Castles weekend is always a highlight in the Club calendar, and this year was no exception. An annual event, superbly organised by Les Croupiers RC, the Welsh Castles Relay 2015 brought 65 teams together to compete against each other over 20 Stages, that is 1300 runners! Starting from Caernarvon Castle on Saturday morning the race ends a day later, and some 200 miles further south, in the field behind Cardiff Castle on Sunday afternoon – and running is only part of the challenge.
To participate in the Castles is a major operation that requires a lot of organisation and commitment. To get a runner, on time, to the start of each of the 20 stages, and collected again once they’ve finished is a challenge in itself. Throw in arranging accommodation, meals, hiring a minibus and supplying marshals to certain sections of the course, and you begin to understand the scale of the task. So a big thanks to Paul Day, Chris Davies and Sarah Lauder for their efforts in organising the teams and getting them there.
This year we fielded two teams in the two-day relay, an all-male Open team and, for only the second time, a Ladies team. The Open team had a respectable mid-table finish (22nd out of 44 Open teams) whilst the Ladies came 5th out of 7 Ladies teams entered. Most importantly fun was had by all.
However, no review of the weekend would be complete without a mention of the tremendous performance put in by Emma Wookey on Stage 14, Builth Wells to the Drovers Arms, considered by many to be the toughest of the lot (try driving it!). In a display of apparently effortless hill running Emma knocked 7 minutes off the previous course record in what one Les Croupiers member referred to as “arguably the performance of the weekend”. Well done Emma.