2017 has been a great year for Pencoed Triathlon Club with lots of successes and thank yous to mention…
We began the year with some good club turn outs at events like The Beast Run in Ogmore Valley and the Hoka Half Marathon in Margam Park in February. Nigel Bungay was first home for Pencoed Tri and 17th overall at The Beast, while our very own Mike Edwards (the cold one, not the new one) made the local papers for his performance at the Hoka Half.
In March, Andy Martin, Geertje Van Keulen & Chris Goulden all had excellent performances at the Welsh Swim Open Masters, breaking both a few records and a few rules! At the end of March, with the lighter nights we saw the club turbo sessions move outside for the spring/summer chaingang sessions. These sessions were enjoyed by all who participated. Dave Murry certainly put his chaingang speed work to good use, taking 5th place at the Enduraprep King of the Mountains race in April. Well done Dave!
The Kid’s Tri in May was a big success. We had great conditions and saw over 80 children compete for points as part of the Welsh Triathlon tristars series. The event went so well that it was recognised as Welsh Triathlon’s Children’s Event of the Year! A very big well done to Kath Iles and the team who gave up their time to organise the event.
We had a good club turn out at the Porthcawl Standard Distance Triathlon in June, with Andrea Garrington gaining the top spot as the first veteran lady home. Her prize money was promptly spent on cake at the Waterfront café. Also in June, several club members took on the Brecon Titan Race on the hottest day of the year, and Joey Howland put out an amazing performance at the Ten Y Fan charity race.
Caroline, Louise, Sumina, Jon Burnett, Carlos & Tom Wright all took on Aim2Tri’s Novice Triathlon in Pencoed in July, with Tom taking first place. For some of our members this was their first ever triathlon, so a big well done to everyone who competed in that race.
Our very own Tuska Sprint Tri race in August was another success. 250 athletes lined up on the start line including some of Wales’ top elite and age group athletes. Due to the very early start time the race was packed up and done by 9am! Putting on Tuska Tri is a big team effort every year and couldn’t happen without club members and their families showing their support and giving up their time to volunteer. So a very big thank you to everyone who helped in the run up to the race and on the day.
Also in August, four club relay teams competed in the Bury Port Standard Distance Triathlon. This was a great day out for the club, though even entering as relay teams no one could beat a formidable Gemma Roche-Clarke racing as an individual! A few weeks later, Kath, Andrea and Jan all took on and conquered Ironman Vichy. In particular, Jan delivered a spectacular performance proudly brandishing the Welsh flag as she was welcomed home as the final finisher! Well done ladies.
Less than a month later we saw over a dozen Pencoed Tri members brave the worst conditions Ironman Wales has ever seen. Regardless of the weather, those taking part were brilliantly supported by numerous club members who showed up to cheer them on in the wind and the rain.
In September, Andy Martin, Gemma Roche-Clarke and Rich Dando travelled to Rotterdam for the ITU World Age Group Championships. All three put in fabulous performances, with Gemma taking 4th and Andy taking 5th in their respective races. Though he chose not to race in Rotterdam, Alan Kerr also qualified for the 2018 European Champs at the Thorpe Triathlon which will take place in August next year.
The club participated in the Bridgend Country Running League again in 2017 contributing another successful Tuska Beach Race in August. We even managed to lift ourselves out of finishing last in the overall club points tallies (thanks to our very good friends Pencoed Panthers!).
It’s been another good year for our club coaches. By early next year we will have gained four new Level 1 coaches (Mike, Tom, Martyn and Lauren) and a new Level 2 coach (Andrea) which really adds to our capacity to grow the club. A very big thank you to the new coaching team and to the two Steves, Dan, Alan, Jonny, Kath and Andy for giving up their time to coach us this year.
Continuing with the thanks, we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped the committee this year. The club wouldn’t be able to run without people willing to give up their time to help out. We’d also like to say thank you to all the friends and family who support our club members in their training and races. We couldn’t do it without you guys so thank you for putting up with us!
It’s wonderful to see some new faces at sessions. The club continues to grow and we really do want to see more and more people enjoying triathlon in Bridgend.
The great thing about triathlon is that it’s a sport that emphasises finishing over winning. It doesn’t matter how old or how fast you are, if you complete a triathlon you are a triathlete and that’s something to be proud of.
The Committee were proud to present the following awards at the Club Christmas Dinner:
• Male Yellow Jersey Winner 2017 (Club champs points) – Chris Adams
• Female Yellow Jersey Winner 2017 (Club champs points) – Andrea Garrington
• Male Green Jersey Winner 2017 (Bridgend Country Running League Performance) – Rob Slaughter
• Female Green Jersey Winner 2017 (Bridgend Country Running League Performance) – Claire Godfrey
• Male Rainbow Jersey Winner 2017 (Best overall race performance) – Andy Martin
• Female Rainbow Jersey Winner 2017 (Best overall race performance) – Gemma Roche-Clarke
• Male Polka Dot Jersey Winner 2017 (Best age-graded performance at Porthcawl Parkrun) – Alan Kerr
• Female Polka Dot Jersey Winner 2017 (Best age-graded performance at Porthcawl Parkrun) – Ceri Thomas
• Best Male Newcomer Winner 2017 – Mark Holloway
• Best Female Newcomer Winner 2017 – Caroline Rees
• Pink Jersey Winner 2017 – Mike Edwards (the cold one)
• Special Recognition Winner 2017 – Nigel Bungay
• Best Junior 2017 – Ellis Banner
For the first time this year, the Committee also invited nominations for a ‘Member’s Member’ award. We were delighted to present Tom Chapman with this award following multiple nominations for his resilience and attitude in the face of injury, volunteering, coaching and wider contribution to the club.
It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of the club again this year and we are delighted to have served as your committee.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Steve (Bertie), Lauren, Dan and Steve