31 May Weekend Roundup 30 – 31 May 2020

With the UK Running Events calendar completely decimated by the C-19 restrictions, the P&D Club Committee have been scratching their collective heads with a new plan for our 2020 Club Championships. We had three races in the ‘bank’ (Lliswerry 8, Ponty Reverse 10 and the 4th race in the Gwent XC League), but not a lot else. As the lockdown restrictions are gradually removed, there is still very little likelihood off mass gatherings going ahead this year, with all the summer races cancelled and now the autumn ones being hit as well.

Fortunately there are some quite creative minds organising local races, and one such outfit are Cardiff Running Events. Their Summer Series of 1/2/3/4 mile road races have been organised in Bute Park for the last few years, but obviously that idea wasn’t going to work this summer…so they signed up to Virtual Race platform Opentrack and set about organising the series as a solo time trial, with individuals uploading their performance ‘evidence’ via the Strava and Garmin running apps.

We are delighted to now incorporate the Cardiff Summer Series into our 2020 Club Championships, and have been absolutely gobsmacked to have around 35 members take up the challenge in the first two races! Indeed, our Club numbers are second only to Les Croupiers R.C, who have a membership about 3-4 times larger than ours.

Great to have two recent Strava/Garmin converts out early for last Friday’s 2 mile trial….Judy Maragna and Glen Powell, who are both really up for these solo challenges and running exceptionally well for so early in the morning!

Our fastest athlete of the day was Ian Southwell, just sneaking in under 11 minutes for a fine 16th overall. Ian chose to run across the Barrage, which proved to be a popular venue throughout the day. Next home in 21st was Nathan Christoforato with a very solid 11:21, and top slot in the Club “Father of a Newborn” competition….with the other new Dad Anthony Bannon blaming 3 hours sleep for his still-impressive 12:15.

Cover Boy Andy Pearce chose to run his trial on grass at Sully playing fields and laid down a sterling 11:28, which led the M50 Age Category until Phil Cook posted 11:10 later in the evening. Paul Morton (11:37) was one of many CSS runners who actually did the trial in Bute Park…must be interesting if you start your effort around the same time as another athlete doing it…wonder what version of social distancing would make this viable?!

Joe Turner continues his rapid improvement and chose his favourite loop in Rhoose to lay down another great performance with 11:49. Kev Chalke had work commitments later in the day, so was up at an unearthly time to record 12:22 (3rd M55) on Port Road in Barry….which like the Barrage is proving to be a popular testing ground, with Colin Caesar and Debbie Rees running there later in the day….

Following on from Kev’s podium spot, Brian Law launched himself across the Barrage to record a super time of 12:43, and 2nd place in M60.

Solid running from Jon Ely, Kit Lambert, Paul McGilvray, and then our first victory of the day…Catherine Barker winning W40 in a very zippy 12:58 (Cath achieving this on One Mile Lane in Cosmeston Lakes CP)

Two Barry residents David Brown and Simon Williamson chose different courses for similar times, with Simon just one second away from 3rd place in M60…and three seconds ahead of “young rival” (!) Chris Seal.

Our next three finishers all claimed top spots in their respective Age Categories….huge congratulations to Beth Apglyn (1st Senior Woman, 14:00), Malcolm Bradley (1st M65 14:19) and Lisa Cleary (1st W55 14:23)

Strong runs from the next two home, for differing reasons…Louise Hunt (14:25) has had little time to train recently as a key worker, and Debbie Warburton (14:41) continues her strong return from her debilitating foot injury at the end of 2019. We then had a steady stream of runners finishing between 14:53 and 19:43, all of them a credit to the club, with some completing the challenge after a tough work day.  Well done Colin Caesar, Abyd Quinn Aziz, Gareth Davies, James Buckingham, Julie Broughton, Cam Large, Nigel Adams, Glen Powell, Andrea Goodfellow, Emma Healy, Mandy Barrington, Richard Jackson, Arabella Calder, Debbie Rees and Judy Maragna.

Judy might have been our final finisher, but she also claimed another victory for Blue and Yellow…1st place in W65, well done Judy!

In addition, we had Chris Nellins take part in the challenge but not register with the Opentrack platform…Chris ran 2 miles in 15:22, which would have been good enough for 2nd in M65 behind Malcolm.

Our Club times/positions are below and can also be found at this CSS Results page, along with the Series standings.

Elsewhere this week, Club members continued in our individual challenge to run ‘virtually’ from Newtown to Cardiff Castle, a distance of 104 miles that makes up the 2nd day of the Welsh Castles Relay.

We had four more finishers….Shirley Howman on Tuesday, Jonathan Irvine on Thursday, and then finally a double finish today; Malcolm Bradley followed in by Tania Miranda. Huge congratulations to this fab four…that’s a lot of running and walking covered off in the month of May! Looks like the next finishers will be Dave Mathews, Melissa Smith and Judy Maragna.

Here are this weekend’s  map and progress chart….

(First finisher was Ian Southwell, followed in by Andy Pearce, Paul Morton and Bethan Apglyn)

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