April 2021 Team challenge

41 of the Poolers took part in a 4 week team challenge during April. Splitting into 8 teams of 5. The maths seems wrong but Pretty in Pink had to make a substitution in week 1 after Shane took a tumble, cracking a few ribs. Luckily Paul stepped in while Shane rested up. Each week saw our teams take on a different challenge, bagging as many points as possible in a bid to finish top of the score board.

Week 1

24 hour team race: Each team member had to run for a minimum of 4 hours and the remaining 4 hours were split up as the team wished.

This was the week where the phrase “elapsed time” became swear words within Team Pooler – and for a few of our runners a subject we won’t dare to broach for a while…

Livin’ La Vida Loca took the win in the first week, covering 166miles in 24 hours, that’s an average of just over 33 miles per runner for week. In total the teams ran 1,198 miles. As the crow flies, that would get you from Pontypool Park to Tunisia!

Week 2 

Team Pyramid: Each team member had to complete one distance from the following groups:

Group A: 1k, 2k, 3k,4k, 5k
Group B: 6k, 7k, 8k, 9k, 10k

The distance covered by each team totalled 55km. Pretty in Pink finished in first place this week, running the distance in a time of 4:18:18 – speedy!! Their win shot them up the score board into third place with Livin’ La Vida Loca and Team Grainger tied for 1st, leaving all to play for going into week 3!

Team Fast & Furious 5
Team Pretty in Pink

Week 3

BINGO! Each team had to complete all challenges on the bingo card. Extra bonus points were awarded for first team to complete each line.

It ended up being slightly more complicated than the organisers imagined with a slight rule tweak being made on the morning of day 1 to make it possible to complete the bingo card within the week… but we won’t talk too much about that… By the end of the week (among other things) the teams had:

  • Run 1,120 miles
  • Climbed 32,000ft of gain
  • Spent 160 hours running
  • 24 runners visited the Folly tower
  • Run 40 cancelled parkruns/ races
  • PR’d 8 Strava segments
  • Made 8 silly hats
  • Run around 8 lakes/ ponds
  • Downed 7 post run beers and 1 gin (extra kudos to Megan for that!)

However it wasn’t all sunny jogs in silly hats, the organisers got wind of infighting within Team Pie over who got to down a post run beer. The right decision was made in the end and we got to see Team Pies captain, the lovely Jen, down a pint of Guinness and gain even more respect from her fellow club mates!

Livin’ La Vida Loca cleaned up this week taking the overall win and 3 bonus points! With Fast and Furious 5 and Lubi’s Lockdown Legends each getting an extra bonus point for being quickest to call a line! Big shout out to Satchells striders who pulled together on the Sunday to make sure their team hit the 140 mile target and to Paul who completed a marathon race on the Sunday to hit the 140 miles for Pretty in Pink. Thats what’s we call team work!

Team Lubi’s Lockdown Legends
Team Pie

As well as running related activities, each team member posted their proudest running moment. We loved getting to know our members a little bit more. Reading these was a real highlight of the week, reminding us why we run and what we have each achieved. There’s not enough space to share them all but here are a few: 

  • We heard about how Deb represented East Wales in Cross Country and Tracy represented team GB at an Aquathlon in Romania
  • Dan Newton reminded us of the classic photo that won him the “joy of running” award (It’s a cracker)
  • Amelia’s proudest moment was running 7 mountain miles with club last year – her longest run to date and first time mountain running
  • Chris Baker wowed us all with his completion of the Jurassic coast challenge in 2016 (3 day event, he covered 87 miles and 8,927ft of elevation gain)
  • We got a glimpse of a young Andy Millard running an 68:03 half marathon back in the 80s
  • Sammi shared how she ran a marathon a day for a week in honour of a very special friend
  • We re-lived Archie’s epic completion of 100 miles at Endure 24
  • Saw footage of Paul hobbling to the finish of the 2019 Snowdonia Marathon Eryri and collapsing with horrific cramp. We let out of a sigh of relief when we saw that he’d remembered to stop his watch as he crossed the line
  • Tasha and Megan told us how they have both completed their longest runs to date as part of the April team challenge – go girls!  
Team Grainger
Team Satchell’s Striders

Week 4

Run as far as you can in 30 minutes. Extra bonus points were given for the the runner with the greatest distance in each speed category.

Before we knew it the grand finale was upon us! Livin’ La Vida Loca looked untouchable going into the final week with a healthy 4 point lead but those sneaky bonus points would push and pull them down the leaderboard… Team Grainger had sat in second place all month but had clearly saved their fast daps for the final week where they picked up 4 bonus points to take first place over all, with Livin’ La Vida Loca in second and Team Pie in third. 

Regardless of the overall result all our teams seemed to enjoy the pain and suffering we put them through this month. 30 of them even turned up for a killer speed session on the Tuesday after the team challenge ended with Ade and Dave! We’ve loved the virtual challenges this year but we’re definitely glad to be back training as a club and are hopeful for a better 2021 for all our runners!

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