THE traditional Nos Galan 5K and children’s road races in Mountain Ash concluded 2018 on Monday evening (Dec 31) but earlier on New Year’s Eve two other road races were held in West Wales.

By popular demand, the New Year’s Eve 10 Miler was back on Monday morning 31st December in Llandeilo.

Following last year’s success, it was no surprise to see club runners and unattached athletes arrive in their numbers. For those who didn’t enter online prior to the race, on the day entries were available too. This meant that a bumper turnout of 273 athletes and a few hundred spectators were in attendance to kick start their New Year’s Eve.

The run was set in the magnificent Towy Valley as competitors went on a 10 mile road run over a hilly road course in quiet country lanes taking in Garn Goch, views of Carreg Cennen Castle, the Black Mountains and Llandeilo.

The event start and finish was near Tregib Sports Facilities in Ffairfach. After runners completed the course, the Hen Vic in town kindly opened and put on soup for all the runners and volunteers.

Race Organiser Mark Bleasdale said: “There was a fantastic turnout this morning with 273 runners. In the Men’s race the first 5 in all beat last year’s winning time. There was a new winner in the women’s race, Sioned Howells from Amman Valley Harriers, who also broke the course record.”

“Thanks to all the volunteers and the money raised will be put towards new equipment for the cricket club in Llandeilo.”

Winning the race, and therefore the Men’s overall award, was Marc Davies who completed the course in a time of 1:00:28. Run4All Neath athlete Daniel James was the second finisher in 1:01:12 with Mark Harrison from Llanelli AC completing the top three in 1:01:52.

Picking up the Overall Female award was Sioned Howells from Amman Valley Harriers. She finished in 14th place overall and broke the women’s course record in 1:08:24. She was followed across the line closely by Celia Boothman (LTR coaching 1:13:37) and Wendy Price (Carmarthen Harriers 1:13:41) only four seconds later.

Elsewhere, starting an hour later north of Llandeilo was the Llandysul New Year’s Eve 5Km and 10Km at Llandysul Park organised by John Mills (JM Complete Fitness).

The run started from the park itself and followed the River Teifi towards Llanfair. The route was stunning with a few hills run on quiet country lanes where the runners’ efforts were rewarded with some breathtaking views.

It also raised money towards a local community run Leisure Centre, Calon Tysul with a total of 195 runners starting one of the two distances on offer.

John Mills commented: “We had a fantastic turnout for the inaugural Llandysul New Year’s Eve 5km and 10km run with 200 runners attending and many of the local clubs out in force.”

“The 5km route was flat, fast route ideal for beginners or anyone wanting to achieve a PB. The 10km was a more challenging route with a few lumps and bumps on a truly spectacular course with snakes alongside the river Teifi.”

“The 5km was won by junior Callum Campion from Llanelli Athletics Club in a time of 18:30. First Female was again a junior, Carys Wood from Carmarthen Harriers (23:24). The 5km event was ideal for beginners and drew in a lot of juniors. The 10km was very competitive with Dai Cole taking the win in a rapid 37:38 (over a very tough course). First female was Eleri Rivers from Sarn Helen (48:28).”

“Overall it was a fantastic event, which brought the locals out in force and raised over £1000 for our local community funded leisure centre, Calon Tysul. All runners finished and enjoyed a hot bowl of cawl at the Porth Hotel.”

Reporter: Nathan Jones

Photo Credits: Justine Dodd, John Mills & New Years Eve 10 Miler FB page.

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