Serpentine teams sweep the prizes at the Welsh Castles Relay 2015

Another successful weekend in Wales for Serpentine teams, winning both the Open & Ladies team competitions and the Kings and Queens of the Mountains for the fastest combined times over 6 tough mountainous stages.

Picture from Serpentine teams sweep the prizes at the Welsh Castles Relay 2015

60 Serpentine runners across Open, Ladies and Vets teams once again left their mark on the 207 mile course from Caernarfon Castle to Cardiff – running, cheering, tweeting, photo-snapping and supporting their way through Snowdonia, into mid-Wales, over the Brecon Beacons and through the Valleys.

There were yellow t-shirts aplenty to celebrate the fine performances of the 12 Serpie Stage winners: Rudolf Von Grot, Andy Greenleaf, Dave Morgan, Megan Roberts, Michele Bottone, Simon Barrett, Jonathan Bradford, Sarah Pemberton, Andrew Reeves, Tamsin Simmonds, Glenn Hughes and Hendrik Zietsman – and some super consistent performances all round, including a remarkable total of six wins, five 2nd places and five 3rd places for the Open team.

With consistency like this, it should be no surprise to read that the Serpie Men completed the route in a total of 19 hours and 43 minutes, the first time Serpentine has gone under 20 hours on this course (and only second time ever), and a total of 18 minutes and 45s ahead of nearest opposition, Les Croupiers.

The ladies extended their victorious run with a record 10th win, in 25 hours and 5 minutes, again ahead of Les Croups and our Vets were 5th, eventually winning out by less than 30s in a tight tussle with newcomers Chorlton Vets.

The Kings and Queens of the Mountains awards were secured by just 4 minutes each in tight competitions with Sale Harriers – the ladies wresting the Queens of the Mountain title from Sale for the first time in 3 years.

The weather smiled throughout the weekend, with a fair breeze to greet the runners on Saturday – a 40mph headwind – and sunscreen the order of the day as the temperatures rose in the valleys on Sunday afternoon.

So a good weekend for all, to judge by the many photos, tweets and facebook posts, and it was personally pleasing to see so many new faces amongst the teams. I trust you will return!

Perhaps the only sour note was the temporary delay to Bus #5 on its return to London – stuck on the M4 with a flat tyre and expired breakdown cover, awaiting heroic rescue by Bus #1 – leaving the passing Ealing Eagles to ponder: “@serpentinerc Did the suspension give out on the M4 with the weight of all those @wcrelay trophies?!?” 

I am once again indebted to our Captains Simon Barrett, Karen Gregory and Lars Olsen for their sterling efforts in recruiting and organising such strong teams, to our reserves who stepped in at the last minute and to the team of ten drivers without whom we simply would not have been able to take part.

As Karen would say...  Diolch i bawb a llongyfarchiadau!

Liz Wynn

Submitted: 8 June 2015