Each year, South West Road Runners enters teams to race the Welsh Castles Relay, a 2 day staggered relay race from Caernarfon to Cardiff – in total 20 stages taking in 211 miles of the finest hills Wales has to offer. This year’s race report has been compiled by Tracey Lloyd. Thanks go to all of the photographers who have contributed to this page – in particular Dan Grey: our travelling reserve and adopted official photographer, and Richard Stone.

For the 2018 race, we entered two teams: a ladies team and an all male open team. The men placed 17th in the open category, and we were 8th ladies.

A special mention must go to Julie Hedges and Sam Hopton, our team captains, who put unthinkable hours of organisation and effort into ensuring that the weekend went smoothly!

In 2019 the race will be held over the weekend of 8 & 9 June and our club will again be applying for 2 team entries.

There Were Some Buses…
Basically, there were some buses (how many still unsure). We put our stuff on the buses; not sure what bus our stuff was on but there were busloads of us! The ‘bus drivers’ had their own style – some conscientious, some chilled and some felt that the ‘Lamborghini’ approach was the best way to tackle the beast and get to the start line (you know who you are)!

There Were Some Runners…
Basically, there were some runners (1,000 at the last count- ok perhaps not but, it did seem to be a hell of a lot of us -who quite willingly – I repeat- willingly!! agreed to sleep on a hard gymnasium floor. Some were so starved of companionship (and possibly oxygen) that they spent their birthday there! At the crack of dawn we shared four toilets and one coffee machine – that’s four toilets, not hotel stars!

There Were Some Buses (Again)…
Back on the bus, some with our stuff, some with stuff on another bus, but it seemed to work. We ran in the heat; sweating and swearing (some more then others). We stalked runners, yelled at them and flung open sliding bus doors, handing water to complete strangers and scaring the %^& out of them. We were positive, “come on”, “you can do it”, “keep going”, knowing that when they were out of earshot they were just proper f***ed.

The team ran their socks off; I didn’t wear any so can’t comment. Some marshalled not knowing what they were doing but looking professional in a yellow bin bag. The fact there was no body count, it is presumed all runners made it safely to their destination.

We all got back on the bus with our stuff (don’t know what bus and if we had our stuff on the bus) but we do know we will never ride the bus again!

That is the REAL lowdown on the weekend, but the other one, which is also very real is how much a large handful of people can TALK about running incessantly, then RUNNING, then probably DREAMING about running, then WATCHING runners and then, oh I don’t know, perhaps RUNNING again! (And I will point out that I am WRITING -you guessed it -about running!). And they are a great bunch of people and it was lovely to share my love of running with all of them. Thank you.

An outstanding time made possible by Julie and Sam and Donna and all who sang for Louise and my birthday (you can’t sing BTW – stick to running) and to Louise who transported that cake around the whole weekend in the back of hot buses – if there is any left perhaps we can keep for the next years birthday!?

Thanks again SWRR, you really know how to RUN a great event (but not drive a bus!).

David Wilson ran for the open team (21st, 1:05:20)
Rosie Glazier ran for the ladies team (49th, 1:16:04)

Distance: 9.1 miles (14.6km)
Climbing: 448ft (136m)

Mike Feighan ran for the open team (24th, 1:15:08)
Fern Rice ran for the ladies team (51st, 1:30:16)

Distance: 10.7 miles (17.2km)
Climbing: 369ft (112m)

Sam Hopton ran for the open team (10th, 1:17:16)
Kate Philp ran for the ladies team (retired from injury)

Distance: 12.3 miles (19.8km)
Climbing: 943ft (287m)

James Benham ran for the open team (39th, 1:12:35)
Zara Salman ran for the ladies team (59th, 1:22:53)

Distance: 9.5 miles (15.3km)
Climbing: 488ft (149m)

Paul Thomas ran for the open team (24th, 1:07:16)
Tracey Lloyd ran for the ladies team (55th, 1:23:14)

Distance: 9.6 miles (15.5km)
Climbing: 459ft (140m)

Gareth Davies ran for the open team (4th, 1:05:32)
Amanda Perry ran for the ladies team (48th, 1:26:52)

Distance: 10.7 miles (17.2km)
Climbing: 718ft (219m)

Miles Woolnough ran for the open team (8th, 1:07:06)
Louise Reynolds ran for the ladies team (64th, 1:34:59)

Distance: 9.1 miles (14.7km)
Climbing: 1472ft (449m)

Rob Somers ran for the open team (25th, 1:15:32)
Amy Carey-Jones ran for the ladies team (42nd, 1:23:12)

Distance: 10.8 miles (17.4km)
Climbing: 1015ft (309m)

James Everidge ran for the open team (20th, 54:55)
Lynda Garcia ran for the ladies team (50th, 1:09:39)

Distance: 8.6 miles (13.8km)
Climbing: 325ft (99m)

Ollie Thorogood ran for the open team (25th, 1:26:41)
Suzie Tosh ran for the ladies team (63rd, 1:51:19)

Distance: 13.1 miles (21.1km)
Climbing: 1110ft (338m)

Tim Vialls ran for the open team (14th, 1:18:47)
Julie Hedges ran for the ladies team (56th, 1:37:19)

Distance: 12.3 miles (19.8 km)
Climbing: 1297 ft (395 m)

Julian Cabrera ran for the open team (16th, 1:12:34)
Donna Smith ran for the ladies team (58th, 1:29:07)

Distance: 11.2 miles (18.0 km)
Climbing: 503 ft (153 m)

Gavin Connor ran for the open team (38th, 1:16:56)
Laura Nicholls ran for the ladies team (65th, 1:30:49)

Distance: 10.6 miles (17.1 km)
Climbing: 517 ft (158 m)

Ed Pickering ran for the open team (39th, 1:17:35)
Nikki Saville ran for the ladies team (40th, 1:17:46)

Distance: 10.8 miles (17.4 km)
Climbing: 1618 ft (493 m)

Paul Stidworthy ran for the open team (60th, 1:45:05)
Rachel Willmott ran for the ladies team (51st, 1:39:17)

Distance: 12.8 miles (20.6 km)
Climbing: 495 ft (151 m)

Jamie Howard ran for the open team (31st, 1:33:35)
Tracy Connor ran for the ladies team (63rd=, 1:59:00)

Distance: 12.5 miles (20.1 km)
Climbing: 1179 ft (359 m)

Richard Stone ran for the open team (31st, 1:02:09)
Caroline Tait ran for the ladies team (57th, 1:14:12)

Distance: 8.7 miles (14.0 km)
Climbing: 407 ft (124 m)

Andy Macmillan ran for the open team (29th, 52:16)
Pauline Warner ran for the ladies team (57th, 1:01:28)

Distance: 7.3 miles (11.7 km)
Climbing: 304 ft (93 m)

Lewis Jones ran for the open team (31st, 57:31)
Mary Daymond ran for the ladies team (61st=, 1:13:00)

Distance: 7.7 miles (12.4 km)
Climbing: 278 ft (85 m)

Nick Bruce-White ran for the open team (21st, 1:04:12)
Kathryn Hough ran for the ladies team (59th, 1:19:51)

Distance: 9.9 miles (15.9 km)
Climbing: 205 ft (62 m)