Maesteg by Emma Powell (on her 100th parkrun)

M – For me this means a couple of things, Maesteg and Milestones. I was coming up to my 100th parkrun and decided there was no place better to run it than at my Welsh home parkrun of Maesteg. I never thought I would ever get to 100 runs, that’s 100 Saturday morning lie ins gone, in fact, more than that as I have volunteered many times as well, and those that know me know that I like my sleep, however, running is one New Years Resolution that is still going strong.

A- Athletic Clubs. You don’t have to be a member of an athletic club to enjoy parkrun although many people are. It was my new years resolution run with Fareham Crusaders that got me into parkrun and changed my Friday nights and ensured I missed the start of Saturday Kitchen forever. This week at Maesteg there were members of Brackla Harriers, Port Talbot Harriers and AC, Ogmore Phoenix Runners, San Domenico RC, Yr Hen Blwyf, Pontyclun Road Runners, Cornelly Striders AC, Pencoed Panthers and Fareham Crusaders running clubs.

E- Erin. One person in particular deserves a special mention, Erin Jeremy. I invited some of my fairweather running friends along to my milestone run, (under the promise of cake)  and my good friend Kathleen Jeremy came with her daughters Erin and Ruby. Right from the start 7 year old Erin was up for it. She shot away from her Mam and sister so I kept pace with her. It was her first ever parkrun and the furthest she had ever run. She was determined to see it through and we ran/walked it. Even when her Mam and younger sister dropped out after 2 laps (well done to Ruby for completing that much) she was determined to finish it. We regained our energy by having a little walk to the last marshal point and then Erin declared ‘ready, steady,go’ for  a sprint finish. It was such a sprint finish that I think Usain Bolt would have struggled to keep up with her and she finished in a fantastic time of 41:05. I hope you enjoyed it and come back again.

S – Snowdon. There were a few familiar faces missing from parkrun today. Quite a few of the core team decided that the elevation profile at Maesteg is too flat so they would do the Snowdonia Marathon instead, though by the fourth time of going up that hill it feels like its Snowdon. Well done to Kathryn and Paul Warren, Mike Brain and James Thomas. Sorry you missed the cakes, I’ll make some Welshcakes just for you when I’m back in December.

T – Tourists. As well as the course regulars there are lots of parkrun tourists. Whether they want to complete them by region, or country or to complete their parkrun alphabet. I enjoy tourism as I like to compare post parkrun coffees, there’s a book there to be written by someone. I have done 12 different courses. The Maesteg run directors are doing a bit of a tourist challenge and this week Stephne Puddy touristed at Colby. My best friend Helen Breeds who also came to celebrate my milestone is technically a Maesteg tourist as Eastbourne is her home course, though she has done Maesteg so many times and thinks she knows more people now at Maesteg than in Eastbourne parkrun (though Eastbourne is a lot flatter). We are a friendly bunch! We had tourists from Porthcawl, Pontypridd, Brueton, Eastbourne and Fareham.

I would also like to thank this weeks tailwalker, Louise Morgan-Griffiths, another of my friends who came to help me celebrate, Melanie Dunbar Jones was all set to drop out after the third lap in order to watch me run in but Louise encouraged her to complete all four laps (no laps, no cake) but then realised at the end she had left the all important barcode at home #DFYB!!

E – Emma Marshall. Massive thanks to run director Emma, who provided a chocolate cake with white chocolate buttons on it that made 100. Also, many thanks to all the volunteers who give up their Saturday lie ins in order for us to have a safe parkrun, without them, we would have no run. My mother, Margaret Harding is a regular volunteer at Maesteg making it a family affair for me when I run there.

G – Get up and go. Nothing much else to say other than get your trainers on, grab your barcode and get to Maesteg Welfare Park for 0900 on a Saturday morning.

This week (27/10/2018) 44 people ran or walked the course of which 6 were first timers, welcome to the parkrun family, hope you enjoyed it and hope you come back. There were 11 PB’s recorded. Well done Grant Medcraft, Jacob Griffiths, Chris Medcalf, Gregg Harris, Joshua Parry, Libby Lavis, Kate Parry, Karl Hevizi, Jamie Nicholas, Susan Evans and Catherine Elizabeth Lougher-Harris. First over the line was Grant Medcraft (17:55), followed by Jacob Griffiths (18:39) then Marcus David (18:41). First female home was Libby Lavis (24:23).

Many thanks to my friends, Helen, Angela, Mel and Kathleen for getting up and helping me celebrate my milestone. Last time we were all together we were in Wetherspoons – how things have changed!

 

Let’s party for our 1st year anniversary!!

We are fast approaching our 1st year anniversary. Please join us on the 21st of July for a party in the park to celebrate. There will be fruit, cake and punch for all our runners and volunteers. And hopefully we'll have some special visitors to keep you entertained while you run in our beautiful park.

We can't wait to see you all there!!

 

Event 32 – 24th March 2018 by Kathryn Warren

We were expecting a quiet parkrun last Saturday, as three of our run directors were away in London running in the inaugural London Landmarks Half Marathon, and many of our regulars were taking it easy in advance of the Cardiff Bay 10k the next day.  So, we got a pleasant surprise when 22 first timers turned up – our first timers briefer James Thomas had quite the crowd!  Our new visitors included a group from Swansea, sporting bright pink t-shirts proclaiming “I Ain’t Afraid of No Hills!”  Well they had certainly come to the right place!

Our regular Rowan Hobbs enjoyed his 99th parkrun last Saturday, and we are looking forward to helping him celebrate the big 100 next week in Maesteg.  There will be cake and a few easter surprises so come along and join in (he might even slow down a bit!).

We were also in the fantastic position this week of having filled our volunteer roster by Monday, making my job as run director for Saturday a very easy one.  It was fantastic to see some of our regular runners choosing to volunteer over the last couple of weeks, and we really do appreciate it.

As a new runner myself, running in only my second 10k in Cardiff Bay (it’s only 2 parkruns right?!) was made all the more enjoyable by bumping in to many of our parkrun family along the way – this included fellow run directors, Maesteg parkrunners and volunteers either on the course or on the route cheering us on.

A total of 43 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 22 were first timers and 7 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 10 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 13 volunteers:

Colin BLACKWELL • Adrian PEARCE • James THOMAS • Michael BRAIN • Kathryn WARREN • Abigail ALLAN • Paul WARREN • Tom HURLOCK • Delma THOMAS • John LEWIS • Laurie WILLIAMS • Tracey THOMAS • Samantha BELCHER

 

#20 parkrun by Emma Marshall

On Maesteg’s twentieth parkrun, I finally had the email saying “Congratulations on your first Maesteg parkrun”. My role for today was Tail Walker. I was one of 35 people who ran, jogged and walked our beautiful but cold course. There were 8 first timers (me being 1) and 9 different running clubs represented.

I ran with Meryl Davies it was her second parkrun and in fact it was her second run ever!! Meryl told me how she decided to start running after a group of friends were discussing Maesteg parkrun over dinner. A few days later she had signed up online, printed her barcode and announced to her friends that she would be joining them. All without so much as a practice run. As we made our way around the course it was lovely to see how supportive the volunteers and other runners were. Every time we passed someone they would tell Meryl how great she was doing, offer a high five or words of encouragement. As a newbie to running I told her not to worry about running the hill but two out of the four times, Meryl nailed it, cheered on by some Ogmore Phoenix runners on lap four, she reached the top triumphantly.

Fellow first timer on the course today was Devin Coombes of Bridgend AC, Devlin was the first male over the line in 18:29. First female over the line in 25:58 was Sarah Littlewood of Ogmore Phoenix, it was a new PB for Sarah. Also getting PB’s this week were: Aled Hughes, Darren Griffiths, Toby Kearns, Paul Warren, Laurie Williams, Rich Greenwood, Emma Williams, Katy Kearns and Angela Griffiths. Well done all.

To see all the results from todays run, please see our website http://www.parkrun.org.uk/maesteg/results/weeklyresults/?runSeqNumber=20

A BIG THANK YOU for this week’s volunteers:

Colin BLACKWELL, Amanda BRAIN, Michael BRAIN, Christine CHILCOTT, Justine EVANS, Rob EVANS, Margaret HARDING, Elizabeth LAWLESS, Phoebe PENNELL, Stephne PUDDY, Sarah SMILES MORGAN, James THOMAS, Delma THOMAS, Kathryn WARREN, Philip WHITE, and Margaret WHITE

Without our volunteers our run would not be able to go ahead and it wouldn’t be as awesome either. Thank you for showing such support to everyone that takes part and making them feel so welcome. A special mention to Colin Blackwell who has volunteered at all 20 of our events, thank you Colin.

So next week I will be running again. Ogmore Phoenix Running Club will be taking over all the volunteer roles at Maesteg parkrun so that the core team can run the course together. If you have any blue tops, please wear them next week as the theme for the morning is BLUE!! Hopefully they'll be bringing some treats too, after all, it is our first club take over.

See you next week (eek on the start line again)

Em

 

#19 parkrun by Emma Powell

It seems strange writing this run as a parkrun tourist. I was born and brought up in Maesteg until I ran away to join the Navy when I as 21! I was delighted that parkrun started in Maesteg in July, I get a bit of lie in rather than travelling to Gnoll when I come home to visit family. I have played in Maesteg Wefare Park hundreds and hundreds of times and how I have not noticed that hill before I will never know, it came as a bit of a shock the first time I did parkrun there!

The weather was in complete contrast to last weekend when the driving Valley rain made its usual appearance. It was a sunny but icy one this morning but the sun was rising over the trees and melting the ice as the run started. The marshals did a great job of informing the 44 runners where the icy areas still remained. It was a slower than usual run from me, I didn’t want to slip and I had a fellow tourist with me from sunny Southsea, my friend Nat. She was with me to watch the Wales v New Zealand rugby game, but she could only have the ticket on condition she did parkrun first. It set us up for our day out in Cardiff and I spent most of the run pointing out different areas of the Valley.

The icy conditions did not deter some of the runners. In first place was Martyn Driscoll, who completed the course in 18:36. Martyn represents Mynyddwyr De Cymru running club, it was his first time in Maesteg and it was also his 100th run. Despite conditions there was a fantastic 6 PB’s. Well done to Abigail Allan, Rich Greenwood, Susie L Jones, Kristy Seaward, Brian S Jones and Claire Taylor on your PB. A special mention goes to Claire Taylor who had a life saving operation 2 years ago and only started running again in Feb 2016. Her goal was to get a sub 40 minute run and she came in at 38:11, well done Claire. Runners from 7 clubs took part, Ogmore Phoenix, Bridgend AC, Brackla Harriers, Run 4All Neath, Fareham Crusaders and Pencoed Panthers. There were 11 first timers at Maesteg, we hope you enjoyed it and there were 2 complete newcomers to parkrun, welcome to the parkrun family!

There was also an advent calendar collection for the local Foodbank, an amazing 155 advent calendars, 2 selection boxes, Christmas Santa’s and a chocolate orange were donated. Thank you.

A big shout out goes out to all the amazing volunteers, without whom, parkrun would not exist, and it couldn’t have been easy standing around in the cold today, my mother, Margaret Harding seems to have made Maggie’s turn point her own little spot, before she disappeared off to do barcode scanning. Multi talented volunteers.

 

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