Sunday 7thJuly 2019 heralded the first Healthspan Porthcawl 10k, the third in the Healthspan series, with 3375 runners starting off in sunny, warm conditions. The route stretched along the promenade, with views across Newton, Trecco and Sandy Bays, with a number of cross-country and marathon champions competing and supporting the event. Sarn Helen Club husband and wife Nigel and Lorraine Davies took on the challenge, achieving times of 00:41:45 and 01:13:13 respectively.
Cwmann 5 mile race and junior races
A week after the very warm conditions of the Felinfach Club races, the Sarn Helen Cwmann 5 mile and junior races took place the warm and sunny evening of Friday 5thJuly 2019. The Cwmann Village Hall and field was the location for the junior races, as well as the start and finish for the senior race, with family members taking part in both, and enjoying burgers, cakes and coffee on the field, as well as sport massages in the Hall.
In the juniors 400 metres, first place went to Llewelyn Gregson, Dyffryn Cledlyn, in second place Leighton Davies, Carreg Hirfaen, with Oliver Readwin, Carreg Hirfaen in third place.
In the juniors 800 metres, first overall was Mari Evans Carreg Hirfaen, second Hari Jones Carreg Hirfaen and third Tudur Llwyd. Other Sarn Helen junior results were as follows: Eva Davies: 6.28; Owen Jac Jones: 6.32; Elin Onwy: 6.39; Sophie Cotton: 6.41; Non Crimes: 6.41; Lloyd Thomas: 6.44; Pip Barnicoat: 6.47; Christopher Readwin: 6.51; Jac Rees: 7.07; Tomos Green: 7.11; Rhun Davies: 7.14; Steffan Rivers: 7.31; Gruffudd Roderick: 7.34 Abbie Green: 7.36; Elin Evans: 7.58; Mari Rees: 8.34; Alex Brown: 9.20 and Poppy Caulkett: 9.26.
In the juniors 1500 metres, first place went to Rhys Williams: 8.21, with Jack Caulkett in second place with a time of 9.02, and Rhodri Gregson with a time of 9.44. Other Sarn Helen results were: Violet Caulkett: 10.01; Gwenllian Llwyd: 10.06; Sean Wood: 10.56; Iestyn Stephen: 11.53 and Llyr Rees: 12.02.
The five mile seniors’ race followed a route down through Cwmann towards Cellan, around the back of the village to the monument and back through Cellan before climbing the hill back to the Hall and one lap around the field. There were 47 runners hailing from clubs across the area as well as further afield in Co. Galway, Ireland, with great support from bystanders on the route.
First overall was Sarn Helen’s Ken Caulkett (OM), with a time of 00:30:30; closely followed by Glyn Price, Sarn Helen (M50), with a time of 00:30:57, with Mike Sherman (M40) coming in third with a time of 00:31:35.
Other Sarn Helen Club results were as follows: Irfon Thomas, 00:32.00 (Second OM); Carwyn Davies, 00:32.01 (Second M40); Mark Rivers, 00:32.07 (Third M40); Nigel Davies, 00:33.10; Daniel Jones, 00:33.16 (Third OM); Alexander Price, 00:34.04; Steffan Thomas, 00:35.12; Richard Marks, 00:35.56; Mick Taylor, 00:37.58; Eleri Rivers, 00:37.59 (First F45); Eric Rees, 00:38.34; Owen McConochic, 00:38.48;Mitch Readwin, 39.10; Delyth Crimes, 00:39.33 (Second F45); Marc Davies, 00:39.53; Heather Hughes, 40.23 (Second F35); Murray Kisbee, 00:40.25; Enfys Needham Jones, 00:42.00 (Third F45); Joanna Rosiak, 42.07 (Third F35); Carol Rees, 00:42.17; Pamela Carter, 00:43.24;Liz Pugh, 43.25; Elisha Jones, 00:45.03 (Third OF); Lisa Naden Hughes, 00:45.23; Sian Bela Jenkins, 45.45;Nicola Davies, 00:49.12; Nanette John, 52.32; Jane Holmes, 00:54.26; Rebecca Doswell, 00:54.26 and Emma Gray, 01:03.32.
Race to the Stones 13 and 14 July
Saturday 13 July saw the start of the Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones, a two-day 100-kilometre running event across the Ridgeway, from Oxfordshire to Avebury, with a total climb of 3,704 feet and including sights such as the White Horse at Uffington. The route passes up and along the high ground South West from Lewknor in Oxfordshire to the Thames crossing at Goring. From this point the route rises up onto the North Wessex Downs passing golden fields before the iconic finish at the Neolithic monument in Avebury. A challenging event, Sarn Helen’s Nigel Davies, taking part in the V40 category, achieved a time of 04:50:01 for the 50K distance.
Black Mountains Trail Running Challenge 13 July
Set in the beautiful surrounds of Llanbedr, and billed as one of the hardest and most scenic challenges in Wales, the first Black Mountains Trail Running Challenge also took place on Saturday 13 July. The route climbed Table Mountain, descended to a valley and then ascended once more to the ridge leading to Crug Mawr. Taking on the challenge of the half marathon, 23 kilometres, with a total elevation of 1083 metres (3553 feet) was Sarn Helen’s Jane Holmes, who achieved a time of 04:41:39, with 15thin her category.
Ammanford 10K 14 July
On a very warm and sunny Sunday 14 July morning, the Ammanford 10K took place, following an open-road route around Ammanford and the surrounding area. Sarn Helen members achieved the following results: Carwyn Davies, 00:40:21; Ken Caulkett, 00:40:22; Tim Rayner, 00:44:23; Nicola Davies, 00:57:44; Sian Bela Jenkins, 00:57:55; Elisha Leigh Jones, 00:59:40 and Jenny Caulkett, 01:03:54
Pen y fan Race 14 July
Also on Sunday 14July 2019, participants gathered for Mynydd Du Mountain Runner’s Pen y Fan Race. With entrants restricted to 150 for this 5.8 kilometre race, with an ascent of over 588 metres (1930 feet) on a hot sunny day, the right kit and experience were crucial. Glyn Price of Sarn Helen Running Club took on the challenge in the MV50 category, finishing 20thoverall out of a field of 84 runners, 3rdin his category, in a time of 00:44:58.
Competing in the 16.5 kilometre Fan y Big Horseshoe race, with an ascent of 670 metres (2,200 feet) was Daniel Hooper, in the MV40 category. Daniel achieved a time of 00:46:10, finishing in 14thposition out of 117 runners, and 6thin his category.
July has been another busy month for Sarn Helen Running Club, which has held the sixth, out of eight, of its own annual Club races and whose members have travelled far and wide to compete in challenges both within Wales and further afield.
Poppit Series (1) 23 July 2019
23 July 2019 saw the start of the annual Poppit Sands series, set on the beautiful sands of north Pembrokeshire in St Dogmaels. This is a series of three 5k multi-terrain runs for the seniors, on beach and road; and a beach run of just over one mile for the juniors. This was a Sarn Helen family event for the Rivers, with parents Eleri and Mark competing in the seniors, and brothers Harri and Steffan competing in the juniors.
Out of a field of 82 runners, senior results were as follows: Mark Rivers (M40) 00:19:58; Irfon Thomas (OM) 00:20:15; Johnathan Price (YTM) 00:20:29; Mitchell Readwin (OM) 00:24:42; Eleri Rivers (F45) 00:25:14; Liz Pugh (F45) 00:27:58 and Sian Bela Jenkins (OF) 00:30:17.
Sarn Helen juniors competed in a field of 97 runners, times were as follows: Harri Rivers (Age 12, B13) 00:10:30; Jac Rees (Age 10, B10) 00:12:39 and Steffan Rivers (Age 9, B10) 00:13:32.
Dolgellau 5 mile race
Meirionydd Running Club’s Dolgellau 5 mile road race took place on 27 July 2019. The course, which starts at the bottom of a steep hill leading from Dolgellau towards Llanfachreth, is undulating with a height gain of 600 metres and combines, foot and cycle paths and roads. Sarn Helen’s Caryl Davies took on this challenging course, and achieved a fantastic time of 00:34:57 in the F31 category, finishing second overall – ardderchog!
Another warm and sunny day with a light breeze greeted the runners taking part in the popular annual Tenovus 5k fundraiser. Participants hailed from a wide area, and welcomed members of the Lampeter Couch to 5k Group. In the senior event, a new course record was set by David Jones of Carmarthen Harriers, who completed the route of three laps of the town at high speed, with a time of 00:16:45. The event raised a total of £315.30, and thanks go to organisers, marshalls, supporters and all who made donations of their time, baking and bottles for the bottle stall.
First places for the girls and boys juniors went to Sarn Helen members Tomos Green and Eva Davies, both familiar faces in running events who continue to achieve great times.
In the senior event Sarn Helen recorded the following results:Mark Rivers (1stM40), 00:18:37; George Eadon (2ndOM), 00:18:47; Irfon Thomas (3rdOM), 00:18:59; Carwyn Davies (2ndM40) 00:19:05; Steffan Thomas 00:19:50; Dee Jolly (1stOF), 00:20:34; Jack Caulkett (1stM18), 00:20:46; Eleri Rivers (1stF45) 00:22:20; Nicola Williams, (2ndOF), 00:22:28; Owen Davies (3rdM18), 00:24:05; Dawn Kenwright (1stF55), 00:24:19; Joanna Rosiak (1stF35) 00:24:38; Harri Rivers (M18), 00:25:06; Violet Caulkett (1stF18) 00:25:50; Elisha Jones (OF), 00:26:11; Sian Bela Jenkins (OF), 00:26:12; Nicola Davies (OF), 00:27:52; and Emma Gray (F35) 00:41:19.
Cider Frolic 27-28 July 2019
The Cider Frolic, held in Blandford Forum, Dorset is one of a number of very popular events organised by White Star Running, taking in the beautiful scenery of the county. This race is a timed, multi-lap event for solos, pairs and three and teams of fours, with each lap measuring 6 km. Participants can complete as many laps as they are able, within a 12 hour period. The day was very hot and sunny, with temperatures of 29 degrees, as runners took to the route that circumnavigates golden fields of ripening crops. Helen Willoughby and Emma Gray took part in this feat of endurance, with Helen completing 14 laps (52.4 miles) and achieving 3rdsolo female, and Emma completing 11 laps (42 miles) in 12 hours.