THE 2018 edition of the Royal Welsh Run returned to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales in Llanarthne for the second time last weekend, Sunday (Nov 25) to raise funds for the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.

The re-scheduled date on a bright morning saw runners of all ages and abilities descend on the Llanarthne facility following the postponement in mid-October due to Storm Callum.

There were events to suit everyone, from the 2.5K run and walk for youngsters and families through to the 5K and main 10K races, as they made their way around a loop of the grounds. All those who finished under the arch received their own finishers medals with cash prizes up for grabs for the race winners in addition.

Along the route, runners passed some of the venue’s attractions, including The Gatehouse, Walled Garden, Welsh Orchard, The Square, Middle Park, Garden Lakes as well as the Great Glass House where the start and finish was situated nearby.

The two leading 2.5K runners, Sam Griffiths and Jac Jones were quick around the course finishing in 9:24 and 9:31 respectively. William Davies and Rhys Jones were placed in third and fourth in a close finish. The girls’ winner was Manon Phillips in fifth overall (12:38). She was followed by Maia Addison-Evans (13:31) and Mali Griffiths (14:23).

It was a busy morning for Tom Sinton who did the double in the 5K and 10K distances. Defending his 5K title won in 2017, he was victories over the same course in 16:40. Meanwhile in the 10K, his time of 36:21 was almost a minute ahead of the second placed runner to round off a successful morning. Next to follow in the 5K was Ryan Tarasconi (18:37) and Matthew Page (19:23) whilst in the corresponding female age group, Sally Martin (26:50) was the quickest with Michelle Whittal-Williams (27:03) and Lydia Smith (29:22) filling second and third.

A total of 119 runners took to the start line of the 10K, watched on by a decent crowd who came out to support the participants. Following behind Sinton for second position was Ieuan Griffiths in 37:03, and Lewis Jones completing the open male top three in 37:26. Joanne Bowes’ 14th place overall saw her finish as the first female (45:20) and not too close behind were Gayle Budden (47:13) and Laura Mason (48:16).

Race Organiser Kathryn Jones said: “We had a very successful event at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales especially after being postponed due to Storm Callum. It was a fairly easy event to organise and run as the team at the Gardens were so helpful and flexible. On top of that, the group of marshals are all good friends of the Llanddarog / Llanarthne Royal Welsh Group.”

“The weather played a big part this year and our announcer did a great job motivating runners before, during and after their runs. We were well supported by last year’s President – Mr Brian Jones, this year’s president – Mr Tom Tudor and next year’s president Mr Seimon Thomas. Thank you to all who supported in any way as we turn our attention to 2019.”

The race in Carmarthenshire has now become annual and the event is set to return in October 2019.

Event Reporter & Photos: Nathan Jones

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