22 Feb Welsh Athletics Virtual 1 Mile, 19 -21 February 2021

Despite the present dearth of real “in-person” race opportunities, Penarth and Dinas Runners this week kicked off their annual Club Championships with a virtual offering from Welsh Athletics. A series of time trial efforts have been scheduled over the next couple of months, full details of which can be found here.

Our “cover girls” this weekend are Jan Frost and Debbie Williams, both struggling with niggly injuries, but helping each other take part in our Club events, even in these difficult times. Debbie takes up the story…“both Jan and I completed our mile… Jan has a knackered IT band and with my knee, we sped walked/teeny jogged along in the torrential rain, ok light rain! Submitting time on Jan’s Garmin, but promise I was with her every inch of the way!”  

Fantastic collaboration, Ladies, and here’s the all-important evidence!

But of course, the ‘window’ for this event opened on Friday, and we had the usual suspects laying down early benchmark times….not an easy task, with strong gusty winds forecast for the early part of the weekend. Catherine Barker scorched to a 6:19 clocking in Cosmeston, securing the leading W40 time, whilst Lisa Cleary took the silver in W55, with a speedy 6:52. Meanwhile Colin Caesar scooted round his local patch to match Lisa’s time exactly (6:52), whilst Anthony Bannon fought the elements on the Barrage, finishing in a brilliant 5:45.

Also out on Friday, but not taking part in the WA event, we had solid runs recorded by Chris Nellins (7:21), Kath Petersen (8:01) and new member Neil Shewan (7:05), with the all-important screenshots submitted to Club Champs HQ….

Saturday brought more strong gusts and some patches of rain. Ian Southwell was another member who decided to test himself on the Barrage, and he took his family support team along with him; these two photos courtesy of Kumi Southwell….

You can tell this was a man on a mission, as he stopped the clock at an incredible 4:59. A solid morning’s work! Another family out and about were the Calders. Gideon scooted around Penarth Marina in 7:01, but Arabella wasn’t happy with her 8:09, so laced up her shoes 24 hours later for another stab at it…and ended up with 8:08!

This going out for a 2nd attempt seemed to develop into a theme over the weekend. Tim Cummings ran 6:57 on Saturday, but was unimpressed. Did his planned long run on Sunday morning, then out again on Sunday afternoon for a 6:55 timing!

Steven Barker got held up by a vehicle doing a 3-point turn on Saturday, ran a disgruntled 6:56 the next morning, but still not happy…eventually recorded 6:39 a few hours later. There’s no truth in the rumour he’s out there at this very moment gunning for 6 minutes!😂😉  Another “give it a few goes” exponent was Andy Pearce, fine-honing his prep and recces until he was happy with a lightning-fast 5:35, and 2nd overall in the Club rankings.

Other Saturday combatants were Sarah Lees (7:27), Andrew May (8:00), Jon Ely (6:05) and new member Sarah Di Tomaso (9:42)…great running, one and all.

Now the rather odd feature of these virtual races is the 3 or 4 day window you are allowed to complete the challenge, which brings out all the amateur weather forecasters, aided and abetted by the surprisingly accurate apps available for phone and tablet. In this present climate (excuse the pun!) of limited social interactions, you can plan your race to coincide with the best available weather conditions. Hence Mr Chairman Simon Williamson bided his time as the rain came down on Sunday morning, and enjoyed a very still spring afternoon to stride around his local patch in Barry. Delivered a solid 6:30, but fellow M60 Brian Law was also out at the same time running 6:24!

Lots of members are, of course, training for events later in the year (hopefully), and Sunday is traditionally long run day. Nigel Adams was up at crack of sparrows to run a sprightly 7:11, jogged back home then ran over 10 miles in prep for another summer jaunt along Hadrian’s Wall…good work, that man! Up even earlier than Nigel was Kevin Chalke, powering along Port Road in a tremendous 6:08, followed (at a more civilised hour) by Kit Lambert with 6:14. David Brown has had limited training opportunities over the last few weeks but he was still able to smash out a stonking 6:04.

And so it continued throughout Sunday. The running was the easy bit…lots of members ran into difficulties uploading their times to the Opentrack Results system. Kaarina Ruta posted another excellent performance, with a zippy 6:12, and there were fast runs too from Louise Hunt (6:40) and Debbie Warburton (6:57). Malcolm Bradley took his customary position on the top spot of the M70 podium with a fine 6:48, and Mark Broughton produced a blinder with 6:57.

Special mentions here to our “remote” members. Paul McGilvray ran a strong 6:32 up in Harrogate, whilst Clem and Janice Clement, fresh from their practice runs last weekend (!), produced excellent times of 6:23 and 8:15 respectively up in Glasgow.

We are still hearing about results as I write this eating my lunchtime sandwich on Monday…new member Jo Shewan produced a classy 6:59, Gareth Davies logged 7:15, Abyd Quinn Aziz 7:44, Richard Jackson 8:44, Chelle Jenkins 9:43, Jo Lindsey 8:12, Steve Farmer 9:22, Tania Miranda 8:26, Paul Mitchell 7:16, Mandy Barrington 8:00, Julie Broughton 7:49, Sophie Gott 8:16, Andrea Goodfellow 8:26, Emma Healy 8:11 and Debbie Rees 8:16.

And the whole Eales Family were out on Sunday morning in Cosmeston, with Tom running 5:53, and Rachel pushing a heavy toddler in the buggy to 8:14.

We are still awaiting the full confirmed results, but here is the present snapshot of the WA rankings for Club members…about 51 of you ran a mile over the weekend, well done everyone!


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