BROMSGROVE & Redditch Athletic Club members took to the roads of Wales for the annual Welsh Castles Relay.
Spanning two days of running, the 20-stage, 211-mile staggered relay race starts in Caernarfon and finishes at Cardiff Castle.
This truly unique event attracts teams from around the world to experience the carnival atmosphere and stunning Welsh scenery.
B&R’s team of 20 runners battled hard through some tough weather conditions on day one, but were rewarded with a number of stage top ten finishes from Tamara Freeman, James Hood, Damian Lewis, Andrew Freeman and Steve Brooks.
Performance of the day, however, came from Sally Hogan who, as first lady back, was presented with the stage winner’s yellow jersey.
Hogan was also rewarded with an impressive time of 63 minutes, 14 seconds for 9.1 miles and, at the overnight point with ten stages complete, B&R were in 12th spot.
Conditions improved by the Sunday afternoon and some strong mountain stage performances ensured B&R maintained momentum to finish a very creditable 13th out of 66 teams.
Darryll Thomas was highest placed for the club on day two, claiming 11th spot for his stage, whilst on the notorious climb to Brecon Beacon a returning to form Kevin Fisher conquered the 1,000ft climb to finish an impressive 13th.
With the team already looking forward to next year, B&R will be hoping to better this year’s performance and push for a top ten finish in this hotly-contested event.
B&R’s Sally Hogan was the second lady to cross the line in the second race of the Worcestershire Midweek Series at Arrow Valley Park in Redditch.
The race, over a 12k multi-terrain course, was won by former B&R member Simon Lanckham, now running for Birmingham Running, Athletics & Triathlon Club.
Lanckham, who led from start to finish, clocked 42.59 and leads the series.
Last year’s winner of the ladies’ race, Molly Browne, finished in an impressive ninth place overall in 46.44.
Browne also represents Birmingham Running, Athletics & Triathlon Club.
There were 18 B&R members in action, as well as ten from Redditch-based Kingfisher Harriers.
In eighth place on the day and leading B&R home was Mark Appleton (46.36).
Other B&R results: 13th Gavin Moorhead (3rd/40.47.57); 17th Andy Freeman (49.03); 24th Anthony Warner (50.00); 30th Sally Hogan (2nd lady, 50.52); 32nd Joshua Wiseman (51.09); 41st Tamara Freeman (4th lady, 52.51); 43rd Steve Brooks (52.55); 46th John Searle (53.12); 54th Phil Richardson (1st/60, 54.08); 98th Julie Blake (65.17); 101st Amy Rose (65.49); 110th Dagmar Prinzing (67.49); 115th Jennifer Lipscombe (70.05); 130th Jayne Wiseman (76.30).
Special mention goes to last finisher Les Bailey from Worcester Triathlon Club, who completed the arduous course in 95.29 despite being aged above 80.
The next race in the series takes place on Wednesday, July 12 at Droitwich.