A SEA of blue and yellow swept across Monmouth's Chippenham parkrun as Spirit of Monmouth Running Club took to the field to complete their Couch to 5K Graduation. 

One hundred and sixty seven runners runners took part in the event amid the flowering daffodils, including visitors from over the border and as far afield as Newfoundland in Canada.  

Spirit runners at the couch to 5k celebration.
Spirit runners at the couch to 5k celebration. (Supplied)

Dawn Handy made the decision to start her birthday celebration with a parkrun, crossing the line in 37 minutes and position 141.  Another milestone for Mari Lyford saw her run her 50th Parkrun, finishing in 86th in just over 30 minutes.The forecast rain held off, although the course included its usual water feature which runners had to pass four times, technically making it a cross country (XC) course!  

Spirit of Monmouth's Vicky Roberts said: "We couldn’t be prouder of our 2024 SOM graduates, all 11 of them achieving their individual goals.  "After attending a nine-week training plan led by Lucy MacDonald and Sian Burns, the group committed to the weekly training runs regardless of the weather, many wet weeks including muddy puddles on the cycle tracks of The Biblins.    

 "Well done to Abi J, Abi S, Andrew (Spud), Anne, Alice, Christina, Craig, James, Kayley, Libby, and Shan, you all absolutely smashed it!  "Liesel and Ann were doing their graduation the following week at Chippenhams Fields Parkrun, so that’ll be 13 runners completing the SOM C25K Programme.  

"Spirit will now be offering a Beyond 5K course, a great entryway into a fun and inclusive running club, meeting like-minded people and challenging yourself as much as you desire, it’s all about personal achievement.  "A big thanks also to Robert Gale from Parc Bryn Bach Running Club for capturing the event from his hiding place in the daffodils and providing the team photo."Meanwhile, the club are gearing up for the biggest event of the year, hosting The Kymin Dash on Sunday, April 12.

Sprit couch to 5k runners
Sprit couch to 5k runners (Supplied)

Vicky added: "Only the first mile is a challenge, the rest is downhill! To sign up, visit spiritofmonmouth.co.uk and click on SOM Races."We would like to thank Monmouth Sports Association (MSA) for allowing the club to use their facilities for the couch to 5k awards ceremony and to enjoy some refreshments provided by the MSA and of course cakes made by their very own SOM members.

 "The club house is currently under refurbishment, which is planned for completion this Summer, a location for soaking up the sporty atmosphere with a good value drink or two.  

"Thank you to all members of the MSA (Monmouth Football, Tennis, Rugby, Cricket, and Bowls) and huge appreciation for the weekly support from Andy Tabb who sets the course up every week and marshals, encouraging every single runner, and he’s even there at the end tidying up for the next sporting event."