Run, Walk, Crawl - Brecon to Cardiff Ultra Marathon
The Brecon to Cardiff Ultra took place last Sunday, and I have heard that some members really dislike turbo sessions, so when Carlton Coates and Chris Lloyd signed up for this, we all thought they were just signing up for an event just so they wouldn’t have to take part in the Air Ambulance Turbo Session.
A myth we quickly discovered wasn’t correct and looking at what they had signed up for, the club are full of respect for the two of them. Quite simply they had signed up for a 42-mile, one-way race that winds its way from Brecon following the River Taff. With the start in the Brecon Beacons National Park with its dramatic mountain landscapes, it takes the runners past crashing waterfalls and crystal clear reservoirs.
Joining the Taff Trail, you follow all the way to the finish. The trail makes much use of an abandoned branch of the Taff Vale Railway and the Glamorganshire Canal. These had been built in the 18th and 19th centuries to transport coal and iron ore from Merthyr Tydfil, the Cynon Valley and the Rhondda valley to the docks at Cardiff and Barry. These routes, which although disused had remained largely intact, provide a convenient path along the narrow Taff valley.
From Brecon the route heads east towards Llynfrynach and the Talybont Reservoir. Here the route climbs (not steeply - but for quite a long way) to Torpantu. From this point, it is downhill all the way to the finish, passing Pontsticill Reservoir and the Brecon Mountain Railway, before arriving in Merthyr with a great view of both the Cefn Coed Viaduct and Cyfarthfa Castle.
Continuing south, you pass Aberfan and the memorial, before reaching Pontypridd and finally the finish line at Nantgarw.
After talking to the boys, we found out that the distance actually came out as 43.5 miles to the finish, but I know they kept each other going, with the support of their wives at various stages along the wa. They finished this mammoth task in a time of 8:41:09, a fantastic time, and came in joint 59th place out of 105 finishers. Well done both.
One of the ultimate events for cyclists held in Spain, and being the longest sportive at 312 km, it should promise cycling, sunshine, mountains, sandy beaches and new friendships. So the chance to discover one of the most spectacular spots in the Mediterranean is truly appealing.
The Mallorca 312 appeals to everyone, regardless of your cycling interests; you can compete to be No1 or you can just enjoy the atmosphere and scenery. It offers two challenges: The M312 - the long distance route, complete tour of the island 4,300 metres climbing and approx. 14 hours to achieve it; or the The M167 - a shorter sportive, which appeals to the less competitive cyclist, covering 2,588 vertical metres - no mean task in itself.
Tim Brace and Kath Devonald Brace were taking part; they had to elect for the middle distance (150 miles - which they did in 11 hours, with 19,000 ft of climbing). Unfortunately, they missed the cut due to the pace-setters getting it slightly wrong and some shocking weather early on!
A gentle cake themed run in Betteshanger Nature Reserve. Who could think of a better way to spend the day than eating a bit of cake and running around at the lovely Betteshanger Country Park on a Bank Holiday Monday.
Betteshanger Country Park (formerly known as Fowlmead Country Park), near Deal in East Kent, has a wide, gently undulating trail around the edge of the reserve that is traffic-free and ideal for a nice trail run. The loop developed for this event is about 4.37 miles, so each loop burns up around 500 calories.
Mandy Draper, our resident marathon runner, completed the distance in a time of 3:48:00 and was the first female runner home - very well done.
IRONMAN 70.3 Busselton, Australia
A little bit further afield than we are used to, a former Tenby girl was taking part in a relay team, completing the bike leg in the Ironman 70.3 Busselton, and certainly following in the footsteps of her brother with a finishing time of 5:28:56. Emma Johns, sister of our own Haydn Johns, was flying the Tenby Aces flag at the event. Keep on going Emma.
Air Ambulance Charity Turbo Ride
Last weekend saw the first of our major events for our charity of the year, with the club completing a turbo session in Tudor Square on the bank holiday Sunday.
The session was to have four members at all times cycling for a 10-hour period. The weather was typical for a bank holiday and, after the beautiful day on the Saturday, the heavens certainly opened on us, but this didn’t dampen the spirits of the members who spent either a part of the day or the whole day there.
Thanks have to be said to Lucy at Greggs for supplying coffee and cakes, Dee at the Picnic Basket for coffee and baguettes and Karen in the Baytree for refreshments throughout the day.
It was great to try to tempt two new members, with Tenby Mayor, Paul Rapi, and chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Wynne Evans, coming down and taking their turn on the bikes.
A total of £906.52 was raised on the day, which was a great effort, and thanks to all members who took part, especially our two Irish foghorns who continued collecting to the end of the day.
The next event will again be a turbo session over the Whitsun weekend, before the main event of a cycle from North to South Wales in one day - more information to follow in due course.
If anyone would like to donate to this very worthwhile cause, then please visit www.justgiving.com/Tenby-Aces1
Activities for the coming week
Friday, May 6 - Pool Swim Session with Slacky for those booked in. Tenby Leisure Centre at 7 pm.
Saturday, May 7 - Colby Parkrun, a great local event and well worth supporting, lots of members taking part on a regular basis.
Saturday, May 7 - Carten for all those taking part.
Sunday, May 8 - Club Ride, meet at Tenby Leisure Centre at 8 am.
Monday, May 9 - Sea Swim, meet at North Beach at 6 pm. Weather permitting, please see facebook or website for further details.
Tuesday, May 10 - Club Ride, meet at Tenby Leisure Centre at 6 pm. Route detailed below.
Wednesday, May 11 - Aces Run Session, meet at Tenby Leisure Centre at 6.30 pm.
Thursday, May 12 - Club Ride, meet at Tenby Leisure Centre at 6 pm. Route detailed below
Route for Tuesday, May 10: Route 58: (Narberth loop) - Tenby, Heywood Lane, New Hedges, Pentlepoir, Kilgetty, across dual carriageway, Stepaside, old road, turn left to Ludchurch, Princes Gate, Narberth, down hill, turn right at bottom by Heron’s Brook, past Grove Hotel, across road, left then right to Reynalton, Jeffreyston, Nabs across main road bridge to Heatherton, turn left to Gumfreston, and back to Tenby (approx. 25 miles). Sweepers - Mel Morgan/Karina Ebsworth.
Route for Thursday, May 12: Route 10 (Pembroke and Milton Hill) - Lydstep, Lamphey, Lower Lamphey Road, Pembroke Castle, Upper Lamphey Road, The Ridgeway, turn left down Milton hill then right at junction, turn left towards Carew Castle, right at Carew Inn, old Redberth road, right over bridge and straight over junction to St. Florence, up hill to Ridgeway, turn left onto Ridgeway and back to Tenby (approx 25 miles). Sweepers - Ceire Merrison and Lana Brace.
Note that rides start from TLC at 6.30 pm prompt. Helmets to be worn on all rides.