So 2020 arrived, and no sooner had the dust settled on the New Year party poppers and fizz, the club were found at Humble by Nature in Monmouth for the latest instalment of the GLCL XC series. Full of festive excess, a great performance was put in by all with a notable performance from Chris Wreford, who got into the top 40 of a very strong field.
Next up on the second weekend of January were events slightly further afield. Antony and Justin took on the Riverbank Rollick over the water, with Sam enjoying a family run at the Bath Skyline event. Paul completed the Country to Capital Ultra from Aylesbury to London whilst over the pond Ben took part in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.
The following Wednesday was the first of the Club Championship events for 2020 - a 2km time trial at Newport Stadium. A healthy turnout saw Chris Wreford and Jade pocket the first maximums of the championship campaign with over 25 club members taking part.
Peter and Bolt Rodger are starting to gain a reputation amongst the canicross community as being the ones to watch! - mid-January saw the Pembrey Sands Canicross event, with a great performance from Bolt on his first running outing. On the same weekend, Layton took part in the Doynton Hard Half. A wonderfully hilly, muddy and even more hilly and muddy, mudfest in Gloucestershire.
The third weekend in January also saw the club awards night, with pictures available on the club gallery page.
The second club championship event was the Lliswerry 8 on the last Sunday of January. In torrential rain over 40 club members took to the roads of Nash and Goldcliff for this fast, flat frenzy. There were some outstanding performances with Leighton bringing home the male team, and Lowenna heading up the ladies. A very wet adventure!
February was the month of the storms. Many club members were affected by the postponement of the Llanelli Half Marathon, another club championship race, which has now been put back to March 8th. The February instalment of the GLCL XC was held at Risca Leisure Centre in what was widely accepted as a hideous course in hideous conditions. Well done to all those who took part with Anna making her XC debut!
On the same day, in Bute Park, the Winter Warmer 10K was held for the only championship event in February. Again, there were some strong performances, with Callum and Erin particularly shining.
Unfortunately, the elements were too extreme to make running the Brecon to Cardiff Ultra feasible. Despite a valiant effort, Chris Ford had to withdraw from the event at the 23 mile mark. On a more pleasant day Chris would have completed the race strongly, however, it was a horrific day and he deserves huge kudos for giving it a go. Well done Chris.
Ciara and Dennis came waltzing through the region but that didn't deter Tammy, Sian & Gareth completing the Hoka Half Marathon in the Afan Valley. Meawhile, Chris returned to the fold along with Kevin, Sam, Matt G and Stuart for the Pontypool Home Run 10K.The final major weekend took place after the first 29th February parkrun opportunity ever, in the shape of the Newport Half Marathon. Whilst Louise was pounding the streets of London in the Big Vitality Half, nearly 50 club members stayed local, and ran the familiar streets of Newport and Caerleon. The club was represented on the roads but also as part of the fantastic volunteering group who made the event a great experience. There were PBs all around and the welcome and encouragement received through Caerleon was something else - as always. Well done everybody involved.
So into March.
The parkrun tourism challenge was at Grangemoor in January and Cardiff in February. The third weekend of March will see Cwmbran as the destination.
March brings a few championship races towards the end of the month, with Cardiff Bay 10K and Kymin Dash, but there is now a lot of focus on the pending marathon season. Manchester, Brighton, London and Newport will all have Caerleon runners taking part. Hopefully the storm season is now done and we can look forward to some spring running!