Welsh Stragglers 'Move On Up'

Posted by Malcolm Davies on 17 June 2017

WCR 2017

The Stragglers were once again privileged to be able to field two teams in the 2017 Welsh Castles Relay race held on 10/11th June 2017. With demand for places from clubs exceeding supply, the race organisers had reiterated a number of strict requirements including the ability to run 9 minute miles in hilly terrain (i.e. most of the stages!).  In complying with this, one of the objectives was to see if we could field 2 complete teams again and improve the showing of this year’s teams compared to recent years.

The 40-strong squad were composed of a veteran’s mixed team and an open mixed team and lined up against 65 some of the best club teams in England, Wales (and rather oddly) Spain! 

By the end of two days running, the results showed that it was ‘job done’ with the vets team finishing 36th overall, the highest we have finished in 3 years, in a time of 24:53:05 and the open team finishing 45th in a cumulative time of 25:32:15.  This compared with the cumulative times from 2016 of 26:39:12 (40th place) recorded by the open men’s team and 28:51:52 (59th place) recorded by the ladies team.

There were many excellent performances across the two days.  Stragglers stage records were broken by Sarah Winter, Sonia Bandeira, Hilary Davies, Jacky Balfour and Richard Baggott.  The hero award however goes to Nick Goodchild who despite being injured stepped in for a late running team member (our only logistic mix up of the weekend) to register in place of our missing vet and set off in his place.  Unfortunately, Nick’s calf gave up a couple of miles down the road but at least meant that we recorded a cut-off time and avoided further time penalties.  For the Vets team this was a ‘what if’ moment with that team narrowly missing out on 3rd place vets place overall.

What was gratifying was so many first timers and new members taking part in this event as well as many return customers.  The enjoyment no doubt been enhanced by the excellent accommodation, food (and bar facilities!) offered by the Dragon hotel in Montgomery, the first time the entire team have been able to stay in one place to enjoy some serious team bonding over a few beers!  This was topped off by a surprise visit of the town crier of Montgomery who had even composed a ditty to welcome The Stragglers to Montgomery!

Here’s to next year!

Here are the provisional results, and a few photos of the weekend.

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