Ras Y Hafod, an annual event held around the majestically grounds of Hafod estate, was well attended by Sarn Helen Running club on Wednesday 9th May with juniors and seniors taking home some bling. The all off road and somewhat technical secondary school event was won outright by Sarns Gwion Payne and the first girl home was our very own Alaw Jones. The 10k adults race was just as well attended by the dreaded midges but they seemed to impact little on the Sarn Helen performances. We placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4rd overall with Felipe Jones 40:37, Dylan Lewis 40:51, Gareth Payne 42:51 and Andrew Poole 45:05. Aled Sion Jones placed 7th overall in 47:46 with Dee Jolly next to cross the line in 48:02, 1st lady. Eilir Evans made his Sarn Helen debut in a strong time of 49:36 while Tony Hall placed 1st M60 in 53:55 and Mick Taylor 1st M50 in 55:30.
On the misty morning of Sunday the 13th of May, 6 Sarn Helen members collected at Lampeter swimming pool to start the 3rd Campau Caron Triathlon. This year’s Triathlon was different to previous years with the competitors starting in Lampeter and finishing in Tregaron. The 400meter swim was in Lampeter Swimming pool, on finishing their swim the 31 competitors took to their bikes and cycled the 12miles to Tregaron, through the villages of Cellan, Llanfair and Llanddewi Brefi before reaching Tregaron Leisure centre and into the 2nd transition.
Friday 25th May was a day of temperamental showers and gloomy winds, that was until 6pm and the race preparations, warm ups and registration started for the annual Ras Y Llychau began. Sarn Helen member and event organiser David Thomas always seems to please the weather gods and year after year glorious weather is a given; the skies cleared and the roads dried up just in time for the fiercely fast and competitive kids race to start.
An outstanding performance by Sarn Helen’s Jessica Bruce at Ras Y Barcud Coch put her on top of the ladys race and also gained her an invite to the prestigious Trail Running Championships in France where she proudly represented both club and country. She placed 1st lady with a time of 2:00:45 on Saturday 5th of May in the gruellingly hard half marathon organised by Dic Evans and held over the mountains surrounding Devils Bridge, resulting in her completing an equally tough 26k trail race in Brittany on Saturday 19th May; this time in the royal red Welsh colours.
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.
One week later and the winds had cooled, the skies had dulled and the weather was, to be put simply, perfect for running. One week later, April 29th, also dawned the inaugural ABP Newport Wales Marathon and with 5 Sarn Helen on the start line it was a pleasant day of excitement and apprehension. A storming performance from Caryl Wyn Davies came as no surprise seeing that 2018 so far has been full of PB’s and promise. This was the young athletes 8th marathon to date and her experience along with her dedication made for a very special day. Her outstanding time of 3:13:15 was the fastest pace a female Sarn runner has achieved for some time and placed her 6th lady overall, 4th in the Open Lady class.
April 22nd, Virgin London Marathon time has been and gone but for those who ran, the recovery road is long and usually painful. Immense heat made running tough for all competitors and the difficult conditions were reflected in people’s times and for some, unfortunately, their enjoyment.
Two off road events held on the same day (April 7th) meant a parting of company for some teammates albeit temporarily. The Rivers family, Simon Hall and mud lover Dan Hooper travelled south to take part in the rescheduled Ras Dewi Sant Half Marathon organised by Man-Up Uk while Dee Jolly, Mitchell Readwin and CarwynDavies travelled east to race along Sugar Loaf Mountain in Mynydd Du’s 7 mile fell race.