The talk given by Bernie Plain was a truly enjoyable one. This dedicated and inspiring man is really a running legend. 50 years in athletics so far, and his love for the sport comes across in every sentence. He started with cross-country, and when he finished last-but-5 in the world championship, he thought “I am going to have to do something about this”.
In 1969 Bernie started to train twice a day, which was unheard of. He sacrificed his job as a qualified engineer to get a job at Maindy Stadium, so he could work and train. He is known to many as Parky.
In 1970 he broke the John Merryman record for 10,000 metres. His ability to cover 3 distances is unique and he still holds some British records today. Although not classified as professional, Bernie applied a professional attitude in the early stages of his career. This grit and determination allowed him to build up his stamina. He said, that to be involved with a world record was incredible and he felt honoured to run.
1973 saw Bernie in his first British vest, and although in those days there was no money involved in the game, there were prizes, such as 28 bottles of wine. Not an easy thing to bring through customs. His achievements are too many to list, but what comes across from Bernie is his genuine passion for running and his sincere willingness to encourage running at any level.
It was an evening filled with memorable stories, laughter and inspiration. Bernie has promised to return for another talk and possibly a run, which we welcome you to join. You will not be disappointed. We at Run and Become would like to thank Bernie for a brilliant evening, for his inspiration and many laughs. Thanks also to David Evans Berry for taking photos of the evening.
— Ujjiti Channing
Just a brief word to say diolch yn fawr for the chance to listen to Bernie Plain talk about his career the other night - what a great idea. for someone like me who's just starting out with running, he gave me a lot of inspiration and encouragement. We can always push ourselves a bit further than we do, and he certainly has given me some inspiration, although, I don't think I'll be doing 170 hours a week like he was doing at the peak of his career. It was very interesting and I'm sure it was a great experience for him too, to share his stories, after all, he's had some great successes. Diolch yn fawr ”
– Elliw Iwan
Many thanks for arranging the evening with Bernie Plain yesterday. I tried not to appear starstruck in his presence! As I boy and a junior member of Cardiff AAC, I looked up to him a great deal. I admired him because he 'made it' and showed it was possible to do so coming from my home town and thus training on the same streets I trained on, rather than living in privileged conditions in America or elsewhere. He too had to run in the rain! ”
– Timothy Cross
Had a great time. It was really entertaining and staff were really helpful. Great event. ”
– Phil Brobin
Excellent thankyou what a training regime 140 miles that's nothing 520 miles a year for me they are in a different league. I might join him for a run again one day!!”
– John Warren
Bernie Plain (left) and Ron Hill, 1976 Polytechnic Marathon.
Bernie wins in 2:15:32
More about Bernie Plain...
Legendary runner Bernie Plain has held every Welsh record from 3000m to the marathon and raced against some of the best in the world - Ron Clarke, Ron Hill, Ian Stewart, Kip Keino and Lasse Viren, Dave Bedford and many others.
“It's been a privilege!” – Bernie Plain
Bernie’s Best Times:
1500 metres - 3 48.6
3000 metres - 7 59.2
5000 metres - 13 38.6
10,000 metres - 28mins 14 secs
20 miles track - 1 hour 40 mins 32 secs (British record)
5 miles - 22 mins 30secs
10000 metres - 27 mins 36 secs
10 miles - 48 mins 4 secs
Half marathon - 62 mins 10 secs
Marathon - 2 hours 14 mins 36 secs
Major race performances
AAA 10 miles track champion
4th Boston Marathon
7th Commonwealth Games New Zealand 1974
4th European Marathon 1974
Twice winner Poly Marathon Windsor 2nd twice Poly Marathon
3 times Cardiff Marathon Winner