Dry in patches, but most definitely a treble knotter!

The first GLCL XC fixture of the 2017/2018 and it was on home turf at Parc Bryn Bach. The course was newly designed by our in-house course architect Clive Cooksey who worked tirelessly to ensure that the course was free of obstacles, branches and overgrowth. Out of his control was the mud which by lap 3 and 4 was sapping the energy from your legs and claiming the odd shoe or two.

Clive is a great asset to the club and we’re grateful to him for investing such a large amount of time in ensuring that the fixture went without a hitch. It also goes without saying that without the support from other members who assisted Clive in preparing the course the fixture may not have been the success that it was.

It’s because of the work of members like Clive behind the scenes that PBB are flying. A huge amount of time and commitment is going into every week for the club. Thank you Clive. – Julie Cashell

Stats and Honours

A total of 313 runners participated in the fixture with 79 members of the Green Army (34 women and 45 men). That’s a sizeable percentage and one that we hope we can replicate at other fixtures.


We were off to a flying start to the GLCL XC season with 12 placements including 1st Female for Lauren Cooper and 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions in the M5054 category!

Women Men
  • Lauren Cooper – 1st Female and 1st FV1734
  • Julie Cashell – 1st FV4044
  • Rachel Lewis – 2nd FV4044
  • Sharon Woods – 2nd F5559
  • Kath Jervis – 3rd F6064
  • Lee Aherne – 1st M5054
  • Sam Jones – 3rd M1739
  • Damian Williams – 2nd M5054
  • Simon Lewis – 3rd M5054
  • Stephen Williams – 1st M5559
  • Phillip Miles – 2nd M6569
  • Clive Cooksey – 2nd M7099

New Runners

With so many members joining the club between the end of the 2016/17 XC season and the new 2017/18 season, there were a number of XC virgins venturing out in their Mudclaws including Suzie Tew, Ruth Butterfield, Anna Smith, Sian McGoldrick, Suzanne Court, Sarah Jeremiah and Stephen Dallow. It was fantastic to see so many giving it a shot.

Mud, Sweat and Tears

There’s no easy XC race. If you aren’t cursing yourself at some point in the race you ain’t racing hard enough. It’s worth it though, right?

The Gain in the Pain

Despite the relentless trudging through mud and the risk of losing a shoe, there were many happy faces (or runners putting on a brave face!) around the course.


  • First XC experience today and wow it was fab, although I looked and felt I was going to  collapse at certain points. – Anna Smith
  • First XC and I’ll be back for more. – Suzie Tew
  • Really enjoyed my first XC experience. – Sian McGoldrick
  • Awesome course. Thanks to Mr Cooksey who did his best to kill us all off! – Sam Standerwick
  • Top morning supporting my running buddies! A tough muddy race. I’m shattered and I was only marshalling! Well done all! – Sara Elizabeth
  • Jeez what a cracking course, lots of mud, and a hill. That 3rd lap near finished me off. – Sharon Newell
  • The best gluten free brownies I’ve ever tasted! – Suzie Tew

Special Thanks

A special thanks to our crack team of marshalls and volunteers who were on every corner offering ALL runners encouragement, offering the Green Army up-to-the-minute course advice to help them gain valuable places and for taking photographs of us feeling the pain of XC.

Apologies if I’ve missed anyone:-

Margrett Monk, James Williams (Dad + Mum), Johanna Wiles, Neil Poulton, Claire Nick Webb, Emm Jay, Debbie Dawkins, Neil Lloyd, Deanne Griffiths, Sara Elizabeth, Lydia Cawsey, Terry Watkins Gareth Williams, David Kempton, Andrew Jones & Manon, Danielle Phillips, Richard Price (Jr) and Rebecca Foley.

GLCL Awards

On top of a XC fixture organised with military precision, we were also fortunate to come away with a clutch of awards from the previous season.

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Pro Tip

For the next muddy XC fixture you may want to consider taping your shoes as well as putting a double knot in the laces. It’ll help prevent the mud from pinching your shoe and will help keep the sole of your shoe on should the mud get particularly greedy!

Thanks Everyone

A message from our Course Architect, Clive Cooksey

Firstly there was a lot of feed back from our Club and others remarking what a good course it was and how hard it was but also how much they liked it. It was never my intention when I first saw the potential in what could be developed, using yesterday’s location. It was not me that made it as hard as it turned out, it was the weeks of rain that we had prior to the day which made certain areas completely waterlogged. Even when we had dry spells it was not sufficient to dry out the course! This together with the fact that 300+ plus runners ran 3 and 4 laps on it.

Please don’t judge [this first] race. We have learned a great deal from yesterday’s experience for the future. The stretch through the trees really cut up. This section of the course was developed by the Parc to be used as a nature trail to be explored by parties of school children and this gave me the idea that it could be used to link the various locations to make a complete lap. They have told me that they intend to extend this in time to continue through the trees to reach the South end of the Park.

In this case it would be an ideal opportunity for us to suggest that they cover the track with a good layer of wood bark which would make it a lot more accessible to our use as well as the school children. and while we are at it perhaps get them to spread wood chip on the other problem area which was the climb up the bank to the section through the tree’s This will always be a section which will suffer from poor drainage due to water off higher ground. Taking all these things into account I feel that we have the potential of a great course that will stand us in good stead for years to come.

Finally I would like to thank Damian, Richard, David (Jolly), Terry and Ian who were the course building team on Saturday and for Damian and Richard’s help on the morning together with other club volunteers under the management of the one and only Big Bri (Thor) Phillips and his band of Merry Marshals who provided so much vocal support and encouragement to all us “Mud Hoppers” What a day and if that didn’t make you proud to be a member of PBBRC you have joined the wrong Club!

Thanks everyone.