Penarth runners tackle 200mile Welsh Castles Relay
8:18am Thursday 12th June 2014 in Sport
PENARTH and Dinas Runners showed the true meaning of team spirit as they supported each other running the entire length of Wales over the weekend.
They cheered on every member of the club as they battled against torrential rain, blistering sunshine, horrendous hills and unrelenting descents as part of the Welsh Castles Relay.
The relay race, which was split into 20 stages over two days and organised by Les Croupier Running Club, also featured more than 60 running clubs and corporate teams from across England and Wales, as well as one running club from Spain.
The course started at Caernarfon Castle early on Saturday morning, before finishing at Coopers Field in Cardiff on Sunday evening.
Throughout the two days Penarth runners supported their clubmates along the route, making as much noise as they could by ringing cowbells, blowing whistles, clapping hands and screaming encouragement.
Armed with a minibus and two support vehicles they ensured every member was given the support they needed to overcome either the gruelling hills or stiff competition of fellow runners.
Debbie Evans was the first Penarth runner to step up to the plate, in the 9.1mile Caernarfon Castle to Penyrgoes leg, as she finished in 35th place, and 5th in her age category, in 1.11.22.
Chris Nellins was next up in the 10.7mile Penyrgoes to Criccieth Castle stage as he finished in 26th place in 1.11.56.
Marc Durkin, in his first attempt at a ‘King of the Mountain’ stage, ran the 12.1mile Criccieth Castle to Maentwrog leg in torrential rain. He finished in an impressive 1.29.17 in 45th place.
Lindsey Hunt tackled the 9.5mile Maentwrog to Harlech Castle leg and finished in 45th place in 1.16.39.
Janice Clement completed the 9.6mile Harlech Castle to Barmouth stage and finished in 61st place in 1.28.34.
Chris Seal ran the 10.7mile Barmouth to Dolgellau stage in blistering sunshine and finished in 43rd place in 1.26.30.
Andy Jones ran the 9.15mile Dolgellau to Dinas Mawddwy King stage and finished in 36th place in 1.09.50.
Ian Warburton ran the 10.8mile Dinas Mawddwy to Foel stage and finished strongly in 39th place in 1.18.55.
Claire Phillips excelled herself in the 8.6mile Foel to Llanfair Caerinion stage as she finished in 34th place in 1.03.54.
Richard Jackson-Hookins wisely pulled out of the Llanfair Caerinion King stage after battling injury.
In the first leg early on Sunday morning Clem Clement overcame a calf injury to complete the 12.3mile Newtown to Llanbadarn Fynydd King stage in 57th place in 1.40.46.
Paul Mitchell ran consistently well in the 11.2mile Llanbadarn Fynydd to Crossgates stage to finish in 29th place in 1.16.57.
Louise Hunt returned to her hometown to run the 10.6mile Crossgates to Builth Wells stage and finish in 40th place in 1.19.30.
Gary Brown completed the arduous 10.8miles Builth Wells to Drovers Arms King stage, seen by many as one of the hardest legs and curtailed by an illegal rave last year, and finished in 26th place in 1.12.55.
Paul Whitmarsh was forced to pull out of the Red Kite Centre to Brecon stage after aggravating an injury.
Malcolm Bradley completed the unrelenting 8.8mile Brecon to Beacons Reservoir King stage in 1.11.47 to finish in 51st place, before cycling back to his car and meeting the rest of the club at the end.
Lyn Evans took time out of driving the minibus to complete the 9.2mile Beacons Reservoir to Cyfartha Castle stage and finish in 50th place in 1.13.46.
Emma Jarrett battled the afternoon’s heat in the 9.1mile Rhyd-y-car Centre to Abercynon stage to finish in 49th place in 1.14.18.
Simon Marks, in his first Welsh Castles Relay race, completed the 7.7mile Abercynon to Nantgarw stage in an incredible 13th place in 51.39.
Mark Taylor completed the final 10.7mile leg from Caerphilly Castle to Cardiff Castle in 1.20.11 to finish in 58th place, where he was greeted by a sudden downpour and the cheering screams of his clubmates.
Penarth and Dinas Runners were 63rd overall and 43rd in the open competition as it took them 31 hours 36 minutes and 46 seconds to run 206.55miles from North to South Wales.