Red Kite Challenge Saturday 5th May        Results        Pics by Esyllt Richards

Record Falls as Runners Excel at Red Kite Challenge

Former UK Trail Running Champion Tim Davies of Maldwyn Harriers (462) battles it out with the eventual winner and new UK Champion, Richard Roberts of Eryri Harriers (505) Overall winners of the Red Kite Challenge weekend: Kate Beecher of Les Croupiers and Gareth Green of San Domenico hold their Welsh Crystal Trophies.

The 10th running of the Red Kite Challenge over the weekend of 5th-6th May was hailed as the best yet, with record numbers of participants competing on both days of what has become a well established event in the trail running calendar. Day one of the event, ‘Sialens Y Barcud Coch’, was held at Nant yr Arian Forestry Visitor Centre near Aberystwyth, and included the UK (short course) and Welsh Trail Running Championships. With the junior races having also been chosen as selection races for the Welsh team at the forthcoming World Youth Mountain Running Championships, and the senior races as a Welsh selection event for an International Mountain Running competition in Cumbria in June, a great deal was at stake for some of the more elite athletes, and a quality field was assembled.

This race is renowned for its scenic views of the Cambrian Mountains and the Ceredigion coast – but also for its tough and uncompromising 11 mile course. Saturday’s sunny but windy and very cold weather conditions served only to reinforce its steely reputation.

The Senior Men’s Race and the UK and Welsh Championship was won by Richard Roberts of Eryri Harriers, beating last year’s Champion Tim Davies of Maldwyn Harriers by an impressive 2 minutes and breaking the course record by 48 seconds. English International Aileen Fox of Durham City Harriers won the women’s race, from Welsh International Kate Beecher of Les Croupiers RC.

The Junior races were well supported, with aspiring young athletes from across Wales and the Borders competing for UK and Welsh medals, as well as for representative team selection. Some fine performances were evident over the shortened but nonetheless challenging course. In the boys races, the under 20s class was won by Joshua Griffiths of Swansea Harriers; the under 18s by Nathan Jones of Colwyn Bay and the under 15s by Ciaran Lewis of Cardiff AAC. In the girls races, Clara Evans of Hereford and County AC won the under 20s, Ffion Price of Brecon AC the under 18s and Caitlin Page of Sarn Helen, the under 15s. The Neil Lisk Memorial Shield, awarded annually to the first Under 18 runner, went to Nathan Jones from Colwyn Bay. While the second day’s race of this weekend challenge event – ‘ Ras Y Diafol’ (‘the Devil’s Race’) - was a more ‘laid back’ affair with no championships or selections at stake, the 17 mile course from Devils Bridge was every bit as demanding, and for those athletes who’d also competed the day before, it tested in no small way their stamina and endurance. The race was won this time by Dylan Lewis of Sarn Helen in just over two hours. Kate Beecher of Les Croupiers improved on her second place of the day before, to win the ladies’ race, showing impressive form over the two days. The overall Red Kite Challenge Trophies for the lowest cumulative time for the two days’ races for men and women respectively went to Gareth Green of San Dominico (3hrs: 25mins: 49secs) and Kate Beecher of Les Croupiers (3hrs: 48mins: 41secs).


Sialens Y Barcud Coch (May 5th)
Men: Open 1 Richard Roberts (Eryri Harriers); 2 Tim Davies (Maldwyn Harriers); 3 Jonathan Pugh (Builth and District). Category winners: M40 Matt Ward (Eryri Harriers); M45 Glyn Price (Sarn Helen); M50 Ifan Lloyd (Swansea Harriers); M55 Mick Ligema (Croft Ambrey RC); M60 Steve Herington (Hereford Couriers); M65 Dic Evans (Cardiff AC).

Women: Open 1 Aileen Fox (Durham City Harriers); 2 Kate Beecher (Les Croupiers); 3 Sharon Leech (Carmarthen Harriers). Category winners: F35 Louise Barker (Aberystwyth AC); F40 Sharon Leech (Carmarthen Harriers); F45 Angela Jones (Mynydd Ddu RC); F50 Jacki Jarvis (Oswestry Olympians); F55 Kim Braznell (Mercia Fell Runners); F70 Brenda Jones (Bro Dysynni AC).
Juniors: Boys under 15s 1 Ciaran Lewis (Cardiff AC); 2 Matthew Yapp (Ludlow RC); 3 Louie Bennett (Menai Track and Field). Under 18s 1 Nathan Jones (Colwyn Bay); 2 Gwynant Jones (Maldwyn Harriers); 3 Iolo Llyr Jones (Menai Track and Field). Under 20s 1 Joshua Griffiths (Swansea Harriers); 2 Ronan Llyr (Carmarthen Harriers). Girls under 15s 1 Caitlin Page (Sarn Helen); 2 Cari Harries (Aberystwth AC); 3 Ffion Quann (Sarn Helen). Under 18s 1 Ffion Price (Brecon AC); 2 Rhianwed Price (Brecon AC); 3 Lydia Sharp (Menai Track and Field). Under 20s 1 Clara Evans (Hereford and County AC); 2 Sarah Livett (Menai Track and Field); 3 Shannon Gilbert (Ludlow)

Ras Y Diafol (May 6th):
Men: Open 1 Dylan Lewis (Sarn Helen); 2 Gancho Slavov (Aberystwyth AC); 3 Gareth Green (San Dominico). Category winners: M40 Jonathan Jones (Carmarthen Harriers); M45 Paul Targett (Fellponies)M50 Arwel Lewis (Eryri Harriers); M55 Leonard Hughes (Maldwyn Harriers); M60 David Owen (Prestatyn RC); M65 Dic Evans (Cardiff AC).
Women: Open 1 Kate Beecher (Les Croupiers); 2 Sheila Barrour (Mercia Fell Runners); 3 Susan Davies (Croft Ambrey RC). Category winners: F35 Ruth Stafford (Mercia Fell Runners); F40 Sheila Barrour (Mercia Fell Runners); F45 Susan Davies (Croft Ambrey RC); F50 Christine Lloyd (Mercia Fell Runners); F55 Kim Braznell (Mercia Fell Runners). Red Kite Challenge Trophy (May 5th and 6th):
Men: Gareth Green (San Dominico). Women: Kate Beecher (Les Croupiers)

Full race results are available at: via the link to ‘On-line Race Results’.