A CHALLENGING 11-mile race organised by a Torfaen running club is returning in October, and this time it will support of one of the club's longest-serving members who is living with terminal cancer.

This year, Pont-y-pwl & District Runners' annual Ponty Plod race will raise money for Velindre Hospital to support Mike Brunnock, former vice chairman of the club and longstanding run leader for the club’s beginners First Steps group.

Mr Brunnock, who also regularly volunteers at club events, has been told that his treatment for brain and lung tumours is now at palliative stage because his condition is terminal.

To show their support for Mr Brunnock and his partner Nicola Smith, who is also a run leader and club committee member, the runners organised the Ponty Plod, an 11-mile multi-terrain race where half of the proceeds raised will be donated to Velindre.


This year, for the first time, and additional seven-mile run has been added in order to open the race up to more runners.

The Ponty Plod is an unashamedly tough race through the spectacular countryside around the Llangdegfedd Reservoir, which takes in a range of challenging hills and terrains, and it has quickly become a fixture in the running calendar in South Wales and beyond.

The seven-mile event, the Partial Plod, is designed to be more accessible for more people, while keeping the stunning views which made the original Plod – now renamed the Full Ponty - so well-regarded.

Club chairman and race organiser, Dimitri Vorres, said: “Mike is a hugely popular and dedicated member of the club, and we were devastated to hear about his recent cancer prognosis.

“It’s really important to us that we show our support to Mike and to Nicola while they’re going through this incredibly difficult time, and we hope that the running community will do the same by entering the races.

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(The Ponty Plod has been organised by Pont-y-pwl Runners in aid of Velindre Hospital to support former vice chairman Mike Brunnock, who is living with terminal cancer. Picture: Michael Halpin.)

“We also felt that adding the option of a shorter race would widen the appeal of the event, and help us raise as much money as possible for Velindre Hospital, where Mike is being treated.”

The Ponty Plod starts near to Llangdegfedd Sailing Club at 10am on Sunday, October 13.

Entry costs £15 for affiliated runners, and £17 for runners without a club.

To enter, visit fullonsport.com/event/full-ponty-partial-plod/profile