Cracking Christmas & New Year Programme of Events 2018/19 Round-Up Print
Written by Nathan Jones   
Tuesday, 01 January 2019 17:53

Over the Christmas & New Year period in the last fortnight or so, there's been plenty going on and bumper turnouts from competitors and spectators alike. These have included the traditional Nos Galan Races, a new Charity Group Run, New Years Eve end-of-year road local favourites and bonus parkrun special events at nine West Wales venues...CATCH UP WITH IT ALL HERE!

Charity Group Run - Ammanford - 23/12/18

A Charity group run was organised for the first time on the streets of Ammanford Town Centre and the surrounding area on Sunday morning 23rd December.

It wasn't just the opportunity for runners to meet and run together as we entered the final few days of the current year, but they also ran to raise money for a good cause in the lead up to Christmas, which would prove worthwhile.

A grey and drizzly Sunday morning on the eve of the festive period in Carmarthenshire didn't dampen spirits as a large number of local club athletes as well as those not involved in a club gathered outside the Job Centre in the middle of town for the short briefing. In amongst the near 50 athletes present were Amman Valley Harriers Running Club and ATAC Ammanford Triathlon Club members, who turned out in force for the route around their local streets. They were also joined by other individuals who also have a love for running.

It raised money for the Ammanford Foodbank and Toy Appeal, with the charities likely to benefit from the donations recieved.

Athletes of all abilities were able to get involved and join in, thanks to the five different distances that they could choose from. They ranged from 3.5 miles through to 5.5 miles, 6.5 miles, 8.2 miles and the longer 12.5 miles. Runners headed towards the Pontaman, Glanamman, Garnant and Brynaman destinations before returning the same direction.


Runners about to head off in Ammanford; photo credit: Nick Griffiths


On completion of the run, those in attendance gathered at the newly opened Coal Town Coffee for the chance to socialise and enjoy in each other's company.

Speaking on Sunday, Organiser Nick Griffiths was delighted with the turnout and the morning itself. He said:

"Thanks to everyone who took part in today's event, great effort by all. We were delighted with the donations received for the local Foodbank and Toy Appeal, which came to over £300 in total."

"It is hoped that this will be made an annual event in the calendar following this year's run."

The event proved to be a great success, with runners taking to social media to thank those who put it all together shortly afterwards.


Christmas Day parkrun Special - Gorslas/Aberystwyth/Haverfordwest - 25/12/18

While many were busy opening their Christmas presents and turning on the TV to check on film listings, over 300 keen runners kick started their Christmas morning at 9am at three Christmas Day special parkrun events in West Wales. A record 176 runners headed to Llyn Llech Owain in Gorslas, whilst 92 finished the Aberystwyth parkrun and 59 completing the course at Haverfordwest Racecourse. They welcomed first time runners and tourists along with a number who had come along wearing something festive!

Between all the events that went ahead on Tuesday 25th December, records were broken with 2018 being the most well attended. A staggering 93,059 people started off the morning at over 400 locations worldwide.


Aberystwyth parkrun on 25/12/18; photo credit: Keith Morris


Final parkrun Events of 2018 - Various - 29/12/18

Saturday 29th December & Sunday 30th December saw parkrun organisers host the final run of 2018 up and down the country and almost 1,800 of the total runners across the UK enjoyed one last time in West Wales with fast times, big attendances and family and friends joining in with smiles all round. Porthcawl parkrun smashed their previous record with a massive 499 runners along the seafront whilst over in Swansea, they saw 395 head to outside St Helens for the 5K to Blackpill and back. They also took place in Gorslas, Llanelli, Neath, Colby, Haverfordwest, Aberystwyth and Llanerchaeron. On Sunday, the Junior 2K weekly events were on in Carmarthen, Neath and Aberystwyth.

Number of runners in all of Saturday's 5K events: Llyn Llech Owain - 108; Llanelli Coast - 165; Swansea Bay - 395; Gnoll Park - 154; Porthcawl - 499; Colby - 139; Haverfordwest - 92; Aberystwyth - 110; Llanerchaeron - 110

Number of runners in all of Sunday 2K Junior events: Carmarthen Juniors - 15; Gnoll Park Juniors - 23; Aberystwyth Juniors - 24

You can find all your finishing times and keep up to date with your progress on the individual event websites every week. Just search for your local parkrun event and they will return in 2019 starting this forthcoming weekend on 5th and 6th of January.


New Year's Eve Events - Llandeilo/Llandysul - 31/12/18

LLANDEILO: By popular demand, the New Year's Eve 10 Miler was back again on Monday morning 31st December in Llandeilo. Following last year's success, it was no surprise to see club runners and unattached athletes arrive in their numbers. For those who didn't enter online prior to the race, on the day entries were available too. This meant that a bumper turnout of 273 athletes and a few hundred spectators were in attendance to kick start their New Year's Eve.

The run was set in the magnificent Towy Valley as competitors went on a 10 mile road run over a hilly road course in quiet country lanes taking in Garn Goch, views of Carreg Cennen Castle, the Black Mountains and Llandeilo.

The event start and finish was near Tregib Sports Facilities in Ffairfach. After runners completed the course, the Hen Vic in town kindly opened and put on soup for all the runners and volunteers.

Race Organiser Mark Bleasdale said: "There was a fantastic turnout this morning with 273 runners, in the Men's race the first 5 in all beat last year's winning time. There was a new winner in the women's race, Sioned Howells from Amman Valley Harriers who also broke the course record."

"Thanks to all the volunteers and the money raised will be put towards new equipment for the cricket club in Llandeilo."

Winning the race and the Men's overall award as a result was Marc Davies who completed the course in a time of 1:00:28. Run4All Neath athlete Daniel James was the second finish in 1:01:12 with Mark Harrison from Llanelli AC completing the top three in 1:01:52.

Picking up the Overall Female award was Sioned Howells from Amman Valley Harriers. She finished in 14th place overall and broke the women's course record in 1:08:24. She was followed across the line closely by Celia Boothman (LTR coaching 1:13:37) and Wendy Price (Carmarthen Harriers 1:13:41) only four seconds later.


Runners underway in Llandeilo; photo credit: New Years Eve 10 Miler


LLANDYSUL: Elsewhere starting an hour later North of Llandeilo was the Llandysul New Year's Eve 5km and 10km at Llandysul Park organised by John Mills (JM Complete Fitness)

The run started from the park itself and followed the River Teifi towards Llanfair. The route was stunning with a few hills run on quiet country lanes where the runners' efforts were rewarded with some breathtaking views.

It also raised money towards a local community run Leisure Centre, Calon Tysul with 195 runners starting one of the two distances on offer.

John Mills commented: "We had a fantastic turnout for the inaugural Llandysul New Year's Eve 5km and 10km run with 200 runners attending and many of the local clubs out in force."

"The 5km route was flat, fast route ideal for beginners or anyone wanting to achieve a PB. The 10km was a more challenging route with a few lumps and bumps on a truly spectacular course with snakes alongside the river Teifi."

"The 5km was won by junior Callum Campion in a time of 18:30 from Llanelli Athletics Club. First Female was again a junior Carys Wood in 23:24 from Carmarthen Harriers. The 5km event was ideal for beginners and drew in a lot of juniors. The 10km was very competitive with Dai Cole taking the win in a rapid 37:38 (over a very tough course). First female was Eleri Rivers in 48:28 from Sarn Helen."

"Overall it was a fantastic event, which brought the locals out in force and raised over £1000 for our local community funded leisure centre, Calon Tysul. All runners finished and enjoyed a hot bowl of cawl at the Porth Hotel."

Hooter marks the 5km start at Llandysul; picture credit: Justine Dodd


New Years Day parkrun Special - Swansea/Aberystwyth/Haverfordwest - 01/01/19

Just 10 hours or so after welcoming in the New Year...New Years Day special parkrun events got 2019 underway at three West Wales locations on Tuesday morning 1st January.

Aberystwyth parkrun was the first to go with 92 getting involved at 9am having hosted four events in less than a week and a half up in Ceredigion. In Pembrokeshire, it was the same for Haverfordwest parkrun who put on events on both Saturdays as well as Christmas Day and New Years Day. They attracted 95 runners to the New Year's Day event

The third venue where runners gathered for the 5K run out and back at 10.30am was at Swansea Bay parkrun where a massive 518 turned out near the Mumbles.

You can find all your finishing times and keep up to date with your progress on the individual event websites every week. Just search for your local parkrun event and they will return in 2019 starting this forthcoming weekend on 5th and 6th of January.


All the Results in Full - 26/12/18 - 01/01/19

Glynneath 5 Mile Road Race 26/12/18 RESULTS

Crymych Boxing Day 6 Mile Road Race 26/12/18 RESULTS

The Old Father 5 Mile Road Race 30/12/18 RESULTS

Llandeilo New Years Eve 10 Miler 31/12/18 RESULTS

Nos Galan Road Races 2018 31/12/18 RESULTS

Prince of Wales New Years Day 4 Mile Multi Terrain Race 01/01/19 RESULTS