October’s Runner of the Month is Cassie, who has hit her stride very quickly and who may or may not have been asked to write this almost entirely for photos of Oscar at the end…
Liz completed our first Couch to 5k programme in 2016 and has since become an integral part of the club. She now heads up the team running the Couch to 5k along with 2 other graduates giving the perfect experience to new runners. Continue reading “Runner of the Month September 2018 – Liz Rees”
July’s runner of the month is our very own Flying Finn, Nina, who is a British Champion, and competed at a World Championships, but not for running…
How long have you been running: Focused on it more about 3 years ago
Favourite Race: Disneyland Paris Half Marathon and Stuttgart Half Marathon
Favourite Distance: 10k and half marathon
Greatest Achievement: Lots of things in 2018: Synchronised Skating British Champions, Brighton Marathon and representing GB at WSSC 2018.
I’ve always been quite active, but never really liked running until few years ago.
My main sport has been figure skating/synchronised skating since I was about 4-years-old. Alongside all the skating I had to do some running to improve my general fitness, but I can’t say that I enjoyed it! Although I do remember running with my junior team and discussing what we wanted to eat when we got home, so that hasn’t changed!
After I quit my competitive career in Finland at the end of the season 08-09, I felt bit empty. What do I do now when I’m not training 20h+ a week? I moved to the UK for university and kept running and exercising, but not with the healthiest mindset. I wasn’t enjoying it.
After moving to Cardiff I started skating again, representing Great Britain this time. We ran 5Ks with the team and I kept running by myself. At some point I saw a fellow Finnish runner, Heli, post on Facebook about her running training. I mostly ran by myself but asked her who she ran with, as it would be nice to know more people in Cardiff. She introduced me to CDF Runners.
Running with the club has completely changed my view on running, I now look forward to runs and I run because I like it (I still sometimes hate it too, but it’s ok). I ran my first race quite soon after joining (Cardiff Half Marathon 2016) and have loved racing since. I recently ran my first full marathon in Brighton, which was the next weekend after skating at the 2018 World Synchronized Skating Championships. Training for both at the same time was tough but CDF Runners (and the skating family) have been a massive support.
I aim to do as many runs as I can with the club, which has allowed me to run routes I never would’ve even thought about. They also teach me useful life lessons, such as running a mile race (1609m for any Finns reading this) is not pleasant.
Runner of the Month is your chance to get to know some of our runners a little better. this month is a treat as it’s the extraordinary story of our first ever Couch to 50k graduate!
Hi, my name is Sam and I can officially and proudly say I am a part of CDF Runners!
I had joined a gym the year previously to try and lose weight and try and tone I’d gone a handful of times and decided to cancel my membership as it wasn’t working. I had attempted couch to 5k about five years ago but never completed it so I decided to see if I could find a club that was doing the same Couch to 5K as I knew I would never be able to complete this by myself. Well if I can’t commit to going to the gym by myself then what chance did I have running in the rain and in the cold dark nights! So I did some research and discovered CDF Runners were starting in February so I decided to take the plunge and join.
When I first arrived at my first session on a very cold night in February I never dreamed that I would be able to complete the first session let alone complete 10 parkruns over one weekend but that is exactly what happened three months later.
When I first started the Couch to 5K session, the first week comprised of three sessions which included a brisk five-minute warm up walk, then it alternated between one minute of running and one-and-a-half minutes of walking, then a five-minute cool down walk at the end this was for a total of 20 minutes, by the end of the first session I wasn’t sure if I would be able to carry on. But with the support of my fellow runners and the amazing CDF Runner coaches and pacers I was able to carry on.
The Couch to 5K app is for 9 weeks and its aim is to get you running continuously for 30 minutes which I amazingly managed to do and completed my first parkrun in 37 minutes.
Little did I realise that I would accidently sign myself up for the Parkrunathon, I thought it was to do as many park runs in the month of May not do them all in one weekend!
Currently I have raised £300 for The Wallich. CDF Runners adopted The Wallich to be their charity partner and if you would like to donate our JustGiving page is https://www.justgiving.com/teams/cdfrunners
My next aim is now to complete a 10K run either in Barry or Cardiff… So watch this space!
How long have you been running: since 2012
Favourite race: Severn Bridge Half Marathon and Liverpool Rock n Roll Half Marathon
Favourite distance: Half Marathon
Favourite time to run: Morning
Greatest achievement: London Marathon 2017
Back in 2012 I was in my fifties, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, bordering on diabetes and was five stone overweight; weighing in at 17 stone. I live in Cardiff Bay and at that time I thought nothing of catching the train from the Bay up to town to save me walking.
I work as a minister of religion and when I went to visit parishioners they would offer me tea and cake to be sociable. I always accepted the cake (often a double helping!) and a cup of tea with two sugars. The weight kept on piling on and I often thought that it was odd how the clothes shops changing rooms were getting smaller; not me getting bigger! I went to the doctors for a routine appointment and the doctor turned to me and said “you do realise you are obese don’t you?” and to be honest I didn’t until I heard the words come out of his mouth (looking back it is hard to believe that I didn’t realise I was so unfit and unhealthy).
I joined the local Weight Watchers group in Grangetown and learnt how to eat smaller quantities of food, choosing the healthy option and I started walking. Then I started jogging around Cardiff Bay and decided to set myself a challenge to do the Cardiff half marathon. I started to go to Grangemoor parkrun as part of my training. Once I had completed my first half marathon in Cardiff with a time of 2:45 I had well and truly got the running bug. I wanted to join a club to motivate me to train and improve.
I was very nervous going to the first CDF session but everyone was really friendly, welcoming and sociable. At the first session I ran with Steph Ferry and she gave me confidence and encouraged me to set a good pace. Welcoming new people and being an inclusive club makes CDF something special.
Since then I have done a total of 11 half marathons, raised nearly £5,000 for charity and finally got an elusive sub 2 hour time. I always wear my CDF t-shirt at events to represent the club and I post a picture at the start of the race to the Facebook group; it’s great to see all of the positive comments from other club members when I finish the race.
1Last year I did the London marathon; which was a real step up from a half, but a wonderful experience. I’ve now signed up for the New York marathon in November. I keep up with the CDF news from the facebook group and try to train with them as much as possible. It’s great to see how people improve week on week and I have made many friends both in Grangemoor Parkrun and CDF.
Your monthly opportunity to get to know a few CDF Runners a bit better. This month we highlight Tor Jones, fresh from a Half Marathon PB.
- How long have you been running: 8 months
- Favourite Race: London Landmarks Half Marathon
- Favourite Distance: 10k
- Favourite time to run: Mid-morning
- Greatest Achievement: Smashing my PB in London Landmarks Half Marathon
Back in 2013 I ran my first half marathon whilst raising money for a local hospice back home in Stroud. I swore then i’d never run another!
In 2014 I then moved to Cardiff and thought to myself I couldn’t not run the Cardiff Half whilst I’m here. After much deliberating of actually entering, 3 years later the other half signed us both up for the 2017 Cardiff Half. When I began my training I quickly found that I wasn’t comfortable running alone and with a lack of structure my motivation began to wain; cue CDF.
I joined CDF in the hope that I would feel safer running through the Autumn/Winter months and add some structure to my training. What I didn’t expect to find so quickly was so many lovely people and dare I say it some enjoyment in running!!
Enter the London Landmarks Half Marathon (LLHM) in March 2018. After a few months of consistent running I actually felt good ahead of the race, despite having my training plan interrupted by the snow! I set myself the target of getting close to the time I had achieved in Cardiff (2:23:48).
I’ve competed nationally with trampolining and prefer to stay fit by going to the gym. I’m not a runner… or so I thought. The LLHM was run in a huge personal best time of 2:07:46. I’d somehow managed to improve my half marathon time by 16 minutes in less than 6 months. I have also improved my 5K and 10K times.
CDF are a friendly welcoming bunch, offering structured training with an enjoyable atmosphere. So if you’re looking for somewhere or someone to run with in Cardiff, why not check out their facebook group?
How long have you been running: 4 years
Favourite Race: All of them. Love a race
Favourite Distance: The longer the better
Favourite time to run: At winter in the dark and pouring rain
Greatest Achievement: Completing the Isle of Wight Challenge, 106km in 29h50m (without sleeping)
I love being outside and going on an adventure. Back home in mid-Wales, I would spend most days exploring the mountains, forests and rivers with the late, great Bethbo Baggins (my dog). I’m a big country person, so also love a lot of mud and clambering over obstacles.
I was trying to be cool one day, so I joined a gym. I was on the treadmill and the women next to me ran for an hour straight. I was in awe. I wanted to be able to run for an hour, so worked towards that for a couple of months and finally did it. I entered the Cardiff Half Marathon that year. I was absolutely terrified by the thought of running 13 miles but finished it. It was the best feeling.
To cut a long story short (and because I’ve been told not to give you my life story), I joined CDF Runners in October 2016. By March 2017 I had shaved 2 minutes off my 10k PB and 3 minutes off my half marathon PB. By May 2017, I had run my first marathon.
Joining CDF is one of the best decisions I have made. They have provided me with the opportunity to achieve and experience things that I would not have done otherwise. I feel very grateful to be surrounded by such friendly, supportive, understanding, funny and piggy people. Everyone is celebrated within the club and I like that a lot.
Time spent with the CDF family is time well spent. Diolch gang!
Holly is raising funds for the Wallich by running on a treadmill for 24 hours (TWENTY FOUR HOURS) – Sponsor her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/holly-corlett
Want to be Runner of the Month? Of course you do. Doesn’t matter if you started running last week or last century, we want to know all about you.
CDF Runners is an LGBT+ friendly club! That means we don’t tolerate any kind of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic abuse, and we do our best to be supportive and inclusive to everyone so that people feel welcome and can be themselves. David tells us about his experience of running and why it means so much to him. Continue reading “CDF Pride”
This is a monthly opportunity to get to know some of our runners a little better, and first up is Dan, who is often the first to welcome and introduce himself to new runners.
Been running for: 4 years
Favourite distance: 3k
Favourite race: Butetown Mile
My name’s Dan, I make music (under the name Flameholder) and I’m a part of CDF Runners.
I’ve always had an excitement for watching athletics on television and it’s kinda weird I never had the idea to start running myself until I was in my late 30s. I was in the shower one day, in the middle of depression over my ex-girlfriend, I saw my stomach was the biggest it had ever been and I said to myself: “NOPE, you’re gonna start running.”
So I went out with my old games teacher’s words stuck in my head – “If you want to enjoy running, run at a speed that is too slow for you.” I started running with the rules that I’d run too slow and stop whenever I wanted to. That run/walk approach worked and in the end I stopped wanting to stop. I only ran casually but as with anything that calls you in life I didn’t like the idea of letting it go so when my friend Anton told me Nike had a free running club I wanted to get into it properly.
We went to the local store and met the Team GB 3K steeplechaser Ieuan Thomas, who started the club with UK Athletics coach Fran Baker. The club later became CDF Runners and now it operates from Moti in Queens Arcade, Cardiff.
I think I came in at the time when the club really started to grow to be more of a family and I’ve loved it since. The energy of it is social rather than being how fast you can run. So many people come through it and everyone’s different but everyone gets on. I’m like, allergic, to traditional downbeat British self-deprecating behaviour and there’s something about running that successfully cuts through that, it forces positivity into people.
I’m doing it on a diet of plant food and I find it fuels me amazingly. I’m consumed with fascination, I have to know how fast I can go. It’s cool when you start running how you learn from experience what kind of running suits you. I’ve joked that I’m just a frustrated sprinter before but I don’t really want things to be over in 15 seconds, I want something I can get into and I’ve found I like running everything from 400 metres to 10K for a long run; I’ve realised speed endurance is exciting to me. I do like doing Cardiff Half Marathon once a year though because it’s such a great event but I have a passion that I’d like to see more adults doing shorter distance running. More power to anyone who wants to do a marathon, it’s amazing strength that I don’t have but I think most people’s tendencies towards longer distance is purely traditional.
Most of the buzz for me is just training like an athlete is so cool. We obviously don’t train the same as elite athletes but we do proper sessions that they would do and I’ve come to think that doing activities with other people is really satisfying because you know every one of you is getting something out of it. I love seeing the way people will give a lot of time and passion (sometimes all of themselves) to something that’s not for money.
I think if you’re not using yourself physically, mentally and spiritually you won’t feel alive, running takes care of the physical but also reaches the other parts of that triangle. And what’s really at the heart of why we do it? I don’t know, follow your bliss.
Big respect to all our coaches past and present, especially Jon Harrhy. You are run club.
Want to be Runner of the Month? Of course you do. Doesn’t matter if you started running last week or last century, we want to know all about you.
CDF Runners are adopting The Wallich as it’s first ever charity partner.
As a running club based in the centre of Cardiff, we cannot fail to notice the shocking rise in rough sleeping on our streets. With Winter drawing in, and Christmas around the corner, we decided we should try and help out.
We reached out to The Wallich, a charity working with those experiencing homelessness across Wales, and we’ve agreed to help fundraise and raise awareness of homelessness and rough sleeping in Cardiff, signposting our members to where they can find out more.
Homelessness is a hugely complicated issue, and an individual case is very rarely down to a single cause. The Wallich specialise in providing services for people with multiple, complex needs; people who, because of their high support needs, are often excluded from other services and have difficulty in accessing accommodation. The range of services The Wallich offers is as diverse as the client group they work with and the underlying aim is to ensure all people have access to support appropriate to their needs. Long term solutions, rather than short term fixes, are developed in partnership with the client.
We have decided that this partnership will last around 6 months, at which point we will evaluate the experience and look at supporting new charities on a regular basis.
You can donate to our Team Page here: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/cdfrunners
There will be a number of events and opportunities to learn more about The Wallich, which will be promoted here and on our Facebook page.
If you would like to know more or get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org.