A beautifully sunny May Day Bank holiday can only mean one thing amongst the valleys and villages of west wales- a scenic and fast Sarn Helen Race! This year, Monday 7th May, was an original and a first as the closure and merge of all the local primary schools meant a brand-new event, Ras Dyffryn Cledlyn, held from the superb new school in the heart of Drefach which was fantastically supported by locals, pupils, families and resident businesses. The races along with the BBQ, cakes and generally pleasant atmosphere drew in big crowds with a total of over 175 children and adults taking part and earning their medals.
68 children took part in the Nursery school race with some as young as 2 having a go. The top places went to Dewi Brettland, Owen Jac Jones and Rhys Evans in the boys and Eva Davies, Lois Evans and Mari Rees for the girls.
A further 50 keen children took part in the primary school race which proved to be much more competitive. Sean Bevan of Aberystwyth AC placed 1st with Sarn Helens Harri Rivers a split seonc behind; 3rd boy was Tudur Jones also of Sarn Helen. In the girls race Hannah Ayonoadu from Ysgol Dyffryn Cledlyn placed 1st, Mali Evans of Talgarreg 2nd and Branwen Orchard of Bro Teifi 3rd.
We witnessed a strong group of teenagers brave the secondary school race, a bit of a toughie that includes a significant climb in the middle. The results in that race were as follows: Boys- Daniel Jones 9:23, Rhys Williams 9:43, Jack Caulkett 9:58, Daniel Morgans 10:33, Luke Thomas 11:39, Iestyn Stephens 11:44, Llyr Rees 15:16, Rhys Phillips 15:33. Girls- Alaw Jones 11:08, Lucy Davies 12:16, Luned Jones 12:20, Lois Jones 13:17, Beca Jones 14:13.
As the sun reached its highest point and the temperate rocketed the 5 mile adults race began. An all road affair with a potentially fast finish the runners are only hindered by the mighty climb during the first two miles. With some bits short and sharp and other sections a gradual drag the athletes climb near 500ft on the small country roads, a challenge under any circumstance but particularly strength zapping in the heat.
Results for the Adults event were as follows:
Open Male- Winner overall Rob Davies (who had also won the Carmarthen Mayors Race held the same morning) 29:14, Kenneth Cauklett 2nd 31:04, Simon Hall 3rd 32:35. Open Female- Overall lady winner Dee Jolly 36:07, Nicola Davies 54:04.
Male 40- Mark Horsman 30:08 (placed 2nd overall), Mark Rivers 33:47, Nigel Davies 34:16. Female 35- Eleri Rivers (2nd lady overall) 39:02, Pamela Carter 44:47, Heather Hughes 47:40.
Male 50- Glyn Price 32:02, Richard Marks 36:00, Tony Hall 37:53. F45- Dawn Kenwright 40:57, Enfys Jones 45:13, Delyth Crimes 46:50.
Further Sarn Helen results-Thomas Willoughby 33:33, Tomos Morgans 33:48, Michael Davies 34:20, Dafydd Lloyd 35:44, Huw Price 38:28, Eric Rees 38:39, Murray Kisbee 38:49, David Thomas 39:37, Carwyn Davies 40:22, Mitchell Readwin 42:20, Paul Weedon 43:36, Haydn Lloyd 44:27, Paul Edwards 44:57, Dorian Rees 45:21, Liz Pugh 50:44, Ormond Williams 52:39, Daniel Willoughby 52:40, Emma Gray 70:37.
This fantastic event would not be possible if it were for all the organisers, marshals, sponsors and volunteers that helped during the run up and one the day so to each and everyone of those involved a big thank you must be expressed. The event was a great success and over £2000 was raised for the school. For further results please see the Sarn Helen Running Club Website.