The Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival, Mid Wales
Set away in Builth Wells, Mid Wales, the challenging Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival promises a great day out for beginners and experienced trail runners alike. Stunning half marathon, 10K and 3K trail races take in the valleys, fields, woodland tracks and stunning forestry surrounding the Royal Welsh Showground.
In 2017, a record 1200 runners took to the trails - establishing the event, which hosted the Welsh Trail Half Marathon Championships, as one of the largest of its kind in the UK.
Incorporated into the Royal Welsh Spring Festival, which attracts 20,000 visitors annually - the race has the unique appeal of major event amenities (ample parking, an array of street food offerings, retailers, and live entertainment) coupled with remote and unspoiled trails – usually out of bounds to the public.
Steve Hughson, Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, who ran the 10K commented: “The Trail Running Festival is a great edition to the Spring Festival and I’m really happy to see that the numbers more than doubled from our inaugural event two years ago. It’s been wonderful to see so many spectators backing up the runners as they crossed the finish line.”
There were many victors on the day. The biggest prizes of the day went to Daniel Bodman of Aberdare Valley AAC, who led his club to the Welsh title. Bodman is the chairman of Aberdare Valley and was followed home by his club secretary Matthew Evans with Sarn Helen’s Sion Price taking third place.
Bodman said: “This is my first Welsh title and it’s a special day, especially as the club won the team title as well. It was a great course, and a perfect day for running.”
The women’s race was a triumph for Natasha Cockram of the Mickey Morris Racing Team. Recently returned from an American university and back to full fitness, she won in impressive style. She said: “This is only my second race back after a long period out with injury, and it felt good to be running again. I just hope I can carry on and maybe make the Welsh Championships on the track in Cardiff next month.”
Lauren Cooper of Parc Bryn Bach was second with Faye Johnson of Pontypool and District taking bronze. Emily Lagamarsino of San Domenico took third in the open race.
The 10k race turned into a birthday triumph for 17 year-old Thomas Jones of Carmarthen Harriers, who came home in 39:43 to win, with more than two minutes between him and David Richardson of Aberdare Valley in second. Roger Farrington, of Maldwyn Harriers was third. The Carmarthen Harrier’s victory made it a special day for the Jones’ family, his father, Brian, is the president of the Royal Welsh Show. The women’s 10k race was won by another Carmarthen Harrier Liz Tremlett with Pontypool & District athlete Samantha Toop in second and Cardiff AAC’s 16-year-old Laura Wright in third.
The race is returning in 2018 on Saturday 19th May, with camping packages available for those looking to make a weekend of it and enjoy everything the Spring Festival has to offer.
Event organisers Run 4 Wales, the team behind the Cardiff Half Marathon, Newport Wales Marathon and Velothon Wales – have confirmed a number of exciting changes as the event continues to grow; including chip timing, a new live-tracking smartphone app for spectators, registration pack postage and separate half marathon and 10k race starts. It looks like one not to be missed.
Entries start from just £15 and include a technical event tee, unique commemorative wooden finishers medal and goodies from event partners like Castell Howell Food, Wild Trail and Howies.
More information, and entries, are available at www.rwtrailrunningfestival.co.uk