Big shout out early doors to #teamscarlett who we are also absolutely delighted to be promoting through this adventure - if you don’t know who they are and the story behind them, please follow on Twitter to find out more. We wear your logo out there with pride!
We’ve also been very lucky to have been backed by a number of local businesses - including ‘Up to Scratch’ Car Body Repairs, and the Wales Shop (Treforest Industrial estate). Thanks guys for your help!
Well - clearly, we won’t be running 24/7 over the next year (at time of writing, we both have jobs and mouths to feed), so we’ll be making the most of training runs, commuting, events and whatever we can do to get those miles in. We’ll keep track on our (insert branded item of choice here) smart phones and watches, and post up the running total on here to keep track.
And voila... what remains is to run, promote, and fundraise! That last part is up to you; we are massively grateful for any and all support you are able to give. See our Just Giving site (Scott has also put together a particularly nice write-up of why we have chosen to do this - well worth a read!)
Our first official event on the calendar was the Pentyrch Hill Race, taking place on a balmy (and barmy!!) Tuesday evening at the end of April.
Now, it’s not often in this world that you get what you pay for. In this case you most definitely do... this is a ‘Hill Race’ and nothing else. A brutal jaunt through Pentyrch village (of course…thought it’s mostly downhill and fast), Tyn y Coed forest (mostly uphill and over rutted ground) and then up and around the Garth (a mountain - also seen in a famous movie where an Englishman went up a hill). The advertised distance of seven miles may not have sounded much, but they were no doubt the hardest seven miles of our lives.
Glad to survive, Scott and I both made it around the course in pretty respectable times - Scott in 1hr 4min 18sec and myself in 1hr 11min 4 sec (just outside the top half, but I’ll take it as I’m terrible at hill running). Now with hindsight, rose tinted glasses and fond memories, we both agree that this was a very enjoyable run and a great little “hidden gem” of an event. The run director is also a real rarity - he reminded me of my meanest teachers from back in school; a wistful memory now for this aching 34 year old. One thing is for sure though - we will be back next year, and what an amazing way that will be to finish our running story for this amazing charity.
Some photos for your keen eyes - taken by Johnny Lam of San Domenico Running Club... whole album here. Worth a look, they are epic!
Here are some of our selected highlights of the runs we have done so far this year.
What can we say - more hills! Lovely event and we’ll be back next year for sure.
If you like a flat half with very little change in scenery, then this is the one for you. 1hr44 for Gareth and 1hr42 for Scott. Personal records for us both. Great t-shirt and medals too.
A full-on fun run with not so much as an official timer and of course - topped with a pizza at the end. Of course, there’s always an element of competition at any run - with Scott and I taking second and eighth place respectively. Not that we were counting of course…
If you like mud, friendly locals, a beautiful course and oceans of umm…cow poo (?) - then this is your event. Honestly, we loved this race all the more for its slightly bonkers format and even the “slight diversion” we took at the beginning due to a poor marshal who had got the directions wrong. We didn’t mind, and honestly speaking - we love our marshal volunteers even more for this experience!
A very special event in the Welsh running calendar: my fourth in a row and Scott’s second ever. A truly family occasion this year as well as we welcomed cousins, aunties, fathers and friends to the run, as you’ll see from the group photo above.
What a great day it was too. With Scott and I pulling on a set of fetching green wigs (of course) and pounding the course fully dressed in smiles and giving it all for Tŷ Hafan, we had an amazing run. We even found time to stop for a little ‘vox pop’ with Jamie Baluch at the 10k mark. Sadly, we didn’t quite make the cut when it came to the cutting room floor. Never mind, all worth it for this amazing event and our thanks as always to the amazing organisers and people of Cardiff for making it happen (Scott: 1hr44, Gareth 1hr47 - both with plenty of banter).
I’ve lost count now of the number of times we’ve powered out a 5k with family and friends on a Saturday morning (it’s actually only 63). These runs really are the lifeblood of the running community here in Wales and beyond; they bring such an amazing atmosphere to our favourite local event in Pontypridd. Worth at that point giving a special mention to our good friend Simon “any new runners?” Pritchard for his own and his loyal volunteers’ immense efforts to put on a great event every week.
Thanks for taking to time to read and share. Don’t forget our Just Giving page!
You can also keep track of our mileage stats by checking back on the page. So far we’ve covered over 1,200km and with some hard running over the winter, we’ll get there with time to spare and smiles on our faces - worth every sinew of effort for such a wonderful cause.
Before signing off, we’d also like to pay our own respects to the runners who sadly passed at the Cardiff and Swansea Half Marathons this year. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families. We will keep them in our hearts and minds as we run up the miles on the rest of our journey.
Gareth and Scott