MARCH is officially the start of spring, apparently, but try telling that to the runners who took part in the recent Rhayader Round the Lakes races in freezing arctic conditions.

Snow and freezing rain were the glorious elements that faced the 400 athletes taking part in the 30km and 10km races but that was not enough to deter a hardy group of Aberystwyth Athletic Club runners, who were all ready to take on the challenge.

In the 30km race, Lynwen Huxtable led the Aber team home in a time of 2.32.24 securing 2nd place in her age category with Dan Back not too far behind in 2.39.13.

Mel Hopkins secured 3rd place in his category in 2.40.55, Toby Driver 2.49.50 and Lyndsey Wheeler ensured an impressive personal best in 2.52.14, nearly an hour and a half faster since the last time she ran the race - quite some feat!

Chelsey Morris finished in a time of 2.55.22, Ian Brandreth 3.06.09 and Anita Worthing secured first place in her category in a time of 3.08.10.

Michelle Totterdell finished in 3.27.42 with Cara Nisbet crossing the finish line in 3.32.56.

In the 10k race Michael Harris finished in an impressive time of 53.02, Linda Paasman 1.01.19 and Clare Lancaster crossed the finish line in 1.08.14.

For Dan Back, the weather was just another hurdle in a very challenging race.

He said: “This is a great race, superbly organised by Rhayader Running Club and it’s now in its 40th year.

“I would have hoped though that the weather would have been slightly milder – it was freezing rain and a blizzard of snow – all of course just adding to the fun, and the satisfaction of finishing is so much sweeter as a result.”

Moving slightly further east, around 6,000 miles further east, the destination Tokyo and one of the world’s largest marathons.

Among the 38,000 runners was Aber Athletic Club’s very own Lina Land who completed the course in a time of 4.27.40.

This was the 69th marathon she has taken on and was an incredible experience,.

She said: “I love big city marathons and was very pleased with the way I ran the race

“I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere in an incredible city.”

She went on: “To be able to compete in such a race means getting a great deal of support from my family, friends and fellow club members, so I am extremely grateful to them.

“And I made sure everyone saw the Aberystwyth name on my vest!

“This was a truly magical experience.”

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