As the year draws to a close, over 600 runners braved challenging weather conditions to take part in the Aberystwyth juniors and senior races along the seafront on Sunday 8th December.
In the junior one mile Prom Dash, Sarn Helen Running Club was well represented, with competitors receiving beautifully crafted bespoke medals. Jonathan Price (M13) took overall first place with a speedy time of 05:48, Violet Caulkett was third in the F13 category with 07:07, Leighton Davies (MU8) was third in his category with 07:11, Sophie Cotton (FU8) was first in her category with 07:40; Tomos Green (M11-12) recorded 07:45; Maddy Eadon (F9-10), 08:11; Abigail Green (FU8) 08:17; Lauren Cockburn (F9-10) 08:31 and Leah Cockburn (F11-12) 09:01.
In the seniors’ Aberystwyth 10k Charity race, the rain held off for the duration of the race with the route beginning near the bandstand on the prom, stretching along past the pier, towards the marina, turning towards the town and along the river, crossing a bridge to a residential area and out along a stretch of the main road, before turning under the bridge to emerge next to the playing fields. Runners continued on towards Llanbadarn, before taking the path around the playing fields, back under the bridge and following the route back to the finish. The power of the wind, which was head and side-on made the last section an energy-drainer, with the sea crashing alongside and over the top of the harbour entrance.Glyn Price (MV50, 00:38:03) and Dawn Kenwright (FV60, 00:49:09) came first in their categories, with Delyth Crimes third in the FV50 in a time of 00:48:32. Hot on their heels were: Steffan Thomas (MSEN) 00:38:46; George Eadon (MSEN), 00:38:47; Eilir Evans (MV40) 00:44:01; Jack Caulkett, (MU20) 6th in category, 00:45:25; Mitch Readwin, (MSEN) 00:47:04; Matthew Walker (MSEN), 00:48:38; Keith Daniels, (MV50) 00:52:42; Pamela Carter (FV35) 00:53:59; Elisha Jones (FSEN) 00:55:58; Nicola Davies (FSEN) 00:55:41; Graham Penn (MV65) 6th in category, 00:59:30; Rebecca Doswell (FV45) 01:01:41; Jenny Caulkett (FV40) 01:02:55; Liz Pugh (FV55) 01:02:55 and Emma Gray (FV40) 01:29:01.
At the recent annual Club Dinner, awards were presented to members with the highest points gained from club championship races held throughout the year, including the Teifi 10 miles, Ras Dyffryn Cledlyn, Talley 5k, Felinfach 6 miles and Pumsaint half marathon.
In the class championships the awards were presented as follows:
Male Open: first Steffan Thomas, second Irfon Thomas; Male 40: first Marc Rivers, second Carwyn Davies; Male 50: first Glyn Price, second Mick Taylor; Female Open: first Nicola Williams, second Amy Edgell; Female 35: first Eleri Rivers, second Sian Roberts-Jones;
Female 45: first Delyth Crimes, second Enfys Needham-Jones.
Overall championship awards were presented to Glyn Price and Eleri Rivers, and a recognition award was made to husband and wife team, Jenny and Kenneth Caulkett.
Billed as the Ultimate Christmas Party, the Celtic Trail Christmas Half Marathon took place on 21 December, with a route following ancient tracks and trails, with views across the Brecon Beacons, The Black Mountain, South Wales Valley and South Wales Coast. It is a fast and off road course through woodlands, pastures, moorland and mountainsides following hidden trails over the vast expanse of the Afan Forest and surrounding hillsides, starting at Resolven RFC and finishing just outside Aberdare. Delyth Crimes and Dawn Kenwright recorded excellent results in the V50 category, with Delyth achieving a time of 2:47:45, and Dawn, 2:56:22.
Shaking off the tinsel and Christmas Pudding, nine Sarn Helen members took part in the 30th Boxing Day 6 mile Road Race, starting from Crymych Rugby Club. Making it a family affair, brothers Glyn and Huw Price recorded competitive times, along with father and son Tony and Simon Hall, with Simon placed overall ninth, and second in his category. Dee Jolly was second female overall, first in category, with a time of 0:41:06. Results were as follows: Simon Hall, M40, 0:38:18; Glyn Price, M50, 0:38:19; Steffan Thomas, OM, 0:38:44; Huw Price, M50, 0:44:51; Tomos Morgans, OM, 0:46:47; Mitch Readwin, OM, 0:47:33; Nicola Williams, OF, 0:49:07, and Tony Hall, M60, 0:49:16.
Enthusiastic trail runners departed from Lampeter in the dark early morning of 28th December to travel to The Seven Sins Race - seven hills in seven miles in the Forest of Dean, presenting a challenging course with plenty of mud and fast-flowing knee-deep stream crossings after emerging from two long water tunnels. In the female categories, Dee Jolly was first overall with a time of 01:04:59. Eleri Rivers, 01:20:22 (second in category); Liz Pugh, 01:41:53 (third in category); Helen Willoughby, 01:42:07;Nicola Williams, 01:50:48; Elisha Jones, 01:50:48 and Nicola Davies, 01:51:02. In the male categories Mark Rivers, 01:00:59 (first in category); Irfon Thomas (third in category), 01:01:34; Simon Hall, 01:01:34 (third in category); George Eadon, 01:02:01; Steffan Thomas, 01:03:00; Johnathon Price, 01:07:07; Michael Davies, 01:09:12 (first in category); Carwyn Davies, 01:09:54;Tomos Morgans, 01:10:54; Mitch Readwin, 01:16:44; Luke Thomas, 01:22:38 and Tony Hall, 01:24:21 (first in category).
The following day, the Seven Sins Canicross event took place, with Rachel Stoddart ending in 18th place in a time of 01:28:23, a great finish to her very busy racing year around the UK with her team of dogs.
To round the year off, members took part in the Llandeilo 10 mile, and Llandysul 5 k and 10k events. Three Club Sarn Helen runners took on the hills around Llandeilo for the third edition of the Llandeilo New Year’s Eve 10 miler. Perfect running conditions with over 1000 feet of ascent attracted a good entry of over 200 runners. With an injury hit season, Steven Holmes finished a credible 74th in a time of 1:20:42. A first timer for this event, Murray Kisbee finished strongly in the super Vet category in a time of 1:27:09 in 97th place, and Jane Holmes returned to the hills again to finish a strong year of running in 1:48:46 and 185th overall.
At the Llandysul 5k and 10k event, a good turnout was recorded, with dry and clear weather and a few sunny spells, with the promise of cawl for all runners in the Porth Hotel afterwards.
The 10k route struck out past the Porth, taking a right onto country roads for 5k, before turning back and retracing its steps. The weather remained dry, with sunny spells.
Steffan Thomas took eighth overall in a strong field of front runners, with a time of 00:41:04, further results for Sarn Helen were as follows: Michael Davies, M50, 00:42:29; Eleri Rivers, F40, 00:48:00; Mitch Readwin, OM, 00:48:22; Nicola Williams, OF, 00:49:45; Delyth Crimes, F50, 00:50:00; Nia Venville, OF, 00:51:58; Liz Pugh, F50, 00:55:15; Graham Penn, M50, 01:01:45; Pamela Carter, OF, 01:03:52 and Rebecca, Doswell, F40, 01:11:32.
In the 5k event, the route took in a lap of the field close to the start, and then followed the 10k route out of Llandysul, turning at the 2k point to retrace its steps back to the start line. First overall was Sarn Helen’s Johnathan Price, ending a year of strong running results with a time of 00:19:33. He was followed by four Sarn Helen runners: Jasmine Jones, 00:22:19;
Joseff Thomas, 00:23:06; Elin Needham, 00:29:44 and Non Crimes, 00:29:45.