Brackla Harriers

Welsh Castles Relay

Welsh Castles Relay

Leg 20 (Paul)-022

This is one of the undoubted highlights of the running calendar in Wales, as over 58 teams compete in running 210 miles long the length of Wales over 20 “stages” in two days. The Welsh Castles Relay is held over the second weekend in June, and seems to be always blessed with warm weather! Brackla have been honoured to have being continuously competing now in the Castles for the last 12 years, and for all involved it becomes a unique way to travel across our beautiful country as each stage varies in length and degree of difficulty, although its safe to conclude everyone is challenging!

As with the Tour de France, the toughest stages are designated as “mountain stages” of which there are six, and although the Castles is a team event, each stage is a head-to-head race. Over the years the Harriers have had a consistent record, and had our “stars” most notably winning stages with Sharon Ford, Nick Xavier and Alun Woods.

For a comprehensive guide to the Welsh Castles Relay check out the Les Croupiers website. Here you can also see profiles of each of the 20 stages, and begin deciding which one you may wish to put your name forward for. Rest assured by talking to fellow members, the stories of the various stages will be recounted, many with harsh memories of pain and “the horror, the horror of those hills!”

Roundup of our results from the 2018 event:

Relay results
We finished 37th overall
31st in the open category (that is to say mixed team entry)
18th on the Mountain Stages (3, 7, 10,11,14,16)

Saturday
Stage 1 – Caernarfon Castle to Penygroes
41 Emily Buckwell 1:14:32
Stage 2 – Penygroes to Criccieth
49 Wayne Frewen 1:27:00
Stage 3 – Criccieth to Maentwrog
23 Sean Michael Lewis 1:23:20
Stage 4 – Maentwrog to Harlech Castle
38 Mark Francis 1:12:30
Stage 5 – Harlech Castle to Barmouth
52 Andrea Starritt 1:21:36
Stage 6 – Barmouth to Dolgellau
54 Andy Fisher 1:31:15
Stage 7 – Dolgellau to Dinas Mawddwy
21 David Moore 1:11:54
Stage 8 – Dinas Mawddwy to Foel
40 Matthew Bunce 1:22:56
Stage 9 – Foel to Llanfair Caereinion
56 Elle Goodridge 1:12:21
Stage 10 – Llanfair Caereinion to Newtown
35 Melanie Williams 1:30:50

Sunday
Stage 11 – Newtown to Llanbadarn Fynydd
22 Christopher Jeynes 1:21:50
Stage 12 – Llanbadarn Fynydd to Crossgates
60 Mary Beech 1:30:17
Stage 13 – Crossgates to Builth Wells
57 Lottie Vaughan 1:27:08
Stage 14 – Builth Wells to Drovers Arms
9 Rhys Francis 1:09:20
Stage 15 – Epynt Visitor Centre to Brecon
21 John Lloyd 1:28:45
Stage 16 – Brecon Canal Basin to Torpantau
31 Ian Ogilvie 1:35:15
Stage 17 – Torpantau to Merthyr
55 Joanna Kay 1:12:56
Stage 18 – Merthyr to Abercynon
50 Roland Matthew 59:25
Stage 19 – Abercynon to Caerphilly Castle
28 Gareth Taylor 56:48
Stage 20 – Caerphilly Castle to Cardiff Castle
24 Paul Speyer 1:05:06