08 Dec Weekly Roundup, 7 December 2020

Penarth and Dinas Runners might have concluded their Club Championships for 2020, but there’s still a bit of the year left to complete some internal Club challenges.

Monday evening’s dual-session programme was this week replaced by one of our bi-annual Handicap 5 mile races, and of course this one had to be Covid-secure….so no nice warm room in the Leisure Centre for Run Director Lyn Evans to set up his “magic timing” laptop…he was back out in the car park again! Fortunately he was kept warm and entertained by hot chocolate and a bevvy of chatty assistants Louise Hunt, Mandy Barrington and Sarah Lees…..

The idea with these challenges is to predict a personal finish time, and then get as close as possible to it…unless you prefer a bit of “banditry”, running a much faster time than predicted in the hope of being first runner back to the car park.

It’s rare for someone to hit their time spot-on, but our cover lad Richard Jackson managed it with a metronomic 47:09 clocking. He was closely matched by Brian Law (37:32, -2secs), Jo Lindsey (52:08, -8secs) and Jake Bourne (49:39, -9secs).

It was good to see old and new members alike posting some quick times and hitting their targets. Tom Eales has returned to the club with a fine level of fitness, recording a time of 36:49, with the fastest female time being bagged by Elly Glenn (45:27). Starting first seemed to suit Anna Helsing, who easily won the evening’s P&D Bandit Award (with added sandbags) by coming home more than 7 minutes quicker than her predicted time!

Results below, together with a selection of “night vision” pics from our resident snapper Abyd Quinn Aziz, who coped much better with the lack of light than the Chairman marshalling/videoing further up the course!

Elly Glenn and Jonathan Irvine heading back from Penarth Prom.

Gareth Davies and Tom Jones enjoying a crisp night out by the seaside!

We must also thank the hardy marshals (together with the HQ Team mentioned above) who spread themselves around Penarth to ensure no members ended up in Sully or Cardiff Bay. Hope you’ve all warmed up now; Kit Lambert, Sophie Gott, Kath Petersen, Simon Williamson, Jan Frost and Hugh Skipper. Jan somehow managed to avoid the attention of the Local Neighbourhood Watch as she lurked around a dark alley at the end of Caynham Avenue…..

Finally here’s a ‘teaser’ for a rather unusual Club Challenge due to take place this coming weekend. The Club Chairman Simon Williamson has been wittering on to any club member willing to listen about a personal ambition to improve his Age-Graded 5k time this year…he christened the attempt #20in20, hoping to bag a time between 20 and 21 minutes, off the back of a 21:24 clocking in 2019. He invited any similar-level members to join him, or go for a 20 second improvement for 5k in 2020.

Well then Covid came along, with the race fixture list decimated and parkrun suspended, so opportunities to run a fast 5k became severely limited. We’ve all found it really difficult to find the motivation and willpower to produce fast times on our own.

The Chairman thought about this, and with #20in20fail seeming like a likely outcome he needed to act fast. ProjectSub21 was born…..


Five Athletes, comprising Three Contenders and Two Pacers. A fast flat course run in optimal conditions. Covid-secure and low profile presence. Run during the weekend of 12th/13th December.


CONTENDER 1….Simon Williamson, veteran with 45 years experience, ran his best times in the 80s, has trained consistently throughout 2020 with minimal downtime from injury and managed to bag the M60 Club Champion title. Best 5k time this year a rather mediocre 21:33, so it will be quite a jump to achieve the target time. He’s going to lay off the booze this week, so he MUST be serious….😂😀

CONTENDER 2…..Bethan Apglyn, rapidly-improving marathon runner who has an awesome turn of speed and could surprise a few people in short distance track events! Beth struggled a bit with hay fever during 5k solo efforts this summer, but with a parkrun PB of 20:49 from a year ago has all the credentials to aim at 20:30.

She is also the current Women’s Club Champion, a title she shares with…..

CONTENDER 3….Catherine Barker, a gifted masters’ runner equally at home on road or cross country. Cath has an incredibly fast cadence turnover and an appetite to work really hard in track sessions. She’s had some great success this summer, in spite of frugal opportunities, with a great overall victory in the W40 Category, Cardiff Running Events Summer Challenge. Her 5k PB is a speedy 20:13 set in 2018, so it will be interesting to see if she can get close to that…..

MYSTERY PACER 1….strong as an ox, this athlete is a Barry resident and very successful masters’ competitor in local road races. Smashed the 19 minute barrier in a solo 5k time trial today, so is in superb condition at the moment….

MYSTERY PACER 2….another Barry resident, with even quicker credentials than Mystery Pacer 1! This athlete is very familiar with all the fastest roads in the area, and has a metronomic sense of pace…which is pretty important for the job in hand! Both pacers will be operating at around their usual Half Marathon pace.


Yet to be confirmed, but as it will be flat and in Barry that gives a fair idea of possible locations! Watch this space for a full report and pictures on Sunday evening….and we’ll reveal the identity of the Mystery Pacers! They’ve been asked to operate at 4:10 mins/km pace, which is around 6:40 in old money. Let’s hope the weather “gods” are with us….

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