A handful of hardy runners gathered at Barnacles Café on Pendine Sands for the inaugural Pendine Ultra.
Race start was set for 10.00am; but at 9.00am the sea was still very much covering the beach. The Pendine beach wardens had confidently said 10.00am was ok, so everybody kept diligent watch, as slowly small pockets of sand appeared.
The beach at Pendine is comparatively flat, so it wasn’t long before more and more sand became visible and right on queue we were able to place start line flags out at 9.45am
The route from the start line was simply five and half miles straight down the beach, exiting at Ginst Point and across fields and hills to CP1 at Laugharne Castle.
Mike Evans was showing his intent from the outset, arriving at CP1 first, his closest competitor being already eighteen minutes off his pace. Vince Bailey; (who was doing a single lap of the Ultra, so not a threat to Mike), was close behind trailing by just a couple of minutes.
Clare Williams was leading the ladies race, with Claire Morgan of Forest Dean AC in close pursuit.
By the time Vince arrived at CP2 to conclude his single lap race with a time of 2hrs 8 mins, the inflatable finish line and CP gazebos were on full display. It was still somewhat overcast and a light breeze was now developing.
The Malcolm Campbell Mile Event was well underway, with kids steering their mom’s and dad’s away from the ice-cream van to get signed up. Dad’s generally using the old excuse of a bad back not to get signed up also. The sun still wasn’t showing itself, so we took heart that if the ice-cream sales were down it wasn’t our entire fault.
The good news though was that the rain was holding off, and by 1.40pm all the ultra-runners had made it through CP2 and started their second and final lap.
Anna Roberts, after completing her single lap race, kindly helped us at the finish line with our continued attempts to avert the winds best efforts to destroy the party; re-setting support pegs and keeping the friendly banter going.
In a time of 4hrs 28min, Mike Evans arrived back, looking fit enough to knock out another lap or two, to claim the Men’s Ultra Pendine Trophy.
Nigel Lawrence came in second with a respectable time of 5hrs 33min, not far behind and taking the trophy for Ladies Pendine Ultra Champion was Clare Williams with a time of 5hrs 49min.
Claire Morgan was second lady home with a time of 6hrs 36 min.
Well done to all the runners in the Malcom Cambell Trophy who received certificates on the day, and special congratulations to all the category winners;
Mens Winner – Tom Partridge
Ladies Winner – Claire Partridge
Under 15 winners – Paul Hardcastle & Emily Hampton
Under 13 winners – Matthew Rawlings & Megan Thomas
Under 11 winners – Mike McGowan & Georgia Burchell
Under 9 winners – Zak Burchell
Many thanks to our supporters and sponsors on the day:
FRF Toyota who provided us with a sign written Hi-Lux and flags
Vivo who provided the ladies and men’s winners of the mile race with a free pair of Vivo barefoot running shoes
9bar who supplied some of the nutrition for the Ultra Runners
Barnacles Café, who did everything they could to help out on the day, and supplied a delicious chilli-con-carne & baked spud for all the ultra-athletes.
Additional thanks to councillors Simon Morris, Chris Delaney and Bob Stevens for their support.