ALL roads for sporty school-children from Ammanford and the surrounding areas in the Amman Valley and Carmarthenshire led to the Amman Valley Leisure Centre, Ammanford on Monday (11th June) for the 2018 Ammanford Junior Fun Run.
The event has continued to go from strength to strength. With a total of five age groups and 8 different races, there was something for the whole family to enjoy in the Amman Valley festival of running.
Under new organization, the event for the third year in succession altered slightly to past years, with a separate race for the reception children and under. Starting with the younger ages, parents, friends and guardians were able to run alongside the little ones before smiling their way through to the finish line to collect their well-deserved medal.
They completed one lap with the remaining four categories over a distance of 2 laps of the track (800m) with the finish under the inflatable arch in the middle of the field. Due to the large numbers, most of the age groups were split into two with a race each for boys and girls. Other category age groups included years 1 & 2, years 3 & 4, years 5 & 6 plus a comprehensive schools event for years 7 and 8.
Once again in 2018, the junior fun run was kindly sponsored by Noelwyn Daniel & Sharon Daniel at Healthy Life Activities, who provided all the magnificent medals and trophies along with full race commentary.
The sponsor from Healthy Life Activities, Noelwyn Daniel said: “Healthy Life Activities are delighted to be sponsoring and supporting this excellent event. We are keen to see as many youngsters as possible lead a healthy lifestyle and these events are a great way for the children to become active and enjoy themselves at the same time.”
The event was organised by the local running club, Amman Valley Harriers and a large number of the club members were running at the back to support everyone to the finish line, as well as many of the seniors also volunteering in several other ways. It was promoted afar and saw a brilliant response as organisers welcomed a number of visitors from destinations such as Swansea and Ceredigion, including a team of athletes from Morriston Comprehensive School, Swansea as well as those locals who return year after year.
Every finisher on the evening received a finishers medal and in addition those who finished in the top three of the Year 1-8 were also presented with a trophy on conclusion of the racing with many staying on to cheer the athletes who had made it onto the podium.
The conditions were perfect for a great evening out with the sun strongly shining over the Amman Valley LC facility, having avoided the heavy showers that were not too far away. The crowds turned up to support this local event in Carmarthenshire which has become one of the most well attended events for primary school children. The interest shown with schools and others this year was clear to see in the entries received, with a record number of 380 children turning up to enjoy the occasion and the race day atmosphere.
They were all cheered on by spectators and families who lined the side of the track, looking on at all the smiling faces as they achieved their goals. The most number of finishers was found in the Reception & Under and the Year 3 and 4 age groups.
Event press & social media officer Nathan Jones added: “Amman Valley Harriers were delighted to work with Healthy Life Activities to put on the Ammanford Junior Fun Run again in 2018. Whatever their ability and age, the weeknight’s races was open to all ages from those trying out running for the first time in reception to the more experienced club middle distance athletes.
“The feedback has been very positive from spectators and the runners themselves and it is hoped that this event will continue to go strong for years to come, with the potential for many of our participants to go on further in the future for club and country.”
Year 1 & 2 Girls 1 Seren Bowen (Y Dderwen) 2 Macey Smith (Parycrhun) 3 Fflur Moon (Rhydaman)
Year 1 & 2 Boys 1 Iestyn Rees Jones (Rhydaman) 2 Logan MacKenzie-Jones (Y Fro) 3 Cian Morris (Rhydaman)
Year 3 & 4 Girls 1 Jessica Norman (Llansteffan) 2 Martha Morgan (Teilo Sant) 3 Soffia-Mai Davies (Nantgaredig)
Year 3 & 4 Boys 1 William Coles (Rhys Pritchard) 2 Jac Jones (Nantgaredig) 3 William Harnett-Jones (Llandovery College)
Year 5 & 6 Girls 1 Nell Davies (Ffairfach) 2 Elsie Taylor (Y Bedol) 3 Candice Clancy (Ffairfach)
Year 5 & 6 Boys 1 Macsen Toogood (Teilo Sant) 2 Ifan Bowen (Y Dderwen) 3 Alex Coles (Rhys Pritchard)
Year 7 & 8 Girls 1 Amy Tucker (St John Lloyd) 2 Amy Greatrick (QE High) 3 Maisy Miller (Morriston)
Year 7 & 8 Boys 1 Owain Thomas (Dyffryn Aman) 2 Jack Thomas (QE High) 3 Sion Davies (Dyffryn Aman)
Pics and report by Nathan Jones.