05 Jan Christmas & New Year Roundup

Well here we are in 2019, how did that happen?! In amongst all the sprouts and stuffing there was some great P & D activity, not just running…massive kudos to any of you who got out there and raced, swam or danced in an ‘individual’, Christmas Party sort of way! I can’t mention every single run over the holiday period, but here’s a random selection of results, news and interesting performances….

Man of the moment, and very much ‘on fire’, is Ben Butler-Madden. Ben’s next big target is the Tokyo Marathon on 3rd March 2019, so he’s begun building up the mileage, but incredibly his top-end speed is still improving, with two 5k PBs in quick succession. On New Year’s Eve he toed the line at the historic Nos Galan event in Mountain Ash, now run at the eminently sensible time of 7pm (when I ran it back in the 80s it started just before midnight, and was complete bedlam!). The Elite race was won in a super quick 14:19 (Kris Jones/Swansea AC), with Ben 25th in 16:11, a new PB for a road 5k, and also 3rd in the M35 Age Category. He then went on to trump (sorry bad word!) this performance with his first-ever sub 16 time, winning today’s Cardiff parkrun #578 in an incredible 15:49. THIS IS A NEW CLUB RECORD FOR PARKRUN…huge congratulations Ben! He modestly put down the performance to his new Nike Vaporfly 4% race shoes, as worn by Eliud Kipchoge . The omens are good for Tokyo!

A side story to Ben’s great run was the athlete in 2nd place, international athlete Charlotte Arter….Charlotte finished in a fantastic time of 15:50, which has been confirmed as a Women’s World Record performance at any parkrun.  Here’s the story in Athletics Weekly, with a great mention for Ben and Penarth and Dinas Runners!

The Nos Galan results can be found here, and Ben wasn’t the only Club member improving a PB. Beth Apglyn had a great run with a PB 22:02 and 37th Woman home. As you can see from the smiley picture above, Beth wasn’t alone in this race…Lisa Cleary ran 23:11 to finish 10th in the F45 category, and Louise Hunt shadowed her home in 23:18, for 14th in the W35 category. And we had some finishers in the Fun Run, too…Steve New 26:53 and Cath Pearce 41:56.

Another aspiring marathon runner is Nathan Christoforato, who has begun his buildup for a debut at the Asics Greater Manchester Marathon on 7th April 2019. He’s getting support from Asics themselves, with a kit package and mentorship from Matt Rees of Swansea AC. Nathan is building his training up nicely, and had some encouraging races over the holiday period, with a course best time 18:40 (7th) at Barry Island parkrun on New Year’s Day (after running at Cardiff parkrun earlier) and a solid 30:13 (27th) in the Old Father Time 5 mile road race the previous Sunday. He has a very interesting presence on Instagram, which can be accessed here under the name  nathan_ato_runs.

There was a good turnout of “old timers” at the latter race, with Gary Brown first home for us in what I believe was a PB 27:49 (8th), followed in by Nathan, Steve Barker (35:08/75th), Chris Nellins (35:14/78th) and that prolific race machine otherwise known as Steve New (42:40/159th). Full results can be found here.

And of course there were multiple opportunities to take part in one parkrun, two parkruns, or my favourite, two parkruns and a dip in the sea at Barry Island! 😂 😂  Not sure how many Club Members actually achieved that final challenge, but we have photographic evidence that Julie Broughton managed it! 26:59 at 9am in Cardiff, 29:25 at 10.30am in Barry Island, then a dip in the sea at noon…go girl, go!

We’ll forgive Julie for wearing “non-P&D” kit (don’t think Lyn was very happy about it…), but Abyd and Sarah entered into the spirit of things with their choice of swimming attire….

Good job Lyn didn’t apprehend these two naughty girls either….well done Mandy and Bev!

So I guess it’s back to the grindstone now, with hard training and New Year’s resolutions. Josh Davies and Mandy Barrington are now co-ordinating the Club training schedule for Mondays and Thursdays, with the next 6 weeks or so available on the Club Calendar. Big thanks to the previous co-ordinator Ian Warburton who has done a smashing job for the last few years. Expect to see new ideas and warmup routines, like this one practised at the Christmas Party….here’s to another fun-packed year!


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