22 Nov Club Championship 10k

This rocky, roller coaster of a year has thrown all sorts of brickbats at us, as individuals and within the groups we associate with.

Penarth and Dinas Runners, like all the running clubs in the UK (and probably the world) has had to adapt to the rules of the Covid virus regulations. Many clubs exist to provide competition opportunities for their members, and to also organise events for our friends in other clubs. Since early March, there’s been a big hole in this aspect of club life….but fortunately for us, our club has found other ways to remain connected, even when we couldn’t physically run together.

We completely re-jigged our Annual Club Championships to adopt “virtual” solo time trials, organised by our good friends at Cardiff Running Events, and then when group training became feasible again, we created a sign-up process to manage the numbers attending and meet the requirements of Government Track & Trace.

This morning we upped the ante again, and presented a Club Members-only 10k race around the streets of Penarth. We are blessed to have an extraordinarily talented Race Director in our midst, the completely unflappable Mr Lyn Evans. Lyn gathered together a team of superb marshals and volunteers, and scheduled a “15 minute window” starting at 09:00 to release 28 runners on to the course, at 30 second or 1 minute intervals, based on individuals’ predicted times. We also allowed volunteers and other members to run at other times in the week, with their times counting towards the ranking tables in the Club Championships. Lyn had recced the course several times and produced this Relive Map.

The start team was Lyn and Mandy Barrington (pictured above, suitably socially-distanced!), and marshals out on the course were (in order of appearance!) Judy Maragna, Louise Hunt, Kumi Southwell, Andy Gott, Steven Barker, Kit Lambert, Debbie & Ian Warburton, Cathy Pearce, Nigel Adams, Emma Healy, Debbie Williams, Lisa Cleary, Sarah Patnett and then Nigel, Emma, Kit, Judy, Steven and Louise all back for an encore! Many, many thanks to all of you.

Runners started gathering in the car park at Cogan Leisure Centre just before a sunny nine o’clock, all following the guidelines to keep distanced before being called up by Mandy for their start time…a few characters got perilously close to missing their slot, mature runners who should have known better (me and Malcolm!) Great to see new members Jas Bolla and Ben Hanks joining us for their first taste of P & D racing action….

With predicted times ranging from 38 minutes to over an hour, and a 15 minute start slot, it was always going to be fast and furious race action out on the course. I was sent on my way at 9:09, aiming at a time of 47:30, with Bethan Apglyn and Chris Nellins starting 30 secs and a minute ahead, and me foolishly thinking I’d be on their heels by the highest point of the course at 2km. Well I’d caught Chris by the downhill to the Esplanade, but not before I’d been overtaken by Jon Ely and Kevin Chalke, both moving ridiculously easily.

As I approached Penarth Pier, I could see a few more runners ahead, but before catching any of them a storming Ian Southwell blasted past up Cliff Hill as though I was standing still! By the time I reached the Cliff Path at the top I’d been overhauled by Nathan Christoforato and Andy Pearce. Immensely grateful to reach the turnaround point manned by Nigel, without losing any more places, but my euphoria was short-lived. Birthday girl Kaarina Ruta cruised past effortlessly at Westbourne Road, and as we hit the final drag I seriously thought I’d be mugged by several more ‘assassins’, but in fact there was just one, Joe Turner, loping along looking very relaxed. Andrew Road was a great downhill finish, and before we knew it we were back in the car park. It’s a lovely feeling to be cheered in by your club mates at a race finish; I think we’ve all really missed that this year.

Delighted to see Bev Warburton standing outside her house taking photos (thanks Bev)…here are a selection, in order Malcolm Bradley, Andy Pearce, Simon Williamson, Chris Nellins, Jon Ely and Kaarina Ruta.


The results are in, although we await the final Handicap placings…great solo running earlier in the week by Catherine Barker and Chris Seal, with Paul McGilvray recording a non-Championship time of 44:00 up in Harrogate. Also Julie Broughton, who ran in amongst various other challenges she had going on.

The Club Champs final rankings will be posted later in the week, but there might have been some last minute turnarounds…..the overall Women’s Title looks to me to be a tie between Bethan Apglyn and Catherine Barker, but I’ll defer to the spreadsheet calculations of our in house ‘guru’ Malcolm. Debbie Warburton appears to have snatched the W45 Title, as does Jon Ely in M40. Special mention to our ‘virtual’ 2020 Champs, i.e. those members who only ran virtual time trial events this year; Chris Seal and Melissa Smith.



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