WELSH CASTLES RELAY 2015
Last weekend saw 40 Sale Harriers and their fantastic support crew take a little jaunt through Wales! Over the course of 2 days, The Welsh Castles Relay runs from Caernarfon to Cardiff covering over 200 miles throughout 20 different legs. Each year we field 2 teams (both a men’s and a ladies’ team) and the sense of team spirit and camaraderie throughout the weekend is fantastic, as you follow each runner along their leg, chanting, cheering and even wearing a supportive dragon costume if the need arises!
The weather was not kind to the early runners on day one as they battled with a brutal wind along the Welsh coast. This didn’t deter GAZ RAVEN from putting in a sterling performance on the first mountain stage of the day, leg 3, finishing in second place but winning a coveted yellow t shirt as the Veteran Stage winner. The Sale men’s team won several Veteran Stages over the course of the weekend with some epic performances from LEE KAUFMAN on leg 5, STEVE MCCARRON on leg 7, PAUL GREEN on leg 14 and continuing his outstanding PB year, OLLY GAILLEMIN on leg 15.
MIKE ASHBY was our standout hero on Saturday, bringing home leg 9 to our first outright stage win of the weekend and much to the extreme excitement of his wife Hayley who has vowed to get back on those mountains next year after baby Ashby’s arrival! DAVE MARSH stepped up to the mark on a very sunny day two and fought off a late surge from Serpentine and Les Croupiers to win leg 16. NIGEL MARTIN ran a brave leg to finish Saturday’s racing and finished second on leg 10 to a strong Salford performance. Overall, the men’s team finished a tremendous third place to top off a fantastic weekend!
This year the women’s team didn’t have any stage wins but did have some outstanding performances. Unfortunately, KATIE WHITE’S utterly brilliant run on leg 14, the brutal mountain stage to Drovers, in which she took over 4 minutes off the previous course record, was only enough to see her in second place! Our ladies team finished a fantastic second place in the Queen of the Mountains category, a title they had held for the previous 2 years and were 3rd in the ladies’ competition overall. Special mention must go to those women who stepped up to support their club despite not being regular members of the endurance squad: KATE GAVIN, AMY GAILLEMIN, HEATHER BRINT, VICKY CORDINGLEY and TRACEY TAYLOR. LOUISE ROBBINS deserves a special mention for epitomising the team spirit found amongst the endurance runners, as she agreed to run at the eleventh hour despite having to race back to Manchester airport and make a flight!
The support for all runners was phenomenal throughout the whole weekend and we would like to thank all those parents, husbands, wives, children and friends who provided lifts and cheers along the way. Thanks to JERRY SMITH for driving the minibus for the duration, including the beer journey back from Cardiff to Newtown.
Posted 10/06/2015 11:49