Old forum > Gwent league

Geography has never been my strong point, but I'm increasingly baffled by the fixture list for the Gwent XC League. This year we've got Bath, Bristol, Taunton, Bridgend and Brecon. Three venues in the SW of England, two in S.Wales - none in Cardiff or indeed Gwent - and a long way to travel just to run around a playing field.

The West Glamorgan XC league goes for fixtures in, errr, West Glamorgan. I work in Gwent and there's lots of nice parks/playing fields to run around.

Blasphemy to question such things ?!

September 30, 2009 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterTim

Taunton is obviously wrong, as it doesn't start with the letter "B", I suggest that is replaced with Blackwood next season as that was the first place that sprang to mind that satisfies the alphabetic and geographical issues.

September 30, 2009 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterDominic

Hello Tim. It's a historical thing and the league has been like this for at least as long as I've been a member (since 1995). Perhaps the title 'South West and South Wales league' would be better. In the past, venues have included Exeter (a brilliant course), Forest of Dean (another 'proper' course) and several other non-Gwent fixtures. Not sure of how it evolved, probably a question best directed at our own man at the league - Jeff. I suspect it has much to do with both improving access to regular competition and the willingness of a club to organise one.

If it's any consolation, a similar situation exists with cyclo-cross. I wish you could earn air miles.

September 30, 2009 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon

hi guys, the league goes back to the 1960's I believe and was originally called the Pontypool Cross Country Lge, then broadened it's horizons and became the Gwent Lge which has stuck. As for the venues, it is a case of who offers to put them on, 2 years ago we nearly only had 4 fixtures as that is all they had in terms of offers. Venues that I remember doing that were in Gwent are: Beachley Army Training camp, Caldicot Castle, Risca and Tredegar Park. Tredegar Park is the most recent, about 4 years ago!! The problem with Cardiff as far as I'm aware is the cost and the Council allowing the venue, thats why we have been at Leckwith in the past couple of years rather than the parks. I was going to put one on in Barry the season before last but it didn't come off.

September 30, 2009 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil

Thanks Simon and Phil. Barry begins with a 'B' and would meet Dominc's criteria for selection (there again so does Birmingham..)

Good to know the history here. Maybe the organisers are also trying to expand the appeal of the race by drawing in clubs from further afield ?

September 30, 2009 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim

The quality too. When ever a meet is in the West Country the standard is much much higher, and therefore a better spectical to watch and participate in.

September 30, 2009 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuart C

High quality - I had noticed Stuart !

If the name was changed before (from The Pontypool XC League) presumably its possible to do so again ?

The Western (or Welsh and Western ?) XC League maybe. Or the Drivethru Gwent League ?!

Welsh & Western sounds good...

October 1, 2009 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim

On the Gwent League award plates the Severn bridge features prominently along with a dragon and unicorn.
Is the unicorn associated with England? I know it's a rarely visited land by the Welsh but I believe the last few unicorns went some years ago (Jeff?).
As for the dragons, I bump into those in town on many a night out ;-)

October 1, 2009 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterMatt

I'm sure Jeff is the best person to ask, but i believe the reasoning behind the venues is the very much more practical question of:
a) which clubs are willing to host a fixture - which is a pretty major undertaking, given the overall numbers of races and athletes.
b) suitable venues.
The number of options open to the league is actually remarkably limited. And you'd be surprised by some of the reasons we don't go to certain venues. A few years ago I used to really enjoy racing at Exeter, there was a large hill to climb, a stream to run through, and some good fast running. Unfortunately, one day some youths turned up with air rifles. Needless to say, we haven't been back since!

October 2, 2009 at 3:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterMick

Seeing as we're approaching the big day of the first Gwent League, it seems like a good time to remind you to declare your intentions to run to team captains Phil and Yvonne. And seeing as numbers are always huge, please get there at least an hour before Start Time - you need to be declared, and, as this incorporates the South Wales Regional Championships, you'll be wearing a number so please bring pins. Look out for the Red Tent!
Please note also that this is the main selection race for Wales for the upcoming Home Countries Masters International at Birmingham on November 14.

October 7, 2009 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterMick