The Welsh Runner

He has a sub two and a half hour marathon record. An unbelievable 1:11:04 half marathon record. And an instagram feed that will inspire any runner, novice or amateur.

This is the Welsh runner. As posted on his account: “It won’t happen in a day but it will take a day to make it happen,” boasts the motivational athlete.

Matt Rees has only been running for two years. Having bought the most lavishly expensive pair of trainers, he soon realised comfort beat cost.

“I stuck with some comfy trainers I had been using for the gym which happened to have enough cushioning to run on. The next step was to just get out there. Although, I only ran twice in the first two weeks,” Matt said.


After constant and ongoing process, Matt now runs for his local club with determination to keep improving.

So what does our hero think about our turf?

“South Wales is perfect for running,” said Matt, adding that the various routes offer plenty to entertain. “I vary road, trail, grass, hills, and coastal routes to keep it interesting. We have some of the best scenery in the UK and arguably the world,” he added.

Matt believes such scenery, such as his most-most loved Welsh beaches, parks and forests, helps motivate and inspire runners to go outdoors and seek some adventure.


Matt told AppyRun that his favourite route is The Gower:”the coastal path around Gower is incredible. I love it. You can run for as long as you like and you experience the best views every time you go around a corner.”

According to The Welsh Runner, this offers no flat ground. Hills and vales occupy this route – alas, the views at the end of the toil are worth it. Freed by the element of nature and solace, Matt said: “I feel free running down a hill, it kind of feels like I’m a kid playing again. I have been known to stick my arms out to the side like a plane, but only when no one is around.”

“I need to choose what to wear in these conditions. A good waterproof jacket is key in Wales, but they can get toasty.”

An unbeatable, unbreakable runner, perhaps? Let’s account for Welsh weather!Matt admits it’s tough to motivate himself during Welsh gales and winds “The worst is when it’s really windy. It makes it so hard and can really get you down. I just keep reminding myself how good I feel after a run,” he said, adding that the hardest part is getting ready.


Although the Welsh weather can halt runs in their tracks (pun intended), Matt feels fortunate for the conditions we experience. With runner friends abroad struggling for coolness in the heat and others failing to run at all due to snow, Matt said he is ultimately grateful for our country’s mild running conditions.

From personal experience, Matt advises trail runs for fun but road runs for personal bests.”I train on the track a fair bit and it’s great for specific sessions but it’s definitely not my favourite,” he said.







Daily Prompt: Tempted

via Daily Prompt: Tempted

We have all been there. The 6am 5k VS the alarm clock. The afternoon light jog VS Pret a Manger’s lunch deals. Or hammering a 10k in the evening VS iPlayer and a constantly brewing kettle.

Temptation is all around.

While some think of it as ‘defeat’, others think of it as ‘deserved rest.’

Doubtlessly, everyone deserves rest days. But did you deserve 14 in a row?

AppyRun is here to remind you that a small run is better than no run. A workout is better than a stay-in. Even if it’s your thighs clapping at your 2 mile jog – you’re still getting applause!

Start the new year as you mean to go on: with optimism, determination, and a healthy heart and mind.

100 Mile Month Challenge

One hundred miles. One hundred and sixty kilometers. One hundred and seventy six thousand yards. One month. Sounds scary, right?

But AppyRun did the math for you in our attempt to inspire, motivate, and encourage participation in this awesome year long event. Launched by the 30-day challenge company, and as it says on the tin, the feat is to run 100 miles in the specified time period. Log your time and distance virtually, complete the challenge, and win a shiny new medal.


So here’s the breakdown:

  • 100 miles over four(ish) weeks = 25 miles per week.
  • 25 miles over seven days = realistically 3.5 miles per day, with the extra two days at the end of the month
  • Complete the challenge this way – and feel the burn!

AppyRun, however, encourages rest days to allow the body to recover. Personal trainer Daniel Hough of DH Primed said, “Running is an impact cardiovascular exercise, so unlike strength training, a higher level of stress and pressure is put onto muscles and joints.”

“The body needs time to allow tissue to repair itself, so structuring more than one rest day is crucial in your training plan.”


If you’re up for this challenge, Hough recommends:

  • Five miles for five days, with two rest days
  • Eight miles on three days and one mile on one day with three days rest
  • Ten miles on two days and five miles on one day with four rest days

And if it is just the challenge you’re up for, then AppyRun recommends a no-pressure approach. Challenge experts Eat Drink and Be Skinny said, “This one is pretty simple, you can walk it, run it, jog it, crawl it.”

“By simply committing, making a small effort and tracking your daily mileage, you’ll be amazed at how fast it adds up!” they added.

Sign up with Awesome Virtual Running for the February 2017 challenge. £12, 100 miles, a brand new medal and the biggest sense of running achievement.


parkrun: the world’s favourite family

In this cold and windy new year, there’s one thing that promises to warm our hearts. The simplicity and welcoming nature of the well-known parkrun is something families and friends constantly enjoy.


AppyRun invites you to look back at last year’s success of the weekly Saturday morning 5k’s, following an inspiring gesture of gratitude from parkrun co-founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt, CBE.

He said, “I still find it hard to believe that a concept as simple as a free run with friends and family has captured the imagination of more than 1,000 communities across 14 countries.”

Paul also thanked the many generous volunteers, “everyone who has worn the high-vis this year and marked out courses, timed, scanned, processed results and everything in between.”


Since launching in 2004, the organisation has partnered with a small number of organisations that align with our values. Paul expresses his gratitude to these, and promises 2017 will continue these thriving partnerships.

So what happened last year?

“We showed exactly what parkrun is about – equality, respect, tolerance and being proud of our communities.”

Their spirit remained strong and proud as Little Stoke parkrun fought council efforts to charge the group for using the park. While this was unsuccessful – and stressful! – Paul was uplifted by member’s and volunteer’s dignity and drive against the case.

On an ‘appier note, 2016 saw a record registration of three million runners, and 1.1 million different people partaking at some point. “None of that would have been possible without the 142,000 amazing people who gave their time to volunteer,” beamed Paul.

In 2016, the 1,000 communities involved expanded to Sweden and Canada. Now 14 countries are part of the parkrun family.

Parkrun Poland’s efforts were acknowledged when they won an award for Most Significant Running Event while parkrun UK was awarded Participation Event of the Year at the Sport Industry Awards.

Chief Executive Nick Pearson and Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams lead a dedicated team ensuring all 1,000 UK parkruns were safe and efficient.

Paul concluded that, “our vision is to create a healthier and happier planet by continually breaking down barriers to participation and bringing people together from all walks of life whenever they want to come along.”

View the parkruns hosted weekly in South Wales here:

Barry Island parkrun

Bryn Back parkrun

Cardiff parkrun

Cwmbran parkrun

Gnoll parkrun

Grangemoor parkrun

Newport parkrun

Penallta parkrun

Pontypool parkrun

Pontypridd parkrun

Porthcawl parkrun

Riverfront parkrun

Swansea Bay parkrun

Join the SportPursuit

Tired of ruining your new kit? Fancy a bit of a sportswear spice up?

Now you can. SportPursuit is a revolutionary new membership club that delivers fresh gear to your door on a regular basis.

So why is it so different, you ask? Once the kit reaches you, enjoy it only for seven days before ordering a brand spanking new kit and awaiting the short delivery period of 3-5 days.

Uniquely, they don’t hold the inventory for any products, but order it directly from brands when you make a request. The benefit of this approach is the excellent prices and gear hot off the press. SportPursuit told AppyRun that the discounts are always generous at 30%-70%.

The top running brands include Garmin, Canterbury and Inov, while the outdoor wear boasts Mountain Hardwear and Gore Bike Wear.


“We…believe the best kit should be available to anyone who is active – no matter what level. It shouldn’t just be for the pros,” said SportPursuit. Their ideology is to encourage a revolution and inspire people to find gear they’ll love.

Satisfied customer Hugh McLaren said, “absolutely fantastic service…I love SportPursuit!”, while Steve Mcmillan said “fantastic products at realistic prices – my first port of call for sporting goods.”

With a vast team of over 70 staff from all sporting backgrounds, the service is well-run, efficient, and quick to amend any mistakes as Facebook users have commented. And they’re expanding. SportPursuit are officially hiring more staff in a mission to deliver more goodies to your door.

To make the most of these fantastic offers, Join SportPursuit now.

The Uni-Lite Night Trail

The Uni-Lite Night Trail – unite for this epic 10k fun


Bryn Bettws Lodge, Pontrhydyfen, Port Talbot, South Wales SA12 9SP


Saturday 6th May, 2017, 7:30pm



A tough, undulating course made even tougher if you don’t beat the sunset in this approach to Summer – head torches required.

“Your finishers mug/flask…will be filled with tea/coffee or even beer at the finish line!”

How much?

£20 (plus online booking fee and NRW facilities fee)


The finish line isn’t the end! During and after the race, a live DJ and food (including vegan and veggie) will be available for all. Chip timing, free parking, and a “finishers mug/flask that will be filled with tea/coffee or even beer at the finish line!” said race organisers.

Cardiff Bay Run


Roald Dahl Pass, Cardiff Bay


Sunday 2nd April, 2017, time tbc


A flat, friendly run around Cardiff’s famous bay. Whether you speed on ahead and finish, or just run as much as you can for fun, this race is a great day out for families.

How much?

£22 (non-affiliated)


Support the affiliated charity Cystic Fibrosis when you sign up, before picking up your winning medal and technical race t-shirt.