Report by Pete Hawcroft
I was lucky enough to get a leg in this year’s Welsh Castles Relay after not being there for several years and it reminded me of why this is such a great event to take part in. Virtually all of the 65 clubs competing are there every year so at the start there is a sense of reunion with friends and a carnival atmosphere with many clubs waving their banners.
The scenery throughout is stunningly beautiful even if some of the legs are tough. What makes the event unique is that runners have to be supported by their own teams which results in the race being followed by a large caravan of cars and minibuses with vehicles stopping periodically to offer drinks to their own team mates and anyone else in need. Some runners may only follow part of the event while others follow it all. This creates a really great, slightly manic, atmosphere along the route and at the 20 leg starts.
Les Croupiers organise the event brilliantly but all clubs have to take a share of the marshalling which encourages a sense of involvement.
This year we had a reduced team available but Simon made an excellent job of organising it all. We finished a very creditable 12th from 65 teams even with three ‘pensioners’ like me in the team. There were 3 new club stage records set.
The club is currently in a strong position, evidenced by the successes for men and women in the last cross country season. It would be great if next year we could put out a stronger team (or 2 as we used to do) and as much as I enjoyed this year I would be happy to give way to faster runners.