Club News Archive
Monmouth's Sea of Santas
Monnow Street filled with a record numbers of Santas during the town’s annual Santa Fun Run on Sunday 6th December. Over 340 Santas congregated on Monnow Bridge to start the 2.1km fun run. The festive bunch followed the route up Monnow Street, left onto Hereford Road and down to Vauxhall Fields alongside the river to finish on Monnow Bridge. The race, organised by Spirit of Monmouth Running Club, attracted a field of runners of all ages and abilities, the majority of which were dressed in festive attire. The organisers were delighted with the turn out which saw a record number of runners and walkers join the event.
The event raised £2,332 for the charity Home-start Monmouthshire. Stuart Kramer, Race Director presented a cheque to the charity on Thursday 17th December at Bridges Community Centre. Spirit of Monmouth Running Club would like to thank Barclays Bank for matching the total raised from the run.
“This year we had a lot more walkers and families. Next year Monmouth Rugby Club has said 160 members will also be taking part so we’ll have even more participants next year.”
First Male: Robert John (Fairwater Runners, Cwmbran)
First Female: Angela Jones (Fairwater Runners, Cwmbran)
First Boy: Rowan Saxton, Monmouth School
First Girl: Maddie Taylor, HMSG
First Team: Brothers Harri and Jamie Bell-Thomas (The Tinkerbells)
Family Champions: The Nash Family from Usk Helen, Stuart, Imogen (9), Oscar (7) and Isla (15 months)
Best dressed: Pete Crossley and his daughters Erin (8) and Anna (13) who painted her face with a nativity scene especially for the event.
After the run the santas gathered on the bridge to claim their medals and enjoy a well-deserved mince pie.
This year’s Santa Fun Run was held in aid of local charity Home-Start Monmouthshire, an independent registered charity that supports struggling families, with at least one child under five, living in Monmouthshire. Two teams from their office in Bridges took part in the event. The scheme is managed by a board of volunteer trustees and is responsible for raising all its own running costs.
Spirit of Monmouth Running Club would like to extend their thanks to everyone who supported and helped to make the event a success. Look forward to seeing you next year on the first Sunday in December.
October '15 Cardiff Half Marathon
Spirit runners were out in force at this year's Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday 4th October. Well done all!
Well done to everyone who ran the Ross on Wye 10k on Sunday 6th September.
Mic Morris 10k
On Sunday 19th July we braved the pouring rain to take part in the Mic Morris 10k. The fast race, which starts in Blaenavon and finishes in Pontypool is held annually in memory of Mic Morris, a police officer and British International middle distance runner who died aged 24 during a training run in 1983. Tracey Burns was first lady to cross the line for Monmouth and Martin Blakebrough was Monmouth’s first man. The race continues to grow in popularity and organisers smashed their target of 500 entries raising valuable funds for the Mic Morris Memorial Sporting Trust, which supports Torfaen’s young sporting talent.
Swansea Half Marathon
Spirit members, Sarah Richards and Julia Davis ran Swansea Half Marathon on Sunday 14th June. The pair’s third race at this distance, the 13.1 mile flat, scenic course took runners along Swansea’s coastline to Mumbles, where the route turned back toward Swansea centre, finishing in the City’s Maritime Quarter.
Sarah and Julia began running last summer joining our Couch to 5K programme, a 10 week course structured to introduce new runners to the sport. Since completing the course, the pair have gone from strength to strength running Cardiff Half Marathon, Bath Half Marathon and Newport Half Marathon and competing in Gwent Leisure League races. Encouraging other new runners to follow in their footsteps, Sarah and Julia helped with our new to running course that finished in March.
Our next ‘Couch to 5K’ course will begin in September.
Stephen Barratt, Martin Blakebrough, Nerys Chaplin & Phil Griffiths ran
the 10K race in the 5th annual Whitebrook Wind-Up on 7th June. Starting with a short hill the scenic course takes runners down along the banks of the River Wye before turning at Redbrook up the notorious Wind-Up, a 600ft climb through woodland. In the women’s 10K Nerys placed an impressive second place. Martin took 3rd place for Vet Males.
Team tackle Rack Raid
Spirit of Monmouth Running Club were invited to take part in the Rack Raid by Fairwater Runners. Held on Sunday 31st May, the race was established in 1993 and involves more than 100 miles of racing across South Wales spilt into 13 stages of varying distances running to Castles or ruins.
The race began at 7.30am at Grosmont Castle with captain Emma King running the first stage and finished at the Castell-Y-Bwch in Cwmbran at 7pm, with club coach David Mather running the final stage.
Martin Blakeborough ran from the Old Court Moat to Monnow Bridge in Monmouth, to a sea of Spirit support. Performance of the day went to Gareth Jones, who ran one of the toughest stages from Usk Castle to Tintern Abbey which was half marathon distance, and finished in an impressive third place, smashing the cut off time by more than 30 minutes. We were missing our club chairman Jeremy who was involved in a traffic incident on the day and unfortunately missed his stage.
Each stage has a cut off time and King was very happy with the team’s performance as every runner met the cut off which ensured the team gained valuable points. After 13 stages we finished in 16th place, which is a good position considering we ran with one less runner than the other 24 teams.
Pictured are The Spirit of Monmouth Rack Raid Team 2015 (L-R): George Smith, Lee James, Peter Davies, Gareth Jones, Emma King, Matt Unsworth, Ruth Ward, Martin Blakebrough, David Mather & Kirk Hill. Missing from the picture: Karen Barratt, Jeremy Creasey & Ali Phillips.
Spirit turn out strong for first GLCL Road Race
The opening fixture in the Gwent Leisure Centre League (GLCL) was held on Tuesday 19th May, hosted by Parc Bryn Bach Running Club. The first of five road races in the series, the 10k course took runners on a scenic route around the water and adjoining golf course at Parc Bryn Bach. Spirit of Monmouth fielded their largest team at a GLCL Road Race with record numbers travelling to Tredegar to take part. First runners home for Monmouth were Gareth Jones and Nerys Chaplin.
Congratulations to all our members who ran Marathons this spring, many of them raising valuable funds for charities.
The Virgin Money London Marathon, 26th April 2015: Lisa Bailey (Bridges Community Centre), Tracey Burns (St David’s Hospice Care), Jill Cook (NSPCC), Anne Hall (Anthony Nolan), Emma King (ABF The Soldiers’ Charity), Ali Phillips (Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice), Taryn Preece Rayner (Prostate Cancer UK), Diane Smith (MACS), Mark Ward & Phoebe Ellen Williams (St David’s Hospice Care).
Shakespeare Marathon, Stratford, 26th April 2015: Richard Rawlings, George Smith & Toby Wales (Stroke Association).
Greater Manchester Marathon, 19th April 2015: David Mather & Madeleine Newcomb.
Brighton Marathon, 12th April 2015:
Karen Ruck Barrett (Action Duchenne) & Taryn Preece Rayner (Prostate Cancer UK).
New Runners Complete 5K
Spirit of Monmouth recently held a ‘Couch to 5K’ programme providing a weekly training course for those new to running. Our 10-week course started in January and provided weekly training sessions geared at helping new runners gradually build up to run 5K. Having followed their training programme, running three times a week, course members marked their achievement by taking part in Newport Parkrun on Saturday. Course leader Diane Smith said of the course “The new to runners course has been a great success. All the members plan to keep running and many have already joined Spirit of Monmouth Running Club. I wish the group every success in their running goals and hope they will continue to enjoy it.”
The Club plans to hold another 'Couch to 5K' course later in the year. If you're interested please keep an eye on the website for more details.
Congratulations to our club members who ran The 2014 London Marathon, raising much-needed funds for the following charities:
Mark Ward - Queen Elizabeth Birmingham Cancer Charity, also known as the Michael Cullen Cancer Trust.
Esme Doyle - Monmouth Aid.
Emma King - ABF The Soldiers' Charity.
Simone Traylen-Thomas -Changing Faces charity.
Monmouth School Sport Relief
Spirit of Monmouth supported the event, providing marshalls on race day. Thanks to all who took part and raised a fantastic £300 for Sport Relief. See you all again soon.
Santa Fun Run December 2013
Once again Spirit of Monmouth put on a Santa Fun Run. Over 200 runners of all ages turned out to support us and over £700 was raised for charity which was generously matched by Barclays Bank.
We often receive positive feedback about the races we host but seldom do we get endorsements in writing. A great supporter and multi winner of the event is our very own local MP David Davies. Below is a letter from him to our Club Secretary.