THE town of Ammanford hosted the second of two running events in the space of a few weeks last Sunday (Jul 8) following the Junior Fun Run earlier in June where 380 youngsters ran around the track.
The Ammanford 10K Road Race incorporated the West Wales Road Running Championships for the first time and this boosted the number of people who attended on a warm morning to nearly 300 runners.
It was a route that suited novice and club runners alike and saw participants of all ages and abilities getting involved in an event which has continued to go from strength to strength for more than 20 years.
Organised by Amman Valley Harriers, the 2018 edition was sponsored by the Ammanford Lions, Llys Cennen Solicitors and Brecon Carreg, who gave out medals assisted at the finish line by Councillor J.Mansel Charles, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council and his Consort, Bethan Charles-Davies.
Age group trophies were up for grabs in several categories from open male & female through F35, M40, F45 and M50 up to the F55 and M60, meaning everyone had something to play for. In addition, the winning male and female team trophies were also presented with three per team counting.
As has been the case over the past few races and weeks, conditions were on the warm side in the low to mid 20 Celsius even at the new time of 10am in the morning, when the athletes got underway on the main road near to Ammanford Park.
The ever popular race. described by many as one of the best road races around at the present time, was on open roads and took runners on a scenic route starting on the Iscennen Main Road. Passing the Bonllwyn Green and surrounding areas, they headed to the half way mark at Llandybie and Bleanau before returning down the country lanes via Aberlash. At the 8K point, runners re-joined the main road and re-traced their steps back to the finish line outside the Ammanford Bowls Centre, where family and friends were waiting to cheer them on.
Event Organiser, Rob Davies said: “The 2018 race has been a great success. We had online entries for the first time this year which has proved to be really popular with 275 runners. The heat made it tough going which certainly warranted the extra water stations! Thanks to our 3 sponsors Ammanford Lions, Llys Cennen Solicitors and Brecon Carreg. Next year’s race is set to be even bigger!”
This event was made ever more popular and successful by incorporating the West Wales Road Running Championships, which was welcomed back this year after a number of years out. It certainly attracted good numbers of club athletes in particular to this element from Port Talbot Harriers, Amman Valley Harriers, Llanelli AC, TROTS, Sarn Helen, Run4All Neath, Neath Harriers, 3M Gorseinon, Sospan Road Runners, Aberdare Valley, Carmarthen Harriers, Vegan Runners UK and Les Coupiers just to name a few!
Matthew Rees (Swansea Harriers) took this year’s win in a time of 33 minutes and 49 seconds and has been a popular figure since the London Marathon in 2017, where he stopped to help fellow runner David Wyeth across the line as they entered the final straight after 26.2 miles of running.
Commenting on his win, Swansea Harrier Rees said: “It was a fantastic race and I was delighted to win. It was a very hot morning and I adjusted my pace goals to take this into account. It was a challenging course and that made it all the more fun. I love racing local events, the organisation was great, the marshals so friendly and I will definitely be back next year.”
His club teammate Marc Hobbs followed in runners up spot (34:31) with Port Talbot Harriers’ Ben Williams crossing in third (35:03) to make up the top three and win the West Wales Road Running Championships medals in the process. Following them in the top 10 also were the following: Dai Kennan (Llanelli AC 35:13); Sion Price (Sarn Helen 35:20); Daniel Triggs (Neath Harriers 35:26); M40 champion Daniel James (Run4All Neath 36:42); Craig Foley (Port Talbot Harriers 37:14); Tom Sinton (RTN 37:25) and Steven Williams (Llanelli AC 37:31). Other winning male winners in the other age groups were: M50 Simon Tonks (Vegan Runners UK 40:45) and M60 Alan Davies (Llanelli AC 38:11)
Rhodie Jones (41:09) was the first female back home followed by Michelle Cole (3M Gorseinion RR 42:20) and Wendy Price (Carmarthen Harriers 42:41). In the West Wales Championships, Cole was announced as the F35 champion as well as West Wales gold, with the silver going to Caryl Wyn Davies of Sarn Helen (43:10) and bronze heading to Port Talbot Harriers and to Deb Chick (44:23). Judith Oakley (Vegan Runners UK 45:21) was the F45 winner with Chick claiming the F55 title.
Swansea Harriers took team gold in the men’s thanks to their one-two finish in Rees & Hobbs. Raul Reismann in 18th was home as the third scorer. Meanwhile, the Amman Valley Harriers’ women’s enjoyed home advantage as they picked up the female team winners – Clara Davies, Tanwen Randell-Davies and Helen Janney.
After everyone finished and were congratulated over the line, the rugby club was open following the conclusion of the race for runners and spectators to join together for drinks and snacks in a friendly atmosphere. A great crowd stayed on to applaud those who were presented with an award outside shortly after.
Rhian Thomas, President of Ammanford Lions, who sponsored the event and also presented trophies added: “We were very pleased to sponsor the Ammanford 10K Run once again this year. The event gets bigger every year and this year the turnout has been fantastic.”
The AVH club would like to congratulate all the runners who took part in this year’s record-breaking 10K and would like to thank every one of the volunteers who made it possible in front of and behind the scenes, inclduing all the marshals, sponsors, Online Race Results, St John Ambulance and Dyfed Powys Police.
For full Results from this year’s Ammanford 10K, visit www.onlineraceresults.org.uk.
Event Reporter & Images: Nathan Jones