Hold on tight for a breathless summary of a lung-busting weekend for the Maroon & Whites!

With temperatures tumbling overnight, 35 club members were treated to some stunning views of the snow-capped Brecon Beacons as they headed to Rhayader on Saturday morning, for the penultimate fixture of the Club Championships, the Elan Valley 10 Mile Road Race.  As the thermometer hovered just above freezing, the pre-race discussion turned to kit choice, vest, T shirt, base layer, hat, gloves, buff, hoody, the list was endless, but as the runners stomped up the hill to the start, with the sun on our backs it became apparent that maybe less was best.  Number one Lliswerry supporter, Karen Penny, resembled a charity shop with discarded clothing hanging from every limb, as we all sped off down the hill.  This is truly one of the most scenic races on the championship list, but scenery comes at a price; HILLS!  Most of the climbing is done in the first half of the race, but set off too fast and you may well pay for it in the last mile.  With championship points on offer, everyone pulled out all the stops.  Emma Wookey had a great race, finishing first lady home, almost 8 minutes ahead of the second lady.  Continuing to improve with every race, Roni Margerison knocked over ten minutes off her previous 10 mile PB, finishing in 1:32:15.  It was great to see Patrick Hoare, back racing after several months off with an Achilles injury.  This race also doubled as the East Wales 10 Mile Championship Event with the following individuals picking up medals:

Emma Wookey: 1st Lady Overall, East Wales Senior Gold

Rebecca Rothwell: East Wales Senior Silver

Charlotte Ralph: East Wales Senior Bronze

Sarah Lauder: 1st Vet 35, East Wales Vet35 Gold

Marina Wright: East Wales Vet35 Silver  

Jan Richards: East Wales Vet45 Silver

Chris Morris: East Wales Senior Silver

Alun King: East Wales Senior Bronze

James Pearce: East Wales Vet40 Gold

Phil Boorman: East Wales Vet40 Silver

Keith James: East Wales Vet40 Bronze

Paul Dursley: East Wales Vet60 Gold  

Sunday morning saw the second fixture of the GLCL, hosted by Islwyn at Pontllanfraith.  This event is renowned for its boggy, muddy conditions, and after two weeks of heavy rain it was expected to be truly treacherous this year.  As the hooter sounded 35 Lliswerry runners raced off to the first corner, the elbows and spikes were out in force as people battled to stay upright.  With each lap the course became more and more churned up, each stream crossing got deeper and the hills got steeper.  Despite this the team gritted their teeth and battled on, resulting in our Ladies A team finishing in 1st place for the second time this season, whilst the Male A team finished in 5th position.  The Ladies B & C team finished 3rd and 7th.  The Men’s B & C teams finished 6th & 10th overall.  Well done everyone who ran, we are a tough bunch!

Sunday afternoon saw Lliswerry tackle a new event for the club, the Welsh Cross Country Relays at Newbridge Fields, Bridgend.  We had two Senior Ladies teams, two Masters F35 teams and one male Masters 35 team entered.  The ladies race comprised two twisty laps with each runner completing 3000m.  Despite some strong running from the Senior A team (Emma Wookey, Ruth Phillips, Louise Howells) Cardiff AAC ran away from the rest of the field, with our A team finishing a credible 4th and the B team (Antoinette Dumayne, Sarah Lauder, Julia Abbott) finishing 7th.  In the Masters Ladies race, Sandy Chipper, Nicola Haines-Jones and Keri-Lyn Jones displayed their race calibre picking up the Silver medal for their efforts, whilst our masters B team (Nicola Sinclair, Roni Margerison, Gayle Sheppard) finished just outside the medals in 4th position.  With the light fading fast the men’s race started and was packed with some serious welsh talent.  Despite this the men’s team (Simon Gill, Peter Ovey, Rob Davies, Neil Evans) finished the weekend with another strong performance, with Neil Evans showing his team spirit as he battled all the way to the line in an amazing sprint finish against San Domenico Men.  Well done to everyone who raced this weekend. 

Interested in joining our teams for the cross country series?  Next fixture is the 3rd Gwent League at Blaise Castle, Bristol, 5th December, see the Facebook page for more details.