August bank holiday weekend offers runners plenty of opportunities to get their trainers out and Aberystwyth Athletic Club athletes took full advantage.
The Narberth Nobbler series of races in Pembrokeshire now has a strong following with many keen to test themselves on its often quirky courses scheduled at all times of the day and night. The recent Wolf Run is a 10k race incorporating trail, road, streams and mud – so something for everyone.
Two Aber AC runners took on the course with Jade Gaitely finishing in 1.26.06 and Dave Humphreys coming in a few seconds later in 1.26.13.
It was a completely new experience for Jade: “I had heard about the Narberth Nobbler races and thought I would give it a try to see if was quite as wacky and fun as everyone said. It offers all kinds of terrain to traverse, with the water crossing being perhaps the trickiest. But it is obviously appealing as nearly 180 people took part and I can honestly it was great fun and an incredibly friendly and supportive event, so I will probably be back!”
Another traditional Bank Holiday event is the Severn bridge half marathon, a unique race as it crosses two countries. The start and finish are in Wales but you cross into England as part of the course via the Wye and Severn bridges.
Lina Land represented Aber AC and completed the course in 2.27.31: “I was going well until about the fourth mile when I felt a little niggle, that had been bothering me for a while. I considered pulling out but carried on till the end and walked some of it but I got there. Looking forward to doing it again when fit and healthy.”
Race the Train in Tywyn is a series of races of different distances run alongside the wonderful Talyllyn Railway and Aber AC had representatives in three of the races. In the 14 mile challenge Maggie Collingborn completed the course in 2.33.46 with Bethan Jones finishing in 3.03.19. In the 10k event Lina Land was 2nd in her age category in a time of 1.04.23 with John Gwynn Evans winning his age category in a time of 1.16.41. Angela Self finished in a time of 1.20.38 with Sue Lewis crossing the line in 1.39.10.
Finally in the 5.5 mile race Martin Koffer won his age category in a time of 50.41 with Rose Mallows finishing in 52.02 closely followed by her mother, Amanda Mallows in a time of 53.16.
For Amanda it was a great experience: “This is a wonderful series of races but the weather, the wind especially posed quite a challenge on the day itself. However it was great to see a strong representation from Aber AC and for me personally it was great to run with Rose although her times now are consistently faster than mine!”
Back to Ceredigion and Cardigan Running Club staged the final of its three races in the popular Poppit Sands 5km series. The popular Poppit Sands 5km is a multi terrain course that starts and finishes at Crwst Poppit Cafe.
Aber AC had five representatives in the final race with Janos Vranek leading the Aber contingent home in 18.25 and fourth place overall and Nathan Robertshaw not too far behind in 19.35. Dave Humphreys who completed all three came home in 26.27 with Theresa Sharland finishing in 32.06 and Catrin Hopkins crossing the line in 37.35.
For Janos, the terrain was different to what he has been used to: “Having raced mainly on the track in recent months this was a different challenge with various terrains, from sand to road to trail but it was hugely enjoyable.
“It is great that a local race can attract over 120 runners and the natural landscape offers such different challenges that we should really appreciate.
“Looking forward to next year already!”