Ellen Harrison reports:
The senior ladies arrived at Pembrey Park to showers and overcast skies, but by the time the race started at 1pm the sun was making an unexpected appearance, and if it hadn’t been for the pretty hefty head wind making parts of the course a slog, then conditions would have been near perfect.
Running approximately 6km, with the chance to battle up the steep and sandy Pembrey dunes not once but twice, the Bristol team had a strong Swansea contingent to contend with. Still, it was the Swansea ‘home’ fixture, and we had almost 20 strong women out on the course – a right red and white army!
Natalie Griffiths, cool, calm and collected as ever, led the ladies from start to finish on Saturday – enthusing many of us to get through pre-race drills in the rain, and coming in as our first finisher in a very admirable 4th place in 23.17. Behind Nat, the women’s A team was made up of Izzy Talbot-Price (9th in 23.56); the ever enthusiastic Catie O’Donaghue (10th, 24.05); hill runner extraordinaire Amy Partridge (15th, 24.20) and Ellen Harrison (18th, 24.32). Izzy ran a particularly well judged race, moving through the field well and showing that her recent return to training with the squad has definitely been paying off.
The A team finished a close 2nd to Swansea Harriers in the end – a strong Swansea 1-2 made them hard to beat, but we still hold onto our overall lead after two matches.
As is often the case, it was in our B team positions where we really showed our strength and depth. The B team finished a very admirable 4th team on the day – impressive stuff! Leading them home was Ana Duran-Mingo, with a well-deserved absolute stormer of a run! She finished hot on Ellen’s heels in 24.33 and 19th place. Backing up Anna were the dream time of Everitt and Joliffe, with Sarah 21st (25.01) and Clare 26th (25.12). Mel Newbery, who started brightly but fell ill during the race, managed a sterling effort to finish in 29th place. Tracy Allen completed the B team (70th, 27.35).
Our C team were first ‘C’ home in 14th place. Excellent efforts from Nicky Hodges (80th; 27.59), Sian Davies (87th; 28.16), Hayley Bennett (88th; 28.18) and Anna Ford (89th; 28.21), with some great packing there (!) and lovely to have Sian back racing with the club after some time out with injury. Jenny Anderson followed Anna in 112th (29.10) to complete the C team.
Not to be out done, the D team was first ‘D’ team at an admirable 24th of 78. Rosey Mushens, back from a frustrating injury lay off, led the team home in 120th and 29.41. (Many apologies to Rosey that she didn’t make it into version 1 of this report!) Debbie Hunt came in 137th in 30.17, followed in by Ali Hurford, (142nd, 30.26) who was fresh from managing the under 13 boys. Club treasurer Fliss Russell (and provider of delicious hazelnut macaroons) was 180th in 32.23, with Carol Kiekuth completing the ladies teams (213th, 33.55).
Worth noting that it was (as usual!) a great day for the masters, with notable first V45 and V55 ladies teams. Tom Burgess was our solo male vet running with the ladies, and came in 6th V65 in 30.22.
As ever, an excellent team day out, which really showcased the supportive atmosphere within the club.
Full results are here: https://www.gwent-league.org.uk/2018/res182.htm