthcawl Runner Mark Bowen is now just over a week away from completing his epic challenge of running on every single day in 2017.

The 35-year-old will have clocked up a staggering 2,200 kilometres – and all in aid of Many Tears Animal Rescue in Llanelli, for whom he has raised in excess of £1,000 so far as well as raising awareness.

Many Tears take in and re-home dogs who, more often than not, have suffered neglect.

He explained: “We’re big dog lovers in our family and I’d read a lot about the refuge centre.

“They rely entirely on donations and volunteers and it’s a constant struggle for them to keep doing what they do.

“So this was something positive that I could do for them – to go for runs and raise money.”

His plan consisted of running at least 3km a day but no less than 30km in any given week – with an initial target of 1,600km for the year, which he has smashed.

“It feels mad now,” he continued.

“The last two months have probably been the hardest, because it’s felt like everything I could have been ill with, I’ve had.

“But I’ve been lucky with injuries and it’s just that desire it see it through, even when I’ve had a long day at work and felt a bit under the weather.

“My mindset all the way through has been that I’ve committed to this and I’m just going to get out there and do it.

“Thinking about what those dogs have gone through gets me out there and gets me through it, without fail.

“My wife has been really supportive.

“I think at the start, like most people, she probably thought it was a bit of a crazy idea.

“But as the months went by she got more and more supportive and she could see there was no way I wasn’t going to do it.”

Mark is now on the home straight and on New Year’s Eve will complete his final run – and will be flanked by fellow members of the Porthcawl Runners before taking a much-needed rest.

“I am looking forward to finishing, I need to stop!” he added.

“I’m at that point now, for health reasons more than anything.

“I need to have proper rest and give myself the chance to eat and sleep properly and not think about running for a few days.”

Mark has been fundraising via his JustGiving page and has exceeded his original target of £1,000. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/365challenge

 

Article written by Carl Field

Magic milestone for Taxi Mike

Mike Taxi

Mike Taxi 200th Parkrun

Porthcawl Runner Mike Davies was a proud man after completing his 200th Parkrun last Saturday.

It’s quite an achievement for the 59-year-old veteran, who only took up running a little over four years ago.

The Parkrun in Porthcawl was a little over two months old when Davies ran in his first one back on June 15, 2013 – clocking 32 minutes 36 seconds.

He went on to rack up six personal best times in eight races over the next two months, knocking a staggering nine minutes plus off his time.

His best came in his 61st run back on September 20, 2014, a time of 22:45 which is still his fastest time – while his average over all 200 Parkruns – all of which have been at Porthcawl –  is a highly respectable 26:50.

Davies, who was invited to join the South Road based Runners by a friend in 2014, has run in 200 of the 229 stagings of the Porthcawl Parkrun since it started back on April 6, 2013.

On what first inspired him to take up running, Davies recalled: “I’d already given up playing football and was looking for something to do on my own.

“I watched people doing the Parkrun on a Saturday morning and it really inspired me.”

Looking back on his very first Parkrun, he said: “I almost didn’t make it to the end. I struggled to start with and had to walk some of it as well.

“I hadn’t really trained to do a Parkrun and I remember going out with my son the night before it and I think I managed to pull a hamstring or something.”

But, after finishing and then 199 Parkruns later, painter and decorator Davies – affectionately known as ‘Taxi Mike’ because of his second job as a cab driver – has no plans to stop pounding the pavements any time soon.

And, as he heads towards another magic milestone in turning 60, it looks like there’s plenty of petrol left in Taxi Mike’s tank.

Article written by Carl Field

Mike2 Taxi 200th Parkrun

Porthcawl Runners Glamorgan Gazette Article by Carl Field

Merthyr Mawr 5k 2017 - Porthcawl Runners

Merthyr Mawr 5k 2017 - Porthcawl Runners

Records fall at the Merthyr Mawr 5k with personal bests

 

14 NEW personal bests were the highlight of a record-breaking Merthyr Mawr 5k for the Porthcawl Runners.
No fewer than 47 competitors from the South Road based club descended on the event – which was the second of six Bridgend County Running League events in 2017.

That number smashed the Runners’ previous BCRL club record of 26 – achieved at the same event last year – while eight were also making their competitive club bows.

Geraint Lewis (17:47) led the Runners home in 23rd out of 479 finishers overall while Deb Goule (21:19) collected the prize of first Vet 45 female.

There were PBs on the night for Dave Dickson, David Bennett, Will Edwards, Robert Slaughter, Matthew Watkins, Laura Butcher, Karen Phillips, Deb Jones, Tim Kale, Jennifer Jones and Heidi Bennett – along with debut trio Martin Gush, Eve Devlin and Carl Field.

Geraint Williams, Alun Williams, Jeremy Jones, Toni Cosson and Lindsay Ford also enjoyed excellent first outings for the club.

The next event of this year’s BCRL will be staged by the Runners at Porthcawl Seafront on Wednesday, June 28 where they will compete in a 4km Time Trial once again with Brackla Harriers, Bridgend AC, Cornelly Striders, Cwm Ogwr Runners, Pencoed Panthers and Pencoed Tri Club.

Those notable performances at Merthyr Mawr came hot on the heels of the Runners’ exertions at the recent Cottrell Park relays.

With eight teams entered, the Runners were the best represented club in attendance and certainly proved they are a force to be reckoned with victory for Dave Bennett, Deb Goule and Rob Bennett in the Mixed category.

The Runners also finished second in the Masters Men, Masters Female and Family categories.

 

Article written by Carl Field

 

Bridgend County running league

Bridgend County running league

Bridgend County running league

Last year we as Porthcawl Runners competed in the inaugural Bridgend County Running League (BCRL). It was a thoroughly rewarding competition, which tested us all as runners and also forged stronger bonds with the other five clubs that participated. It consists of six races, each hosted by the league member clubs (including us!!!), run throughout the summer months (well, nearly..).

THE BCRL IS FOR EVERYONE.

There are no barriers to entering for any of our fantastic runners – the scoring system means that everybody contributes to the team score. Did I say that the BCRL was for everyone?👍

So what’s it all about?

Well, as mentioned it is a running competition between the six original clubs: Bridgend Athletic, Brackla Harriers, Cornelly Striders, Cwm Ogwr, Pencoed Tri and ourselves. But this year we are being joined by the newly formed Pencoed Panthers. You will recognise most of the runners from the other clubs if you have ever been down to Porthcawl seafront at 9am on a Saturday morning..😉

The first race is on the 14th May at 11am in Ogmore Valley hosted by Cwm Ogwr. It’s a 5 mile road race around Ogmore Valley. That means hills, but I know you are all made of strong stuff, so that won’t be a problem..👊🏼💪🏼

The second race is on the 31st May at 7.30pm down Merthyr Mawr lane hosted by Bridgend Athletic. This is a 5k road race with a gentle incline, if you’ve ever run Porthcawl Parkrun, this one will be no problem.😎

The third race is on the 28th June, and it’s ours! A 4K time trial on the seafront common. You’ll all be used to the course because of its where we train! If you can’t run the event, we’ll be trying to rope you into helping…

The fourth race is on the 19th July at 7.30pm at Kenfig Pool hosted by Cornelly Striders. 5k over sand. But don’t worry about it, we’ll organise some training sessions on the beach to prepare you..🏄🏻‍♀️🏄🏻🏄🏻‍♀️🏄🏻

The fifth race is on the 22nd August at 7.00pm at Bryn Garw Country Park hosted by Brackla Harriers. The distance hasn’t been stated yet, but it won’t be any longer than 5 miles (8k).

The final race is on the 30th August at 7.00pm on Rest Bay beach hosted by Pencoed Tri. This was just under 5k last year.

THE BCRL IS FOR EVERYONE!!

You can enter as many or as few races as you like, every entry counts and it is a fantastic way to try racing in the local area..

If you would like more information about the BCRL, head over to the Facebook page, or feel free to message me or any of the coaches, or even catch us during training nights!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/216047885441766/

West Glam cross country league

West Glam cross country league - Porthcawl Runners

West Glam cross country league results final standings

Thanks to the folks that turned out regularly for our teams and scored good points in the West Glam Cross Country League:-
As well as Debs Goule winning her age group there were 3 others who attended all 5 events – Karen Phillips (61st in women), Geraint Lewis (8th overall), Wilfy Edwards (28th overall). Thanks to those who attended 4 too – Jeff Thomas (34th overall), Dave Bennett (67th overall), Rob Bennett (75th overall), Tony Phillips (79th overall), Claire Godfrey (64th woman). Also thanks to Daniela Jones, Rachel Thomson, Ceri Thomas and Rob Robert Slaughter, Andy Breeze, Mike Furness and Charlotte Warren. Sorry if I missed anyone. Think everyone who ran these will agree these are special events and for any level.

WELL DONE TEAM Porthcawl – see you next season! (nice club pic if you hover on team pics at bottom of page on link).

See full details of results here: http://www.westglamleague.co.uk/individual-tables-2016-17/

April 2017 Newsletter

Porthcawl Runners and walkers newsletter april 2017

April 2017 Newsletter

Spring has sprung, and along with dancing daffodils, Personal Bests have been springing up in the club. I can’t list them all but my coach’s runner of the month has been Andy Breeze, who has been gamboling like a lamb at the Porthcawl Parkrun, breaking his PB on a nearly weekly basis, and getting a 10k PB too.  This success has been built on consistent attendance at the club’s Wednesday speed session.

Well done Andy and to the others who use this as a Spring-board to improvement.

Congratulations to our runners that braved the Margam Park Half Marathon and Llanelli Half Marathon recently.  The core sessions run on a Monday evening by Julianne Mort are very popular and she is pushing us hard, with many grown men shedding tears!

A quick mention to a friend of the club – Terry Jones (of the Fruit Bowl) – he is running in a series of events culminating in an over two hundred mile run from London to Porthcawl in August – for the RoadPeace charity, in memory of his sister. I plan to run the Manchester and Snowdon Marathons to support him. A fundraising night is planned for Terry’s challenge, or feel free to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/William-Edwards9.