Run Wales

A week in the life of ‘Bryn’, the Run Wales Baton!

Hi, I’m Bryn, the Run Wales Celebration Relay Baton. What a busy time I’ve had recently. Read on to find out more about my week of adventures with my friends at Vale Runners – they sure do get up to a bunch of different stuff in a week!

I finished Barry Island parkrun and understand why so many people like it. I sat with friends whilst they chatted, laughed and drank hot drinks at Marco’s Café.  Hot drinks after an equally hot and sweaty parkrun – who knew!

A really nice woman called Sue Gershenson who’s a Running Coach from Vale Runners said I could stay with her for a few nights but said that although she’s currently injured, she’d arrange for me to have a week of adventures. 

True to her word, on Monday Sue passed me on to Run Leader Jo Dee, who loves running in the rain and also loves a sprint session. Jo took us for a warm-up run until we reached Barry’s Waterfront.  Once there she explained the benefits of sprint training and, in the pouring rain we began our session.  After each sprint she let us rest for 30 seconds, she’s nice like that. But she directed us to do this 10 times. “That was hard” and I heard someone say, but they were still smiling… these new friends of mine are strange!

On Tuesday I met Running Coach Nathan King and a few more Run Leaders who took me for my first beep test.  We went to a tennis court and I thought how am I going to play tennis I don’t have a racket… it turned out a tennis court is perfect for beep testing. 

The Vale Runners all smiled and welcomed me, passed me around and kept me busy for the whole session. I was really sweaty by the end. 

Vale Runners hold a beep test every couple of months as an aid for runners to test their fitness and progress in running. They all put in full effort and there were people who’d done it many times before but also new runners like me, I felt happy to be there and everyone really supported me. I’d really like to do this again to see if I can go further.  Nathan said that’d be a really good idea.

Thursday night Running Coach Nathan Dee us all on an Out and Back run, 10k’ish he said. It was a long way, but it was great. Noone was left to run alone and there’s always someone to make sure. I was taken to a place called Sully, that was nice.

The next day I made a friend called Darran Moran who’s a Run Leader for Vale Runners. He said “wot’s occurin'” and showed me the Gavin & Stacey house (all the way up a mahoooosive hill), Porthkerry Viaduct and something he called a pub!  He said he’d take me on a long run on the weekend too and turn outs out there another group who’d like to show me their weekly routine too! #excited

Darran made me breakfast on Saturday morning and we were out of the door bright and early. He and some friends carried me all the way from Barry Island to Cosmeston Lakes parkrun where I met Lyn Evans who is their RD.

He told everyone about the Run Wales Relay and Vale Runners’ Run Leader Hilary James took me for the two-lap course of the parkrun. I was really worried as it was really muddy, but it was lush and she didn’t drop me once. At the end, I collected my token and had some pictures taken with the Vale Runners who’d looked after me all week. Now I’m off to Run Grangetown in Cardiff to see what routes and sessions they run.

Thanks Vale Runners, at the end of the day, I won’t lie, I loves it! Thank you for your hospitality, see you around.

Bryn the Baton!

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