If you’re in the centre of Cardiff today, kicking your heels at around 4pm and generally at a loose end, why not pop over to the Castle and welcome home the 1200ish runners particpating in the Welsh Castles Relay? In part inspired by the Tour De France, the WCR is a 210 mile foot race from Caernafon Castle in North Wales to Cardiff Castle in the South. Each stage is approximately 10 miles and the winning time will be in the region of 20-odd hours. Unlike a track relay event, there is no baton to hand on and all stages are ring-fenced as individual races (the accumulative time gap between first and last teams is several hours). Also in common with the Tour is a ‘Kings/Queens/Monarchs of the mountain’ race within a race. Six mountain stages provide monolithic challenges to the hardy, with climbs that would make a mountain goat wince.
I’ve got some previous with this one; I’ve competed in the race 14 times, captained a winning team (a highlight of my modest sports career), produced the race programme and latterly, cycled marshaled*, supporting the runners at the rear of the field and protecting the front-runners from human and vehicular traffic (accompanying fellow Odoni colleague Angela Jones, husband Rod and the legendary John Plain, pictured). This year I’ve been given the great honour of commentating and co-presenting the awards with Sasha Macken at the finish. So if you’re in the vicinity……pop over and say hello – I’ll be the one on the mic talking cobblers – and lend your support to what is a truly remarkable sporting and logistical challenge.
More details of the Welsh Castles Relay can be found here , (including all the other places where you can catch up with the race).
*I love this role. Cycling, helping, supporting AND gazing at drop dead gorgeous scenery. As jobs go, they don’t get any nicer.