Old forum > Castles Relay 2013 - Thank You ....

Having survived yet another Castles Relay weekend i thought i should write a piece thanking those involved!

Winning the Welsh Castles Relay title back in 2013 is more than just the 20 guys who ran, it is a Club/Team effort. Thanks to EVERYONE who was involved over the weekend - the Mens team, the Vets team, the Ladies team, all the supporters, marshals, timekeepers, finish crews, the Presentation team etc,

I saw the event from a different angle this year which meant that our Competitions Committee really kicked into action. Nick & Stuart took the reins for the Men's team, Rob & Al looked after the Vets team, and Claire & Kirsty led the Ladies team. There was also change afoot in the organisation of the event, John Griffin took over as Race Director and did a lot of work behind the scenes in order that the event could go ahead, and I was lucky enough to go along for the ride. I think we encountered a first for the race when we reached the top of Drovers on Sunday morning and we had to make an instant decision on the stage - all worked well in the end. Mike Davies took on the role of co-ordinating all the Officials and Marshall's, made sure the accommodation was booked and the visiting teams had their allocated duties. Again there was a lot of work that was unseen by the masses. Amanda continued her Administrators role and had contact with all the teams. Jeff Aston had the role of Referee, and unfortunately was called into action, he also acted as support for the Results service.

So thank you to everyone who gave up there time over the weekend and made it such a great event, we were also fortunate to have the weather on our side, although it could have been a little cooler.

So as this weekend draws to an end, the dust hasn't settled yet as we still have the debrief to come, but that said the work for next years event has already started, so book the 7th and 8th of June 2014 in your diary.

Thanks again to everyone involved.

June 10, 2013 at 12:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Cook

Well done to John G, Phil, Mike, Captains and all for all thier effort and hard work to provide us all with this great and unique event.
What a weekend to be part of. Fantastic and I am so proud and pleased to have been part of it.
God bless everyone and of course their families for their support.

June 10, 2013 at 7:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterMal Firouz

Thanks to everyone for organising, amazing event.
Thanks also to the runner from Serps on my stage who rescued my garmin when it decided to fall off at 6 miles and the marshals/Claire who ensured it reached the finish for me (only 15mins behind me!). At the time I was so "in the zone" that I actually thought of leaving a £300 watch on the floor so that I wasn't caught up!
Looking forward to next year.

June 10, 2013 at 7:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterOliver Williams

Another fantastic Castles weekend. Well done to the 3 croups teams, ` running your socks off ` for the best team on planet earth !!
And of course well done to John and his team for all the organising work they do so this event takes place.
I have been involved since around 1984 running, then running/ marshalling now just marshalling and I have enjoyed every minute.
It is so good to see a lot more Croups helping out with the marshalling duties these days . I am sure you all enjoyed the long weekend.
Also thanks to our ex. club members and friends who give us their help, time, and valuable marshalling knowledge every June, We would be lost without them.
Roll on Castles 2014...

June 10, 2013 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve B Lewis

Congratulations guys A fantatic event beautifully organised by the "Greatest Team on the Planet."

June 10, 2013 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterElio

As Phil has said, this year's Welsh Castles Relay was 'under new management'. I have to say I think we did a great job between us all and we’ll be even better next year.

I am proud to be part of the organising committee and to have received so many thanks and appreciative comments from all the teams over the weekend. I’m especially grateful to Clem of Penarth & Dinas Runners who thanked me on behalf of all the teams at the pre-race briefing and at the Castle presentations.

Many of the teams/runners have said how they found this year ran very smoothly and benefited from improved communication. When we were met with the unexpected (a full-on rave at Drovers) we made changes quickly and that spread throughout the teams within minutes. Though next year I need more battery life to keep twitter posts more frequent!

Over the course of the weekend I didn’t see any runners not give 100%, even though it was really hot conditions. I am so proud of every member of Les Croupiers’ three teams. You just had to be there to see the maximum effort everyone gave it. Terrific teamwork and excellent leadership from team captains Claire, Rob, Al, Nick and Stuart.

Here’s just a few of my memorable moments:

Stage winner Phil Cook who annihilated stage 4, very close to course record
Matt Hurford, stage vet winner on stage 6, who has a suntan at last.
Stage 7 Monarch of the Mountain Rob Sage
Marcus Coles who absolutely stormed round Stage 13
Stuart Crees , 4th on mountain Stage 11 despite a couple of ‘stops’
Jess PW who broke the course record on Stage 15 as first lady – then sprinted to the loo at Morrisons in record time too
Martin Rees who won Stage 16 and the look of amazement on the faces of the youngsters he beat!
Libby O’Duffy who stormed up to the Storey Arms on stage 16 and Jane Coker who then ploughed her way to Merthyr on Stage 17, kicking dust on both male and female runners half her age.
Nicky McWilliam who pipped Dave Williams to the finish line on Stage 10
Brian Richardson who kept Julian Baker well within his sights on stage 3

However everyone should be mentioned and I hope we capture all the achievements and memorable moments in ACE
Richie Bullen Paul Morris Fran Machin
Phil Cook John Magee Julie Scholey
Julian Baker Brian Richardson Helen Jessop
Al Jones Dave Proud Sarah McCarthy
Martin Williams Kevin Jones Judi Rhys
Matt Hurford Brendan Jones Claire Beatty
Rob Sage Sandy Johnston Carys Hughes
Nick Dukes Mick McGeoch Gabriella Maine
Matt Hopkins Peter Stunell Aileen Lyons
Jerome Edwards David E Williams Nicky McWilliam
Stuart Crees Mick Tabor Angela Champion
Mark Finlayson Gary Howgate Yvonne Bullen
Chris Millington Marcus Coles Sarah McLoughlin
Graham Breen Richard Self Jen Salter
Ed Donovan James Bruce Jess Parry-Williams
Martin Rees Howard Kent Libby O'Duffy
Mark Joyce Elio Lepore Jane Coker
Huw Evans Clive Osmond Jo Tucker
Chris Cobbold Nick Rees Beth Lewis
Oli Williams Dave James Sue Watson

A special thanks to Dave Proud, Rob Sage, Al Jones, Richard Self, Nick Dukes who carried on with their bus driving duties despite being totally battered after their races.

We’ll put up an online survey shortly to capture your feedback.

And next year I’m booking Monday off work…..

June 10, 2013 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered Commenteramanda thompson

Thankyou to everyone who helped put the show on the road for 2013, and all the months and months of hard work done by phil,claire, john, amanda, and jeff, in particular, and mike, al , rob and stuart , kirsty,sacha who were all amazing over the weekend in getting us all sorted out- Had a fab weekend and looking forward to getting a weekend pass for 2014...will be taking bookings for head massages nearer the time!

June 10, 2013 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterjulie scholey

An amazing weekend what can I say to add to the above ? A massive thanks to everyone who makes this one of the greatest shows in the running calendar,to Phil, Amanda, Jeff, all the fantastic marshals, the team captains Claire,Al,Rob,Nick and Stuart and Kirsty. Apologies to anyone I have left out. It was a brilliant, epic weekend and I am going to try and get a 'pass' for next year for the whole weekend !! And I have to mention the unrivalled support from Les Croups,at the side of the A470, it inspires you to give 110%
Thanks Amanda for saying I kicked dust, still going after all these years!!
The Castles just gets better and better.

June 10, 2013 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coker

Can I just say that it was a privilege to be part of a Les Croupiers team at this event?
I witnessed inspiring feats of running at every stage and beautiful scenery, but it was the unique, brilliant rolling organisation that was most awesome to witness.
I'll never forget the weekend nor the heroism of my drivers, Allan Mann and Richard Self.

June 10, 2013 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Jones

It's impossible to add to what's already been said but a huge thanks to the organisers, captains, marshals, helpers and supporters for their tireless efforts before, during and after a fantastic weekend! Very well done to all the teams too. Looking forward to next year already :)

June 10, 2013 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJo Tucker

This is the email that I have sent to the women's team so am just going to copy and paste it here as can't think today to come up with anything else.
And before Nick Dukes and Dave Proud comment on my navigational skills I am going to blame the sat nav!!!!

Hi everyone

Firstly I want to say a massive WELL DONE to you all, you all ran brilliantly especially in far from ideal conditions in the afternoons when it was very warm. This year we had a cumulative time that was quicker than last year, it was just unfortunate that we were beaten by a phenomenal Serps team.

Those of you that have never ran in the castles relay before I hope that you enjoyed your experience and you will run again next year. Perhaps more of you will come for the whole weekend and get to see the event roll through the Welsh countryside. It definitely is a sight to behold.
I don't want to single out any one runner as I firmly believe that it is a team thing and everyone counts. However, I do want to say that Jess ran particularly well to win her stage and break the course record in the process. According to Phil she is the first Les Croups women to win a stage, so this is something to celebrate.

On the theme of the castles being a team event I want to say to Jane Ash you are a true team player. For those of you that don't know, I had a call from Judi on Friday night saying that she may not be able to run on Saturday. So I called my reserves and Jane was just about to go out for a run, which she didn't go on and got herself prepared to run the next day if needed and come up on the 8am bus. The plan was to wait for Judi's call the next day and see what was happening. I called Jane at 7am to let her know she wasn't needed and this is what Les Croups is all about and I want to say that Jane is a getting first choice on whatever stage she wants next year!

This year I have been assisted throughout the organising of the event by my great vice captain Kirsty and she really helped out with my stress by taking on the role of sorting out the marshals on the last leg, She did a fantastic job, so thanks again.
As Kirsty could not come with me for the weekend, her role as my Lieutenant for the race was superbly filled by Fran and I want to thank her too for sorting out the accommodation in Criccieth and Newtown. Also she did a great job in getting our cheerleading outfits!
Thanks also to Libby for your advice and wisdom in the team selections as it really helped to put the right people on the right stages. I am sure I will calling on you again to help with this.

Next year I want the team and the event to be even better so if any of you have any suggestions of how to improve it please let me know. I know that there some things that I want to get right for next year (including my navigation as I managed to completely miss Jen on stage 14 by following the sat nav which took me along a road that led nowhere!!) and fresh eyes are a great thing and those of you new to the event may have ideas that I have not even contemplated.

Sorry if I have missed out on anyone to thank, I think I have covered everything. Good luck with your training for the next year and see for the race in 2014. Put the 7th and 8th of June in your diaries now!

Claire x

June 10, 2013 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterClaire Beatty

Let's do some research so we can have cheerleading dress / costume in club colours for all ladies to wear.

Oh OK, the fellas will want something too, no doubt ..................... ?

PS - Phil annihilated stage 2 (not 4)

June 10, 2013 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered Commenteramanda thompson

What more can I add to what has already been said?

Total professionalism & attention to detail from the organisers, & 100% commitment from the runners. With many managing to do both!

A fantastic event by "The best running club on the planet!"

June 10, 2013 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoward Kent

Just to clarify Claire, Jess is definitely NOT the first Croups lady to win a stage, we have won many!! I for one was first lady on that very stage in 2002.

June 10, 2013 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterYvonne Bullen

Great weekend!

Well done to Phil and the organisers who put on a seamless event as ever. It still amazes me how it's run like clock work ever time.
On a personal note it was great to be part of the men's winning team. It's the 3rd time for me, but this is without a doubt the best team I've seen at the club since I joined in 2005. Not just ability, personally too (even Jerome) :)
Very tough conditions out there at times and everyone bled to get to the finish line as fast as they could. Just a special mention to Matt Hopkins who stepped in as super sub with just a day to go! Legend


June 10, 2013 at 7:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuart Crees

Personally - Personality (oops)

June 10, 2013 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuart Crees

Thanks for the mention Stu, and even more thanks for picking me! I was proud to be a part of the team.

Many thanks to everyone involved in organising this event - it really was an amazing weekend. Somehow, being sat at a desk today didn't seem quite so interesting...

June 10, 2013 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterMatt Hopkins

Have to agree with what everyone else has written, this was my first Castles and what a fantastic experience!

Great job by all of those involved in the organisation of the event, so much going on simultaneously and yet it ran like clockwork even down to saving me having to run the extra mile on Drovers!

Also a big thanks to the efforts of our captains, well done Nick & Stu, proud to be part of the winning team!

June 10, 2013 at 9:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraham Breen

I have been in work most of the day today and not long got in, so if I put an emotional post on how fantastic this event was this year, stuart will accuse me of drinking! but it was awesome! can we do it again next weekend?

June 10, 2013 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered Commenternick dukes

A big thanks to everyone involved.. a really enjoyable day sunday with some really good performances.. including organisers, captains, marshals, helpers and supporters.. too many names to mention..

For me a special thanks to David McD - who helped me with my litte ones sunday by driving me to leg 15 start and supporting me on route.. showing when people have a need in the club someone always stepped in..

for me i cannot thank enough those people from all clubs that gave out water.. I struggled with the heat.,., and I was greatfull for all the water I could get.. I was starting to overheat at 3 miles..with only 8.8 to go..

well done the seniors and well deserved.. hard luck ladies.. only just pipped.. well done all vet runners we smashed our time from last year.. just need 30 more minutes (or more for next year..).. better start hills now..

hopefully see you all next year..willing to wear what ever costume you want us to wear supporting or fancy dress,,


June 11, 2013 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames Bruce

A lot of thank you / praise is coming in from the teams now so I will be posting it on the WCR website thread for feedback. Please take a look.

June 11, 2013 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered Commenteramanda thompson

Please post links to your photos and videos here

Some great stuff on facebook, we need to share it with other teams too

June 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered Commenteramanda thompson

Want to say a Huge thank you at everyone at Les Croups for making my first castles relay so memorable ! Firstly , huge thank you to Claire for putting me in the team in the first place , but to run the last stage was unbelievable ! Massive thanks to all the marshals from Les Croups and all the Les Croups supporters who seemed to be throughout the whole of my stage , you made such a difference ! Thank you. Special mention to Claire andFran who were encouraging me on their bikes for the last 5 or 6 miles, you really inspired me to keep going . Look forward to hopefully taking part again next year. Many thanks again to everyone who organised the event and to everyone I saw on my stage.

June 11, 2013 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterSue W

This is the 5th year I have been involved with the Castles and my first year as a reserve. I thought it would be easy but how wrong I was! Watching everyone running in the heat and wondering if I would have to run next was like having pre race nerves 20 times over. It never ceases to amaze me how much stamina and work go into running and organising the Castles each year. The standard of the teams was sensational!

I just hope I can work hard enough to get in at all next year!

June 11, 2013 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterLyndon Tudor Maisey

People saying very nice things on the WCR web feedback pages

Keep them coming! So useful when trying to secure sponsors and permissions for next year's race

June 11, 2013 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan