02 Dec Weekend Roundup 1 -2 Dec 2018

The above picture sort of sums up much of the friendly, supportive ethos in our little club. Gary Brown is about to lap Peter Balmont at today’s Gwent League Cross Country race, both of them wrapped up in their own world of mud and pain, fighting into a chill headwind with the rain nearly horizontal. And Gary turns to Peter and offers some friendly encouragement…

Both heroes in my book, as were all the athletes who fought round the course at Parc Bryn Bach this afternoon. The women were off at just before one, and we witnessed a ding dong “Battle of the Caths”, with Cath Tailby (105th) eventually overhauling the fast-starting Cath Barker (114th). Running strongly and not far behind these was the ever-smiling Lisa Cleary (133rd) who was obviously relishing a real XC course. Next in, and again cat-and- mousing, were Andrea Hurman (178th) and Anna Helsing (180th), followed in by the steadily improving Melissa Smith (191st) and Yvonne Williams (248th).

The Men’s Race was an hour and a half later, and the weather took the opportunity to turn really nasty….just the sort of conditions that our Captain Ben Butler-Madden relishes, as he splashed his way to a fine 42nd place. Gary Brown was possibly still feeling the after effects of his trail marathon from last week, 119th being a bit further down than he normally would be. Jon Ely was a welcome addition to our ranks as he swapped tarmac for thick glutinous mud and finished a fine 138th, overhauling a slightly out-of-sorts Nathan Christoforato (186th, recovering from injury and illness). Colin Caeser was on the comeback trail (295th) and had his heels nipped a couple of times by Steven Barker (310th). And of course there was “Mr Determination” Peter Balmont closing in the P & D finishers in 435th.

My camera steamed up and got covered in mud, but here are most of our intrepid bunch out on the course. As a frozen spectator I was amazed how many of them were just wearing a singlet, I must be getting old and cold….

Elsewhere on Saturday there was the usual parkrun action….

Springburn, Glasgow: 26th Clem Clement 23:08

Barry Island: 3rd Ben Butler-Madden 19:10, 12th (3rd Lady) Cath Barker 22:25, 24th Lisa Cleary 23:58, 30th Ian Warburton 24:37, 37th Melissa Smith 25:28

Grangemoor: 22nd Mark Taylor 22:59, 35th Peter Trott 23:58, 58th James Buckingham 25:51, 66th Arabella Calder 26:43, 102nd Margaret Ogden 30:13, 108th Zoe Barber 30:54

And our very own nutcase Dave Matthews took part in the “Might Contain Nuts” Half Marathon (!) over the hills near Talybont Reservoir and finished in 2:09:09.

Finally we say a sad goodbye to a very loyal member of the club who is moving to pastures new…the Refuse Dump at Barry! Sadly our lovely, and slightly flighty Club Tent is departing to “the campsite in the sky” after many years of sterling service. But don’t worry….a new one’s on the way!

***STOP PRESS*** News just in, “Tenty” has been offered a new life as a fabric project for one of Sarah Lees students! Recycling at its best!

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