Pumsaint trail half marathon race report
Sunday, 18th September saw the second Pumsaint trail half marathon take place in the beautiful cothi valley, and the numbers of entries were proof of the growing interest in this popular race. Perfect weather conditions also made for perfect running conditions which resulted in fantastic times. Sarn Helen’s Sion Price making his debut appearance at the half marathon smashed last year’s winning time by 8 minutes by finishing in a breath-taking time of 1.25.30 with his average time per mile of 6.37 on those hills with a 2000ft climb, was incredible! Four more runners also broke last year’s course record of 1.33.52 including the record holder himself Gareth Payne, Sarn Helen who finished over 5 minutes faster this year in 1.28.34 which made him the M40 winner and 3rd overall. Seth Kennard, Saffron Striders was the 2nd to cross the line in 1.25.48 with Sarn Helen’s Daniel Hooper finishing overall 4th and 2nd M40 in 1.33.16, with his team mate Glyn Price placed 3rd M40 in 1.34.50 The fifth runner to break the course record and taking nearly 3 minutes off his previous time was Sarn Helen’s Simon Hall who finished in 1.33.42 placing him 5th overall and 3rd open male. In the M50 category, it was Rob Falconer, Swansea Harriers who was the 1st to cross the line in 1.43.43, with Sarn Helen’s Calvin Williams 2nd in 1.45.40 and Mark Terry, Trots 3rd in 1.51.32. Sarn Helen teammates Tony Hall and Murray Kisbee gave great performances by finishing 1st and 2nd respectively in the M60 category in 1.48.51 and 1.49.38 with Croft Ambrey runner, Gary Gunner finishing 3rd M60 in 2.04.01. The 1st lady to cross the finish line was open female, Heddwen Daniel, Cardiff AAC in 1.46.30, Sarn Helen’s Dee Jolly finished 2nd open female in 1.52.03 with Jana Weidemann 3rd open female in 2.10.51. Second lady to finish and winning the F35 category was Llinos Jones, Amman Valley in 1.46.40, with 2nd F35 going to Wendy Price in 1.51 and Sarn Helen’s Eleri Rivers finishing 3rd F35 in 1.57.34. Cardigan’s Jane Wilkins was the 1st F45 to cross the finish line in 2.08.39 with Delyth Crimes, Sarn Helen finishing 2nd F45 in 2.23.03. Sarn Helen’s Dawn Kenwright won the F55 category with her strong performance of 2.05.29. Other great performances from Sarn Helen members included Andrew Davis in 1.40.32, Michael Davies 1.44.55, Steven Holmes 1.48.37, George Eadon 1.52.26, Mick Taylor 1.55.20, Mitch Readwin 2.06.50 and Emma Gray 3.18.22. The 6.5 mile race followed part of the half marathon course and the winning time of 43.12 by Stephen Corbishley, Rossendale Harriers, was also a course record. The 1st female to finish was Alison Terry, Trots in 1.13.23, with 1st local female going to the incredible Jane Holmes, Sarn Helen in 1.17.39 who took 15 minutes off her previous time, and 1st local male went to Eirian Davies, Llangadog in 1.25.01. Sarn Helen’s Thomas Willoughby and Tomos Morgans ran exceptionally well battling all the way with Willoughby clinching it at the end with a time of 49.53 with Morgans finishing 50.03. Teammate Joseff Thomas also gave a strong performance finishing in 1.03.13 with Sarn Helen’s Emma Davies having to test her willpower by running past her house and not stopping for a tea break on this tough, hilly course, finished strong in 1.25.01. The day also included junior races with under 5’s all receiving a medal for running 100 metres, with the primary and secondary children running 1 mile on the forestry trails. Rhys Williams, Sarn Helen was the overall race winner and the 1st primary boy in 6.01 with 2nd primary boy going to teammate Rhodri Gregson who was 5th overall in 6.29. 1st primary girl went to Seren Davies, Carmarthen Harriers in 6.35 with Sarn Helen’s Gwenllian Llwyd finishing 2nd primary girl in 7.03. It was a very close battle between the secondary school boys but Daniel Willoughby, Sarn Helen clinched the lead finishing 2nd overall in 6.06 with teammate Gwion Payne finishing 2nd Secondary boy ad 3rd overall in 6.07. Alaw Jones, Sarn Helen was the winner of the secondary girls in 6.31 with Chloe Lewis 2nd in 8.09. Other great performances by Sarn Helen juniors were as follows, Daniel Morgans 6.11, Cai Allan 6.35, Jamie Jones 6.55, Harri Rivers 7.04, Casi Gregson 7.24, Beca Jones 7.37, Nia Williams 7.43, Delun Davies 9.35 and Elin Evans 10.12. Race organiser, Carwyn Davies, Sarn Helen, decided to donate the day’s profits including a grand raffle towards a bereavement suite at Dinefwr ward, Glangwili hospital as it had very personal connections with two local people and Carwyn’s friends, and they managed to raise a staggering £4000 with money still flowing in.
Final preparation for Iron man wales was almost over for Sarn’s David Thomas as he completed his last official event before the big day on Saturday 3rd Sept. The Gower triathlon is of Olympic distance and Thomas finished in a combined time of 2hrs 34.His strengths showed in the swim and run where his 10k time of 46 mins placed him 10th in the Male veteran category.
On Sunday Sept 11th Jane and Steven Holmes continued their strong and fast fight against cancer as they both completed the New Forest Half Marathon exactly two years after Jane received her final blast of Chemo. Further treatment followed including an operation to remove a part of her lung but she refuses to let this affected her and ran a post-surgery PB of 2hrs 27. Husband Steven has struggled with injury but was pleased to finish in one piece with a time of 1:33.
The talent that is Richard Marks has once again made Sarn Helen immensely proud as he repeatedly placed top of the podium in the last 3 Welsh Masters track matches and led a team of 5 Sarn runners home in Cardiff 10k whilst donning a rose red Welsh Vest. Two of the track meets took part in Swansea where he placed 1st M60+ in the 1500m at the first match and repeated the claim at the third where his outstanding time of 5:10 won the race overall. The second match took place in Brecon where his time of 10:57 to cover 3000m again placed him 1st overall against men more than 25 years his junior.
Racing around Cardiff on Sunday September 11th Marks began to feel his pace falter during the last 3k but pushed on to finish in a year’s best time of 38:37 and individual silver as 2nd M65 (first place going to a renowned English runner who went on to win the team prize for this age category). Second Sarn Helen runner home was George Eadon in 43:33 with close friend Martin Darby in 47:31. Joseph Thomas, 17yrs, ran his first official 10k race and enjoyed the crowds and atmosphere to finish in 52:43. Helen Willoughby, our only lady, started strong but fell foul to injury at the 6k mark and her finishing time of 46:39, although not her goal still placed her 8th F50.
The dawn of Sunday September the 18th saw the start line of the annual Swansea bay 10k where two Sarn Helen families were ready for the off. The massive event, organised by Run Britain and sponsored by Admiral, had its biggest turn out yet and placing in the top 50 Kenneth Caulkett stormed to the finish in an exceptional time of 35:39 while his wife, Jenny Caulkett, scored a big PB in a time of 51:36. In the junior events Sean Wood took n the 3k course and ran a time of 16:17 with younger sister Charlie running 5:07 in the 1k run.
Taking place on Sunday 4th Sept, Compressport Trail 10k Wales is the latest addition to the event roster at Coed y Brenin, which is a stunning 10k route on its iconic trails. Many Sarn Helen members had entered this race but for various reasons Dawn Kenwright was the only club representative on the start line and maintaining her good form finished 1st F60 in 57.37.
Further east, saw the “Source of the Severn” held by Maldwyn Harriers , which is an approx 9 mile race through the multi terrain of the Hafren forest to find the source of Uk’s longest river. This fell race is a firm favourite with Sarn Helen’s Calvin Williams, and the race did not fail to disappoint again this year. Although a bit wet under foot, Williams managed to finish 12th overall and 1st M50 in 1hr 10min. Closer to home was the hilly Emlyn 10k with four club members making an appearance. Not long back from injury youngster Sion Price gave a cracking winning performance taking nearly 2 minutes off his previous time but missing out on breaking the course record in a mere 2 seconds with his time of 36.50. Experienced veteran Glyn Price won the M40 category in 42.10 with Aneurin James finishing 1hr 3 min. The overall female winner was Sarn Helen’s Helen Willoughby in 50.27.
Saturday 20th August saw the 33rd Annual Race the Train in Tywyn where this year the course was very slippery and heavy underfoot which made for very tough running conditions. However Kenneth Caulkett braved the elements and beat the train time of 1h 48m in 1h 31m 43s and finished 7th overall out of over 800 runners.
A warm bank holiday weekend made for some tough racing in two already tough trail runs as Sarn Helen delivered strong teams at both the famous Ras Beca running its 39th birthday on Satuday 27th Aug and at a brand new event which consisted of a 10k and half marathon; The ‘Narberth Nobbler’ on Sunday 28th. One Sarn athlete seemed unaffected by the humidity or mass of mud as Simon Hall came out top in both races.
Placing 6th overall in the gruelling up and down 5 mile Beca race wasn’t easy as he takled waist high bogs and 3ft ditches as well as racing hard against two experienced team mates. Hall came out first Sarn runner in 42:16 while Glyn Price placed 2nd M40 in 42:22 and Andrew Abbott 3rd M40 in 42:31. Despite having moved over 200 miles away Abbott, who’s racing record is phenomenal and includes a 10k PB of 34 mins, cannot help but return for this one of a kind fell race and over the years has won the event 5 times.
Calvin Williams placed 3rd M50 in 46:38 and Dee Jolly, the only lady Sarn runner, was unable to replicate her previous win but still placed 3rd OF in 49:17. Mick Taylor ran 52:36, Huw Price came next in 54:41 and Gareth Jones finished well in 65:28.
The junior races don’t route the runners up the trepid climes of the mountain but instead along a mile of sticky bog with no clear path marked. A superb run from one Sarn Helen junior led to an unusual result in the 11’s and under race as Alaw Jones not only placed 1st girl but was overall winner of this event. She was closely followed by Rhodri Gregson (3rd boy) and Sean Wood. In the 8s and under race Nia Williams placed 3rd Girl and Charlie Wood ran well across the reeds.
Hall’s unusual decision to compete in two events in just two days paid off as in the new trail event, held from the community field in Narberth, he raced fast and hard for the first two miles resulting in a win in the 10k event. The course was long at nearly 7 miles and although not hilly the woodland trails was slick and tricky. His time of 48:58 placed him an easy 1st while his long term partner Dee Jolly placed 3rd overall and 1st lady in 56:47.
Gareth Payne also had a challenger during the first half of the half marathon as he raced hard for pole position up until mile 8. The experience of Andrew Reynolds took hold from there on and the Neath Harriers runner finished the 13.1 miles first in 1:31:59 while Payne placed a strong 2nd in 1:34:48. Veteran 60 runner Tony Hall ran a time of 1:57:51 despite a twisted and swollen ankle putting him 19th overall.
The same Sunday saw Sarn Helen members travel to the English boarders of the Severn Bridge where the Severn Bridge Half Marathon returned after two very successful years and having won the highly acclaimed Best New Race in the Runners World Personal Best Awards. The event started on the Western end (Chepstow) of the bridge on the motorway itself and went along the bridge and back. Ken Caulkett ran a superb race to finish 11th overall and 7th open male out of a pack of 2018 runners in a time of 1.21.06, Mitchell Readwin ran 1.54.13, jenny Caulkett although disappointed with her run after pulling her calf muscle still managed to finish in 2.17.25 and Nicola Higgs finishing in 2.21.28.
Closer to home saw Sion Price showing a strong return to fitness after injury by finishing fourth in the tiresome and hilly St Clears 10k in a time of 36.11.
In the Aberystwyth AC race calendar Borth 10k is never an event to be missed and this year, on Sunday 7th Aug, 14 Sarn Helen competitors took on the intense winds and problematic sand with the aim of good times and possible category places. It was soon clear that the strength of the wind was dramatically going to affect all the runners times and what could have been a battle of speed also turned into a battle of strength and perseverance.
The first Sarn Helen runner to cross the line was Ken Caulkett in 38:18, 4th Overall and 3rd Open male. Sion Price ran 40:05 to finish 9th overall with Glyn Price placing 3rd M40 in 41:31and Mike Davies, returning from injury, finished in 44:31. The two Sarn ladies ran well with Helen Willoughby finishing in 48:14, 1st F45, and Jenny Cauklett ran 56:22.
A tough group of Sarn Helen juniours completed the 1 mile slog along the sand with Jack Caulkett running well to finish 1st boy aged 11-12 in 7:05 so very closely followed by Rhys Williams in 7:06 who placed 2nd boy aged 9-10. Caulkett’s three sisters finished very much together with Isabella-10:05, Violet-10:10 and Maddie-10:46 while Nia Williams placed similarly to her brother as 2nd girl aged 7-8 in 9:37. Another brother and sister team resulted in Sean Wood running 8:46 and younger sister Charlie in 10:14.
Richard Marks claimed another spectacular title over a longer distance than his usual track antics at the Brecon 10mile road race on Sunday August 7th. The Sarn Helen veteran ran the distance in a staggering time of 1:07:10, pacing him at well under seven minutes per mile and over three minutes in front of his closest rival. The race is completed with a lap of the red track which suited Marks unquestionable speed and he finished as 1st Male 60+, 37th overall, in a field of over 250.
The Poppit Sands 5K series was concluded on Tues 9th Aug with the biggest turnout of 2016. The same 5k route and 1 mile childrens course is held three times thoughout July and August where prizes are available for the individual races but points are also collected in the aim of winning the series. Although a smaller Sarn Helen turn out this year, those who did attend came home with some fantastic times and plenty of prizes. On all three occasions luck would have it that the sand was relatively firm, the winds minimal and the evenings weather pleasurable.
Round one was held on July 12th and the first Sarn runner home, Thomas Willoughby, placed 1st Youth Male in 20:38, with first F45 going to his mother, Helen, in 22:51 and another 1st this time the F35 class, going to Eleri Rivers in 24:04. A great run from F45 runner Delyth Crimes saw her place 3rd in her class in 26:18, her fastest time of the series. In the Children’s race Rhys Williams placed 2nd Junior boy in 9:26 (his fastest time of the series) with Alaw Jones winning the Senior Girl class in 9:47(her fastest also).
Hari Rivers ran his Poppit PB of 11:17 as did the battling due Sean Wood and Owen Davies with 11:54 and 11:55 respectively. Charley Wood enjoyed her first outing on the sand in 13:49 while siblings Jac and Mari Rees , although running all three, ran their best in round one with 12:28 and 16:49. In the adults race Sarn members George Eadon, Emma Davies and Emma Gray continued on to run the whole series but scored PBs in 21:27, 33:19 and 33:56 respectively.
Junior member Williams upped his game for the second test on July 26th as he placed 1st JB while Alaw Jones continued to shine placing 1st again while Cai Allen ran his best time of 10:22.
The Willoughby family ran strong again with repeated performances from Thomas placing 1st Youth and Helen as 1st F45 while younger brother Daniel‘s PB time of 22:02 placed him 3rd Youth. Sion Price began his comeback from a broken food to place 5th Overall in 18:54 and Jan Jones ran her only Poppit of the year in 33:05.
In the 3rd event a clean sweep of winning positions for Alaw Jones, completed on August 9th, meant a series win for her as 1st Senior girl. Rhys Williams’ second win at the final fixture also placed him 1st Junior boy throughout the series while personal best times were ran by the following Junior Sarn Helen Members; Rhodri Gregson 10:53, Beca Jones 12:47, Nia Williams 12:52, and Steffan Rivers 17:40.
Sean Price’s second attempt was even more impressive than his first as he finished 2nd overall in 18:20. Glyn Price placed 1st M40 in 19:57 with Tomos Morgans claiming 2nd Youth Male in 22:17. Helen Willoughby gave another outstanding performance taking the hatrick in the F45 category and off course, the series win. Haydn Lloyd ran a time of 25:06 while Martyn Darby ran 25:49 and Elin Neal 25:54.
On Sunday 14th August the undulating 10k challenge that is Cardigan Mayors Race was held with four Sarn Helen representatives. Michael Davies was the 1st of the club to finish in a strong time of 42:13, placing him 2nd M40. Veteran 50 runner Tony Hall showed some guts and speed during the second half of the course, which with a time of 43:48, placing him 2nd M50, definitely paid off. One minute behind in 44:48 Dee Jolly placed 2nd Open female and knocked nearly 2 mins off last year while Michael Taylor ran a good time of 45:55.
The Merlin Sportive is now in its 9th year and although new routes were be had this year both Sarn Helen road bikers opted for the original 102 mile Cothi course. With a total climb of over 7,000ft the route starts and finishes in Carmarthen while traveling as far west as Newcastle Emlyn and as far east as Brynamman. Dorian Rees was over 10 minutes faster than last year as he completed the challenge in 5hrs 51 while David Thomas continues to gain bike experience and finished in 6hrs 15.
The Llangadog fun run was held on Friday evening, 22nd July, where two Sarn Helen families cleared house. Youngster Gwion Payne was overall winner of the 2k fun run in 7:37 with his dad Gareth tested himself after a recent injury and won the 10k race in a fantastic 36:51. The Davies family performed outstandingly with son Owen completing the 2k in 11:07, father Carwyn running home 2nd in the 10k with 39:04 and wife Emma scoring a big PB over the same distance in 1:09:11.
The running extraordinaire that is Richard Marks took to the track on Wednesday evening, 18th May, just three days after completing the audios 16 mile Sarn Helen Hill race to compete in the 1st Match of the Welsh Masters League. Held in Swansea the event is certainly long evening for Marks as he was competing in two events but the results conclude that it was worth the trek. Running a time of 5:17 over 1,500 meters Marks placed an easy 1st M60+ and not long after in the 3,000 meters event Marks ran 11:20 to place 2nd M60+. A promising start to the league for Marks!
The same evening a team of Sarn Helen took on the trails at Hafod Estate at the annual Ras Y Hafod. With the evening being cool and dry the midges were kept at bay and in the Secondary school boys category we had great success with Gwion Payne placing 1st and Daniel Willoughby placing 2nd. Family talent proved strong as Willoughby’s mother took part in the 10k adult’s race and won her second race in less than a week.
On Sunday the 15th of May Helen Willoughby, along with Sarn Helen’s Donna Teed-Davies and Wendy Readwin, took part in the Aberystwyth ‘Race for Life’ where Willoughby won the new 10k event in 44 minutes. On the firm underfoot forestry tracks of around Hafod estate Willoughby’s time of 55:20 placed her again as first lady with teammate Delyth Crimes winning 1st F40 in 1:04:53. Andrew Davis gave another top category performance with a time of 48:55 putting him 2nd M40 and 6th overall.
With the athletic and road race season now in full swing our Sarn Helen Club were represented all over wales on Sunday 22nd May. Kenneth Caulkett continued to move from strength to strength with another top 5 place in another big event. Set in the beautiful Snowdonia national park it was the 5th annual Snowdonia Half Marathon and so far the course has changed every year. Starting and finishing in Llanwrst this years’ race was the most challenging yet and with a time of 1:26:42 Caulkett placed an impressive 4th overall and 2nd in his field.
In a very different event, just over the mountain, Gareth Payne was making a name for himself at the Snowdonia Slateman Triathlon where he took part in the ‘full’ course. Comprising of a 1,000m swim surrounded by mountains, a 51K bike course through the heart of the Snowdonia National Park and an 11k run across an awesome slate quarry there are few more iconic races than the Slateman. With his swim placing him centre of the pack it was his outstanding 7th place bike and 5th place run that put Gareth on the podium as he finished an outstanding 9th overall and 2nd M40.
Only one Sarn Helen man was brave enough to attempt the Velathon Wales long course this year as David Thomas continues to work through injury by swapping his trainers for a Bike. The 140km course is a closed road sportive designed to challenge any cyclist and to test endurance. Thomas finished his tour of Cardiff and its surrounding hamlets in a great time of 4hrs 45 mins.
It was a warm Sunny day for the 37th annual Sarn Helen hill race in Lampeter, a premier race of its kind in Wales. Combining the speed of road racing with the rigours of cross country and fell running over a challenging picturesque 16.5 mile course. After 20 years of hard work and commitment in organising this race, Lyn and Eileen Rees and Tanrhos family transferred the responsibility to a small group of club members with Carwyn Davies, who is also the Pumsaint half marathon organiser, named as race organiser.
The first race of the day was kicked off by 31 juniors who ran an exceptionally tough 1.7 mile course mainly through woodland tracks and fields. All youngsters showed fantastic strength and determination and crossed the finish line to great support on the Lampeter rugby field. The winner of the race and the secondary school boy category was Tomos Morgans from Ysgol Y Preseli in a cracking time of 11.58, closely followed by Sarn Helen’s Gwion Payne in 12.20 and 3rd secondary school boy went to Daniel Willoughby also of Sarn Helen in 13.02. The first secondary school girl was Sioned Wallwork, Cardiff AC in 13.22, 2nd going to Sarn Helen’s Grace Page in 14.41 and 3rd going to teammate Isabella Caulkett in 16.14.
First primary school boy, Daniel Morgan, Ysgol y Frenni was also 3rd overall in 12.29, with youngster Liam Regan storming through the finish line as 2nd primary boy in 12.59 with Sarn Helen’s Rhodri Gregson finishing 3rd primary boy in 13.21. Alaw Jones of Cwrtnewydd had a remarkable run and was the first girl to finish aswell as winning the primary girl category in 12.40, Gwenllian Llwyd of Sarn Helen was the 2nd primary girl to cross the finish line in 14.50 with Caryl Haf Lloyd, Carmarthen Harriers hot on her heels finishing as 3rd primary girl in 14.53. Other Sarn Helen junior results were as follows: Jack Caulkett 13.02, Joseff Thomas 13.18, Rhys-Tom Williams 13.42, Dafydd Lloyd 13.44, Jamie Jones 14.01, Harry Rivers 14.50, Leah Regan 15.25, Beca Jones 16.12, Sean Wood 16.15, Owen Davies 16.57, Violet Caulkett 17.08, Nia Williams 17.58, Gwen Thomas 18.12, Llyr Rees 18.16, Maddie Caulkett 23.11.
This year’s relay event which consists of three legs averaging 5.5 miles with a monstrous climb in each was won by Steven Holmes, who continued to run the full race, Thomas Willoughby and Paul Edwards with a combined time of 2.10.49.
The main race saw 48 tough runners take on the arduous 16.5 mile course with 2,123ft elevation in warm conditions. This year’s winner was Gancho Slavov, Aberystwyth Ac in 1.51.44 who was also the M40 category winner. It was a very close battle between the 2nd and 3rd M40 with only a second separating them but Sarn Helen’s Daniel Hooper claimed 2nd in 2.02.31 with teammate Glyn Price 3rd in 2.02.32.The OM category was won by Sarn Helen’s Ken Caulkett who was also 2nd overall in 1.54.40 with teammate Simon Hall finishing 3rd overall and 2nd OM in 1.58.41. Dave Powell, Aberystwyth AC clinched the M50 category winner again this year in 2.08.14 with Rob Falconer, Swansea Harriers 2nd in 2.13.44 and Sarn Helen’s very own mean machine Tony Hall finishing 3rd in 2.16.10.
This year’s ladies race saw a new winner in Claire Cleathero, TROTs with her debut run of 2.15.35, and she was also the F35 category winner. 2nd overall was also 2nd F35 Louise Barker, who has supported this race many times before, crossing the finish line in 2.23.15. Llinos Jones, Amman Valley Harriers was 3rd F35 in 2.27.43. Sarn Helen’s Dee Jolly was 3rd lady overall but winning the OF category in a personal best time of 2.24.51 knocking nearly 6 minutes off her previous time. 2nd in the OF category went to Tasmin Leighton, Aberystwyth AC in 2.27.26 with 3rd going to Jana Weidemann, Myddfai Milers in 2.58.41. The female 45 category winner was Kate O’Sullivan, Aberystwyth AC in 2.39.45, 2nd going to Wendy Tromans, Emlyn Runners in 2.51.20 with 3rd going to another Emlyn runner Heulwen James in 2.54.06. Great performances was also had from other Sarn Helen members and results are as follows: Andrew Davis 2.10.09, Steven Holmes 2.10.51, Kevin Hughes 2.12.59, Murray Kisbee 2.18.00, Calvin Williams 2.22.13, Mick Taylor 2.24.59, Carwyn Thomas 2.26.08, Richard Marks 2.26.55, Eleri Rivers 2.28.17, Terry Jones 2.35.30, Huw Price 2.35.37, Sian Roberts-Jones 2.36.03, Aneurin James 2.36.37, Heather Hughes 2.57.22, Eric Rees and Carol Rees 3.29.12 and Nicola Higgs 3.29.20.
This year’s race was kindly sponsored by Simon Hall Meats, Llanllyr water and Daulton ATV, with a £500 cash prize donated by Teify Forge Ltd to the 1st man and 1st woman to beat the course record but Alan Cole’s record of 1.34.29 still stands since 1982 and the ladies record of 2.00.08 is still safe with Dawn Kenwright since 1990. The new race committee wish to thank all volunteers on the day which made it another successful Sarn Helen Hill race.
It’s been a busy May weekend for Sarn Helen as we have competed at a local triathlon, TWO ultra-distance events, a charity fun run and claimed some serious prizes over the Preseli mountains.
Sunday May 8th saw another Campau Caron event take part in Tregaron as two Sarn Helen members lined up for a sprint Triathlon. The organisation is working hard to promote athletics and multi discipline events through all ages and abilities with this being their third event of the year. A junior event was held at the same location but both our members were seniors and out for a blast. John McDonagh has held the torch for the three style event since completing the Tenby Iron Man in 2014 and finished today’s effort an impressive third overall in 67:17. Consisting of a 400m swim, 15 miles bike and a 5k run David Thomas has improved no end to finish in 74:10, 6th overall, but the veteran truly showed his strength placing 2nd fastest in the 5k run.
On the same day in the scenic village of Trap near Llandeilo another three Sarn Helen men were found pounding 4.7 miles of country roads in the Trap Show Charity Fun Run. Starting and finishing at the Cennan Arms the community and family based event saw a whopping turn out between the seniors, juniors, runners and walkers. In the adults event it was again Ken Caulkett who came out on top for Sarn as he finished 3rd overall in 27:23. Winning the M45 category Glyn Price ran a time of 28:52, showing a true return to peak fitness, with brother, Huw Price placing 4th M50 in 34:01.
It was a hot afternoon for the children to racing and over a fair distance of 2.8 miles but there was no stopping them as they ran well and enjoyed. In the youngest class Jac Rees pushed his father hard to finish in 30:04. Year 5&6 girls saw Violet Caulkett 4th in 30:12. Another great win for Rhys Williams in the year 5&6 boys with Rhodri Gregson flying to finish in 22:57. Jack Caulkett ran strong, like his father, in a time of 22:38 in year 7&8 boys while sister Bella Caulkett came 4rd in girls years 9-11 in 30:12.
Not quite so hot a day, Saturday 7th May, was a big day for nearly 400 runners as they all attempted to tame the now famous Preseli beast. Never before would I have thought that such a tough and technical run could be SO much fun but it was described as such by all Sarn Helen who took part on the day.
Another fantastic performance from a man who is growing in strength, confidence and ultimate speed put Gareth Payne not only 1st overall in the Beast Bach 11 mile event but also saw him claim the second course record in two weeks after his first place last week in Ras Crannog.
Previous record holder, Sarn Helens Dylan Lewis was injured, gloomy as unable to attend and when eyeing up the competition at the start line it was hard to predict performances. It soon became evident however that there was no one to challenge Payne and he finished to the furious beat of drums in a time of 1:18:01.
Simon Hall ran an outstanding race and was challenged to the end, finishing 3rd overall in 1:26:15. Andrew Davis also shone on the day to finish 5th M40 in 1:34:06 and Dee Jolly, running over the terrain that she loves, placed 5th lady overall, 2nd Open, in 1:44:50.
Helen Willoughby’s name, appearing on the start list of the Preseli Ultra Beast- the bigger and much tougher brother to the 11 mile Beast Bach-came as a surprise to some but her staggering efforts, placing her 2nd F45 with very little distance training, made everyone proud and elated. Her strength really shone during the middle section of the 32 mile event. Covering open fells, mountainous tracks and quite frankly terrain that doesn’t always favor Willoughby’s light footed running in just 7 hours 25 minutes is mountable only by the fact that it consisted of 5,800ft of climb. A superb display of fitness and determination from the lady responsible for holding 5 courses, so far, of the Couch to 5k plan in our home town of Lampeter which has encourages countless numbers of people to become fitter, healthier and to ‘get out there!’.
The same Saturday saw Nigel Davies covering a different range of mountains and hills as he took part in the Malvern Hills Ultra Marathon, his third ultra- marathon of this year so far. It was a double distance marathon, out and back, over 52 miles of very challenging off road course. Following the Worcestershire way over the Malvern Hills it included over 6,500ft of cumulative ascent. The race was a self-navigation event, as most ultra-marathon are, and of the 66 starters only 55 would eventually finish.
Davies was again up early as it started at 7:00 am and he covered the first marathon quite well reaching the halfway point in 4 hours 27 minutes, 9th overall, and enjoyed the views from the hilltops on the way. As the day wore on however temperatures rose to reach 23 degrees with the second half proving to be tough for Davies. Again he struggled with hydration and sickness and a tragic navigational error, just over a mile from the finish, saw him running in the wrong direction for 2 miles before realizing his mistake. He eventually found his was back on track and finished in a very respectable 11 hours 11 minutes, 17th overall.
If you're a runner everyone tends to ask you if you’ve run the London marathon which might explain the high number of entries and the fact that hundreds didn't even make the ballot. This is an iconic race with an electrifying atmosphere, as the runners pass historical landmarks with support from thousands of spectators. 6 Sarn Helen runners made the start line on Sunday April 24th, one through a charity, four gaining a place through the “good for age” scheme and one with a club entry. All 6 runners had a fantastic race with 3 finishing under the 3 hour and 3 receiving their personal best times. Terry Wyn Jones has run this marathon 4 times, twice representing Sarn Helen and twice (this year being his 2nd) running for the Fire fighters charity along side some of his colleagues. He ran an exceptional race taking 4 minutes off his personal best time by finishing in 3.38.07. Caryl Wyn Davies returning for the second time also had a great race knocking 18mins off her pb in 3.39.02. 26.2 miles sounded like a warm up for our ultra man Nigel Davies and although he had a cracking time of 3.22.10, Nigel wasn't overly pleased but his legs knew they had 52miles to run on the Malvern Hills in 2 weeks time! The three to beat the 3 hour mark was Kenneth Caulkett, Tim Jones and Carwyn Davies; Ken also gained a 6 min pb finishing in 2.49.16, Tim stormed through the finish line in 2.53.11 and Carwyn running his 6th London marathon finishing a second slower than last year in 2.58.50.
Whilst the marathon was taking place in London other Sarn Helen members were busy running other races. Offa's 'Orror is a 20k multi-terrain race on and around Offa's Dyke in the beautiful Wye valley, close to the village of Tintern, with the route mainly on footpaths and forest trails with around 480m of climbing. Amongst the 231 runners were Sarn Helen’s Eleri Rivers, Helen Willoughby and Aneurin James, with Eleri finishing 14th overall in the women's race and 9th in the female 40 category in a time of 1.53.01; Aneurin finished strongly in 1.58.24 and Helen Clinching 3rd prize in the female 50 in 2.02.05. The last race of the day was Ras Crannog, which started and finished in the Urdd camp in Llangrannog and it was a day out for the family with junior and adult races and Sarn Helen were well represented. In the 1k race for yr 3-4 Nia Williams finished in 5.46, with her brother Rhys Williams winning the 1.5k race for yr 5-6 in 5.28, Owen Davies finishing in 6.48 and Sean Wood in 7.42. In the girls 1.5k race, Faye Jones was the winner in 6.01 with Beca Jones finishing in 7.11. Leading the way for yr 7 & 8 on a 3.5k course was Gwion Payne in 14.28, and it was a successful day in the Payne household as Gwion’s father, Gareth also won the adult 10k race which was a very tough course over trails, tracks and coastal path, but he finished with a smile on his face and breaking the course record in 37.19. Simon Hall finished second in 40.37, with father Tony Hall 1st in the veteran category in 45.21. Mitchell Readwin had a storming run finishing 4 minutes faster than last year in 49.42. Sian Roberts-Jones was the first female to cross the finish line also breaking the course record for the ladies in 49.27 with younger sister Helen Davies following behind in 58.06.
The Red Kite Challenge ½ marathon held around the spectacular beauty spot of Devil's Bridge was held on Saturday, 30th April which also included the UK Athletics Short Course Trail Championships and the Welsh Championships. This seems a popular race on the Sarn Helen calendar despite being a tough and challenging course and the club received several medals in both UK and Welsh Championship with two podium places as Gareth Payne finished second overall and 1st M40 in 1.35.21 and the youngster Sion Price gaining more and more confidence and strength finished 3rd overall and 1st OM in 1.39.11. Glyn Price won the M45 category in 1.43.28 with experienced Tony Hall also winning the M60 category in 1.59.14. Calvin Williams and Aneurin James were happy with their times of 2.03.59 and 2.15.25 respectively, in preparation for the Sarn Helen Hill race on the 15th of this month. Eleri Rivers was 3rd F40 in 2.12 and Dawn Kenwright came 2nd in the F60 category in 2.19.09. In the Junior UK & Welsh Trail running Championships the Page sisters showed good form with older sister Caitlin winning the U20 female race and sister Grace finishing 8th in the under 15 race.
Sarn Helen Cycling
Event days have been surprisingly fine for three of our keen Sarn Helen competitors as they have taken part in two big scale and bigger mile rides in April with the youngest athlete coming out top. On April 17th Dorian Rees, Carwyn Davies and David Thomas all attended the Bynea Cycling clubs 30 mile Time trial that travelled along the A40 from Manordeilo to Abergwili and back. The route was relatively flat considering the surrounding hills allowing Carwyn to travel at speeds of up to 36 MPH as he finished in 1hr 19 followed by his uncle Dorian in 1:24 and newby to the wheels David Thomas in 1:28.
The following sunny Sunday April 23rd saw the same three team mates riding the beautiful Pembrokeshire roads in the ‘Tour Of Pembrokeshire’ bringing them as close to home as St Dogmaels where they surveyed the Afon Teifi before turning back south to the base point of Crug Glass House in St Davids. All three bravely opted for the long course which led them over 100 miles and up 10300ft of climb with miles 60 to 70 causing the most pain. Once again it was Carwyn Davies who piped his uncle Dorian Rees to the post with only 1 minute separating them. Davies, 6 hrs 52 and Rees 6 hrs 53 and a man on a mission David Thomas finished in 7 hrs 39.
One Sarn Helen member decided that placing 2nd overall in the UK trail ½ marathon championships on Saturday 30th April just wasn’t enough and the very following day took part in the famous ‘howies Dyfi Enduro’ 60km mass start Mountain Bike Race. Starting and finishing in Machynlleth town centre the event covers 30 miles of hidden trails through the Dyfi Forest with over 1000 riders attempting the 1900ft of ascent. A mechanical fault near the start caused a stumble for Payne as he dropped from a top 10 position to closer to 60th whilst he corrected himself. Not to be deterred however he climbed back up the places and finished an incredible 13th overall in 2hrs 48. An inspiring bank holiday weekend of competition for Payne as he goes from strength to strength!
Race Report- Ras Hwyl Cwrtnewydd 2016
The skies cleared just as the gun went off for the primary school 1500 meter race this bank holiday Monday, May 2nd, in Cwrtnewydd at the 29th annual fun run held at the local school. It’s questionable as to whether the event will reach its 30th birthday as we await the grand opening of the new school but historically the day has raised funds, community spirit and athletic awareness mainly thanks to the unwavering local support and the assistance of the Rees family, Tanrhos.
With a BBQ, cakes and local chatter to catch up on it was another family fun day after but only after all the hard work and physical effort was over.
The primary school race steadily inclines for the first 800 meters with all competitors striding out in a flurry to finish during the last 400 meters. Little spererated the first group of runners but first across the line in a spectacular time of 6:15 was Rhys Williams with his cousin, Daniel Morgans placing 2nd in 6:28 and 3rd going to Rhodri Gregson in 6:32. Alaw Jones finished strong in 6:30 as first girl with Gwenllian Jones 2nd in 6:58 and Lisa Jenkins 3rd in 7:10. Special awards for the 1st Cwrtnewydd school pupils were given to Alaw Jones and Jac Rees.
Other Sarn Helen runners were : Rhys Tom Williams 6:40, Nia Williams 7:22, Hari Rivers 7:24, Beca Jones 7:28, Sean Wood 7:32, Owen Davies 7:35, Alex Bonning 8:23, Violet Caulkett 8:23, Maddie Caulkett 8:24, Llyr Rees 9:14, Elin Evans 10:51.
A tough route consisting of a double dip climb didn’t appear to hinder any of the 3000 meter runners in the Under 16’s race with Tomos Morgans, 3rd place for the last two years, clinching the win in a fantastic time of 12:56. Jack Caulkett placed 2nd in 13:58 and Arwel Williams finished 3rd in 15:43. Not much separated the girls with Lois Jones 1st in 16:01, Isabella Caulkett 2nd in 17:09 and Beca Jenkins 3rd in 17:40.
In the 4 mile race near to 50 adults adorned their trainers to take on the might that is Cwrtnewydd hill, half a mile of severe climb to the finish line where some grow strong but some blow a gasket. This year it appeared as though not the hill nor tired legs from the UK trail ½ marathon championships two days previous were hampering the strong legs of Sarn Helens Sion Price as he flew across the line in 22:20. Aberystwyth AC’s Rob Johnson finished in strong 2nd in 23:11 and Sion Lewis of Carmarthen Harriers ran 3rd in 24:40.
A fast start and fierce finish placed Catrin Lewis as 1st Lady in 28:57 with Dee Jolly of Sarn Helen in 2nd with 29:32 and Menna Willians, also Sarn Helen 3rd Open female in 38:18.
A solid turn out of veterans made for some brilliant battles and resulted in Glyn Price, so local that the course passes his front door, finishing 1st M40 in 25:05. Another local legend Nigel Davies finished 2nd in 26:57 and to fill the podium with Sarn Helen Mike Davies finished 3rd in 27:24.
Eleri Rivers again gave a performance to mention as she too had claimed a medal at the Trail half marathon the same weekend as well as placing 1st F35 in 30:17 at Cwrtnewydd. Second went to teammate Sian Roberts-Jones in 30:45 and 3rd also to Sarn Helen in 35:02, Heather Hughes.
Only one minute separated the M50 class with 1st and 2nd places going to team mates and men of great esteem and character, Richard Marks 27:13 and Tony Hall 28:04. Third place went to the familiar face of Hywel Jones in 28:30.
A superb performance by Sarn Helen’s Helen Willoughby placed her 3rd overall in 30:09 and earned her the 1st F45 trophy with fellow club members Dawn Kenwright 2nd in 30:55 and 3rd Delyth Crimes in 36:58.
Other Sarn Helen times on the day: Simon Hall 25:15, Carwyn Davies 25:53, Murray Kisbee 29:23, Thomas Willoughby 30:13, Joseff Thomas 30:30, Paul Edwards 30:38, Mitchell Readwin 33:18, Carwyn davies 33:35, Dorian Rees 35:03, Eric Rees 35:38, Jenny Caulkett 36:12, Gareth Jones 39:44, Meinir Davies 41:25 Emma Davies 45:18, Emma Gray 45:53.
As part of the HBA Endurance Challenge Series, a 5, 10 and 20 mile race was held in Llanelli on April the 3rd and for Sarn Helen's Carwyn Davies and Terry Wyn Jones, the 20 miler was a perfect race ahead of their London marathon. The out and back course headed out through stunning countryside towards the north of Llanelli. Carwyn finished 12th overall in a fantastic time of 2.16.54, with Terry crossing the finish line in 2.42.53, both times setting them in great form for London.
Further west on the same day the Crymych Duathlon was held which was a 10km run, 40km Bike and a final 5km run. With being a naturally talented runner and cyclist, it was no surprise that it was our very own Gareth Payne who won the race, and although he admitted that the final run was brutal, he managed an incredible overall time of 2.25.14. David Thomas is becoming a familiar face in the duathlon and finished in a respectable time of 2.57.47.
Our famous veteran club member Dawn Kenwright has spent a few weekends away from home recently and on each vacation she seeks a competition. Both she and her daughter-in-law competed in the Conisten 14 mile road race on the 19th of March with Dawn claiming the silver medal in her age class. The race has been labelled as one of the most beautiful road races in Britain and the route winds round the largest body of water in the Lake District, Lake Windermere. A large field of 1600 runners where there on the day and Kenwright ran a time of 1:55:06.
Not long after on April 10th Kenwright found herself another challenge up near the well known village of Corwen where this time she collected the Gold in the trail event Rhug 20k. Two laps of a 10k course took her round the massive 12,500 acres of Rhug estate which boasts a beautiful private mansion and organic farm. Over a terrain of forest tracks, food paths and fields Dawn ran a time of 2:09:33 to take away First Female 60.
The Asics Greater Manchester marathon is known as the UK’s flattest, fastest and friendliest marathon which took place in Trafford on Sunday 10th of April and it delivered a day of sporting greatness, lively entertainment, inspirational stories and fantastic athletics performances. It was a fine, sunny morning as the 9,500 runners lined under the Trafford Arch on the A56 with the running legend Ron Hill starting the race. Amongst the crowds was Sarn Helen’s George Eadon running his 2nd Manchester Marathon and although he’d suffered an injury leading up to the race he finished in a great time of 3.30.47.
The West Wales Tenovus 10km was held in the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne on Sunday 17th April. Now in its fourth year, this race takes place in the spectacular surroundings of the gardens, and with steady inclines and mixed terrain, there is no doubt that this is a challenging but enjoyable race whilst also supporting a great charity. One junior member, Sean Wood ran the 5k race finishing 12th, and two Sarn Helen ladies ran the 10k with Helen Willoughby finishing 3rd female in 48.07 and Dawn Kenwright was 1st F45 in 48.13.
Sarn Helen Cycling
Clwb Sarn Helen Club cyclists hosted their first open time trial event on Easter Monday 28/03/16, promoted for and on behalf of Cycling Time Trials under their Rules and Regulations.
A field of 16 cyclists entered the event to take on the infamous climb that is Tychrug, starting in the village of Talsarn, the course took the riders to just over 1000ft above sea level rising 840ft in just 2.4 miles with parts of the climb at a gradient of 16%.
With storm Katie passing overnight, the cold drying conditions made for some very promising times.
The fastest rider on the day was local man Gareth Payne stopping the clocks with a time of 11.25.6 followed by Dylan Lewis in a time of 12.14.6 both having completed the Teifi 10 the previous day in 5th and 4th respectively. Next over the line was Andy Fogg in a time of 13.02.9 having travelled all the way from Warwick. Also travelling from Warwick was the only lady cyclist Jaqueline Hodson completing the course in 15.33.1. Other results are as follows:
Huw Jones 13:11, Trys John 13:16, John Mcdonagh 14:52, Dorian Rees 15:07, Richard Marks 16:58, David Thomas 17:23, Eric Rees 17:35, Paul Edwards 18:46.
A word of thanks must go to our official CTT timekeepers Mr. Robin Field and Mr. Norman James for making the journey from South Wales. Also the club would like to thank Mr. John Dalton of Dalton’s ATV’s for the use of their premises for signing on and results. A special note of thanks to the Rees and Davies families Cwrtnewydd for providing the refreshments after the event and all the marshals and helpers on the day.
The feeling of déjà vu hung heavily in the air this year at Sarn Helen Running Clubs Teifi 10mile road race as for the third consecutive year the running phenomenon that is Martin Rees came, ran and conquered the world record for a man his age over 10 miles. Rees, who runs for Les Croupiers running club based in Cardiff, had no need to attend the World half Marathon held in his home town the previous day as he already owns the world record time for a man of 63yrs running 13.2 miles and after his outstanding performance Easter Sunday he has a further title to his name. Placing 2nd overall in a time of 56:14 Rees dominated the veteran classes and it was announced as he accepted his prize and chocolate egg that he had taken a mighty 6 minutes of the previous global best.
As the Cambrian News reported the closer of Llanfair Bridge due to its near collapse the club began to question if the race itself was going to take place this year as the bridge marks not only the half-way point but is crucial to crossing the river Teifi. A sign of relief was breathed by many as the news came that the bridge was open to pedestrians allowing the event to carry on. Conditions on the day were warm and breezy with returning runners fighting the wind that was aiding them during the first half.
Victory on the day went to open male Neath Harriers runner Steven Rees, a regular to this 10 mile route, who pulled away from Veteran Rees over the second half and finished in 55:20. After a well won battle between Sarn Helen friends 2nd open male went to Sion Price (58:19) and 3rd to Dylan Lewis (58:24). Closely following these two Lads was Sarn Helens Iron Man Gareth Paybe who won the M49 category in (58:38) with 2nd going to Chris Fulcher of Neath Harriers(62:07) and 3rd to keith Richards of Aberystwyth AC (63:31).
With the renowned Martin Rees winning the M50 class 2nd went to his team mate Royston Whitehouse (61:25) and a close 3rd was Alan Davies of Llanelli AC 61:36.
The ladies race was dominated from the offset with Claire Cleathero of TROTS heading out strong and determined. By the half way bridge there was no one to contest her win and she finished in a great time of 69:44 placing 1st overall and winning 1st Female 35. Second in the same category was Heather Hughes of Sarn Helen with another big PB (83:01) and 3rd went to unaffiliated Rebecca Johnson (85:43).
Sarn Helens Dee Jolly won the Open Lady Class after a strong second half despite the head wind (73:38) with 2nd going to Brecon Tri runner Donna Morris (74:25) and 3rd to Katie McDermott of Sarn Helen (78:16). The female 45 title went to Catherine Bleasdale of TROTS (76:29) with silver going to the very next runner to finish, Helen Willoughby of Sarn Helen (77:13) and 3rd going to her team mate Dawn Kenwright (79:29).
Despite the challenges faced by the event this year with the uncertainty of the bridge and the World Famous half marathon being held the day before we still attracted nearly 80 runners. This is largely down to t outstanding organisation, support and atmosphere of the event and Sarn Helen would like to thank all those involved, we will see many of you next Easer.
Other results for Sarn Helen, Ladies first; Caryl Wyn Davies 79:17,Donna Davies 85:52, Carys Davies 89:00, Jenny Caulkett 93:22, Emma Gray 118:19. Let’s not forget the men; Tim Jones 62:03, Simon Hall 63:30, Glyn Price 65:39,Carwyn Davies 65:42, Kevin Hughes 66:07, Andrew Davis 66:34, Richard Marks 68:04, Andrew Abbott 68:50, Kevin Regan 68:59, Michael Davies 69:24, Nigel Davies 70:07, Tony Hall 70:25, Carwyn Thomas 70:45, David Thomas 72:23, Murray Kisbee 73:01, Terry Jones 81:11.
Sunday, March 13th was a very busy day in the running calendar for Sarn Helen members with numerous events taking place. As part of the HBA Endurance Challenge Series, Llanelli Half Marathon is regarded as one of the best in the UK by readers of Runners World. Starting and finishing at the world famous rugby ground Parc y Scarlets, the course takes in Llanelli's stunning Waterside and the flat, out and back course is renowned for PB’s, proven by two of our members this year. Mitchell Readwin took a minute of his previous best with 1:43:57 and Heather Hughes surpassed herself with 1:55:00. Husband Kevin Hughes was elated to run under 90 mins with 1:29:24 whilst Aunt and Niece team accomplished the task as a team in 2:38:44.
Across the border on the same day at Silverstone race track it wasn't the formula 1 cars racing around that attracted the spectators but the runners taking part in the "Silverstone half marathon" and amongst the competitors was Sarn Helen’s Terry Wyn Jones. Like many of the runners this race was part of his training plan ahead of the London marathon on the 24th of April and he was very pleased with his time of 1.45.43 which he ran with his Fire Brigade workmates.
Even further away was one Sarn Helen member who finds a race where ever he goes and Sunday march 13th he was in the London burrow of Finchley. Now organised by Hillingdon Athletics club the Finchley 20 mile race has been running since 1933 and the course entails 4 grueling laps of a 5 mile loop. David Thomas, who last week tried his hand at a Duathlon in the Mumbles, ran a time of 2hrs 37; looking good for London.
A new event named the Peace 5k was held the same Sunday at the National Botanical Gardens of Wales in Llanarthni and three Sarn Helen members braved the undulating a vigorous course. For lady winner Helen Willoughby (22:36) one race was not enough as she ran Ras Gwyl Dewi 10k later the same afternoon. Aneurin James ran 25:53 and Emma Gray finished in 33:54.
Sarn Helen running club was greatly represented at the long standing Ras Gwyl Dewi 10k and children’s races in Llanddewi Brefi on the same sunny Sunday. Dylan Lewis bagged another win with a time of 35:12 but was seriously tested by the young whipper snapper Sion Price who finished in 35:18. Third place was impressively pinched by Ken Caulkett in 37:06 leaving Llew Lloyd 4th in 37:19.
Eleri Rivers clinched another win for Sarn Helen and one more trophy for her expanding collection as first lady in 45:33. 2nd race of the day for Helen Willoughby and 4th lady in 49:13 with fellow team ladies achieving great results as follows- Donna Davies 53:09, Helen Davies 54:02, Fiona Davies 57:22, Husband and Wife team Emma and Carwyn Davies made a date of it and ran 65:57.
The Veteran male category was also a clean sweep of Sarn Helen and a furious battle for positions with Richard Marks 40:21, 1st M40, Nigel Davies 40:38, 2nd M40 and Andrew Davis 40:49, 3rd M40. Michael Davies is definitely returning to fitness in 43:26 and Thomas Willoughby pushed hard to finish 45:03.
The childrens races were relished by the runners who thrived in the fine weather and are up for a challenge but also enjoyed by the spectators who appreciate their efforts and elation.
Sarn Helen children placed well and all finished with a smile.
Under 9 (2km)- Nia Williams 1st in 10:22, Maddie Caulkett 2nd 10:56. Harri Rivers 1st 9:24.
Under 11 (3km)- Violett Caulkett 3rd 16:04, Becca Jones 5th 16:58. Rhys Williams 1st 12:33, Sean Wood 7th 18:43.
Under 13 (4km)- Gwawr Davies 1st 19:37. Jack Caulkett 1st 17:26.
Under 15 (5km)- Daniel Willoughby 22:32
On Sunday 28th February, Richard Marks travelled to Lee valley in London as part of the Welsh Masters team to compete in the Indoor Track & Field inter area competition. Marks ran the 1500 metre and the 800 metre race and finished 4th in both races.
The last fixture of the Gwent league was held at Brecon Leisure Centre, Penlan on the 5th March where our loyal Sarn Helen cross country runners were present. Although our experienced veteran Richard Marks finished 2nd to his strong component S . Johnston from Les Croupiers running club,, Marks still managed to clinch the V65 league title by one point. Rhys Williams and Beca Mai Roberts have both ran consistent in this year’s league and have shown some strong performances. At the last fixture in Brecon, Rhys finished 31st out of 78 runners in the Novice boys, and Beca finished 23rd out of 50 runners in the under 13’s girls race, which puts them both in good form for the upcoming season. Congratulations to all 3 runners for their dedication and supporting the Gwent League.
Also on Saturday, 5th March, the Rhayader round the lakes 5 mile and 20 mile race took place and 5 Sarn Helen members and some of the junior members took part. The 20 mile Race is a demanding race which runs through the picturesque countryside of the Elan Valley, over one of the most scenic courses in the British Isles. The race starts in Dark Lane near the Leisure Centre in Rhayader and takes you out around the lovely Elan Valley Reservoirs and finishes in The Smithfield in Rhayader; the 5 Mile race starts up in the Elan Valley and finishes in Rhayader. Ken Caulkett, Carwyn Davies, George Eadon and Caryl Wyn Davies all ran the 20 mile race and Carwyn’s wife Emma Davies ran the 5 mile. Every member showed great performances with Ken Caulkett finishing 6th overall in a field of 332 runners in 2hrs 9 minutes, Carwyn finished 30th overall and 18th in the senior male category in 2.22, whilst George finished 62nd in 2.31 and Caryl Wyn Davies showing great potential ahead of the London marathon by completing the 20 mile course in 2.49 placing her 7th open female. The 5 mile race was Emma’s first race for Sarn Helen, and this being her 3rd race in total, she made herself proud by showing great strength especially as she finished in a shower of hailstones! She achieved a time of 51.36 placing her 11th Female 35.
Sarn Helen’s Male captain David Thomas was competing solo at this year’s Mumbles Duathlon organised by Activity Wales Events on Saturday 5th March. Traditionally a man for the longer miles Thomas has completed over 50 marathons and been honoured to bare a Welsh vest at ultra-distance events yet as he has moved through the veteran categories he has been searching for other challenges.
Conditions were near perfect for the early morning start and 190 competitors took part in the Long Course Race. Thomas’s first 5k reflected the flat and fast course as he placed a respectful 68th with 21:39 followed by a 32km bike ride described as’ not too technical but with some interesting climbs’. Davids time of 1:14:03 was enough to keep him near the top of the pack as was his final 5k which he completed in 23:36. Thomas inexperience showed unfortunately during the transitions although his overall time of 2 hours 4mins placed him an impressive 97th overall and 37th veteran.
Five Sarn Helen team mates travelled across the Beacons and into the Taff Valley on Sunday 9th March to take part in the Merthyr Half Marathon which was held form the impressive Merthyr Tydfil College. The main attraction for this race was to visit and compete with an old and treasured Sarn Helen member who made many a long journey and competed in many club and team events over the 16 years he was affiliated to us. Mark Dunscombe now running for his local Aberdare team represented Sarn Helen all over the country during his time with us and trained weekly with the club despite the distance.
The clear and cold morning started with a bang as Christopher Readwin, the 6 year old son of a Sarn participant, won his junior race and a picture with Welsh Boxing Legand Lee Selby. In the surprisingly challenging adults event Simon Hall continued his remarkable performances as he finished 10th overall, in a field of more than 500, with a time of 1:23:55. Next over the line, after a frantic battle with one-time fellow Dunscombe, was Veteran 60 class winner Tony Hall with an astonishing time of 1:37:13 followed by Open Lady Dee Jolly in 1:39:42. Although unable to follow in his son’s winning footsteps Mitchell Readwin gave a reassuring and solid performance with a time of 1:46:51 while Dawn Kenwright won herself another veteran title as she ran 1:50:00 (1st F60+) and tested her legs after a recent injury.
February the 21st saw a new event in the trail race calendar with the” HOKA One One Winter Trail Half Marathon” organised by “Keep Active Swansea Events”. The event took in the stunning tracks and trails of Margam Country Park and The Upper Forestry. The course has some of the most spectacular views a runner can imagine in one of the most remarkable forestry and heathland in the UK. Unfortunately due to bad weather, the race organiser had to make the difficult decision to cut the race short at 11 miles to ensure the safety of all competitors. Despite being sent the wrong way by one of the marshals and being unaware of the shortened course Ken Caulkett of Sarn Helen had a fantastic race and finished in 3rd position; just 14 seconds after the winner in 1.13.22. Starting his final push too late for the fewer miles Gareth Payne still showed great form to finish 9th overall and 5th M40 in 1.14.15. Terry Wyn Jones incorporated this race as part of his training plan for the London Marathon and ran well in 1.43.40.
The Scenic and technical Ras Dewi Sant, held on Saturday 27th Feb, was organised by Man-Up UK and ran from St Davids RFC in Pembrokeshire where the brave opted for the tough coastal-path half marathon and the tougher elected the full 26.2 miles torture. It was an early start for our four Sarn Helen competitors as the race started at 9am but a pleasant surprise emanated as the weather cleared and bought out the best of the course and scenery. The air was fresh and the terrain muddy as the starting trigger was pulled, on a real gun! setting 167 runners along the beautiful paths and trails on a race to the finish.
Showing yet another outstanding performance was Sarn Helen’s Eleri Rivers as she finished the half marathon as 4th Lady overall and 1st FV40 in 1:54:30. Rivers has run well since completing her first Half Marathon in Cardiff in 2010 for Air Ambulance Wales but over the past 9 months she has claimed numerous titles and shown greater strength and determination with each race. 2016 is promising to be an outstanding year for Sarn Helen ladies with Rivers most certainly leading the way.
Helen Willoughby once again placed herself at the top of her age rankings as she ran the 13.1 miles in 2:04:26 (1st FV50) despite racing outside her comfort zone and her trepidation off road.
Both our male members also tackled the half marathon with Club Captain David Thomas admitting that his London Marathon training has hardly begun yet still pulling a time of 1:56:20 out the bag to place 3rd M50. Aneurin James a lover of anything muddy and technical ran 2:01:21 whilst grinning all the way round.
The following day, Sunday 28th Feb, two Sarn Helen teammates continued the cross country theme as they took part in the Pembrey Off-Road Duathlon organised by A Cycling. Held over the grounds of Pembrey Country Park this event is the only official cross country Duathlon in Wales with a challenging mixture of single and double track trails and even a run on the beach. Not being classed as a truly technical course it attracted a large crowd of both experienced and fresh competitors with 64 finishers.
It seems that having taken to competition slightly later in life has been a wise decision for Sarn Helen’s Iron Man Gareth Payne as his overall time of 1hr 57 was enough to not only win the Male Veteran category but to achieve and overall win by just shy of 6 mins. At the age of 42 he smashed the first 8km run in 37:49 while no other competitor ran under 40 mins. Coming a close 2nd in the 22km mountain bike with a time of 56:46 still left him with plenty of breathing space which wasn’t needed as his time of 20:59 in the 4km last running leg was again the fastest to be had. Despite Payne’s exceptional performance and long lead he remained humble and modest whilsh his team mates consider him to be edging on to one of Wales’s top Veteran duathlete.
It was only during the transitions from feet to wheels and vice versa that Payne showed any weakness and although the same could be said for Sarn’s Kevin Hughes his outstanding second run pushed him well up the rankings to 19th overall and 6th in his category. The first run he completed in 43:52 and was consistent with his off road cycle in 1:01:50 as both placed him in 20th position but his 13th place final 4k run in 23:32 showed his experience and stamina with an overall time of 2:18:40. Hughes has planned a bigger fish for this year in the form of Iron Man Wales and as a preview performance things are looking good.
Sarn Helen's ultra-runner Nigel Davies loves his challenges and has previously completed “The ring of fire” in Anglesey, (135 miles multi-day), Barry 40 (track ultra), Brecon 40, North Downs Way 100 miles, and his first major challenge of 2016 was certainly one of the toughest he has ever encountered.
The “Arc Of Attrition” in Cornwall is a 100 mile race on the Cornish coastal paths which started in Coverack and finished in Porthtowan and included 16000ft of elevation. Unfortunately the weather for the runners was appalling with torrential rain and gale force winds mixed with very low temperatures making it extremely tough for the competitors. With a 107 starters only 28 managed to finish with some having to pull out at 15 miles but Nigel braved the elements and managed to run for 21 hours and covered 74 miles before he had to end his challenge in St Ives.
Although he was understandably disappointed the medics confirmed that this was the wisest decision, and after a bowl of soup and a hot bath he felt better and said “More than anything I wanted a personal challenge, that's always been the motivator and this was by far the toughest on so many levels. The greatest learning point and the big thing to take away from all this is that my family in particular my long suffering wife Lorraine Davies and my friends new and old are all lovely supportive incredible people and I thank you for that. Also the kindness shown to me by complete strangers when I really needed it really has restored my faith in the human race, thank you all!”
Nigel is already back running and looking forward to Barry 40 in March and the London marathon in April and he has already entered his next ultra where he will be returning to Anglesey to compete in “The ring of fire” again this summer. His grit and determination is truly inspirational. Well done Nigel.
Whilst a large number of club members ran the Tregaron half marathon on February 14th, Caryl Wyn Davies, Sarn Helen and her boyfriend Gary Wyn Davies from Aberystwyth AC travelled overseas to Barcelona and spent their valentines competing in the city's half marathon. Caryl ran a strong race and finished in 1.39.32, and is now eager to run more overseas races in the future.
On the same day back on home ground and in much colder, although thankfully dry conditions, a total of 21 Sarn members tackled the local and popular Ras Cors Caron half marathon held in Tregaron. The club came away with many prizes and some fantastic personal bests starting with Dylan Lewis as outright winner with time of 1:17:39. Some frantic battles meant great times for many with Sion Price and Ken Caulkett running times of 1:19:10 and 1:19:18 respectively while the fight continues between team mates Dan Hooper (1:24:01), Simon Hall (1:24:10) and Carwyn Davies (1:24:37). Kevin Regan ran 1:32:23, Glyn Price 1:33:46, George Eadon 1:34:02, Kevin Hughes, 1:34:46 and a fight between the veterans resulted in Murray Kisbee, 1:38:33, Tony Hall, 1:38:46 and Huw Price 1:39:54. Llewelyn Lloyd, 1:42:22, Mitchell Readwin, 1:49:53, Aneurin James, 1:50:24, Terry Wyn Jones, 1:53:51.
First Sarn Helen lady home, and with a PB was Eleri Rivers, 1:40:59, Dee Jolly, 1:42:43, Heather Hughes was 5 mins faster than previously in 1:57:55, Delyth Crimes, 2:06:55, Fiona Davies 2:07:06.
The long standing Ras Cors Caron Half Marathon had record breaking entries this year and the beautiful crisp day ensured the successful event was once again enjoyed by the 129 local and travelled runners alike. The route and distance has differed and altered since the launch of the event in 1983 although the 13.1 mile route has run continuously now since 1998 with a Manucian named Jamie Loxam holding the course record of 1:14:10 whilst the ladies record is set at a staggering 1:26:21.
This year’s event took part on Valentine ’s Day, Sunday 14th of February and for most of the runners emotions were high, whether it was love, or hate.
During the undulating and scenic first half of the race the local speedster Dylan Lewis was mightily challenged by Neath Harriers Simon John who led and ran strong up until mile 8. It was on the relentless and awfully flat disused railway line however where Lewis put his head down and really pushed on the make the difference. It was a Cors Caron first time win for Sarn Helen’s Dylan Lewis with a time of 1:17:39 with his opponent Simon John finishing 2nd Open Male in 1:18:35 and to put these times into perspective, both these men ran each of the 13 miles in less than 6 minutes.
The result of a furious race from beginning to end was concluded over the last 100 meters putting an overjoyed Sion Price of Sarn Helen third across the line in a time of 1:19:10 winning himself the trophy for First Runner Aged 21 and Under whilst his sparring partner Ken Caulkett, also of Sarn Helen, finished as 3rd Open Male in 1:19:18.
Nerys Jones of TROTS and the Armed Forces gave a staggering and consistent performance to win the Ladies race by over 3 minus but going but her stats, a half Marathon PB of 1hr 21 and a Sub 3hr marathon time, her winning time of 1:34:11 was no surprise. Port Talbot Harrier and Veteran 45 Helen Jones was next to finish in 1:37:21 with unaffiliated Veteran 35 Wendy Price finishing 1st in her Category and 3rd overall in 1:40:14.
With 1st Open Lady going Jones, race winner, it was Dee Jolly of Sarn Helen who claimed the trophy for 2nd in 1:42:43 and Becci Darby of Emlyn Runners 3rd in 1:48:54. Second in the FV35 category was Sarn Helen’s Eleri Rivers who ran a Personal best time of 1:40:59 with a Celtic Tri runner, Jayne Arnold fighting hard to 3rd in 1:45:37.
It was long standing TROTS runner Catherine Bleasdale who came 2nd in the F45 class in 1:43:32 with even longer standing Cardigan runner Jane Wilkins placing third in 1:50:16. In the F55 class it was Anita Worthing of Aberystwyth AC who took home the gold in 1:47:30. Silver went to June Avery, all the way from Hastings in 1:49:12 and bronze went to Stephanie Warrick of Rhayader AC, 2:14:55. The trophy for Ladies aged 21 and under went 17 year old Eszter Pinter who ran a time of 1:53:43.
In the mens classes the Vet 60+ class was dominated by Mike Warrick, Rhayader AC, who at the age of 63 ran the course in 1:31:59. Runner up was Murray Kisbee, 1:38:33, hotly pursued by Tony Hall, 1:38:46, both of Sarn Helen Running Club.
Brecon AC’s Philip Kendrick took home the title of 1st M50 in 1:29:39, 2nd place went to a Swansea Harriers man, Rob Falconer with a time of 1:31:49 and 3rd position was claimed by a Pembrokeshire Tri runner, Richard Thomspon, in 1:33:24.
January has been a busy month for Sarn Helen’s junior member Caitlin Page, as she once again did herself, her family and the club immensely proud as she represented Wales at two different cross country events. On Saturday 9th of January, she travelled to Scotland to take part in the Great Edinburgh cross country, where she ran the U20 Celtic Nations 4km race and completed the course in 18.29. It was cross country at its best including hills, streams and a lot of mud and this event attracts some of our best athletes including Dewi Griffiths, Mo Farah, Kate Avery and Gemma Steel to name just a few. Therefore a fantastic experience for Caitlin to be amongst these Olympic athletes. A few weeks later, Caitlin was selected once again to compete with the Welsh team in the Cardiff XC on the 24th January. This race was founded in 1992 and took place within the Castle’s walls for two years. Since then it has grown into one of the most prestigious XC events in the UK. Caitlin was competing in the U20’s girls race and finished in 26.42 placing her as 8th Welsh girl. Congratulations Caitlin on all that you have achieved so far and we look forward to hearing more about your achievements in the future.
Conditions could not have been better for the Buff Winter Trail half marathon held in the majestic grounds of Coed Y Brenin near Dolgellau on Saturday 23rd Jan. The skies were calm and clear while the last months near constant rain had left the track slippery and slick, just perfect for the mud loving Sarn Helen competitors. As always the event was well attended and well organised with all 5 Sarn runners returning time and again to this event and anxiously preparing for THAT hill at mile 11.
First runner home for Sarn Helen was Kenneth Caulkett who last summer completed the full trail Marathon, his first, and achieved an astounding 4th place overall. Todays half marathon time of 1:42:24 proves he continues to improve as he finished 23 overall in a large field of 500 whilst hot on his heels was Simon Hall who placed 30th overall by knocking nearly 5 mins off last year with 1:43:32. There was another big PB for Sarn Helen as George Eadon fled over the finish line in 1:56:03, 4 mins faster than previously and our fierce fireman Terry Wyn Jones began his year with little training and a great result in 2:27:18.
Our only Lady member present was the renowned Caryl Wyn Davies who gained a staggering result at Ras Nos Galan, the famous 5k that takes part on New Year’s Eve in Mountain Ash, where her time of 21:42 placed her well with in the top 25 elite women. At the Winter Trail half marathon she continued to shine with 15th place in her age category and a time of 2:08:12.
Sunday 31st January saw the annual Team Pursuit take place at Crymych Leisure Centre where they had a record number of 53 teams entered which was a total of 265 runners. Sarn Helen had 3 men’s teams and for the 1st time had 2 ladies teams, and Lampeter based couch to 5k group also had 2 teams competing which was a total of 20 women running from the Lampeter area which was fantastic. This was a great event with team spirit at its best and Sarn Helen runners gave tremendous performances and achieved great results, with Dylan Lewis and Dee Jolly finishing as the overall 2nd male and 2nd female with 4 other Sarn Helen ladies also finishing in the top 10 female category. The icing on the cake came when both Sarn Helen Men and Ladies teams were announced the winners which is the first time ever for the club to clinch the double which made all the runners, supporters and everyone involved with the club very proud. Sarn Helen would also like to thank the organisers, Roland and Pat Sherwood for all their hard work in organising such a great event.
Sunday 17th of January was a beautiful morning to experience the dawn of a brand new event held along the peaceful trails of Cors Caron in Tregaron. Campau Caron, a voluntary organisation fledged by locals, is promoting fitness and vitality by holding 6 events throughout 2016 all centred in Tregaron town and hoping to attract both experienced and novice participants. Their 1st event consisted of a mile long fun run as well as both a 5k and 10k race along the flat and traffic free disused railway line that’s been remodelled into a family friendly outdoor centre.
The whole affair was a great success with well over 100 participants and outstanding support and camaraderie show by all. Lampeter based Sarn Helen running club was well represented in all three events with Kenneth Caulkett coming away with 2nd place in both the 5k (time of 18:25) and 10k (36:59) the latter of which was a gap of only 3 seconds.
A total of 36 runners took part in the 5k and the Sarn Helen Juniors certainly grasped their chance to shine with some outstanding results. Daniel Willoughby ran a time of 23:15 with Jack Caulkett close behind in 24:10. Youngster Jamie Jones finished in 26:07 whilst Caulkett sisters Isabella and Violet concluded their family excursion with times of 30:23 and 32:43 respectively. Ever present and thriving to improve adult member Emma Gray ran a time of 34:13.
The spirit level flat 10k race allowed for some serious speed and Ken Caulkett’s astonishing time was not the only reassuring measure for our Sarn Helen group. Of the 46 competitors our Veteran Paul McDermott completed the 6.2 mile course in 41:42 whilst Mike Davies showed a return to form with 42:28. He placed just seconds behind Welsh Celeb and professional rugby player Rhodri Gomer who attended with his film crew to promote the event on S4C’s ‘Heno’. Dee Jolly ran a time of 42:59 to place second lady and was followed in by Thomas Willloughby, 43:59. Ever improving Eleri Rivers ran a 2 minute PB of 44:40 to gain 3rd lady whilst training chums Mitchell Readwin an Aneurin James ran times of 48:30 and 50:25 on very tired legs.
Our club was also well represented in the fun run with Rhys Williams (winner),his cousin Beca Jones, Maddie Caulkett, Sion Wood and Harri Rivers all taking part.
The next event to be held in Tregaron is the long standing and renowned Ras Cors Caron Half Marathon on February 14th starting at 11am. Anyone wanting to collect a celebrated woolly hat is welcome.
The reinvented Aberystwyth 10k made for a big crowd and some fast times when it was held on Sunday 6th December as the howling winds suddenly calmed and the sodden clouds cleared for the event. It was a great turn out for Sarn Helen Juniors and Seniors alike with lots of Prizes and Personal Bests. Newly transferred Ken Caulkett was the first striped Sarn Vest home in the adults race with a fantastic time of 35:26 which placed him an incredible 8th overall in a field of 500 competitors.
Close on his heels and claiming 1st place in the Male 45 category is Sarn Helen legend Glyn Price in a time of 36:58 whilst brother, Huw Price, gave his best performance year to date running a time of 42:50 and placing 4th M50. In the M60 class it was our second claim Vegan Runner, Paul Edwards, who clinched the Bronze in 42:60
Our Ladies did us proud with 2nd in the Open female class going to Caryl Wyn Davies, 42:59, 4th place in the same class went to Katie Mcdermott with 46:34 and a spectacular return for Helen Willoughby (F50), who has grappled with injury throughout 2015, ran a category winning time of 45:55. New member Delyth Crimes is beginning to show her true colours with 3rd place in the F45 class in 57:46.
Other terrific performances on the day came from George Eadon, a PB with 41:40, Thomas Willoughby, PB with 43:41, Mitchell Readwin, 47:06, Aneurin James, 48:59, and Emma Gray, 66:05.
On morning of the main event a new 1 mile Prom Dash was held along Aberywtyth promenade where the Sarn Helen juniors got their chance to shine and oh, did they sparkle. Only 6 seconds separate the first three athletes who, it is safe to say, can cover a mile quicker than the majority of senior runners, and third position went to Sarn Helen’s Daniel Willoughby with a frighteningly fast time of 6:06.
The chasing pack continued to show astonishing speed and Rhys Williams fought hard to gain 2nd in his age category with a time of 6:20. Jack Caulkett, also placing 2nd in his age, hounded him across the line to finish in 6:24. Sean Wood grows stronger with each performance and his time of 8:20 placed him 4th in his age group. Our only junior girl to race was Isabella Caulkett who’s cool exterior disguises a penchant for winning and with a time of 7:43 she gained 1st girl aged 13-15.
Saturday 12th December saw the annual inter regional cross country competition held at Builth Wells where 7 Sarn Helen members represented the West Wales team. The conditions were wet and extremely muddy which made it quite difficult for the runners, but they braved the conditions and showed their strength. Beca Mai Roberts ran in the U13’s girls race against a strong field of runners and finished the 2210m course 22nd and 8th west wales girl in 9.24 and she was also part of the team who won the gold whilst teammate Caitlin Page ran in the U20’s girls race and finished the 2210m course 4th and 2nd West Wales girl in 26.32. In the senior races Caryl Davies ran 5780m in 28.43 placing her 3rd senior women from the West wales team. The senior men ran 9390m and our very own Glyn Price ran a strong race to be placed 4th M40 in the West team in a time of 38.31 and was successful to gain a silver medal as a team. Nigel Davies also ran in the M40 category and finished 8th in the West Wales team in 44.42. Despite turning 60 Richard Marks was representing the M50 West wales team and finished 4th within the team in 42.16 and also managed to bring home the team silver medal. Huw Price also running for the M50 team ran in 46.41 and placed 7th West Wales man.
The annual Boxing Day 6 mile road race held from Crymych Rugby club is a time for some to run of the excesses of Christmas, for the team of six Sarn Helen Gentlemen however, it was a fight for prizes and places. It was a fantastic year end for Sarn’s Simon Hall who has had a season of PBs and notable performances as he finished 3rd overall and gained a fair lead off teammate and icon, Glyn Price. Despite the formidable gales Hall finished in a time of 37:32, whilst Price’s time of 38:04 was by far enough to win him the M40 category.
Our ultra-runner Nigel Davies proved he is strong over any distance, wind or not, as he placed 2nd to Price by running a time of 41:10 whilst our Veteran competitors battled from the onset, with the outcome undetermined until the final 800 meters. Huw Price placed 3rd M50 in 43:05 and Tony Hall placed 1st M60 in 43:38. It was a good end to 2015 for Sarn Helens Mitchell Readwin as he showed a total recovery from injury with a time of 47:32.
On the unusually dry and very warm day that was Monday December 28th four club members made the trek from Lampeter to the forest of Dean to take part in the seven sins run. The 7 mile course, which includes 7 nasty climbs and 2 water tunnels(!!) is a totally off road event, and given the recent weather, it was safe to say that the course was mainly ankle deep mud! The race is so popular that it is run over 2 days, with nearly 200 runners turning up to this remote location on both days. To complete the course is a fantastic achievement, but to complete it under 60 minutes (male) or 70 minutes (female) you get a very sought after t-shirt!
One of Sarn Helens adventurous competitors is now a proud Seven Sins t-shirt holder as Carwyn Davies placed 6th overall in a time of 59:12 and 4th in his category. Aneurin James proved he is back with a bang as he placed 13th in his age with 78:02. It was the two women however that demonstrated the Sarn Ladies talent for extreme terrain as Eleri Rivers placed 3rd in the F35 class in 71:28 and Helen Willoughby (F50) also returned with a bronze in 84:06.
Sunday, 29th November saw Sarn Helen’s annual Ras y Mast take place at Blaenwern, Pencarreg mast near Llanybydder, and yes it was one of the wettest, windiest and muddiest on record which made it even more challenging for the runners than usual but it also raised the adrenaline and made them work even harder for some great performances. This race is not for the faint hearted but we saw nearly 90 bear grylls braving the weather and the course and it certainly was survival of the fittest.
The children seemed to love the conditions with a few tripping over and having mud baths half way round the course. Sarn Helen swept the prizes for the primary school race with Rhys Williams the race winner in 5.31 followed closely by Jack Caulkett in 5.37 and Osian Elis Roberts in 5.48. Sarn Helen’s Seren James was 4th overall and the 1st girl home in 5.53 followed by teammates Gwenllian Llwyd Jones 6.24 and Lisa Jenkins in 6.58. Other strong performances was showed by Sarn Helen youngsters Jamie Jones 5.59, Rhodri Gregson 6.04, Harri Rivers 6.33, Leah Regan 7.00, Llyr Rees 7.13, Sean Wood 7.36, Owen Davies 7.38, Violet Caulkett 7.44, Jamie Tedder 7.59, Beca Jones 8.22 and Lilly Smith 8.23.
The under 16’s started with the primary race and ran 2 loops of the muddy trail. Aled Jones from Aberystwyth, a keen supporter of Sarn Helen races was the winner in 10.29 with Sarn Helen’s Llywelyn James leading the 1st lap but finishing 2nd in 11.19, and teammates Daniel Willoughby 3rd in 12.30 and Dafydd Lloyd finished in 14.00. Beca Mai Roberts, Sarn Helen won the girls race second year running despite encountering a fall on the 1st lap and finished strongly in 11.58 with Lucy Gaul, Aberystwyth 2nd in 12.48 and Sarn Helen’s Isabell Caulkett 3rd in 15.24.
In the gruelling 6.2 mile adults race the ever present Aberystwyth AC could not be deterred, even by near thunderstorm conditions, and although this year they took home many trophies their run on the Team Prize, theirs for the last two years at least, was broken. The 2015 winning team went to Sarn Helen and included Dylan Lewis, Glyn Price and Dee Jolly.
As the race got underway and the first big climb was ascended it became clear that Sarn Helens Dylan Lewis was going to race unchallenged and he crossed the line in 43.22 as outright winner and 1st in the open male category. The next two competitors to finish were also in the Open class and team mates to Lewis as Ken Caulkett ran a time of 44:43 and Llewelyn Lloyd, 45:28.
Veteran lady, Louise Barker of Aberystwyth AC was overall winner in the ladies race although her voyage did not go unopposed and her undeniable hill strength was greatly challenged over the last mile by Open Lady runner Dee Jolly. Barker placed 1st F35 with a notable time of 53:32 and Sarn Helens Jolly placed 1st OF in 53:43.
Ever improving Eleri Rivers (Sarn Helen) placed 2nd F35 with a time of 59:19 whilst close friend, yet age category opponent, Kyra Kirkham (unattached) came 3rd F35 in 61:09. With only two lady runners under the age of 35 racing out in the mud the 2nd place for OF went to unaffiliated runner Jena Weideman.
A battle was also underway for the F45 title with only seconds separating two of the tough ladies. Sarn runner Helen Willoughby fought hard to achieve her gold with a time of 63:34 and Cardigan Running club rival, Jane Wilkins did not concede easily, finishing in 64:12 and 2nd F45. Trots runner Oona Crawford completed the podium with a finishing time of 72:37.
In the Male veteran classes it was once again up and coming talent Gareth Payne of Sarn Helen taking home the big prize as he finished 4th Overall and 1st M40 in 45:46. Old hand and strong contending team mate Glyn Price was 2nd M40 in 47:06 whilst unattached runner Geraint Williams placed 3rd with 48:03.
With the whiff of a category win in the air none of the other sprint finishes were as exuberant or as close as that of two M50 runners, both of whom are mud and mountain lovers and had met as rivals on many other occasions. With times of 49:47 and 49:56 placing 1st and 2nd it was the vest of Aberystwyth AC that ultimately crossed the line first in the form of Dave Powell with Sarn Helen’s Calvin Williams close on his heels. 3rd M50 went to ever present and consistent Tony Hall with a time of 55:24.
Photo Credit Gary Jones
Other Sarn Helen Results on the day are as follows:
Simon Hall-46:40, Carwyn Davies-49:08, Andrew Davis- 50:16, Michael Davies-55:45, Murray Kisbee-56:26, Thomas Willoughby-57:28, David Thomas-59:35, Mitchell Readwin- 60:30, Aneurin James-62:24, Sian Roberts-Jones -65:16, Emma Gray-94:35.
The skies were calm for the Betws Y Coed Trail challenge held on Saturday 7th November, an event that is not only enormous fun but held for a great cause as it runs in association with and in aid of ‘Help for Heroes’. Sibling team Jack and Bella Caulkett both tackled the hilly 5k course with 11 year old Jack racing a furious finish to cross the line in 5th position. His time of 29:45 put many grown men to shame and he placed 3rd in the MU18 category. Loyal sister Bella ran the route with her mother and a smile to finish in 38:21.
The second series of the Gwent league was held on the 8th of November at Llandaf fields, Cardiff with three Sarn Helen members present and continuing with their success. Rhys Williams ran in the Novice boys category and finished an outstanding 12th out of a 115 runners; Beca Mai Roberts also ran an exceptional race in the under 13 girls finishing strongly in 20th position out of 93. Experienced veteran Richard Marks took silver in the over 65 category which also places him in 2nd position in the league after 2 events.
Cardigan Running Club, the organisers of Llys Y Fran, A Dam Good Race, cannot recall holding the race in worse conditions than were seen on Sunday 8th November. This remembrance Sunday saw howling and unforgiving winds, torrential rains and on the narrow foot trails around Llys Y Fran Dam almost knee high mud. This said, there was still a good field of 56 runners ready to tackle the 6 mile onslaught and of those were 7 brave Sarn Helen.
Glyn Price crossed the line with his back smothered in mud but his face plastered in a grin as he was overall winner on the day. Most runners expect to see higher times and fewer medals as they reach the veteran categories but this doesn’t appear to be the case for the younger Price brother with a time 40.15 placing him cleanly in front of all chasing youngsters. Simon Hall continues to pocket PBs this season as he washed 2 mins of his previous best time with 42:35 and placed 3rd Open Male.
Sarn Helen continued to clean up in the medals stakes as Calvin Williams gave another immaculate performance and stormed up the finishing hill just in front of team mate Andrew Davis as they ran times of 44:56 and 45:09 respectively. Silver in the M50 category went to Williams with Bronze in the M40 class being awarded to Davis.
Older sibling Huw Price ran a time of 49:25, Mitchell Readwin continues his climb back to fitness and ran a time of 53:57 and after a season on the bikes it was a running return for mud lover Aneurin James who finished in 56:47.
Dawn Kenwright and Richard Marks from Sarn Helen Club went to Santry Park in Dublin on the 14th November to represent Wales in the home countries international masters cross country races. The event is held every year and masters teams for men and women in 5 year age groups from 35 to 75 compete in a different venue each year, as the fixtures rotate between England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. It was Ireland’s turn to host the event this year and on a cold and very wet Saturday, the teams lined up for their various races. Dawn and Richard were in the same race, which was for men 65, 70 and 75 and for all the women’s categories, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70. Richard was in the men’s 65 category and Dawn in the women’s 60. This was Richard’s 6th time to compete in this event although he has represented Wales several times on the track. It was Dawn’s 33rd time to represent Wales, her first representative vest going back to 1988 when she was part of the Welsh fell racing team in Keswick. Both runners ran well as Dawn came 10th in her category race, but the best performance from a Welshman was from Richard who won an individual bronze medal. The event was followed by a dinner and a presentation ceremony.
On the same weekend, Steven Holmes competed in the endurance life series Gower marathon in very wet and windy conditions. He was very pleased to finish 20th overall in a field of over a 100 runners, considering he hadn’t run since the Snowdonia marathon with a few injuries in between, and also a bruised hip and knee after a fall at mile 5 but the mud bath he proved in places made it all worthwhile!! With all things considered his finishing time of 5.12.34 was a great achievement especially with the winning time being 4.05.09.
On the coldest morning we have seen so far two Sarn Helen Ladies was up early and ready for the gun at the Elan Valley 10 mile race on Saturday November 21st. The scenic route was familiar for Caryl Wyn Davies as she has ran the race previously but her performance this year proved to be outstanding as she finished 5th lady with a near 5 minute PB in a time of 75:15 and Dawn Kenwright, showed a strong return from injury finishing 3rd F55 in 1.22.03
It was a disappointment for many that the Sospan Road Runners annual Multi Terrain 10 Mile race was full from pre-entries and its growing popularity meant only 3 Sarn Helen runners made the start line. On Sunday 22nd November however, these three smashed it, as they all shattered their last years times even though the windy forestry paths were water logged and the 2 mile stretch on the beach gave a new meaning to ‘wind in your hair’.
Gareth Payne ran a minute faster than last year with a time of 1:04:39 and 8th in his class. With a 2 minute improvement Nigel Davies has got to be happy with his time of 1:10:39 and Eleri Rivers shattered her previous course best by 5 minutes whilst earning herself a podium position as she ran 1:20:50 into 2nd F35.
A drier day than was its predecessor (wet and windy Snowdon Marathon), Sunday October 25th held great conditions for the Ron Skilton Half marathon held from Llanwrted Wells although the terrain was boggy to say the least. Nearly all off road the figure of 8 route takes in over 2,800ft of climbing up forestry paths and along ditchy hedge rows. Only two Sarn Helen runners braved the race but with outstanding results. The competition was as tough as it has ever been as the first four runners across the line surpassed the course record of 1:32 and newbie to the trails Sion Price continued to impress as he finished 3rd overall and 2nd open male in a time of 1:28:07. It has to be noted that 1st position went to his coach, Aberystwyth AC runner Felipe Jones, whilst in 2nd place was training companion Ryan Jenkins. Team mate Simon Hall hit the route for the 3rd time and finished with an outstanding 10 minute PB in 1:36:45 and 10th overall.
Flying the Sarn Helen flag at Stroud Half Marathon on the same day was Pumpsaint Trail race organiser Carwyn Davies who has ran the event ‘more times than he can remember’. This year however, will be one to remember, as he placed himself 25th out of over 800 runners and with a time of 1:22:30 he also achieved a course Personal Best.
Reported as one of the hottest November days on record it was somewhat of a heatwave of Sarn Helen runners at the local Llanwenog Fun Run on November the 1st. A family friendly event held from the local school the aim is to raise funds for Ysgol Llanwenog and is well sponsored and supported by the local community.
In the children’s races all but a few runners were somehow associated with Clwb Rhedeg Sarn Helen and the results are as follows.
Age 8 to 11 girls: Faye Jones 1st -7:00, Sara Thomas 2nd -7:14, Violet Caulkett 3rd- 7:42, Beca Jones 4th -7:55 and Maddie Caulkett 7th- 9:02.
Age 8 to 11 boys was dominated by Sarn Helen vests; 1st Rhys Williams-6:10, 2nd Jack Caulkett 6:18, 3rd Jamie Jones-6:39, Rhodri Gregson- 6:57, Dewi Lloyd- 6:53, Hari Rivers- 7:28, Sean Wood- 8:06, Llyr Rees-8:13, Jacob Davies-8:55.
Only one junior girl was up for the tough and steep 2 mile loop in the Age 12 to 16 category and that was ever present Gwen Thomas who finished in 24:49.
All three podium places went to Sarn Helen in the Age 12 to 16 boys in the following order; Daniel Willoughby, Dafydd Lloyd and Danny Jones.
Four ladies joined the juniors on the deceitful 2 mile little loop and Sarn Helens Helen Davies placed herself 1st even with a cold, whilst team mate Carol Rees made her return after child number two and placed 2nd.
The main adult’s race started as the sun hit its peak with one runner even reporting sun burn! The six and a half mile course gives a false first impression during the first half as the climbs between miles 3 and 6 seem never ending. Some good results and prizes were won by our senior club members and the results were;
Glyn Price 1st M40 in 41:49, Carwyn Davies 3rd OM in 42:06, Andrew Davis 2nd M40 in 45:47, David Thomas 1st M50 in 46:05. George Eadon 47:41, Huw Price 2nd M50 in 48:19, Tony Hall 3rd M50 in 48:20, Paul McDermott 48:45, Dee Jolly 1st Lady in 49:44, Thomas Willoughby 50:49, Kate McDermott 2nd OF in 50:57, Eleri Rivers 1st F35 in 51:49, Helen Willoughby 1st F45 in 52:13, Mitchell Readwin 52:56, Haydn Lloyd 53:09, Eric Rees 54:08, Aneurin James 56:27, Dorian Rees 57:40, Carys Davies 2nd F35 in 1:00:03, Delyth Grimes 3rd F45 in 1:05:15, Emma Gray 1:18:40.
On the same day, the welsh valley of Cwmafan saw the Richard Burton road race take place with over 675 entries for the 10k race in addition to the fun run entrants, and although the day started with good weather it turned to rain during the 10k race but this did not dampen the spirits of the competitors. There was an impressive field of runners with Dewi Griffiths winning in a phenomenal time of 30.24, and our very own Nigel Davies was there to represent Sarn Helen by finishing in 41.29.
The Sarn Helen vest was also seen up in the North of Wales on the 1st of November as Caryl Davies was amongst a 198 runners who took part in the Abergele 5 mile race, and Caryl finished in 36.57.
Snowdonia Marathon is an epic race and is known as the toughest in the UK, but that doesn’t scare or deter the Sarn Helen runners, if something it makes them more determined; and determined they were on October 24th as 15 of them were amongst the 2,500 at the start line on a very wet morning, but despite the wet and cold conditions, the atmosphere was electric and the support was magnificent in cheering the runners around the course.
The variation in training within our members ahead of this year’s marathon was remarkably different; you had a few who had trained hard and included many long runs in their training schedule, and others who didn’t have one long training run under their belt; but despite the difference in training plans, everyone had a fantastic race. One member in particular had an exceptional race and with this being his debut Snowdonia marathon, Dylan Lewis started very steady but he soon gained momentum and picked up the pace passing people with his comfortable strides and finishing 9th overall and 8th open male with a fantastic time of 2.51.50, which is a remarkable achievement. The second Sarn Helen runner home was veteran Glyn Price who knew the course well and although he admitted that he “had nothing left” during the second half of the course he still managed to finish strongly in 3.15.28, 12th in the male 45 category and gained a silver place in the Welsh Championships. Our ultra-marathon man, Nigel Davies was the third club member to cross the finish line and he seemed to be getting stronger as the miles went on by finishing in 3.26.20. Despite the lack of training, teammates Gethin Jones, Carwyn Thomas, Eric Rees, Terry Wyn Jones and Haydn Lloyd are no strangers to the Snowdonia Marathon and proved that they were mentally strong as they completed in 3.34.53, 3.56.44, 4.15.19, 4.22.16 and 4.42.35 respectively. Twelve years since his previous marathon , Kevin Hughes wanted to tackle the hills of Snowdonia with his debut Snowdonia marathon and he certainly showed his strength as he got stronger during the second half of the course and gained 209 positions in the last 3 miles and finishing in 3.39.12. Long standing member and experienced veteran Tony Hall signed up for this marathon as part of his 60th birthday celebration, and celebrate he was able to do when he crossed the finish line as the 6th male over 60 and winning silver in the Welsh Championships, with a time of 3.44.24. George Eadon managed to surprise his teammates as he appeared on the start line after having decided to run less than 24 hours prior, as he was offered a last minute place. He even managed to surprise himself with his performance, taking into account the lack of preparation, as he finished in a very respectful 3.51.36. Our very own Eleri Rivers was extremely nervous ahead of her debut marathon, but her training plan should have put her mind at ease, and true to form her strength and determination saw her getting stronger over the second half of the course finishing 16th female over 40 in a fantastic 4.04.23. Unfortunately, due to feeling unwell with a cold and a bad chest, Andrew Davis didn’t manage to finish the course and therefore has made him more determined to return next year to prove himself once again.
One very special club member, Jane Holmes is well known in the local area for her bravery, her strength, her positivity and her determination. Last year she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer but since then she has beaten all the odds and surprised everyone including her consultants, and in June this year she underwent surgery to remove the cancer and yes 4 months on she was running the Snowdonia Marathon in order to raise money for the Roy Castle Lung cancer foundation, with her husband Steven by her side, and they both finished in an incredible 6.10.08 with not much training on Jane’s behalf!
The stunning grounds and landscaped gardens of Dinefwr Park in Llandeilo was home to the White Park Cattle Run on 27th September and Sarn Helen Running Club’s junior and senior members were leading the way. In the 1 mile junior race, our smallest member, Maddie Caulkett, showed her mighty strength when she finished 7th in her age group in 14:36, whilst her elder sister Violet gave it her all coming 2nd in her category with a time of 9:23. Our year 5 & 6 boys battled hard to finish with 1st going to Rhys Williams in 7:12, 3rd, Jamie Jones in 7:56 and very close 4th, Rhodri Gregson in 8:03.
In the Junior 5k Daniel Willoughby impressed with a time of 25:09 but competition was tough and he placed 5th in his age. Siblings Jack and Isabell Caulkett ran times of 26:59 and 36:03 respectively which meant Silver for Jack and Bronze for Isabella.
As a new event it’s hard to know what times to expect but it appears the off road, rolling hills of the 10k route suited our Sarn Helen members, who are all about the hills. Finishing 2nd open male an 3rd overall was Carwyn Davies in 42.27 followed by 2nd Male under 60 David Thomas in 47:08. The ladies continued the winning streak as Helen Willoughby won the Female under 60 class in 55:02 and Lorraine Davies came second in the under 50 category in 81:47.
Sunday, October 11th saw the first race in the Gwent league cross country series in Bridgend which was also a selection race for the West Wales team, ahead of the Cross Country at Builth Wells in December. Sarn Helen members showed great strength and produced excellent results. In the Novice boys, Rhys Williams finished 18th; under 12 girls Beca Mai Roberts also 18th; under 15 girls Grace Page 48th; and both Caryl Davies and Richard Marks won their West Wales vest by finishing 83rd and 201st respectively in the senior Women and Senior male category.
On the same day, three of our boys headed to Criggion in Shropshire to compete in the Breidden Hills 7 mile fell race. Even the total climb of 2,300 feet wasn’t enough to deter our young mountain goat Dyan Lewis who, in an unquestionably tough field, finished 6th overall and 4th in his category with a time of 56:55. With Snowdon Marathon lurking and it being Lewis’s debut marathon, many eyes will be on him over the 26.2 mile gruelling course. Next Sarn member to finish was Sion Price who amazed even himself by placing 1st Male under 23 in 62:31 whilst Llewelyn Lloyd finished in 65:37 and still in the top 15.
Our club Captain and marathon man David Thomas flew the Sarn Helen flag in the Mallorca marathon for the second time running on Sunday October 18th, with this being his 52nd marathon! Despite having a cold the week prior, he showed his strength and sheer determination as he fought the heat to finish in a remarkable time of 3hours 25minutes.
Another vest found far from rural west wales was worn by Half Marathon enthusiast Tim Jones as he ran the Birmingham Half Marathon on Sunday 18th Oct. Jones hasn’t missed this event since 2008 when he ran it as his first of many. Competing alongside his uncle this year was enough to spur him on to new heights as he smashed his PB and finished in an outstanding time of 1:19:54.
On Saturday, 17th October, as part of the Bangor 9bar 10k and half marathon race, was a fun run of approx. ½ mile through the town, and Sarn Helen were well represented in the form of the Caulkett children. Jack finished strong in 1st position in 2.22, with Bella 4th overall and 1st girl. Their younger siblings Violet and Maddie also ran well and finished middle of the field.
It was unfortunate that maintenance work being carried out on Aberystwyth Promenade meant that no PBs or records could be broken at the annual Ras Dau Gopa due to a shortened course as Sarn Helen were out to achieve on Sunday Oct 18th. Weather conditions were prefect for the Twin Peak’s event and both of the exhilarating but steep downhill sections were the most comfortable underfoot we’ve seen through the last few years. The beautiful views from Pen Dinas and Constitution Hill were enjoyed by the spectators and some of the 120 runners but for most it was a case of head down and one foot in front of the other.
Leading the Sarn Helen wagon was youngster Llewelyn Lloyd who placed 4th overall in 47:05 whilst a fantastic run by Calvin Williams put him 1st M50 with 54:55. Showing her return to form after child number two it was a safe win for Dee Jolly who came 1st lady overall in 57:13 as team mate Caryl Wyn Davies ran 58:37 to gain 3rd overall. Ffion Quan gave a good performance to win 1st Female Under 20 in 65:13. Other results on the day were;
Glyn Price 48:50 (4th M40), Simon Hall 49:33 (12 O/A), Carwyn Davies 50:26, George Eadon 55:29, Huw Price 58:59 (4th M50), Thomas Willoughby 62:14 (3rd MU20), Helen Willoughby 64:49 (4th F45), Mitchell Readwin 66:11, Emma Gray 92:57
Sarn Helen were out in force on Sunday 4th October as 17 of our members took part in the annual Lloyds Bank Cardiff half marathon, whilst closer to home a new race at Llangrannog saw a great number of our juniors and four of our senior members taking part. Cardiff half marathon boasts to be one of the most stunning 13.1 mile courses around as the route took runners past the capital’s most iconic landmarks with beautiful scenery ad historic buildings. The predominately flat and fast course makes it ideal for beginners and elites, and this year saw a record number of almost 16,000 runners crossing the finish line. Amongst the thousands were a very happy and successful Sarn Helen crew with some great performances and personal best times. Our very own Dylan Lewis was the first Sarn Helen runner home and he gave a terrific performance by finishing in 1.14.08, 58th position overall and 32nd in his category, followed by Llewelyn Lloyd in 1.19.01. Very close to his pb was Carwyn Davies in 1.22.36, followed by Gethin Jones in 1.26.37, 4 minutes slower than his pb but 5 mins faster than his last half marathon 3 weeks prior at the Great North Run. As usual the battle continued between Nigel Davies and Kevin Hughes but thrown into the mixture this time was David Thomas as he gave them a run for their money as they finished in 1.27.50, 1.27.53 and 1.28.25 respectively. George Eadon managed to surprise himself as he had a cracking run and achieved a pb of 1.33.19, with Caryl Davies also giving a great performance with a time of 1.36.51. Sian Roberts-Jones and Eleri Rivers were both thrilled with their times as they both achieved personal bests with Sian finishing in 1.38.50 and Eleri taking four and a half minutes off her previous time with 1.40.12 placing her in great form for her upcoming Snowdonia Marathon debut. Our youngest member taking part was Ffion Quan who was running her first half marathon and achieved an amazing result and finished strongly in 1.43.40 and was placed 8th female under 20. Terry Wyn Jones finished 1.49.13, Carys Davies gained a minute pb and finished strongly in 1.58.01 although her poor feet will not thank her for her success. Darren Chant finished 2.31.07, Emma Gray ran a strong race despite being unwell and managed 2.42.07 and Katherine Axten stormed through the finish line in 2.44.32.
The surprisingly fine day turned into a fun filled and medal rich day out at the seaside for many Sarn Helen families. The first ever Ras Crannog was held from and organised by the Urdd Centre in Llangrannog where the majestic and misty views were charming but the undulating roads and treacherous coastal trails were anything but.
Sarn Helen performed admirably within the numerous races staring with many younger siblings and children running the 1k under 8’s race. School years 5 and 6 were up next and our little whippet Jamie Jones scored another win in 5:40 with team mate Rhodri Gregson finishing a fantastic 3rd in 6:00. Sara Thomas amazed us all with a furious finish and 2nd girl in 6:15 whilst Beca Jones battled to the bitter end and to secure 5th overall in 7:16.
To much applause Jamie Jones’s older sister, Chloe Marie, won her first gold in the year 7 & 8 class in a time of 27:17 as did Thomas’s older sister Gwen in the Year 9 to 11 race, finishing the tough 5k route in 32:41.
The adult’s race was short for a 10k but the mightly climbs and pounding descents made the distance irrelevant. It was a battle upfront for the men fighting for podium places. Always ready for a battle Sarn Helens Simon Hall crossed the line in 4th overall in 42:41 while team mate Mitchell Readwin tackled an old injury from mile 5. His remarkable finishing time of 53:01 put him just in front of 2nd lady Dee Jolly who ran 53:18. New member Helen Davies charged through the finish in 56:46 and was ecstatic to have finished in under the hour.
Father and daughter team Kate and Paul McDermott have been competing in a Triathlon in Cornwall. On Saturday 6th sept the Perranporth Extreme Triathlon, along with two Sarn Helen runners, started off with a cheeky 1000m surf swim off the beach, then a testing 23mile, hilly, 2 lap cycle, out through the town into tin mining country. The 5 mile run over the cliffs was all along unforgiving soft sand to the end of the beach and back. Although neither of them bothered the winners Paul staggered home in 2hrs 38 mins and Kate zipped along on her first Triathlon in a time of 3hrs 4mis and was 8th in her category.
Our very own club captain David Thomas took part in The Bath Marathon on the 20th September which is a beautiful marathon making the very most of gorgeous Bath city centre and surrounding historic countryside by following off road trails in and around the city. Although David made it clear that this was a training run in preparation for the Mallorca marathon coming up mid-October, he managed an astounding time of 3 hours 25 minutes, finishing 4th overall and 1st M50 which makes that a pretty good training run!!
The 2015 Admiral Swansea Bay 10k also took place on the same day along the beautiful sweep of Swansea Bay. It is a flat, fast course, perfect for improving your personal best and four Sarn Helen Members took on the challenge. Richard Marks continued his success by finishing 2nd in the male 60 category in an inspiring 38.40, Glyn Price also had a storming run and finished strongly in 37.13 whilst Veteran Paul Edwards ran 44:05 and our only lady, Caryl Wyn Davies, finished in 44.55.
Sarn Helen Cycling Club
Over 240 riders took part in the www.Realteam.co.uk Glyn-Neath Time Trial held on Sunday Aug 23rd. As one event in a series, all covering the same route, it was now a case of familiar roads for our Cycling Club members, The down Hill start encourages momentum and it is not unusual to riders hittig speeds of upwards from 40mph. Our two competitive brothers covered the 25 mile course in close times with older brother Eric Rees finishing in a time of 1:01:40 and Dorian Rees in 1:02:50.
The same avenues were used by Bynea Cycling Club on 20th Sept with the riders again using the A465 that criss-crosses the River Neath. For this event the two brothers were joined by two Sarn Helen youth cyclist who both shone on their first Glyn-Neath TT outing. The flatter roads obviously suited Jake Gartland who finished in a time of 1:00:52, winning a podium finish in the JM16 class whilst Carwyn Davies also placed himself high in the JM20 class in 1:05:21. The times were even closer for the Rees siblings this time round with Eric, 1:01:27 and Dorian, 1:01:57.
It was an early morning start for the competitiors of the Pembrokeshire Velo Open events as the 10 mile Time Trial and the Hill Climb event were held on the same day. Dorian Rees was the only Sarn Helen member brave enough to tackle both events and he covered the 10 mile ‘dash’, that led him along the A477 London Road near to the scenic town of Pembroke, in a time of 26:51 and averaging a speed of 22mph.
Later the same day the Pembrokeshire Velo Cycling Club held the Hill Climb up along Stevens Green Lane, close to the pretty village of Lamphey. Rees’s average speed for the 1.2 mile had unsurprisingly dropped although he had to battle against the clock with team mate Tim Strang on this event. Both finished strongly.
On Sunday the 13th September the two keenest Sarn members tackled the Welsh CA Championships Hill Climb that covered just 3.3 miles but totalling 1,023ft of climb up Black Mountain country lanes. Tim Strang’s strong performance placed him as 2nd Veteran make with a time of 18:19 whilst Dorian Rees finished in 18:53.
One Sarn Helen Cyclist took on the mighty feat that is Ironman Wales on September 6th along the beautiful coastline on Tenby. The course is both scenic and treacherous with views of everything form stunning beaches to Iron Age Forts but at the rate Gareth Payne was going I think all sights would have been lost on him. He relished the early morning start and breezed through the 2.4 mile sea swim in 1hr 11. His most practiced discipline is the bike where he smashed out 112 miles in 5hr55 and his marathon time of 3hr38 surprised everyone and has made him question where his talents lie. A finishing time of 11 hours 5 mins is inspirational to say the least and Payne can now rightfully claim he is an ‘Ironman’.
Only one week later Payne went on to win the Pumpsaint Trail Half Marathon on unquestionably tired legs leading us to ask ‘what is next for the man with such speed on wheels and in trainers’.
Pumpsaint Trail Half Marathon and Fun run Race Report
On Sunday the 20th of September, crowds gathered in Pumsaint for the first ever Pumsaint Trail Half Marathon and fun run. This event was organised to raise funds for Cylch Meithrin Llansawel, a local welsh medium playgroup. It was an overcast but dry day which pleased the organiser and the runners alike!
There were two races for the children. The first was the 'Meithrin' race for the under 6's, which was a 200 metre 'up and back' of the field; a great spectacle, and a fitting start to the day's events. The medal and chocolate bar was well deserved by every miniature runner.
Twenty nine children took part in the second race, which was an 'out and back' 1 mile flattish race. First across the line was Daniel Willoughby of Sarn Helen in a time of 5.03, winning the secondary school boy class. 2nd secondary school boy was Jack Caulkett, again of Sarn Helen running club, in a time of 5.11. In the secondary school girl class, the winner was Isabella Caulkett, another Sarn Helen runner, in a time of 6.23, and in second place was Ellie May Lyng Murray in a time of 6.55.
In the primary school classes the first boy across the line was Rhys Williams of Sarn Helen in a fantastic time of 5.16 and in second place was team mate Jamie Jones in a time of 5.52. Seren Davies was the winning girl in a time of 5.38, closely followed by into 2nd Gwenllian Jones from Sarn Helen in a time of 6.05. Well done to every child who ran.
1100 feet of ascent awaited the 30 runners who tackled the 'fun run'. 6.5 miles of forestry road, fields, stream crossings and of course hills! The winner, in a time of 44.00 minutes was Ken Caulkett of Aberystwyth running club. The first female across the line was Llinos Jones from Amman Valley Harriers in a time of 59.55. !st local male across the line was Ioan Davies, Penlan Llanwrda in a time of 53.09, and 1st local female was Ivy Denham of Llansawel in a time of 1.06.16.
The half marathon, 13 miles, 2000 feet of ascent, mud, stream crossings and spectacular views, was enjoyed(!) by 41 runners. The overall winner was Gareth Payne, Sarn Helen Cycling Club, in a time of 1.33.52, an astonishing time considering he became an ironman only 7 days previously! First across the line in the Female race was Liz Tremlett of TROTS in a time of 1.46.03. All the race category results are listed below -
1st open male - Simon hall (Sarn Helen) 1.36.12
2nd open male - Alex Lewis (Neath Harriers) 1.40.02
3rd open male - Mathew Powell (Celtic Tri) 1.40.53
1st MV40 - Gareth Payne (Sarn Helen) 1.33.52
2nd MV40 - Steven Holmes (Sarn Helen) 1.34.40
3rd MV40 - Gethin Jones (Sarn Helen) 1.39.16
1st MV50 - Mark Dunscombe (Aberdare VAAC) 1.42.49
2nd MV50 - Mark Terry (TROTS) 1.49.12
3rd MV50 - Mick Taylor (unattached) 1.54.08
1st MV60 - Tony Hall (Sarn Helen) 1.45.17
2nd MV60 - Murray Kisbee (Sarn Helen) 1.45.32
3rd MV60 - John Gwynn Evans (Aberystwyth AC) 2.00.59
1st open female - Anwen Jones (TROTS) - 2.08.56
2nd open female - Katie Teed (unattached) - 3.28.00
1st FV35 - Elizabeth Tremlett (TROTS) - 1.46.03
2nd FV35 - Eleri Rivers (Sarn Helen) - 1.56.05
3rd FV 35 - AnneMarie Harris (Pontypool) - 2.01.17
1st FV45 - Catherine Bleasdale (TROTS) - 1.59.43
2nd FV45 - Jane Wilkins (Cardigan RC) - 2.04.22
1st FV55 - Lon Morgan (Emlyn runners) - 2.09.17
Sincere congratulations to everyone who ran this challenging course.
The day was an outstanding success, but it couldn't have been done without the permission of the various landowners, the marshals and volunteers who gave up their time and of course the W.I and Merched y Wawr who baked a mountain of cakes to re-fuel the energy depleted runners. A total of £2000 was raised for the Meithrin, so thank you very much to everyone involved.
We might be nearing the end of the spring and summer athletics season but it’s been a busy few weeks for Sarn Helen members. Two 10k events took place on Sunday September 6th with big PBs in Cardiff and podium finishes in Newcastle Emlyn. The day was fine and whilst most members enjoyed refreshments at the annual club BBQ some opted for a work out. Caryl Wyn Davies continues to run well and stormed across the finish line in Cardiff with a PB time of 43:44 whilst team mate George Eadon shaved 12 seconds of his last year PB time finishing in 41:29.
Closer to home at Newcastle Emlyn 10k, organised by a the local club Emlyn Runners, newer member Sion Price proved that he will soon be a winning force as he finished 3rd overall with an outstanding time of 38:20. The undulating coarse and twisty roads ment that times were slower for everyone but team mate Simon Hall was happy to be placed 4th overall in 41:45. Meanwhile our veteran members both won their age categories as Tony Hall (father to Simon) ran a time of 46:11 and Huw Price finished in 49:00. 86 year old inspiration Allan Watts finished in 2 hours 8 mins.
The sunny and fresh morning that was Saturday 5th September held the 2nd Roman Run race in Brecon. The 16 mile multi-terrain race starts in the idyllic village of Brecon and heads off over the beacons to finish in Myrthyr Tydfil. Sarn Helens Dawn Kenwright was looking for an endurance challenge as part of her marathon and she found it at this event, where her amazing time of 2:20:12 placed her miles beyond the other veteran ladies and 4th woman across the finish line.
Sunday 13th of September saw 57 thousand runners pounding the streets of Newcastle upon Tyne, running over the famous Tyne Bridge whilst the Red Arrows were flying high giving a spectacular display. It was the iconic Great North run half marathon and amongst the thousands were two Sarn Helen members, husband and wife Gethin Jones and Sian Roberts-Jones who were running for the Motor Neurone Disease Association in memory of their uncle, Raymond Roberts, who passed away 6 years ago. The pair have raised over a £1000 for the charity and they wish to thank everyone who kindly sponsored them.
The conditions were very warm which made it much harder for the runners especially as there were gradual climbs for most of the route until the 12 mile mark in South Shields which gave you a nice downhill towards the sea although the last mile was a painful drag along the sea front which felt never ending. The support and atmosphere throughout the course was outstanding which lead to the overall success and popularity of the occasion. Gethin, with no training leading up to the event and with a back injury a week prior, managed to finish in a great time of 1.31 but 9 minutes slower than his pb, and Sian on the other hand gaining a 20 seconds pb in 1.40.05.
The same Sunday, with a smaller crowd of 1400 runners, we had a further two club members at the start line of Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon where the perfect weather and flattish tarmac roads made conditions ripe for good times. One large scenic lap around the Lake going from and finishing at the small village of Llanwddyn gave spectators the perfect chance to cheer on the runners and for our two competitors their performances were worth applauding. Not quite a PB for Tim Jones, who has run over 20 half marathons, his outstanding time of 1:22:05 placed him 44th overall whilst our Ultra runner beast, Nigel Davies, scored a massive 5 minute personal best time of 1:26:27.
As all this road running was going on some of our mountain goats were tackling Llyn Y Fan Fach, a 5.5 mile Fell race which is part of the WFRA summer series. With blue skins and the sun shining over the mountain of Piccws Du, 61 runners prepared to tackle the beautiful ridge over Llyn Y Fan Fach Lake. There was a big scuffle for first place as no one had it easy. With a winning time of 43:32 and Sarn Helen’s Dylan Lewis coming 4th in 44:02, just seconds separated each runner in the lead group. Once again our veterans preformed well as Daniel Hooper won the M40 category in 46:50 and Calvin Williams placed 4th M50 in 56:40.
What may have been a fairly leisurely day for some of us, Saturday 15th August was certainly not that for three Sarn Helen members as they took part in two totally different, but incredibly challenging, extreme events. Whilst trail lovers Dylan Lewis and Daniel Hooper took on 30k at the Brecon Beacons Fell race, newer member Darren Chant crossed the seas to take on the multi discipline Gaelforce West triathlon.
The dry and sunny day was kind to Hooper and Lewis although a mist lingered over Pen Y fan, the largest of the four climbs they tackled. With a line-up of 86 runners only 80 completed the race with Sarn Helens Lewis finishing his longest ever competitive run as 3rd open male in 2:55:35 and Hooper, 3:21:30, placed himself comfortably in the top 10 and 2nd M40.
Sarn Helen’s Darren Chants triathlon is an event of its own as the 45 miles of mixed terrain covers bogland and trails for the run and cycle but the third challenge is Kayaking across the majestic waters of Killary Fjord. Chants total time of 8hours 14 mins is inspirational and made the total assent of 4,500 feet look effortless.
Veteran member, Richard Marks, took part in the fourth and final event in the Welsh Masters Assosiation League on 19th August in Brecon. Competing in the 3,000m track event and running a time of 10:51, Marks placed himself once more at the top of his age category but this achievement is nothing compared to what he accomplished during the weekend of the 25th-26th of July in Birmingham.
At Alexander stadium, on the Saturday, Marks lined up against the best of the veteran runners to compete in the 1500m track event at the British Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships with the cold, wet and windy conditions only adding to the pressure to achieve. It seems however that nothing could have hampered Richard’s performance as he ran a time of 5:07:31 and won the M65+ race outright.
Day 2 saw him compete against a similar field during the 5000 meter M65+ final and a similar outcome saw Marks smash through the finish, again in 1st place, in 18:43. Richard Marks has performed faultlessly throughout the Track season and these final results rank him as the best in Britain over 1500m, 1 mile and 5,000m. Marks, who’s personal best marathon time is 2hrs 40 in 1982, has proved himself a champion time and time again; Sarn Helen are proud to see him perform in their vest.
The historical and popular 5 mile Ras Beca was held of Sat August 29th with many of the impressive trophies return to the homes of Sarn members, and not for the first time. The team trophy returns to us for the 13th time in the history of the event as Dylan Lewis, 4th overall in 37:23, Glyn Price, 41:38, Sion Price, 41:50 and Calvin Willams, 45:42 all finished within the top 15. We ruled the men’s classes with Tony Hall running a time of 48:46 and finishing 1st M60,Calvin Williams’s love of the fells was exposed once again as he took home the M50 award and Glyn Price, ever a strong competitor, won the M40 class. Only weeks after completing his 100 mile multi terrain ultra-marathon Nigel Davies was looking for another adrenaline hit and finished in 48:27 whilst previous Beca winner Dee Jolly placed 3rd lady, whilst hunting down her Farther in law and finishing in 48:50.
It was nice to see the day dry, although the aggressive August rainfall had left the bogs awfully boggy, the water astonishingly deep and the mud cloggy and treacherous. Gwen Thomas was the only Sarn Helen competitior in the 14’s and under race and she performed brilliantly, despite the fact that one of her trainers is still out in the bog as she lost it within the first half. In the 11yrs and under it was yet another win for the talent that is Rhys Williams, who had to dig deep for this tittle, whilst team mates Jamie Jones and Sean Wood both enjoyed their game of stuck in the mud and finished strongly. Although too young to become official members there was two runners being cheered on in the 8’s and under race as Rhys’s sister, Nia Williams, ran well and finished 2nd girl while 6 year old Jac Rees was grinning from start to finish.
Other Sarn Helen news includes team captain David Thomas completing his second Severn Bridge Half Marathon on 30th August in a time of 1:30:30- oh so close- where he and 2800 other runners enjoyed good conditions and views over two countries.
The same day saw a race closer to home as 4 Sarn Helen members travelled to the long standing St Clears 10k organised by rival running club TROTS. Slightly wet, but with minimal winds it was a great turn out with over 100 runners and another tittle going to a club member as Sian Roberts-Jones’s change in training gear led her to drive through the finish line in 45:07 and 1st lady overall. A fantastic outcome and a 3 min course PB means Roberts-Jones is looking good for her upcoming Debut at the Great North Run where she is running in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Just the day after Ras Beca Glyn Price faced another start line and 6.2 mile tempo run but was pleased with the outcome as he placed 2nd M40 in 38:28. Older brother Huw Price ran well and had to battle for his position, earning himself 4th M40 in a challenging field with a time of 44:07 whilst Richard Marks ,who always gives his all, easily won his M60 category with an envious time of 40:05.
The glorious evening that was Friday August 7th saw the first of three low key, locally organised running events held over 10 days. Appropriately named Ras Y Myddfai was based at the almost royal village of Myddfai, Llandovery and the event was raising funds for the charity SCOPE. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the evening was the beautiful hamper donated by Prince Charles as a form of apology as he was unable to attend the event. First to start their race were the adults with a 5 mile and 8 mile route to choose from, both of which include a pretty monstrous mile long climb to get the pulse rates up.
Whilst the adults went about their challenge the junior event got underway with 19 brave children, 6 representing Sarn Helen, set off on the half mile climb that was the start of their 1.5 mile race. The quiet and windy country roads make for a tough course but our junior members still came out on top. In the Under 14’s Gwion Payne came in in 2nd place with a time of 15:08, closely followed by Daniel Willoughby into 3rd with 15:47.It was another win for Rhys Williams in the Under 11’s category with 14:56 with three further Amigo’s finishing strongly; Jamie Jones, 3rd in 16:26, Sean Wood, 19:30 and Owen Davies, 19:35.
Just as the juniors were wrapping up the first of 5 mile competitors started to cross the finish with Mother and Son challenging each other in the hope of finishing in front. 15 year old Thomas Willoughby scrapped in to the top 10 in a time of 41:55 while mother, Helen Willoughby also Sarn Helen, ran through injury and finished 4th female in 42:45.
As the warm sun began to set the race up front of the 8 mile event was still heating up and continued to flux though out the second half of the undulant course. The score was finally settled when Neath Harrier runner Gareth Davey finally managed to pull a small gap from Sarn Helen’s Glyn Price and they finished in times of 52:19 and 52:35, meaning Price just missed out on the luxurious hamper. Sarn Helens 2nd open male home was Carwyn Davies, 5th overall in 55:12.
Sarn Helen Veteran David Thomas went to battle with the first lady and finished just 5 seconds behind her and under the hour in 59:15. In the lady’s race Dee Jolly finished 3rd overall, finally feeling a return to fitness, with a time of 63:18 whilst team mate Eleri Rivers so nearly clinched a win over Sarn Veteran Dawn Kenwright with times of 65:56 and 66:03. Other Sarn Helen results were, Eric Rees- 71:07, Fiona Davies – 75:10, Gareth Jones -77:38.
A week later, Friday 14th August, was another surprisingly fine evening and the 2nd time Brechfa 6 mile fun run was held in order to raise money for the local village hall. For the 3 Sarn Helen runners present the length and depth of the hills came as a bit of a surprise but the tea and cakes provided afterwards more than made up for it.
Once again David Thomas played chase with the (same) leading lady and this time came out victorious in a time of 41:21 and 7th overall. The remainder of the ladies race went on to tell an odd story of camaraderie and support as 2nd lady home was event organiser Liz Tremlett who finished alongside her husband Jack in 43:02, 3rd lady was once again Dee Jolly who ran together with her team mate and partner Simon Hall, both finishing in 44:57. Next female to cross the line, Catherine Bleasdale of Trots, completed the trio of couples as she crossed the line with her husband in 46:03.
It was a hat rick of podium finishes for Dee Jolly as she finished 2nd lady overall and 1st Open female just two days later, Sunday 16th August, at the newly resurrected Cardigan Mayers race, running a time of 46:20 on very tired legs. The unchanged course contains plenty of climbs in the first half and on one of the hottest days of this poor summer the runners were pleased to see the water stop at 4 miles which signalled the beginning of the long downwards stretch to the finish.
Glyn Price contined to shine with a staggering time of 37:58 that placed him 2nd overall and by far the 1st M40. Sion Price (no relation) and Simon Hall, Sarn Helen’s two open Male runners both achieved PB’s with Price 2nd in their category and an overall best time of 38:28 and Hall knocking 2 mins of his previous Cardigan time with 39:18.
No Sarn Helen representative left the great event without a prize, all of which were handed out by Cardigans current Mayor, as Tony Hall came 2nd in the M50 class with 44:28 and Huw Price just managed to out sprint the 1st lady to place 3rd M50 in 44:53.
The third and final Poppit sands 5k was held on Tuesday 4th of August and it was a finale to remember. One second was all that separated the winners of the adult 5k with up and coming Carmarthen Harriers youth member Ryan Jenkins clinching the win from Veteran 40 Matthew Chaston, Belgrave Harriers in a remarkable time of 16:58.
The first Sarn Helen runner home was 2nd MV40 Glyn Price who also had a furious fight and finished within seconds of his opponent in 17.49 and 5th overall. This was Prices 9th year racing at the beautiful but brutal venue and a PB at the age of 48.
Finishing in a fantastic 7th place was new member Sion Price (no relation), yet another one having to battle for his position and running a time PB time of 17:53, just one second behind his main opponent, Aberaeron youth Sion Lewis.
Slighlty more than one second separated the ladies race with Dee Jolly being the first Sarn Helen Lady and 2nd overall in a time of 22:37 closely followed by FV35 Eleri Rivers, who was leading the Sarn Girls well into the second lap, finishing in 22:51. These times were enough to ensure category wins for both ladies.
Our veterans are never ones to be out done and Calvin Williams continued to show outstanding stamina with a time of 20:32, placing him 2nd MV50 with David Thomas not far behind in 20:54, 3rd MV50.
Other results on the night: Simon Hall 19:23, Nigel Davies 19:57, Thomas Willoughby (youth member and an impressive PB) 21:21, Hadyn Lloyd 23:08, Helen Willoughby 24:11, Dorian Rees 25:08, Gareth Jones 25:15, Emma Gray 34:39, Allen Watts 64:00.
The beautiful, warm evening also so the presentation for the series winners where a points system is used to rank each runner and your best chance is to have competed at all three events. Again Sarn Helen members placed themselves high with Calvin Williams winning the overall M50 class and a nice bottle of red. Another bottle went to Eleri Rivers as winner of the F35 class and who’s points placed her as 2nd lady overall. Other impressive series results include David Thomas, 3rd M50, Thomas Willoughby, 2nd Youth male and Emma Gray, 2nd F35.
The one mile junior race was as hard going as ever with Sarn Helen again giving some great performances over the unforgiving sand. 7th place overall and 3rd junior boy was Rhys Willams in 8:57, Daniel Willoughby ran a time of 9:49 and ever present friends Jamie Jones and Sean Wood ran times of 9:56 and 11:44 respectively.
On one of the hottest days of the summer, Saturday 8th Aug, Caryl Wyn Davies took part in the challenging 3.2m mile race, Ras Glyndwr. A challenging fell race organised out of Machynlleth, the route covers steep hills, technical descents and open fields and it was a warm day in more than one way for Davies as she had a great run and finished in 31:13, 4th Open Female.
Nigel Davies has gained himself a reputation over the past few years as a man to try anything, the longer and harder the better, but this time he has outdone himself and with an awe-inspiring outcome. His 102.6 mile journey started at 6am on Saturday August 8th as he and 218 others leaped across the start line others of Centurion Running’s NDW100. The race is a continuous trail run along the North Downs Way starting from Farnham in the Surrey hills and finishing in Wye, Kent.
The first 50 miles even sounds challenging as the route takes in Box Hill (the steepest climb) then a small descent before tackling Reigate Hill, passing through Oxted and Knockholt Pound and even as far as the outermost edge of London. Davies reached the 50 mile mark in 9 hours 4 mins and in 23rd position, after a quick change of shoes and some food he was off again.
The statistics are both fascinating and terrifying to read and include a total elevation of 9,930ft, a cut off time of 30 hours and 14 first aid stations on route. As the temperature grew upwards to 28 degrees Davies tackled the second half which heads out towards Dover and takes in views over the Medway Bridge before dropping down into Wye and the finish.
An exhausted Davies finished in the early hours of Sunday morning, where his wife and children were anxiously waiting and supporting. Having found an inner strength during that last stage Nigel smashed below his estimated goal with a finishing time of 21 hours 40 minutes and had clambered his way up the rankings to finish in an outstanding and deserved 15th place.
Sarn Helen’s Nigel said “I am overjoyed at the belt buckle I won for finishing in under 24hours and to have reached by bed before witnessing another dawn. I don’t know what I would have done without the fresh pair of legs that was my wife.”
SARN HELEN CYCLING
The Rees family team of three once again showed some Sarn Helen talent at two time trial events held over the last few weeks.
On Sunday July 19th brothers Eric and Dorian sped their way along a 25 mile route starting from Aberdulais, through the centre of Glyn-Neath and finishing at Cefn Rhig on the Rhiglos road. The Realteam Glyn-Neath TT cycling event allowed for some fast times as the first 8 miles was consistently down-hill and the brothers took full advantage with great times and speeds reaching up to 29 miles/hour. Dorian Rees finished in 63 mins and Eric Rees in 65 mins.
Cardiff 100 miles RCC time trial event on Sunday 2nd August was a warm day to be out on the bike with a slight wind, neither of which hindered our riders as the trouped from Abergavenny, through Raglan, out towards Monmouth only to return to Abergavenny and complete the A40 loop again. The two Rees brothers were this time accompanied by nephew Carwyn Davies and the reasonably flat 50 miles course endorsing average speeds of over 21 miles/hour for our Sarn Helen Cyclists. Eric Rees finished in 2hrs 15, Dorian Rees in 2:17 and Carwyn Davies in 2:28.
SARN HELEN RUNNING
Sarn Helen junior runner Jamie Jones continued his run of success on Saturday, 25th July in the Llangadog fun run held by A Cycling. The 2k and 10k race started and finished near the community centre and Jamie was one of 37 children and adult runners in the 2k flat course which was held on quiet country lanes. Jamie was the overall winner in 8.37 and placed in 1st position on the podium as junior male.
On a wet and windy Sunday of July 26th, Sarn Helen’s experienced veteran Dawn Kenwright took on the Tenby 10k. With an uphill start and an uphill finish Kenwright’s time of 46:47 placed her, once again, as 1st FV55 in a fantastic field of 530 runners.
The following Sunday, 2nd August, Dawn continued to prove her outstanding form at the Brecon 10 mile road race. This year’s new course ran through and round the picturesque market town of Brecon, following small country roads, with a challenging uphill finish and a finishing lap of the running track. Known as a relatively fast race Dawn once again championed her category as 1st FV55 in a time of 1hr 16. What title is next for our high ranking Lady Veteran?
On the same day many of our youth members and their families had a fun day out at the beach as they took part in the annual Borth Beach 1 mile children race, where for once the wind was blowing in the right direction and the rain was a help by compacting the sand. However firm, the beach is never the easiest underfoot, however all competitors enjoyed and gave some great results.
Sarn Helens Rhys Willaims was 1st Boy 9-10, a comfortable win in a staggering time of 6:37. Another consistent run from Jack Caulkett placed him in near the top with 6:51, ever so closely followed by younger team mate Jamie Jones, 2nd Boy 9-10, in 6:53.
New member Faye Jones was 2nd girl overall and winner of the Girls 9-10 category in a time of 7:03 with her cousin Jake Jones close behind in 7:38. Great performances from sisters Sara and Gwen Thomas with times of 7:46 and 8:06 respectively with 9 year old Sean Wood giving another strong run in 8:34 as did the Caulkett sisters with results as follows, Bella 8:36, Violett 9:21 and Maddie 9:39.
Our adult members shied away from the sand and instead supported a new venture in the form of Abercych Village Fete 5k fun run. Described as a ‘super-fast, flat course along the beautiful cych valley’ it held true to the word as Sarn Helens Glyn Price finished 2nd in a superb time of 18:21. Another 2nd went to Helen Willoughby of Sarn Helen as she finished close behind the winning lady in 23:47 whilst Gareth Jones continues to climb slowly back to form with 25:28.
The evening of Friday 31st August saw the interesting Caio, Llanwrdda race, organised by local Business man and treasure Eirian Davies (informally known as Ad Clad). Running over wild fields, along twisty country lanes and through overgrown hedges this annual event alternates the starting and finishing village with this year heading out from Llanwrda with sandwiches, cakes and tea waiting in Caio.
This eclectic race attracts an eclectic array of runners, both local and semi-professional and after numerous great runs and many second places it was Sarn Helen’s Simon Hall’s time to shine. Despite the7.1 mile route’s total climb of 1,404ft, 200ft more climbing than descending due to its novel village to village perk, Hall ran an outstanding time of 54:58, knocking nearly two minutes of his previous best. Caio local and Sarn Helen member Carwyn Davies finished a strong 2nd in 56:01 and racing to finish in time for the cakes were our Veterans David Thomas, 2nd M40 in 61 mins, Tony Hall in 62 mins and Eric Rees, 669 mins.
On the morning of Sunday July 12th stood 120 soggy runners in a big boggy field in Llanfrynach village, Brecon, and as the biggest down pour started, so did the race. A strong team of 9 Sarn Helen runners began their excursion up Fan Y Big Mountain as part of a two day running event organised by Mynydd Du running club and the end results showed that more than 1 of our competitors were on great form.
The 10.3 mile course covered field, trails and rocky scrambles with a total climb of 2,200ft. As is usually the case with fell running the runners are more or less left to find their own route to the summit and back although I am pleased to say that on this day the drizzly and winding course was well marked and marshalled with the magnificent views heightened by a few surprise sun rays.
A now familiar battle between training partners and friends put Sarn Helen’s Dylan Lewis 2nd to Aberystwyth AC’s Felipe Jones with an ever decreasing gap and times of 1:14:50 and 1:15:59.
With only 3 races left in the WFRA’s south wales series Daniel Hooper was keen to perform well at this event about which he says “is actually the second easiest in the series!” , and finishing in a time of 1:21:38, 11th overall and 2nd M40 he certainly achieved what he set out to.
Team mates Glyn Price and Simon Hall played cat and mouse right the way round the technical course and strong finishes placed Price 4th V40 in 1:25:23 and Hall gave one of his best performances yet in 1:26:00, 18th overall.
Calvin Williams, a lover of the fells and trails, ran well to finish in 1:37:10 and our Veteran 60+ competitor, Tony Hall, won his category with a hindered time of 1:39:27 due to a town hill tumble where he was thankfully unhurt. A time of 1:43:29 was enough to place Dee Jolly as 3rd Open female and brother to Glyn, Huw Price gave a steady run to finish in 1:50:57. Overjoyed to be finished in under 2 hours was Katie Mcdermott in 1:58:09 meaning that all Sarn Helen finished with smiles and only a few scratches.
Two other veterans have given great performances with Richard Marks competing in the 3rd round of the Welsh Masters Athletics Association League, this time hosted in Swansea, on the 8th of July. Marks dominated both his track events with times that were not only top for his age category, M60 +, but were challenging most of runners there. In the 800meters Richard ran a time of 2:38:07 and in the 1500m a time of 5:06:8. Runner up in both of these races was the well-known and admirable runner Gorden Orme of Carmarthen Harriers, 72 years of age.
A tough and surprisingly undulating half marathon was held for the first time in the grounds of Chirk Castle on July 12th and Sarn Helen’s Dawn Kenwright, always up for a new challenge, had an outstanding run. A scenic route that starts and finishes in the magnificent and medieval grounds of the Castle itself obviously put our Female V55 at ease as her time of 1:45:02 was not only sufficient to put her 1st in her category but also put her in front of the 1st V40 and 1st V45 ladies.
Dylan Lewis’s outstanding run in Brecon mountains was the final feather in the cap that saw him receive an invitation to run the ‘Snowdon Super Cup’ on July 18th. This event is held on the dawn of the international hill race and consists of a small group of specially selected elite runners battling to the summit of Snowdon or, put simply, an up only race.
Lewis ran hard from the offset and kept his position from the climb start to the podium, finishing as 12th Male in a time of 51:25. A pleasant surprise awaited Lewis at the summit in the form of his father making an unexpected appearance to relish and cheer at his sons accomplishment.
Later that day the 40th anniversary of Ras Yr Wyddfa involved four Sarn Helen members fighting the clock and the trails to reach the rocky summit and co-ordinating their way back down of the highest mountain in Wales. With one first time Snowdon runner and 3 old timers the event still excites and attracts the crowds with founder and local man Ken Jones still watching the prestigious event with pride.
It was a ninth time for both Kevin Hughes and Caryl Wyn Davies who ran times of 1:45:11 and 1:51:03 respectively, over a slightly different route due to a new, town centre start. Terry Wyn Jones is no stranger to the mountain and finished in 2:02:48 and a tick on the bucket list for David Thomas who ran a time of 1:50:28.
Having only started running in this early 30’s it is becoming clear that with experience and hard work, Dylan Lewis’s natural talent has begun to flair and people are starting to take notice. Previously a keen and esteemed road cyclist, Lewis has always maintained high fitness and relished in competition helping his transition from two wheels to two legs.
Only the day after his ‘Super Cup’ experience Lewis competed at a 6 mile fell race in the beautiful setting of Coniston Country fair in the Lake District. As part of their summer holidays team mates Lewis and Simon Hall were looking for the biggest challenge around, and they found it. July 19th was a day of perfect running conditions and the climb of 2,400 ft was a free for all with only one marshal, no markers and many tricky and rock ridden paths meaning that nearly all 32 runners took different routes.
It was a superb day for the Sarn Helen runners and their families as not only could they enjoy the delights of the country fair but the pride in having Dylan placed 1st overall, on very tired legs, in 1hr:8 and Hall, who’s navigational skills had him run a slightly longer course, finish in 1hr:16 and 6th overall.
Sarn Helen Cycling
A family team of three Sarn Helen took on the Merlin Sportive challenge on Sunday June 28th and enjoyed some glorious views as well as some treacherous climbs. Brothers Eric and Dorian of the Rees Family, Cwrtnewydd, were joined by their nephew Carwyn Davies, and all opted for the 102 mile Merlin route, part of an annual array of structured Sportive’s organised by Merlin Cycle sports.
All routes start at Nantgaredig and the boys followed a coarse through Llandielo and Llandovery, passed close to home via Llanybydder and took advantage of the food station in Newcastle Emlyn before looping back to finish where they started. With heavy downpours for the first half and a headwind to fight on the return leg there were great performances from all three Sarn competitors as Dorian finished with a near winning time of 5hours 59, Eric was not far behind with 6h 08 and our youth entry Carwyn took 6 hours 27. A total climb of 9,278 feet is demanding for even the fittest of riders and we wander if next year the Rees Men will be tempted to endure the Merlin 125 alternative, 10,800ft of hills over 125 miles.
A two day cycle event took place over the 11th and 12th of July with one club member, Gareth Payne completing the both. The 195k sportive, appropriately named ‘The Monster’, took part on the misty and miserable Saturday where only experienced riders were challenged to ‘relish in the total climb (4,200ft) and not just the distance’. Payne finished in the 6th fastest time of the day in 7 hours 51 and team mate Tim Strang gave a fantastic performance to finish well under the 10 and a half hour cut-off in 8 hours 50.
The following day presented another top performance from Payne in the Grimpee Mynydd du, the only mass start hill-climb race in the UK. The start coincided with the heaviest of down pours but peddling at a staggering average pace off 22.3 miles an hour Gareth completed the 8k, alpine style climb in 21 mins 28 secs, placing him again in 6th position. Our very own youth contender Jake Gartland finished in 24:15 (10th) and Dorian Rees in 26:03 (13th).
Sarn Helen Running
Our very own travelling salesman Nigel Davies took part in the Helen Windsor 10k organised by Halifax Harriers in the 30’c heat. On July 1st, nearly 200 miles away from home Davies finished in a time of 44:25 and was surprised to be following the green vest of an Eryri Harrier, who are based in north wales, around the Mooreland roads of Halifax.
Simon hall took on the fells of Bluestone Mountain on July 4th at Ras Y Carreg Las. The 7.3 mile off road, mountain race gave the runners a taste of the formidable Preseli Beast Ultra Marathon as the route incorporated the tail end of the infamous course. The turn of events was surprisingly similar to those of an earlier race, Fishguard sea cadets 10k, where Simon placed 2nd overall, closely following a holiday maker, James Thomas, only competing as part of his stay in south wales.
Sarn Helens long time member Caryl Wyn Davies set herself a holiday challenge by completing two 5k races in just 5 days. July 3rd was Newtown’s BBQ 5k held by Maldwyn Harries where an extraordinary performance by Cardiff AC’s lady member, Rhianwedd Price, was enough to achieve 1st overall, leading the men by 40 seconds. A great time of 21:57 put Caryl 2nd lady overall.
Davies ended her week’s holiday with another top performance in LlanfairPG 5k on the evening of July 8th. Both herself and her partner got placed in the top 5 with Carly 4th Open female in 22:05 and Gary Wyn Davies 3rd overall in 17:30.
On Sunday 5th of July, some of the juniors travelled to Birmingham to take part in the Black Country 5k. The course starts in the centre of Halesowen and takes two loops of the town before finishing back through the pedestrian centre. Although mainly flat, there were some undulating parts. The Sarn Helen juniors did fantastically within a field of approximately 600 adult and junior runners. Jack Caulkett (11) finished 3rd male overall in a new pb time of 19.30, with Isabella Caulkett in 27.01 and Violet Caulkett 29.10.
Tuesday 7th July saw a great turnout in the children’s and adults race at the Poppit sands series 1. Amongst the 53 junior runners running a 1 mile race on the sand were Sarn Helen’s Daniel Willoughby, Gwenllian Jones and Harri Rivers with Daniel finishing a tremendous fifth overall in 9.37, Gwenllian 21st overall , 2nd junior girl in 11.27 and Harri finishing in 31st position in 12.30. Other club members’ children took part and had a great race.
Clwb Sarn Helen produced another good show as 15 members from a total of 105 runners set a tough pace in the 5k which covered tarmac, sand and grass. It was a dry and fine evening with firm sand providing good running conditions and the fight up front resulted in Sarn Helens Dylan Lewis coming a close second to John Collier in 18.00 minutes. This was the first race of the year for veteran Calvin Williams who’s tough tactics won the M50 category in 21.16, with 2nd in the same category going to team mate Paul McDermott in 21.55. Junior member Thomas Willoughby managed a fantastic race and finished 3rd youth male in 21.31.
The third overall lady and 2nd F35 was Sian Roberts-Jones in 22.42 followed in 3rd by Eleri Rivers in 23.08, both of Sarn Helen, with the open female category going to Katie McDermott, a fellow club member in 25.13. Other Sarn Helen members showed good form providing the following results: Llewelyn Lloyd 18.44, David Thomas 22.12, Haydn Lloyd 23.07, Mitchell Readwin 25.07, Gareth Jones 26.21, Wendy Readwin 32.16, Emma Gray 33.42 and Allen Watts 55.30.
Ammanford 10k, organised by Amman Valley harries, was held on Sunday 12th July and Sarn Helens Carwyn Davies finished just before the 1st lady in a time of 38:22 and a fantastic 5th overall. The traditional undulating road 10k received a great turnout of 118 runners with the winner of the male 50+ class being Sarn’s David Thomas, returning from injury, in a time of 43:09.
It was both a privilege and a show of talent that saw two Sarn Helen juniors compete as part of a three lady team in the Mountain Running International Youth cup in Bulgaria on the 27th of June. The welsh team faced tough competition including the Irish, Slovakians, Russians and Scottish to name but a few and the terrain was dry and technical. The humidity of central Europe as well as the steep and forested mountain course put all three young ladies out of their comfort zone but all ran exceptionally well and done us proud. Both Sarn Helen members, Ffion Quan and Caitlin Page have previously worn their countries colours and once again, in Bulgaria, they proved themselves worthy and tough opponents. The actual event took place in the Smolyan lakes area with the 3.6km course leading the athletes directly up and back a 700ft climb. The 1st welsh girl to finish was Mollie Davies in 23:48 followed by Caitlin Page in 24:14 and closely tailed by Ffion Quan in 24:25. The proud families and the runners thoroughly enjoyed the experience and Sarn Helen would like to pass on our congratulations and Thanks. Da Iawn Ferched.
In other Sarn Helen news Helen Willoughby showed a continuing return to fitness in the Haverfordwest Tenovus 5k funrun held Sunday 28th June. Helen’s finishing time of 28:14 reflects a slightly long and undulating course and the strong run placed her as 1st lady overall.
This was despite an epic battle involving herself, her youngest son Daniel Willoughby and team mate Mitchell Readwin. Young Daniel was the first Sarn Helen to finish in 28:04 with Readwin following closely behind in 28:07. Our very own travelling salesman Nigel Davies took part in the Helen Windsor 10k organised by Halifax Harriers in the 30’c heat. On July 1st, nearly 200 miles away from home Davies finished in a time of 44:25 and was surprised to be following the green vest of an Eryri Harrier, who are based in north wales, around the Mooreland roads of Halifax.
Sarn Helen held its annual 6 mile adults race and hat-trick of junior races at Felin Fach on Friday 26th June. The event is family and community centred being based in the local school and with potluck stalls, refreshments and other activities taking place to keep the children (and parents) busy.There were 3 races for the children, starting with the 800m race for the 8yr olds and under with 67 runners. 1st place went to Guto Miles, Felinfach in 3.21 who ran a great race; Llyr Davies, Sarn Helen finished in a strong 2nd place in 3.27 with Ioan Evans, Felinfach 3rd in 3.38.
We saw a very strong field of girls with Seren Davies, Aberaeron finishing 3rd overall and 1st girl in 3.36, Alaw Jones of Talgarreg 2nd in 3.41 and Sarn Helen’s Leah Regan 3rd in 3.43. Also representing Sarn Helen with great results were Katy Moyes 3.58, Harri Rivers 4.01.90, Llyr Rees 4.10 and Maddie Caulkett 4.32.34 In the 1500m race for 9-11yr olds, the battle continued between Sarn Helen teammates Rhys Williams and Jack Caulkett who both ran a fantastic race yet again with Rhys leading from the offset and secured his win with a narrow 2 second lead. Williams finished in 6.20 and Caulkett in 6.22, followed by Cameron Miles taking 3rd place in 6.37. Seren James, Sarn Helen once again had a strong run and won the girls race in 6.49 followed in 2nd place by Gwawr Davies, Sarn Helen in 7.07 with Gwenan Rees, Felinfach finishing 3rd in 7.17.
Running strongly also for Sarn Helen were Dafydd Jones 6.43, Jamie Jones 6.46, Gwenllian Llwyd Jones 7.25, Sean Wood 7.53, Nathaniel Griffiths 9.01 and Violet Caulkett 9.51.
The secondary school race consisted 3000m of undulating country roads and 26 youngsters took part. Aled Sion Jones, Aberystwyth finished strongly in 1st position in a tremendous time of 11.06, followed by Sarn Helen teammates Thomas Willoughby in 2nd and Llywelyn James 3rd with times of 11.51 and 11.55 respectively. Sioned Wallwork, Cardiff AC fought strongly amongst the boys to gain a fantastic result finishing 1st girl in 12.07. 2nd place went to Lucy Gaul, Aberystwyth Ac in 13.31, with 3rd going to Alaw Jones, Aberaeron in 14.30.
Other Sarn Helen results were Daniel Willoughby 12.39, Naomi Howell 15.24 and Isabella Caulkett 17.14.
A big field of 88 runners tackled the 6 mile adult’s road race. A route that is surprisingly both flat and fast considering the local landscape and which I am safe to say was enjoyed by both experienced club runners and locals alike.
Currently one of West Wales’s top road athletes John Collier, Open Male class, of West Coast Tri was the race champion in a time of 32:57 followed by Aberystwyth AC team mates Gary Wyn Davies in 2nd, 33:36 and Kenneth Caulkett (only 6 days after running himself into 3rd place in the Trail Marathon Wales) finished 3rd, 34:02.
Winning lady was new mother and inspiration Elizabeth Tremlett of TROTS in 38:59. As the lead of the F35 class Liz was followed by Aberystwyth AC’s Louise Barker, 39:31 and Sian Roberts-Jones of Sarn Helen placed 3rd in 42:34.
The open Female class saw the race winners partner Beth Phillips, also of West Coast Tri, finish in 3rd with a time of 47:40, ever present Caryl Wyn Davies of Sarn Helen had a PB in 42:03 and the class winner was Heddwen Daniel in a great time in 41:06.
Veteran lady class F45 was won by Lindy Eynon of TROTS who stormed through the finish in 41:47, 4th overall lady. 2nd and 3rd places went to Sarn Helen members Dawn Kenwright, 42:32 and Helen Willoughby 46:37.
In the M40 class it was a battle of siblings with Jamie Biggs, in a time of 34:32, taking the title and older brother Norman Biggs finishing in 3rd with 36:31. Caught in the middle was Sarn Helens Daniel Hooper who had a fraught and frantic battle with several team mates to achieve 2nd M40 in 35:25.
An inspirational M50 class saw 65 year old Richard Marks of Sarn Helen prevail in a time of 36:59 with 2nd position going to Carmarthen Harriers Gordon Orme, aged 72, in 40:44. New father Paul Rose of Aberystwyth AC finished in 40:49 and 3rd M50.
A wonderful fun filed evening for all the family and a growing success. We are beginning to wander however if Michael Kallenburg’s 2010 record of 30:52 or Allaw Beynon-Thomas’s time of 34:52 in 2011, will ever be beat.
Other Sarn Helen runners – Carwyn Thomas 34:41, Sion Price 35:24, Carwyn Davies 35:33, Simon Hall 37:07, Michael Davies 37:11, Steven Holmes 37:38, Kevin Regan 37:44, Andrew Davies 37:52, Kevin Hughes 40:34, George Eadon 40:37, Tony Hall 41:22, Paul Mcdermott 41:57, Murray Kisbee 42:06, Eleri Rivers 43:23, Terry Wyn Jones 44:36, Eric Rees 44:52, Mitchell Readwin 48:21, Fiona Davies 48:32, Gareth Jones 50:09, Heather Hughes 52:29, Emma Gray 64:30, Allen Watts (4 miles) 60:00.
Sarn Helen Cycling
Dylan Lewis was a lone Sarn Helen Cycler on June 19th in round 3 of the Cyclocross competition held on Blaendolau fields, Aberystwyth by West Wales Cycle Racing Team. He enjoyed the event immensely and even though he was beat to the line by a fantastic junior rider Dylan was placed 3rd adult.
Sarn Helen Running
Another Sarn Helen Lone Ranger was junior member Caitlin Page who ran a superb race at Builth Fest 5K Park race on Wednesday June 16th. Starting with two laps on flat footpaths around Groe Park and continuing along the banks of the rivers Irfon and Wye, Caitlin ran a time of 21:04 which placed her as first Lady, even though she is still in a junior class, and 13th overall. Cailtin Page, as well as fellow club member Ffion Quan, has been selected to run for Wales in Bulgaria on the 27th June in the WMRA International Youth Cup.
Saturday 20th June saw a great family friendly event take place in Coed Y Brenin, Dolgellau at the Trail Marathon Wales. The setting was beautiful, the organisation fantastic and even the humidity and midges could not hamper the performances off all the Sarn Helen participants.
First member home in the half marathon was Glyn Price, 13th overall in a time of 1:38:02 and 5th M40. Kevin Hughes fought through the heat to finish in 1:56:19 and another great run from Veteran 60 Tony Hall put him 1st in his age category with 1:56:22. Taking 9 minutes of his previous course best Terry Wyn Jones finished in a time of 2:11:05 despite a tumble near the end.
Our three ladies all positioned themselves in category top 10’s with Caryl Wyn Davies running a 10 minute course PB, under the acclaimed 2 hours, in 1:58:30 (10th Open Female). Dawn Kenwright ran a time of 2:06:51, regardless of her trepidation regarding the technical down hills, to finish 2nd F50 and last minute entrant Eleri Rivers finished in 2:10:11 placing her 10th F40.
Only two club members were brave enough to continue on to the second loop through the humid and undulating woods and both finished with tired smiles. Nigel Davies ran 3:52:12 and was ecstatic to achieve both a 21 minute PB for this race but to have also finished in less than 4 hours. In a time of 3:56:09 Steven Holmes also met this exhausting task but was overjoyed to have ran in aid of a charity that, for those who know him realise is as close to the heart as you get, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
Aberystwyth promenade was a small mass of runners on Sunday morning, June 21st as the Tenovus 5k and 1.5k fun-run was held by avid charity supporters Pat and Roland Sherwood. In the junior event Sarn Helen’s Sean Wood came 2nd in 7:23 and it was a close race between team mates and sisters Violet and Maddie Caulkett in 7:28 and 7:30 who were the first two girls to finish.
The 5k was fast from the offset despite the strong head winds with Sarn Helen’s Carwyn Davies placed 3rd overall in 17:26. Next club member across the line was 2nd Lady Dee Jolly in 22:04 followed by a battle of comrades between junior member Jack Caulkett 22:33 and open male Mitchell Readwin, 22:40. Jacks sister, Isabella Caukett ran a PB of 27:46 and our most senior member, age 88, Alan Watts finished in 44:00. All money raised goes to Tenovus UK and Lampeter will be hosting their own 5k funrun for this worthy cause on July 19th at 2pm.
Sarn Helen Cycling Club
Sarn Helen cyclists have put on quite a show over the weekend with Chris Schroder taking part in Bristol Bikefest on June 13th, his first mountain bike endurance event. The 12 hours in the saddle covered 110 miles, 19 laps of the course, and Chris finished in a staggering 5th place overall. This preformance put Chris 2nd in his age category and marked him a serious competitor for Trek Coed-Y-Brenin Enduro later in the year.
Four members of Sarn Helen Cycling Club, along with 15,000 other riders, took part in the inaugural Wales Velothon on 14th June starting and finishing in Cardiff. Simon Edwards, Caryl Wyn Davies, Paul Edwards and Paul McDermott all participated in the 140km challenging event. The route which went out via Newport, Usk and Abergavenny, then back via Caerphilly took in 2 major climbs. Paul McDermott said "It was a great event and cycling on closed roads with so many other riders was exciting, I hope to do it again next year" The closed roads proved controversial with some residents complaining about being stranded. At one point tacks had been thrown across the road and the riders had to carry their bikes
Sarn Helen Running Club
Saturday June 6th saw the Dyfed Secondary Schools Athletics Championships held on Carmarthen athletics track with Sarn Helen Juniors achieving great positions. Year 7 girls saw Beca Jones placed 4th in her 200m heat and Beca Roberts 3rd in the 800m final. Grace Page finished 5th in the 300m final and 4th in the 800m final in the year 9 girls whilst her sister Caitlin Page was 1st in the Middle Girls 1500m. The boys preformed just as well with year 7 boys Llywelyn James coming 2nd in his 200m heat, 4th in the 800m final and Gwion Payne 6th in the 1500m final. Thomas Willoughby finished 3rd in a strong field at the 400m final after qualifying 2nd in his heat for the Middle boys.
It was a full week of races for Sarn Helen seniors which started midweek with the TROTS annual Bwlch Y Groes 10k, a multi-terrain course held on Thursday 11th of June. Nigel Davies took home another trophy as he ran a strong race to finish 5th overall and 1st Male 40 in a time of 45:11. Team mate Gareth Jones ran a time of 1:01:30.
Gareth was again one of only two club members at TROTS ‘Dam Busters’ 6 mile trial race held on Sunday 14th. The undulating route follows the footpaths around Llys Y Fran reservoir in the preseli hills and finishes with a view of the 100ft dam. This year’s overall winner was our own Glyn Price (V40) in 34:22 with 2nd and 3rd places also going to veterans, once again hinting that running is not always a young man’s game. Gareth Jones completed the challenging run in 49:34.
Once again our international runner Dawn Kenwright has shown her consistent talent in the Dynyssi 15k trail race held in Tywyn on Saturday 13th of June. The low key affair was well organised and a good introduction to trail running with a small river crossing and plenty of mud. As 1st FV50 and 4th lady overall in 1hr 6 mins, Kenwright is showing no signs that the heavy race load is wearing her out.
Fellow Sarn Helen Veteran Tony Hall jumped on a plane over the weekend to compete in the pre-entered Jersey Half Marathon. Sunday 14th June held perfect weather and the runners took in some magnificent views and a good few climbs. In an enviable time on 1:33:51 Tony has shown that unswerving hard work and dedication pays off and was placed 2nd MV60, just 10 seconds behind the opposition.
Back on home ground Sunday 14th was the day of Swansea Half Marathon and a ladies day out for Sarn Helen. The heat and stale air made running tough but the situation wasn’t helped due to the lack of toilet facilities at the start. This However did not damper our Ladies spirits as all preformed fantastically. Carys Davies achieved a 3 minute PB in 1:56, Fiona Davies, 1:59 and Non Edwards, 2:06 both finished before rugby legend Shane Willams and first time half marathon runner Emma Gray ran 2:31.
Ffion Quan and Caitlin Page have both been selected to represent their country in Bulgaria placing two Sarn Helen members in a team of 3. The WMRA international youth cup is being held on 27th June and we would like to wish them the best of luck in their red vests. Da Iawn Ladies.
Congratulation to Beca Mai Roberts finishing 2nd overall in the Gwent League Cross Country, after competing in 5 different races, Beca gained 345 point, Beca Travelled to Pontypool, Bridgend, Bath, Brecon and Bristol.
Two Junior Girls represented Welsh Team at SIAB School International at Bolton Manchester Well done to Ffion Quan and Caitlin Page.
The club AGM will be held on Thursday, 13 March, at 8 p.m. at Lampeter Leisure Centre.
The Final Fixture of the Gwent Cross Country League will be held at Blaise Castle, Bristol on 1st March.
In the Novice Girls race Beca Mai Roberts is standing in 3rd position after 4 events with 272 points and Ffion Quan is 5th with 64 points in the Under 17 race.
Please could you let Caryl Davies know if you want to race with DOB and entry fee: £1 Juniors and £4 Seniors.
Juniors must be 9 to race in the Novice race (under 11).