Weekend Update - Glamorgan Coast Relay 6th -7th June 2020
Glamorgan Coast Relay
On the weekend that the club would have been running the long establish Welsh Castles Relay from Caernarfon to Cardiff, Bridgend AC organised it's own version locally, utilising the fantastic countryside and coast that we have in the area.
The format was devised so that all in the club could achieve a leg, whilst observing the restrictions in place at present which allowed 2 runners to be together albeit 2 metres apart. So a pair of runners left Newbridge Fields, on the hour every hour on either an 18 mile, 12 mile, 9 mile or 6 mile route, which all had a “Challenging Feature” – as does the Welsh Castles Relay with its “King of the Hills” legs. Route maps were distributed and they were to be responsible for orientating themselves around the routes, carrying mobile phones for emergencies.
Starting at 8:00 am on Saturday morning the 18 miler was not for the feint hearted, not only for the distance but for the gale force winds that battered the coast! The route that took in Merthyr Mawr Warren, down to Newton Burrows, then a return along the beach (except there wasn’t one as the tide was in!) to the Ogmore River Estuary, up the river bank to return to Candleston Castle and then to depart on a loop of Ogmore, Southerndown, descending into Dunraven Beach for its feature hill to run out! The route then resumed to St Brides, across Heol Y Mynydd Common to the Ogmore Road before retracing footsteps back to the start/finish line.
At 9:00 am runners set out on a more sympathetic 6-mile route to Candleston Car Park in Merthyr Mawr and back taking in its “Feature Hill” up to Whitney Farm
An hour later, a 9-mile pair of runners headed to Merthyr Mawr Village, across to the Ogmore Road and ascending the infamous “Norton Hill “ Challenge Feature! Which is known more in cycling circles for its steepness as it is a hill climb that get steeper the further you go! This loop joined up in St Brides and followed the Heol Y Mynydd route back to the finish.
The fourth loop variation was a complete 12-mile lap of Ogmore seafront, Dunraven Beach and St Brides before returning.
The format of the 6-mile, 9 mile and 12-mile loops was repeated through the day to total 10 legs for 2 runners (or families) for both the Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, one leg was not fulfilled, and a couple of friends and guests were included.
All routes had unmanned drink stations deposited, for hydration and nutrition, and the focus of the event was that of a training run and not competitive, although times were taken.
Again, to mimic the Welsh Castles Relay distance, which is over 200 miles, a similar distance was targeted for this inaugural Glamorgan Coast relay route which was run on safe established parks, paths and roads. To make up the distance a short 2-mile leg was required at its conclusion of the legs to complete the distance.
Day 2, the Sunday proved a lot calmer for the runners and the sun came out, which only enhanced the spectacular scenery along the Glamorgan Coast.
All runners conformed to the rules, appreciated the first opportunity to return to the sport, albeit in a sanitised version, and cannot wait for theday we can fully resume club activities.