Coaches

Geraint Cuddihy - Head Coach

Geraint joined the club three years ago in 2015 and has been Head Coach since January 2017. He completed his Welsh Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness Qualification in 2017 and is due to complete his Welsh Athletics Coach in Running Fitness Qualification in the Spring of 2018.

He heads up a dedicated team of Assistant Coaches and Volunteers to plan routes and design training plans to cater for all abilities at the club. Geraint is a fun, friendly and caring person who is always there to help anyone achieve their goals.

Geraint started running to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle and had no intentions of entering any races. Within 3 months he signed up to the Cardiff Half Marathon and hasn't looked back since. He is currently training for his biggest goal yet - The London Marathon.

Karl Baynton - Assistant Coach

Karl joined the club in January 2017 having never run before in his life and was instantly hooked.

After volunteering at the club for several months he completed his Welsh Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness Qualification in January 2018. With the support of the Head Coach and other coaches he hopes to give something back to this great club and its members.

His personal ambitions are to get a few full and half marathons completed over the next few years, and continue to provide a fun, fantastic and friendly atmosphere for the Members of Ystrad Runners.

Debbie Carter - Running Lead

Debbie joined the club in July 2016, and completed her Welsh Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness Qualification in July 2018.

She enjoys leading all groups of all abilities, ensuring everyone is made to feel welcome and enjoys the sessions.

With Ystrad Runners she has progressed massively knocking over 2 minutes off her 5k PB at Parkrun, slowly increasing her distance to conquer multiple 10k runs and running her first half marathon in October 2017

David Williams - Trainee Coach

Dave joined the club in Month 2017 and has enjoyed encouraging his fellow members to achieve their goals. He is due to complete his Welsh Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness Qualification in Spring 2018.

He enjoys helping out with all abilities.

Dave enjoys just getting out and going for a run and participates in local runs.

Amy Bevan - Assistant Coach

Amy joined the club in July 2016 in the hope of improving her running and achieving her goal of running 5k in under 30 minutes. Her PB is currently just over 27 minutes. Amy's favourite distance is 10k and has constantly got races lined up in her diary, particularly trail runs and those involving a few hills!! Her current goal is to complete the Forest of Dean half marathon in September 2018.

She has recently gained the LiRF qualification and is looking forward to helping other club members achieve their goals and to give something back to the club.


Rob Evans - Assistant Coach

Rob started Penallta Park Run in August 2016 with no running experience. He progressed to running the full 5k within 4 months and was addicted. Wanting more experience, Rob joined the club in April 2017 and soon progressed to win the ‘Most Improved’ award for that year. He has always enjoyed helping other club members, building their confidence to achieve their goals.


Graham Wearne - Assistant Coach

Graham joined in January 2018 having spent the previous year trying to improve his running, including running 26 park runs. Since joining he has completed Park Bryn Bach (6miles), Caerphilly 10k, Castle to Castle (11miles) and last week the Cardiff Half Marathon.

This has taken a lot of hard work but says he would not have achieved this without the support and encouragement he has received from all the coaches at the club as well as the other like minded runners. Now Graham has joined the coaches to help support the club.

Gareth McMahon - Assistant Coach + Club Secretary

Gareth joined the club in January 2018, after completing the Cardiff Half Marathon in 2017 following a New Year’s Eve ‘dare’.

Since joining, Gareth has been able to run the Caerphilly 10k, Bryn Bach Park (6m) and reduced his 5k PB by 3 minutes.

Gareth enjoys running with all members of the club and is looking forward to completing his coaching training in the New Year.

Hannah Wickham - Volunteer

Hannah joined the club in May 2017 after struggling to keep up running on her own and currently volunteers with the A Group on club nights.

She enjoys helping new members who haven't run before and have little self confidence, that they can achieve so much within a friendly and supportive group.

Hannah enjoys long distance runs with a good few hills, and getting off the beaten track and exploring new places.

Martyn Birch - Assistant Coach

I’ve been a member of Ystrad Runners for just under 2 years but have been running on & off for over half my life. Having started running at school over 400 & 800 metres, (sub-60 secs & under 2 mins respectively for you stattos out there) I didn’t run anything much longer until the early ’90s, where I eventually ended up running the London Marathon in 1995 for Macmillan Cancer in around 3 ½ hours.

Having kick-started my own fitness again initially for health reasons and to lose weight, I’ve come to enjoy running for running’s sake, especially off-road, where the scenery around here is second to none and it takes your mind off the hills, well almost! Some of you may see me as competitive, but the only person I’m ever really competing against is myself – how hard, fast, long can I run. I know that I’ll never be able to run a sub 3:30 marathon again (probably), but that won’t stop me from striving to improve from where I am now (aging body permitting!)

Something I personally set a great store in is the sharing of knowledge and helping others and now is the time I want to pass on some of my experience to my fellow club members, which is why I am undertaking the Welsh Athletics coaching programme, to give me the right tools that will enable me to share my knowledge for the benefit of all in Ystrad Runners

Kevin Baker - Assistant Coach

My running journey really happened by complete accident. I hated running and didn’t see the point of running somewhere you could get to by car or walking. Then I went to watch the Cardiff Half Marathon in 2017 and somebody asked me to do it with them next year. Kinda felt like I had too at the time so signed up to the 2018 event. Now I needed to start partaking in a sport I wasn’t really fond of doing. Quick search pointed me towards Ystrad Runners and after contacting club found myself there in a very cold January 2018. To my surprise I ran 5k that evening without much trouble and thought to myself, I could be quite good at this.

Without the structure and support of the club and the friendly atmosphere that goes along with it, none of it would have been possible. The coaches are dedicated to helping everyone achieve their running goals however big or small. Everyone has their own reason for running and a positive I’ve found is you can switch off from the world as your pounding the streets, great for your well-being.

For me as I’m writing this, I take part in my first marathon in Newport on Sunday, Snowdonia in October and after that...I’m not sure where the journey is going, all I know is I enjoy every minute of it, which is the biggest shock of all to me.

So if anyone reading this is thinking, I’d like to give it a go and join the club but I just don’t think I can run, my advice would be, the hardest part of the journey is taking the first step, you’ll meet people who share all the same fears and anxieties we all have gone through running and everyone at the club will support you in anyway they can. You never know, you could be running your first marathon next year...

Sam Hyde - Social Secretary

I love to run & I love to chat... I’m looking forward to arranging fun social events to allow members to get to know each other and build on the already fabulous camaraderie of our fantastic club!