The final event in the North Wales cross country league was held recently in Oswestry and once again Aberystwyth Athletic Club had a strong presence. This season has seen Aber AC return to cross country competition and while the aim has been to give members various new running experiences, the interest has surpassed expectations.

The club went a step further, however in Oswestry, and came away with the bronze medal for the men’s team which delighted club captain Edd Land.

He said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to be the club team manager for this year’s North Wales Cross Country League. The interest within the club has been growing as the league progresses and I’m sure we’ll see an even bigger team for the 2024/2025 season.

“The aim was to simply make an AAC presence this year, so to walk away with Bronze in League Division two is such a welcome surprise and serves as big motivation for next year’s league.

“What is great about the cross country competition is that every single member of the team has an impact and can make a positive difference to the teams standing in the overall results.”

One of the most popular local races is the Sarn Helen organised Tregaron Half Marathon and this year was no exception with nearly 120 runners taking part and strong representation from Aberystwyth.

Gruff Lewis continued with his running success leading the Aber team home in a time of 1.20.00 securing 5th place overall. Paul Jones finished in 1.28.27 with Ian Evans crossing the line in 1.33.30. Damian Sidnell secured 3rd in his age category in 1.40.24 with Lynwen Huxtable finishing 2nd in her age category in a time of 1.43.55.

Balazs Pinter crossed the line in 1.46.17, Mel Hopkins in 1.47.33, with Ceris Williams finishing in 1.51.40 and Toby Driver not too far behind in 1.51.48.

Maggie Collingborn completed the course in 1.56.21, Chelsey Morris 1.58.37 and Anita Worthing 2.05.40 with Mark Bloomfield crossing the line in 2.14.29 and Elaine Rowlands completing the course in 2.21.09.

For Gruff Lewis, this was another positive step forward in his running career: “Everyone had been talking about this race, a challenging but hugely enjoyable local half marathon – and so it proved. I had set myself a target of 80 minutes and was glad to be spot on – so things are going in the right direction.“

Aber AC’s Louise Barker and Dave Powell like to take things to the extreme and an 18km fell race with over 1,300metres climb was their most recent challenge. The Long Mynd fell race in Shropshire is billed as ‘not an easy fell race’ so most people would be discouraged but not Louise.

She said: “I have to admit this was quite a brutal fell race with seven different climbs making it a challenging adventure to say the least. The weather was pretty good though which meant excellent views when I had the time to admire them. A great day out but very glad to see the finish line.”

Dave finished in 63rd position in a time of 2.30.48 while Louise completed the course in 2.40.36, securing 2nd spot in her age category.