WELSH CASTLES RELAYS 2014
What has now become a firm date in the calendar for the endurance section of the club is the Welsh Castles Relay, which is a 200 mile relay split into 20 legs stretching from Caernarfon to Cardiff. This year was no exception with two teams entered and competition high to get into both the men’s and the women’s team.
In summary the men came fourth overall, slightly down on last year, however the competition and the standard have been increased. Salford brought their A game to the competition with athletes such as Hardman, Bailey, Shaw and Robinson to contend with and both Les Croupiers and Serpentine competed with strong teams. The ladies team fared much better, they successfully retained their Queen Of The Mountains title coming third overall, behind Serpentine and Les Croupiers.
Individually the weekend produced some fantastic performances. For the men; Callum Rowlinson comfortably won leg 1, just 6 seconds off the course record. Gareth Raven, on one of the weekend’s horrendous legs (13.1 miles and a rather large hill at the start), destroyed the field to win this leg for the 4th time. This leg is always blue ribbon leg with a strong line up so respect must be shown. After a month out with a foot injury, Nigel Martin came second on leg 12, Paul Green was veteran winner on leg 14 and Carl Barber improved his finishing position from 2013 to finish second, claiming his first vet title. The fact that he was drinking red bull a few hours later demonstrated how hard he had to work for it! Other notable performances were Andy Mooney and Rob Flannery who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively on their legs.
In the women, hats off must go to Castles debutant Katie White. Not only did she have to wake up at 5am to prepare for her leg but she had to tackle some horrendous hills too. She took it all in her stride by smashing out a convincing win by over a minute to take the mountain leg 11. Her face was a million smiles whilst she paraded her yellow tee shirt and dragon memento round the finishing area. Helen Armitage, Viv Slack and Hayley Ashby all came second on their respective legs with Emma Finney placing third on leg 10. These fine performances resulted in the ladies retaining their Queen of the Mountain title with the above plus Jan Nicholls parading their sweatshirts round the finish.
Following the presentation, most of the team stayed in the Welsh Capital for a night of fun with a few hanging on till 4am.
Thanks must go to the both team captains, Paul Barrett and Jan Nicholls for getting 40 runners out, Bill Fox who drove the mini bus round all weekend, Mike and Hayley Ashby for writing the transport plan and Ian and Cat Jones for reviewing the plan.
This is our sixth time we have put a team together for this event and every year is a memorable event. Every athlete raises their game for their leg and runners go out of their way to support other athletes demonstrating great team cohesiveness.
Same time next year? You bet ya!
Posted 10/06/2014 07:25