A Week of Castles and Golf Courses

In a very buy week for the Harriers we welcomed the annual Welsh Castles Relays event as well as the 4th race of the Sexarathon series mid-week, which kept the green and gold army on their toes.

Welsh Castles Relay

Organised by Les Croupiers Running Club Cardiff, The Welsh Castles Relay, a 2 day, 20 stage, 211 mile staggered relay race, held mostly on road but with many hills and mountains on route from Caernarfon to Cardiff with an overnight stay in Newtown.

The first WCR was conceived at the 1982 club AGM by John Thomas and John Taylor. The first Castles event took place one the 17th July in the form of a solo relay starting at midnight from Cardiff Castle and running through the night to Caernarfon Castle.

Over the years the race has developed into the event we see today, a fantastic, scenic and tough 20 stage race that is well loved by all who attend.

After failing to get a place in 2018, we were excited to have received entry into the 2019 event and WCR team organiser Lisa Yeomans put together a 20 strong team to compete over the weekend of the 9th and 10th of June.

The weather wasnt the best and the wet and windy conditions were in stark comparison to the heat wave of 2018. Saturday was by far the worse weather day, but those running on Sunday were gifted slightly less rain and wind!

After 2 days of running up and down the Welsh terrain, competing against 64 other teams, Harriers registered the following results:

Harriers finished in 59th place out of 64 teams in an event that was represented by some very strong teams from across the UK.

A special mention must go to those who gave up their time to cover our marshal responsibilities n the Saturday and who came to support our runners around various legs of the event. A great effort by each and every runner, marshal and supporter on the day.

Sexarathon Race 3: The Shropshire 4 Miler

With barely time to recover from the weekend, midweek saw the third race of the Sexarathon series with a 4 mile race around the Granville Park and Shropshire Golf Club.

Yet again the weather was to play a huge part in this event with over a months worth of rain hitting Telford in little over 24 hours. With the rain still falling and the trail parts of the course extremely muddy, this was set to be an interesting race. But an amazing contingent of Telford Harriers braved the weather and lines up on the start ready to go.

The course was 2.5 laps of sections of the Granville and the surrounding Shropshire Golf Course roads.

Sadly, the gates around the Granville had not been opened, meaning runners had to file through individually and slowing everyone down. However, despite this, and the rain, the race was yet again a success and enjoyed by all who ran.

With 50 Harriers taking part in the 402 strong field, we recorded the following results:

Severn Valley Trail Run

The Severn Valley Trail run is a 5k and 10k Off-road run through woodlands, meadows and along the banks of the River Severn. Its a multi-terrain course with great views throughout and some tough climbs to keep things interesting!

We had a small number of runners taking part in this event, mainly due to it conflicting with the Welsh Castles Relays over the same weekend. Nevertheless, our runners put in some great running coming home with a nice medal and the following 10k times:

58th: Lisa Yeomans - 59:37 (3rd in age category)

72nd: Sam MacLelland - 1:01:06

82nd: Phil Shieber - 1:02:48

215th: Faye Shieber - 1:31:25

291th Jo Snowdon - 1:37:38

Darren Owen-Jones competed in the 5k race, coming home in 9th place overall, 2nd in his age category and with a time of 22:33

The day earlier, Darren had also competed in the infamous Man Vs Horse race, a 22mile race over tough terrain where man takes on the 4 legs of a horse!!

The event began in June 1980 following a chat over a pint (or three) in the back bar of the Neuadd Arms Hotel. The then Landlord, Gordon Green, overheard two men discussing the relative merits of men and horses running over mountainous terrain.

The enterprising Gordon, never one to miss an opportunity to promote Llanwrtyd Wells and improve business at his hotel, decided to put it to the test. And so began Green Events and its first, longest standing and now internationally acclaimed event, Man v Horse.

The winner of the 2019 race was Woottonheath Herbie, ridden by Mark Adams. Darren came home in 713th place in a time of 5:16:45.

Aldridge 10k

The route of the Aldridge 10k is run on both open and closed roads and is rin in conjunction with a 5k and children's race.

The route takes runners around the town of Aldridge in Walsall is a a popular event in the race calendar. Marie Mason ad Tania Willoughby were on lone Harrier runners for this event, registering the following times:

Marie Mason - 59:44 (New 10k PB)

Tania Willoughby - 1:06:32 (2nd in age category)

Parkrun Roundup

We had a small number of runners take on Parkruns at the weekend, results as follows:

Jim Vidler - Oswestry Parkrun - 26:32

Marie Mason - Perry Hall Parkrun - 31:25

And so ends a bust weeks racing for the Telford Harriers.





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