As a runner, the beauty of living in Wales is there is so much variety on offer from town and city races to mountainous climbs and Aberystwyth Athletic Club members had a taste of them all over the past weeks.

The Chester half marathon is one of the UK’s longest established and most highly regarded half marathons, starting and finishing in the historic city of Chester.

The predominately flat city and rural race route offers the opportunity for fast times and so it proved for Aber AC participants. Lyndsey Wheeler completed the course in a PB time of 1.54.48 with Lina Land finishing in 2.13.48 and Helen Williams securing a course PB in a times of 2.39.22.

A special mention must also go to Aber’s Owain Schiavone running for the Welsh Masters team and was the first Welsh runner home in 15th position in a time of 1.13.31.

Helen Williams. Lyndsey Wheeler, Lina Land - Chester half marathon 310523.jpg
Helen Williams. Lyndsey Wheeler, and Lina Land at the Chester half marathon (Submitted)

Lyndsey was delighted with her race: “After a 6am start from Aber, I wasn’t expecting a great time and the warm weather offered an additional challenge. But in the end I took 15 minutes of my previous half marathon PB and came in under the two hour mark for the first time ever. It was brutal, hilly and hot but I am over the moon. The training and support from Aber AC colleagues is obviously paying off.”

The 10.5 mile Ras y Gader is recognised as one of the toughest fell races in Wales, and viewed by many as a classic “must do” race in the calendar. Starting and finishing in Dolgellau, at sea level, the route climbs almost 3,000ft to the summit of Pen y Gader itself. Four hardy Aber AC runners were up to the task and in blazing sunshine completed the course in style.

Dave Powell, Louise Barker, Karen Kemish, Balazs Pinter -Ras y Gader 310523
Dave Powell, Louise Barker, Karen Kemish, Balazs Pinter at Ras y Gader (Submitted)

Balázs Pinter led the Aber contigent home in 1.56.39 with Dave Powell coming home in a time of 2.08.08 and Louise Barker completed the course in 2.14.24.

Karen Kemish crossed the line in a time of 2.44.21 and was delighted to see the finish: “One of the real challenges of the race is the constantly changing terrain, switching from steep metalled roads to flat tracks and pitched steps, and then you have clamber over boulders on the final ascent, before doing it all in reverse. And this on one of the hottest days of the year so far! But the scenery, as you’d expect was breathtaking and it was great to be part of another wonderful Aber AC team effort.”

Another town race is the Newtown 10k, a relatively flat one lap race that starts and finishes in the town centre on fully closed roads and pathways which takes in breathtaking views alongside the river Severn. It was another early alarm call for Aber athletes to make the 9am start but that did not deter 11 keen Aber AC runners.

Ivan Courtier led the Aber contigent home in 43.30, with Paul Jones finishing in 45.27 and Elinor Inns crossing in 49.57. Dave Humphreys finished in 53.20 with Amanda Mallows not far behind in 54.14 and Jade Gaitely followed up her marathon exploits by crossing the line in 55.44. Martin Koffer finished in 56.05, John Evans, 59.47, Hannah Dee 1.00.31 with Irene Griffiths crossing the line in 1.21.49 and Rachel Richards completing the course in 1.37.36.

It was great to be part of the inaugural Newtown 10k according to Elinor Inns: “Considering this was the first time it was held it was great to see over 550 runners take to the course. The weather was perfect which drew out plenty of support and cheered us all the way around this scenic course. Aber AC was well represented and the general consensus was that we’ll be back!”