After the birth of child number three Sarn Helen member Martin Darby decided to take on a big, two day challenge pushing him to his limits over two disciplines as he completed a 70 mile bike ride one day and a furiously fast 10k race the next. Saturday 2nd of September Darby travelled to Warwick to take part in the Wiggle Tempest Sportive, where he covered the massive distance in 4 hours 21 minutes. The following day, back over the border, he completed the Cardiff Kidney Wales 10k in 51:56.
A weekend of 10k races was held over Saturday 23rd Sept and Sunday 24th with two Sarn veterans braving them both. In the White Park Cattle 10k which encompassed the beautiful grounds of Dinefwr, Llandeilo, there was a large attendance of nearly 90 competitors who could choose from a one lap 5k route or double the distance in the two lap event. Steven Holmes was the first Sarn runner home in 43:30 with David Thomas next, winning the M50 class in 52:50. Both men also raced in the Admiral Swansea Bay 10k the following day with times of 44:07 and 45:26 respectively. Dewi Griffiths of Carmarthen, running for Swansea, ran a massive PB time of 28:27 to cover the 6.2 miles to place a close 2nd overall.
Other results from the Cattle run saw Dawn Kenwright place 2nd in the F45 class in 55:44 with Mike Taylor crossing the finish in 56:04, showing a return to form after a serious ladder injury earlier in the year.
Along the flat and parallel Swansea course on Sunday Holmes and Thomas were joined by three other Sarn runners with British class Vet 60 runner and team mate Ultra man Nigel Davies battling from the half-way point. Marks placed 3rd M60 and Davies scored an impressive and sought after PB as they both clocked a time of 39:35. The determined Jane Holmes ran to raise awareness and funds for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and inspired all who know her by finishing in a fantastic time of 1:01:51.
The well-publicised and massive crowds of Cardiff Half Marathon, held on October 1st, drew a team of 21 Sarn Helen runners who were pleased to find the weather forecast was wrong and conditions were cool and calm, perfect for running 13.1 miles around the stunning capital city.
Those lucky enough to witness Dewi Griffiths, once again slicing a large PB, sprint down the final straight in a time of 1:01:33 to place an amazing 4th overall and 1st British athlete, would also have seen the striped Sarn Helen vests clocking the following times: Ken Cauklett (21st in class) 1:19:14, Simon Hall 1:27:14, Llewelyn Lloyd 1:29:00, Nigel Davies 1:30:03, Carwyn Davies 1:30:27, Caryl Wyn Davies 1:32:26, Mark Rivers 1:33:25, George Eadon 1:33:16, Thomas Willoughby 1:35:38, Eleri Rivers (22nd in class) 1:39:40, David Thomas 1:40:59, Helen Willoughby 1:53:00, Delyth Crimes 1:59:33, Martin Darby 2:00:27, Anwen Davies 2:01:07, Fiona Davies 2:12:21, Jane Holmes 2:20:13, Adee Botu 2:26:09, Jane Burtenshaw-Jones 2:26:49, Nicola Higgs 2:35:35, Emma Gray 2:43:00.
The unexpectedly warm and fine weather bought by the dawn on Sunday October 8th came as a nice surprise, as did the three 1st places achieved by the small team of 6 Sarn Helen runners who took part in the challenging ‘Twin Peaks’ race in Aberystwyth. The paved and flat promenade is only thwarted by the two beastly and technical climbs up Pen Dinas and Constitution Hill where this year a crowd of 86 competitors ran the 7.3 mile course.
Knocking over 30sec off last years’ time Sarn Helens Ken Caulkett reclaimed his 2016 title and was the out-right winner in a time of 47:10. A close battle decided during the last 400 metres saw youngster Tomos Morgans pip veteran Michael Davies to the line with times of 55:42 and 55:44. The most experienced Sarn runner on the day, Tony Hall, won the M60 class in 1:01:01 with Huw Price placing 3rd M50 in 1:02:29. The 1st lady home, knocking nearly 2 mins off her last years’ time, was Dee Jolly in 56:54.
The Sarn Helen juniors also had some category success with the talented Rhys Williams winning his class in the longer of two distances labelled the ‘Consti Challenge’ in a time of 12:19. Jack Cauklett ran 15:46, Sean Wood finished in 18:06 and Violett Cauklett crossed the line in 19:09. Sisters Maddie and Poppy Cauklett earned themselves a colourful Consti medal by completing the 1mile race.