2018 Year in Review

Wow, 2018, another memorable year!

During the year, the Green Army has continued to grow with now over 250 Members and more lined up to join in January! (to take advantage of the extra 3 months WA Membership deal – join January 2019 and renew April 2020).

There have been so many highs during 2018, simply too many to mention them all, but also one low. Sadly, we lost one of our treasured Members, Rebecca Cooksey, who lost her brave fight against that dreadful disease. Rebecca was truly inspirational throughout her illness and will always remain a part of PBBRC. RIP Rebecca x

During this difficult period the Clubs togetherness shone though, as it has throughout the year at many, many social runs, activities, races and team events. We are now well represented at most South Wales events and indeed further afield.

A few Spirit of Monmouth runners attended the remote Mull of Kintyre 10K and joked, we will probably see some PBBRC here, and do you know what? THEY DID!

It’s absolutely fantastic to see so many green vests competing week in week out at all the various events. Our popular vests on tour theme has again produced some wonderful pictures of Members running all over the World with lots of famous backdrops.

For me, our Competitive highlights have been seeing the Men’s team achieve Gwent League Division 1 status and the Women retaining their Division 1 status. We are the only Gwent based Club with Men and Women’s teams in Division 1. We worked hard to get there and must now work even harder to stay there! Our Castles weekend also proved successful having improved on our 2017 position of 24th by finishing a very, very respectable 11th place! We continue to turn up in force at all the relative Welsh Championship events with Medals continuously being won, both on a Team and Individual basis.

Another memorable highlight was the Club recently hosting their first ever Gwent League fixture at Parc Bryn Bach. To host possibly the largest Cross Country event held in Wales or SW England, including over 1,300 runners across 8 events ranging from U11 through to Seniors and Masters, is a great accolade for PBBRC. The adverse weather conditions ensured a very challenging course which some referred to as a mud-fest but lots of others as a real Cross Country event. We have received fabulous feedback since the event and hopefully will be asked to host future Gwent League fixtures.

Finally, I need to thank Rob Gale for capturing the above and much, much, much more! Rob’s weekly review provides so much enjoyment for Members and indeed non members. We all look forward to the Sunday evening release which always ensures both spectacular photography and plenty of LOL moments! Our website also continues to be action packed and current.

Rob has personally endured a very frustrating year due to ill health but despite which still turns up at the most unexpected spots ready to capture the best pictures, whatever the weather and location. Rob, on behalf of the Club, we thank you for your work and also wish you a successful recovery early 2019! Congratulations also on your work at the UK and Ireland Masters event in Swansea which resulted in many of your photos being featured in Athletics Weekly, some even on the font cover!

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

January

New Year’s Day Double parkrun

The year started with a huge turnout for the double parkrun on New Year’s Day. For most it was Cardiff first followed by Newport but some did a double Newport and others left Cardiff for Barry. For 2019 it looks like it’ll be Cardiff onto Barry and then a New Year’s Day Swim.

First Gurners of the Year

Sarah and Sian were kind enough to provide us with the first gurners of the year with some crackers on the downhill section of the Kymin Winter Race. Paul Stillman was on hand to photograph them.

First GLCL XC of the Year

Kate Humble’s farm near Monmouth was the destination for the first GLCL, and first XC, race of the year. The course is a tricky one with boggy sections and many molehills to avoid.

Rogue Runs Night Races: Beechenhurst

The first of the excellent Rogue Runs Night Races took place at Beechenhurst Lodge in the Forest of Dean and was muddy! As usual in pretty much all of the Rogue Runs Night Races, Sam Jones took a tumble!

Talybont Reservoir Loop

A Sunday run turned into a Saturday run this month and to mix things up a bunch of us met up for a 14-ish-mile loop around Talybont Reservoir. For some of us (Laura) it was the furthest they’d run and I may have stretched the truth a little when I said there were just a couple of hills (around 7 miles worth!).

Thankfully there was an ultra marathon being held in the area at the time and they were kind enough to let us stuff our faces!

Cardiff Metropolitan University New Year Open Grand Prix

Stephen Mathers and Stephen Williams competed in the Cardiff Metropolitan University New Year Open Grand Prix this month. Stephen Williams won his event (M55 800m Welsh Masters) and Stephen Mathers came second in the M35 800m (2:08) and first in the M35 200m (26.7).

Rachel’s Long Sunday Run Doesn’t Include Any ‘ish’ Miles!

The Flattest Race on the Planet

January means the annual ‘Flattest Race on the Planet’ around the Levels of Newport. Over 30 Green Vests were in attendance and Lauren Cooper took 2nd lady and Margrett Monk took both 1st FV65 and 2nd FV60.

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

When you need to be at the Tredegar Quiz Awards but still squeeze in a RED January run before midnight.

February

GLCL XC: Usk

Around 50 club members descended upon Usk for another muddy GLCL XC race. Lauren ‘Sooper’ Cooper finished 1st female and there were a host of other age category wins and placings.

Results

  • Lauren Cooper – 1st F1734 (and 1st Female)
  • Rachel Lewis – 2nd F4044
  • Sharon Newell – 3rd F4549
  • Georgina Seed – 1st F5559
  • Kath Jervis – 2nd F6064
  • Sam Lewis Jones – 3rd M1739
  • Stephen Williams – 3rd M5559
  • Ian Davies – 2nd M5054
  • Phillip Miles – 2nd M6569
  • David Smout – 3rd M6569

Laura’s 140-Yard Long Sunday Run

Cardiff Met GP3: Non Thomas Open

Stephen Williams, Keri-Lyn Jones and Louise Kirby competed in the Cardiff Met Uni Grand Prix Series last Sunday (supported by Richard Price, Lauren Cooper, Sam Jackson and James Thomas). Stephen Williams and Louise Kirby both won age category medals in events that they ran in.

Rogue Runs Night Race Series: Piercefield Park

The finale of the Rogue Run Night Race and after coming second in the first race, third in the second race, the ladies managed to take the top spot in a series that had been dominated by Forest of Dean AC.

GLXC: Pontypool

Sun, hail, snow, hills, mud – it’s can only mean cross country!

XC Is Not For Everyone

And Not Everyone Stays Vertical

But As A Club We Always Have Fun!

And Who Could Forget Those That Come Along to Support the Club

Throwing Down the Vests on Tour Gauntlet

Alan Nash threw down the gauntlet this month for best Vest on Tour photo with a shot from Table Mountain in South Africa. Does a hike count as a run though?

Hoka Trail Half Marathon

BUCS Nationals Indoor Athletics Championships

This month saw Lauren Cooper being selected for the BUCS (British University) Nationals Indoor Athletics Championships in Sheffield and making it through to the final in the 3000m.

“Thank you all so much for the support, I can say for certain that I come from the best club, I’m not sure I’d have finished if I didn’t have you all behind me! Special thanks to Nik, Lee and Damian for pushing me to keep running, and forcing me to race the big girls! Never dreamed I’d make the final of BUCS, but I did, and managed a PB too!”

The Swifts do Rome

Bobbie and Cerys Swift took a snap in front of the Colosseum during a run in Rome but not sure where Darren was. 😉

Welsh Cross Country Championships

A formidable army descended on Singleton Park, Swansea on a sunny Saturday with the aim of coming away with as many medals as possible and boy did we come up trumps. Despite running against some top runners we came away with the most team medals AND took away three individual medals too.

Women Awards

Master Women 40 Team: Gold

Master Women 45 Team: Gold and Silver

Master Women 55 Individual: Bronze

Master Women 60 Individual: Silver

Master Women 65 Individual: Gold

The Winners

Mens Awards

Master Men 45 Team: Bronze

Master Men 50 Team: Silver

The Winners

Team Support

As always, those not running or waiting for their race were out around the course supporting ALL of our runners. It’s what we do best!

And of Course there was Cake!

Heard at the Pontypool Home Run 10K

March

2017/2018 GLXC Season Results

Due to the adverse weather conditions, the final fixture in the 2017/18 Gwent League season at Blaise Castle Bristol was cancelled wouldn’t be rescheduled. Consequently, the results of the first four fixtures of the season would count meaning that the Ladies finished in 4th position in Division 1 (the highest for PBBRC and equally the highest position attained by Club 69) and the Men were confirmed as Division 2 champions! Even though we didn’t complete the fifth fixture, we’re confident the results would have been the same.

Individual Awards

  • Gwent League 2017/18 – V45 Silver (Lee Aherne)
  • Gwent League 2017/18 – V45 Bronze (Nicola Jukes)
  • Gwent League 2017/18 – V65 Bronze (Margrett Monk)
  • Gwent League 2017/18 – V55 Bronze (David Smout)

Unofficial Newport Half Marathon

With the Official Newport Half Marathon cancelled/postponed due to snow I thought I’d have a go at organising my own Unofficial Newport Half Marathon which would follow 95% of the official route. Unsure whether anyone would turn up around two dozen hardy runners (including a mini Green Army!) braved the elements to trudge through 13.1 miles of snow and slush. We raised just over £100 for St David’s Hospice Care!

Lee Valley Inter-Area Masters Indoor Challenge

Louise Kirby competed in the Inter-Area Masters Indoor Challenge this month. It was her first time competing in a Welsh vest and in the V50 category came 3rd in the 400m, 2nd in the 200m and 1st in the 4x200m relay!

Inter-Counties XC Championships Loughborough

Stephen Williams, Sam Lewis Jones, Sam Jackson and Lauren Cooper represented East Wales in the Inter XC Championships in Loughborough in what was an extremely muddy and energy-sapping course!Rebecca Foley also attended and was representing South Wales.

GLCL: Glebelands

The last GLCL fixture and the last XC fixture of the 2017/18 season and the Green Army didn’t disappoint with Adam Roberts and Sam Lewis Jones taking first and second in the men’s race and Lauren Cooper taking first in the women’s race.

There Were Ups

There Were Downs

There Was the Milo-Grainger Triptych

GLCL XC 2017/18 Age Category Winners

Congratulations to all of our age category winners in this year’s GLCL XC season.

  • Lauren Cooper 1st SW
  • Rachel Burr-Lewis 2nd FV4044
  • Sharon Newell 3rd FV4549
  • Kathleen Jervis 1st FV6064
  • Sam Lewis Jones 2nd SM
  • Ian Davies 1st MV5054
  • Haydn Hartnell 2nd MV5559 (3 races for Islwyn)
  • Stephen Williams 3rd MV5559
  • David Smout 2nd MV6569

EcoTrail de Paris 80k

I completed the EcoTrail de Paris 50-miler race on Saturday and it was a toughie! Billed as 92% trail, 8% road, I think they may have meant 92% mud, 8% not mud! Due to the extra muddy/snowy conditions and with a 12:45 cut-off to get to the finish up the Eiffel Tower, I missed it by just 12 minutes!

SIAB and Home Countries International Cross Country Championships

Our Sooper Cooper was represented Wales in Woolaton Park, Nottingham this month for the SIAB and Home Countries International Cross Country Championships. Lauren became our first ever senior international runner in 2017 when competing in a trail race out in France and now adds a cross country international race to her list of achievements.

Merthyr Half Marathon

There was a great turnout from the club to support the Merthyr Half Marathon with Lauren Cooper finishing first female and Nicola Jukes second female (and 1st vet female).

London Landmarks Half Marathon

Runderwoman!

April

Taff Trail Half Marathon

Gilwern Grunt

Kymin Dash

A great turnout from the Green Army at this year’s Kymin Dash with over two dozen running. There were plenty of PBs with some knocking as much as 6 minutes off previous times. Sam Lewis Jones finished second overall behind a very strong, and course record holder, Huw Evans of Les Croupiers, and Kath Jervis got a shock when she discovered she had won 1st FV60.

Offa’s Orror

6 brave souls descended on the Wye Valley for the tough 12-mile Offa’s Orror. The challenging course features 2,000ft of ascent and very tough, muddy terrain. Sam Lewis Jones finished 4th overall and it was Owen Davies’ longest race to date!

Pendine Sand Half Marathon

Kathy Collins was flying the flag for the Green Army in west Wales and finished 2nd Lady in the tough Pendine Sands Half Marathon.

Hospice of the Valleys Six Mile Road Race

The annual Hospice of the Valleys race took place today and thanks to so many at the club we had a unbelievable turnout from the Green Army. With team members at other races we still had one of the biggest team photos ever!

London Marathon

Our club members who were running this year’s London Marathon had an extremely tough race with exceptional heat throughout the entire race. Everyone finished although it was certainly not the weather for a PB.

Cardiff Summer Series 1 Mile

The 2018 Cardiff Summer Series 1 2 3 4 kicked off this month with the 1 mile race and we had a great turnout from the club.

Sam Jackson was the first home from the club finishing in 05:19 and 17th position. Lauren Cooper was first lady to finish for the club and also first overall in 05:27 and close behind was Tom Webb with a superb run finishing in 05:30.

Newport Marathon

Newport’s first ever marathon took place this month and we had a number of club members running – some for the first time.

Newport 10K

In addition to the marathon, the inaugural Newport 10K took place which shared part of the route. We also had a number of club members running this race Lauren ran a great race finishing 5th lady.

May

GLCL 2018 Series Road Race: Parc Bryn Bach

Despite the cold and wet conditions, we had a stellar turnout from the Green Army both in terms of those running and those marshalling and supporting.

Results

The season couldn’t have started any better with the Men’s and Women’s A teams finishing first in the table AND also the Men’s and Women’s B & C teams also finishing first in their table!

Awards

The first fixture of the new season sees the winners of the previous season receive their awards. Congratulations to the following Green Army:-

  • Lauren Cooper  – 1st F1734
  • Rachel Lewis – 2nd F4044
  • Sharon Newell – 3rd F4549
  • Kath Jervis – 1st F6064
  • Sam Lewis Jones – 2nd M1734
  • Ian Davies – 1st M5054
  • Haydn Hartnell – 2nd M5559
  • Stephen Williams -3rd M5559
  • David Smout – 2nd M6569

Red Kite Challenge

Lauren Cooper was in Devil’s Bridge for the tough Red Kite Challenge Trail Half Marathon. Even though it was one of the hardest races she’s done she still managed to get 2nd in the Welsh Championships!

The Mill Race

Damian Williams, Helen Williams, Kim Price, Marcus Smith, Rhianydd Evans and Melissa Pearce were in Talgarth for the 10-mile Mill Race and it looked like a stunning course. Helen Williams had a great run finishing 3rd female and our Chief finished 3rd overall!

“That’s those bloody go-faster racing shorts you sold us all! About time you suffered like the rest of us!” – Darren Swift

Cardiff 5K – Race for Victory

You can rely on the Green Army when it comes to turning up to a race en masse with over 50 members competing. And to top off a great race, 5 members came away with Welsh Championship Medals in different age categories. Cyril Williams took away a bronze as did Sam Jackson, Rachel Lewis took away a silver as did Beth Jones and Stephen Williams had a gold along with a bottle of champagne which he slept with.

Rose Inn Series 2018: Race 1

The beginning of May signifies the start of the excellent Rose Inn Series – a fast, ultra flat 4 mile race around the Rose Inn, Redwick. Much like the first race last year, the weather was on our side although it was a little windy along one stretch. We came away with a number of prizes including 1st female for Lauren and 1st Junior Female for Beth Jones.

1st Female

1st Female Junior

2nd Male Junior

2nd MV55

Cake! Cake! Cake!

South/East Wales Regional Athletics Championships

Lauren Cooper and Sam Jackson were in Cardiff this month for the South/East Wales Regional Athletics Championships. Sam competed in the 1500m and came away with a silver medal in the U20 category. He also competed with Lauren Cooper in the 3000m Steeplechase again winning a silver medal in the U20 category. Lauren did superbly winning a gold medal!

Porthkerry 5

Keri-Lyn Jones was the sole club member running the Porthkerry 5 but that didn’t stop her from taking 1st Vet!

Hereford Half Marathon

Katharine Collins, Stephen Dallow and Neil Lloyd were in Hereford for the Half Marathon and 10K. Katharine competed in the Half Marathon and Neil and Stephen in the 10k. Neil had a fantastic time of 40:55 finishing 11th overall and 1st in his age category.

Sirhowy Challenge

Steve Jones Mile Race Series: Race 1

The inaugural Steve Jones 1 Mile Race Series took place this month. Organised by Aneurin Leisure with support from the club, the event runs throughout the summer and is a fast and flat measured course. We had a great turnout from the club at the first race with some fast times being recorded in both the men’s and women’s races.

GLCL Road Series: Chepstow

The second fixture in the GLCL Road Series and 70 club members attended to tackle the hilly Undy course. We came away with lots of good placings including Lee Aherne and Sam Lewis Jones finishing in first and second!

  • Lee Aherne – 1st Overall
  • Sam Lewis Jones – 2nd Overall
  • Rachel Lewis – 3rd F4044
  • Nicola Jukes – 2nd F4549
  • Georgina Seed – 2nd F5559
  • Hayden Hartnell – 3rd M5559
  • Neil Lloyd – 2nd M6064
  • Jill Matthews – 1st F6064
  • Kath Jervis – 2nd F6064
  • Phillip Miles – 2nd M6569

The Fountain Five

We usually have a few members attend the FODAC-organised Fountain Five for the trail run, beer and burgers and this year we were represented by Sam, Sian, Richard and Marcus. Sam Lewis Jones romped home in first place in a cracking time of 32:06.

Mull of Kintyre 10K

Stephen Dallow was all the way up on Campbeltown on Sunday for the very popular Mull of Kintyre 10K. The race usually sells out in hours and has been voted as one of the UK’s top races in Runner’s World magazine.

Martin Blakebrough (Spirit of Monmouth): It was great event and we were saying I bet Parc Bryn Bach turn out. You guys are everywhere!

Bolamaen 2018

Bolamaen is a new race from Running Pontfaen and took place on May 26th north of Brecon. Originally meant to be a 7 mile fell race, adverse weather conditions on the morning meant the course was reduced to 3.25 miles.

Our very own Rhianydd Evans took part and finished in third position in a time of 29:17 – just 17 seconds behind second.

June

Welsh Masters Track Championships

Stephen Williams travelled to Nuneaton for the Welsh Masters Track Championships. Intent on coming away with at least one medal, he ended up winning gold medals in three different events!

Rack Raid 2018

It was another cracking day out for those selected for the 2018 Rack Raid and despite the rushing around it was A LOT of fun being part of the support/paparazzi crew.

There Was A Fallen Tree

There Was Stealth Papping!

There was Regret About Agreeing to the Usk > Tintern Route, Again

There Was THAT Hill

There Were Our Supporters

Welsh Castle Relay 2018

The 2018 Welsh Castles Relay is the second year that the Green Army has secured a place in the infamous north-to-south Wales relay. Last year we finished in 24th place and was looking to better it this year. With another strong team in place, we finished an amazing 11th place – the highest Gwent team!

Stage 1

Caernarfon to Penygroes: 9.1m – Harry Davies

Stage 2

Penygroes to Criccieth: 10.7m – Rachel Lewis

Stage 3

Criccieth to Maentwrog: 12.3m (Mountain Leg) – Gavin Patterson

Stage 4

Maentwrog to Harlech: 9.5m – Daniel Evans

Stage 5

Harlech to Barmouth: 9.6m – Calvin Thomas

Stage 6

Barmouth to Dolgellau: 10.7 – Marc Bloomfield

Stage 7

Dolgellau to Dinas Mawddwy: 10.1 Miles (Mountain Leg) – Adam Roberts

Stage 8

Dinas Mawddwy to Foel: 10.8m – Lee Aherne (1st Vet Male/2nd Overall)

Stage 9

Foel to Llanfair Ceireinion: 8.5m – Ian Kent

Stage 10

Llanfair Ceireinion to Newtown: 13.1m (Mountain Leg) – Jonathon Astley

Stage 11

Newtown to Llanbadarn Ffynydd: 12.3m (Mountain Leg) – John Evans

Stage 12

Llanbadarn Ffynydd to Crossgates: 11.2m – Sean Thomasson

Stage 13

Crossgates to Builth Wells: 10.6m – James Thomas

Stage 14

Builth Wells to Drovers Arms: 10.8m (Mountain Leg) – Sam Lewis Jones

Stage 15

Epynt Visitor Centre to Brecon: 12.8m – Haydn Hartnell

Stage 16

Brecon Town Canal Basin to Torpantau, Brecon Beacons (New Stage): 12.5m – Richard Price (PBB Record Holder)

Stage 17

Taf Fechan Railway Station (Brecon Beacons) to Cyfarthfa Castle Merthyr (New Stage): 8.7m – Nicola Jukes (PBB Record Holder)

Stage 18

Rhyd -y-car to Navigation Park: 8.7m (shortened to 7.3m) – Neil Lloyd

Stage 19

Navigation Park to Nantgarw: 7.7m – Sam Jackson

Stage 20

Caerphilly to Cardiff: 9.9m – Lauren Cooper (1st Female)

The Finish

Our Marshals

A big thank you to our team of marshals who did us proud at the post at Torpantau.

GLCL Road Series: Penallta

We had an outstanding turnout from the Green Army at the 3rd GLCL Road Race Series in Penallta with, according to the GLCL, 98 runners participating which was only 5 runners behind Lliswerry. This equates to 20% of the starting field!

Results

  • Lee Aherne – 1st Overall
  • Sam Lewis Jones – 3rd Overall & 1st M1739
  • Lloyd Owen – 3rd M1739
  • Lauren Cooper – 2nd Lady & 1st F1734
  • Haydn Hartnell – 3rd M5559
  • Neil Lloyd – 2nd M6064
  • Nicola Jukes – 2nd F4549
  • Rachel Lewis – 3rd F4044
  • Margrett Monk – 2nd F6599
  • Jill Matthews – 1st F6064

NHS 70th Anniversary parkrun

To mark the 70th Anniversary we hosted some special guest for a special parkrun. BBC weather presenter Sue Charles, Bethan Davies (Commonwealth games walker, bronze medal) Adam Bitchell (2014 Commonwealth games athlete) and Tom Marshall (Current GB international and 2018 Commonwealth athlete) as well as our local MP and team mate Nick Smith were all there to help celebrate the anniversary.

Coity Fell Race

It was a little damp for this year’s Coity Fell Race but that didn’t deter members from the club from attacking it. Even this year’s anti-clockwise course with its initial incline didn’t put them off.

1st Ladies Team

After a bit of a mix up after the race, Sarah, Rhianydd and Helen were awarded 1st prize for the first ladies team home.

Rabbit Run

The weather brightened up for the Rabbit Run which took place later in the day after the Coity Fell Race but I’m sure it wasn’t warm enough in the river crossing!

Summer Speedway

The inaugural Summer Speedway 10k from Chepstow Harriers took place this month and was a race aimed at bringing together some of the fastest runners Wales and the south West. It was however open to other runners.

Despite a tough field, we still came away with two awards – 3rd Lady for Lauren Cooper and 1st MV50 for Lee Aherne. As Lee had beaten the 1st MV40 he did have to question whether the cash prize for that runner was greater than his and if so he’d go for 1st MV40 instead!

Steve Jones Mile Race: Race 2

Race 2 in the Steve Jones Mile Series and the weather was perfect for a lung-busting run around the lake. The race attracted some international-class athletes from Cardiff AAC.

Featuring Top Athletes

When we heard that international athletes Ieuan Thomas, James Thie and Charlotte Arter were running, we made sure we fielded our best.

Timing Point?

If looking at your watch whilst running a mile race is good enough for the professionals, it’s good enough for Charlotte Arter!

Free Drugs!

Met Miles

Lee Aherne, Stephen Williams, Haydn Hartnell, Keri-Lyn Jones and Louise Kirby took part in the Met Miles event this month and all won Welsh Masters medals!

Iron Trail 5

The Iron Trail 5 was the first of two annual races organised by Milo. Starting and finishing at the Lamb and Fox pub, the race is in aid of the North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation charity and this year £625 was raised.

July

Monmouth Challenge

The Monmouth Challenge Aquathlon/Run took place this month with the race starting in Monmouth and heading 6km to The Biblins before crossing the bridge across the River Wye and heading 6km back to Monmouth. Damian Caswell competed in the Full Challenge and Sam Lewis Jones, Sian Price and Helen Williams competed in the 12km run.

Even with just four club members competing, Sam came 1st (sort of! He led all the way but the 2nd place was recorded as winning the race), Helen was 1st Female Vet, Sian was 3rd female and Damian Caswell was a runner up in the Vet category!

La Mort d’Ophélie aka Richard Sheehy Relaxing after a 15-Mile Run

GLCL Road Series Race 4: Machen

With just 2 fixtures left in the 2017/18 GLCL Road Series, it was important for as many club members to make an appearance at the 4th fixture. Lliswerry had chosen a new trail course near Machen which featured many a steep climb including a long pull from the start. Despite the toughness of the course, everyone put in 100% and the results showed it. In the men’s race we bagged an unbelievable 7 places out of the top 10 allowing us to win the fixture. Tied with Lliswerry at this point, the last fixture in Cwmbran in August would be the decider.

Results

  • Harry Davies – 2nd Overall and 1st M1739
  • Sam Lewis Jones – 3rd Overall and 2nd M1739
  • Lee Aherne – 1st M5054
  • Stephen Williams – 3rd M5559
  • Nicola Jukes – 2nd F4549
  • Phillip Miles – 2nd M6569
  • Helen Williams – 2nd F4044
  • Stephen Dallow – 3rd M6064
  • Sarah Jeremiah – 3rd F4044
  • Georgina Seed – 3rd F5559
  • Jill Matthews – 1st F6064
  • Kath Jervis – 2nd F6064

Tintern Trot

10 club members turned out for the challenging Tintern Trot trail race. One member managed to take a tumble along the course and for a change it wasn’t Sam Jones! Kim took a tumble as she tried to jump off a stile.

Helen Williams: “The noise of your fall will haunt me forever! I only laughed after I realised you was ok & when you finally got up out of the recovery position.”

Sam Lewis Jones: 2nd Place

Lauren Cooper: Welsh Champion!

We have a Welsh Champion in the Green Army! Lauren Cooper competed in the Welsh Championships and was crowned Welsh Champion in the 2000m steeplechase. What an achievement!

“For anyone too scared to try something new these photos were taken about 10 minutes apart. This was my first attempt at a 2000m steeplechase. Yes, I fell over, and nearly drowned, more than once. Yes, I had an asthma attack at the end. Yes, it’s probably one of the hardest races I’ve attempted. But it was also one of the most fun, and now I’m Welsh Champ (you can only race those who turn up).”

“The moral of the story is that sometimes it pays off to step out of your comfort zone, that’s where the magic happens! Thanks to Richard at Active Therapy for his counselling sessions and magic tape, and to Glenn Sports for the photos.”

England Masters Inter-Area Track & Field Challenge

Congratulations to Lee Aherne and Louise Kirby who were selected to compete for Wales in the England Masters Inter-Area Track & Field Challenge in Solihull on Sunday 8th July. Lee took took first place in the 3000m, and 3rd in the 4x100m relay and Louise came 3rd in the 400m, 5th in the 800m and 1st in the 4x100m. It was the first time that Lee had won a race in a Welsh vest.

Steve Jones 1 Mile Race Series

There was a cracking turnout for the last race in the Steve Jones 1 Mile Race Series with some familiar faces from previous races and some new recruits who had took the plunge and stepped outside their comfort zone for the eyeballs-out distance.

Series Winners

Winners for the series were Sharon Newell who won the ladies series overall and Keri-Lyn Jones and Kath Jervis who won the FV40 and FV60 categories respectively.

Waun Fach Fell Race

Richard Sheehy and Sam Lewis Jones competed in this year’s Waun Fach fell race and judging by how broken Sam looks crossing the finishing line it must have been a tough race. It was worth it though as Sam took 2nd place.

Pen y Fan Trail Challenge (13 Mile)

Dave Kempton, Claire Sullivan and Helen Williams were hardcore enough to attack the new 13-mile Off the Tarmac Pen y Fan Trail Challenge which featured not one but two ascents of Pen y Fan! Well done to all for completing the race and congratulations to Helen Williams for taking 3rd female.

Sorbrook Slog

Hot weather, hills, a bale of hay and some mud meant that the Sorbrook Slog certainly lived up to its name!

The Obstacle

One was just having none of that crap, the other would have jumped over it even it wasn’t part of the course and the third, well, who knows what happened there!

Cardiac 6

The Cardiac 6 was a great success this year with great weather meaning no free hypothermia. A total of 124 runners ran – the first time over 100 – and a total of £1,045 was raised for the North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation charity. Some very fast runners from MMRT competed with the Men’s record being smashed and the top four runners all beating it!

There Were Flies, Lots and Lots of Flies

There Was a Winner – 1st Female Vet 40

There Was a C&A Advert

And A Race Wouldn’t Be Complete Without Some Gurners

Etna parkrun!

The Jones’ love a bit of parkrun tourism and this month they took it to the extreme with the Etna parkrun! Sam took first place with Sian taking third in what looks like a very friendly little parkrun. Later they couldn’t resist the challenge of running up Etna (or as far as they could get without a permit).

August

Summer Sizzler 5K

Lee Aherne, Jamie Parry, Nick and Tom Webb and Sharon Newell were in Cardiff at the beginning of the month for the fast and flat Summer Sizzler 5K. The race didn’t start well for Sharon Newell when she stumbled on a step and sprained her ankle resulting in her not starting and Nick Webb had calf issues at mile 2 which meant he had to hobble to the finish line. The others had a great race with  Lee finishing in 16:32, Jamie Parry in 16:59 and Tom Webb securing a PB with 18:36.

Lee Aherne took 1st V50 on the night and Tom Webb took 1st U20 by the narrowest of margins. Both he and a 16-year-old finished in 18:40 but Tom pipped him at the post. Sharon Newell, Keri-Lyn Jones and Tom Webb also picked up awards for winning their age categories in the Summer Series.

Otters’ FUN Swim Gala

PBBRC is not just about running, we also branch off into other sports and activities including swimming galas!

Two teams participated in a charity swimming gala to raise money for Lindsay Bryan’s Dreams and Wishes – the PBBRC Trys and the PBBRC Sea Cucumbers. Everyone had a blast and the we came away with a 2nd place trophy for the Trys and a 3rd place trophy for the Sea Cucumbers.

The Murder Mile

1 mile + 700ft = The Murder Mile! It’s a tough race but a ‘fun’ one. It’s lung-busting and tough on the legs but is over in less than 20 minutes. And, there’s a beer at the end with the awards being held in a pub just up the road.

If you haven’t tried this race before, you definitely need to give it a go!

300th Bryn Bach parkrun

The beginning of August saw Bryn Bach parkrun celebrating its 300th run and the aim was to get at least 300 runners on the day. Thanks to a lot of promotion before the event, particularly from Dave Kempton, a total of 418 runners ran smashing the previous record. This was beyond Lee’s wildest dreams and despite not having enough tokens, everyone coped with the additional numbers.

We had a lot of support from club members who were out in their Green Vests with some using it as an opportunity to get some encouragement for a PB.

Cwm Alpine Race

After finishing 2nd the last two years, Mathew Ellis was determined to win the very tough Cwm Alpine Race and this year, after much improvement from Mathew, he finished in first place!

GLCL Road Series 5: Olive Tree, Cwmbran

There Was a Call to Arms

There Was Teamwork

There Was First Place

There Were Sprint Finishes

Stan Lee Was Pipped at the Post

There Were Those That Loved the Experience

There Was Love For ‘One’ of the Club’s Paparazzi

Results

  • Lee Aherne – 1st Overall & 1st M5054
  • Jamie Parry – 2nd Overall & 1st M1739
  • Sam Lewis Jones – 3rd M1739
  • Lauren Cooper – 3rd Female & 2nd F1739
  • Nicola Jukes – 3rd F4549
  • Rachel Lewis – 1st F4044
  • Helen Williams – 2nd F4044
  • Georgina Seed – 1st F5559
  • Stephen Williams – 2nd M5559
  • Margrett Monk – 1st F6599
  • Kath Jervis – 1st F6064
  • Jill Matthews – 2nd F6064

2018 GLCL Road Series Champions & Runners-Up

What an outstanding result for the club in the 2018 GLCL Road Series with the men finishing in 1st place in the A division and 1st and 3rd positions for the Men’s B and C team’s respectively. The ladies also did fantastic finishing 2nd in the A division and the B team also finishing 2nd.

Coppett Hill Fell Race

The new Coppett Hill Fell Race took place in Goodrich this month and was attended by Sam and Sian Jones and Richard Sheehy with Sam Lewis Jones coming in first to win the Alan Sheldon Coppett Hill Fell Race Memorial Trophy and a magnum of wine.

Alan Sheldon Coppett Hill Fell Race Memorial Trophy Winner

Rose Inn Series 2018

The fourth and final race in the 2018 Rose Inn Series took place this month. No team prizes this year but Sian Price finished overall 3rd Senior Woman for the series.

Sam’s Birthday parkrun

After a parkrun tho month, a clueless Sam Lewis Jones was presented with a cake for his birthday which also included a ticket to Australia. At first he didn’t clock the fact that cake was Australian themed and totally missed the ticket attached to the base. To say he was shocked that he was going to Australia that same day was an understatement.

Parc Cwm Darran 5 Miler

A total of 15 members took part in San Dom’s new ‘fast and flat’ race – the Parc Cwm Darran 5 Miler which was held in Parc Cwm Darran. A total of 89 runners took place and our ladies did the Green Army proud by winning the team prize. Lauren Cooper also came 2nd female, Rachel Lewis took 1st FV35-44 and Nicola Jukes took 1st FV45-54. Stephen Williams and Haydn Hartnell took 2nd and 3rd in their age categories respectively.

The Scenic 5

The Scenic 5 (aka the Scenic 7) took place this month and due to fires the course had been shortened but still featured a tasty 3 mile climb. A small number of members were representing the club and all did excellent with Hannah Williams taking first female, Helen Williams taking 3rd female, Melissa Pearce taking 1st Female Vet, Haydn Hartnell taking 1st Male Supervet and the girls along with Claire Sullivan took the boozy prize for 1st female team.

Narberth Nobbler

Rachel Lewis was amongst a small number of club members who travelled to west Wales for the Narberth Nobbler 10K and Half Marathon. Rachel competed in the 10K race and finished 2nd female!

September

Cardiff 2K

Tom Webb took first prize in the Cardiff 2K which took place before the 10K race. He won in a time of 05:54.

The Vicious Wentwood Weasel

Milo vs The Weasel

Awards

Three members won awards at the race – Milo was 1st in his Age Category, Rachel was also 1st in her Age Category and Suzanne was 3rd in her Age Category!

Roman Run

Dare 12

The inaugural Dare 12 running festival took place on Saturday in the Dare Valley near Aberdare. The format consists of running as many 8K loops as you can in 12 hours either solo, with a partner or within a team.

Mark and Rebeccah Williams competed and did outstanding completing 12 x 8K laps (6 each) in 10hr 34min 21sec taking 1st place in the mixed pairs. And as it was a new race their time is a new course record!

Brave the Shave with Dave

Inspired by Clara Cooksey who Braved the Shave this time last year in support of her mum Rebecca, Dave Kempton Braved the Shave to raise money for Macmillan and Velindre. A total of £100 was raised online for Macmillan and £356.88 was raised for Velindre!

First It Was Off With The Hair

Time for the Hairy Back (Much to Kim’s Delight!)

Post-Shave Swim

#SatNavCas

Swansea Bay 10K

It was a bit of a washout at this year’s Swansea Bay 10K race but Lee Aherne and Nicola Jukes sill finished 1st FV45 and 1st MV50 respectively.

Welsh Road Relay Championships

The annual Welsh Road Relay Championships took place this month in a wet and windy Pembrey Country Park. As with other relay races, Rachel Lewis did a stellar job behind-the-scenes getting all the teams organised and ensured that everyone had a number on the day.

Awards

Male Veteran 55 – Mark Williams, Haydn Hartnell & Stephen Williams

Female Veteran 55 – Kathleen Jervis, Sharon Woods & Georgina Seed

Female Veteran 45 – Hayley Jackson, Nicola Haines Jones & Melissa Pearce

Sunday Runch

Last year saw the fist club Sunday Runch with a run from Bryn Bach Park to Llangynidyr and was a big success so with the warm weather quickly fading away it was time to squeeze in a 2018 Sunday Runch with a run from Bryn Bach Park to Talybont-on-Usk.  Expertly organised by Marcus Smith (these things are never easy to organise!), the Star Inn in Talybont, which is now owned by the parents of parkrun regular Joseph Reardon,  agreed to put on a special Sunday Roast just for the Green Army. And what a great meal it was!

October

Cardiff Half Marathon

The first weekend in October meant the Cardiff Half Marathon and as usual the club was well represented with many club members achieving PBs on the fast and flat course. Lee Aherne in particular had a stormer of a running dipping beneath 01:14 to finish in 01:13:54. At the time he had the best half marathon time for his age category in 2018 but just a week later another running bettered the time.

Welsh Half Marathon Championships

The Welsh Half Marathon Championships took place at the Cardif Half Marathon and five club members came away with medals – Rachel Burr-Lewis Bronze FV40, Jill Matthews Silver FV65, Margrett Monk Bronze FV65, Lee Aherne Gold MV50 and Michael Lewis Silver MV75.

East Wales Club Road Race Championships 2017/18

The trophy cabinet received a large addition with 9 trophies from the East Wales Road Race Championship 2017/18. This was the first time that the championship had been run and successes at the selected races meant the club won 1st Male A Team, First Male B Team, First Female B Team, First Female C,D,E Team, First Mixed B Team and First Mixed C,D,E Team!

Award Ceremony

GLXC Awards

October was a busy month for receiving awards and we received many from the Gwent League for the 2017 Gilbert Legge Trophy (the club showing the most athletic endeavour), Master W45 Team Runners-Up 2017/18, Senior Men Division 3 Champions 2016/17 and Senior Men Division Two Champion 2017/18. In addition Nicola Jukes, Damian Williams, Lee Aherne, David Smout and Margrett Monk picked up awards for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons.

GLCL XC: Chepstow

The first fixture of the 2017/18 Gwent Leisure Centre League season and we had another great turnout. Obviously attracted by the two water features (unfortunately one could have done with topping up!) club members did always and we finished with 2nd Male/overall (Jamie Parry) and 1st female (Lauren Cooper).

Results

  • 2nd Male/Overall – Jamie Parry
  • 1st Female: Lauren Cooper
  • 2nd F4549 -Nicola Jukes
  • 2nd F4044 – Rachel Lewis
  • 3rd F4044 Helen Williams
  • 2nd F5559 – Sharon Woods
  • 3rd F5559 – Georgina Seed
  • 1st F6064 – Kath Jervis

Controversial Moves

Trellech Beacon Dash

Awards

Club members took two awards away from the race – Martin Thomas finished second Senior Male (6th overall) in a cracking time of 00:40:48 and Nicola Jukes finished Second Female Vet.

Sarah’s Anti-Paparazzi Disguise

November

Twmbarlwm Terror

The inaugural Twmbarlwm Terror organised by Fairwater Runners took place this month and was a very tough race with long, tough ascent up towards Twmbarlwm followed by a climb to the very top.

Awards

Sarah Jeremiah won her age category in the race.

Richard Burton 10K

The Green Army was out in force for the fast annual Richard Burton 10K in Cwmafan and there were lots of strong runs and some awards!

Awards

Nicola Jukes won 1st Female V40 prize and Lauren Cooper and Louise Kirby took the 1st Mother and Daughter prize. Lauren also finished 3rd female!

Julie and Josh Cashell also won the 1st Mother and Son award!

Gwent League Cross Country: Pembrey

The second Gwent League fixture of the 2018/19 season took place this month and with yellow weather warnings it was potentially going to be a wash out at Pembrey. Fortunately the rain had passed in time for the Ladies’, Mens’ and Tom’s and Sam’s races.