The Red Kite Challenge Half Marathon is known as one of the toughest and most challenging trail races in Wales. Is is also without doubt held in one of the most stunning locations in Wales, and therefore attracts a wide array of runners from across the country and beyond.
Once more incorporating the Welsh Championships and West Wales Championships, whilst also a selection race for the Welsh senior team at the Trail de Guerledan in Brittany, the race will feature some of Wales’ best trail runners.
As the big weekend arrives, here are some of the names to keep an eye for in the senior men and women’s race.
Wyndham Turner (Builth and District / Mynydd Du) – One of South Wales’ top fell runners and dominated the recent South Wales Winter Hill Series winning 7 out of 8 of the races.
Joseph Reardon (MDC) – A former multiple winner of our Junior races but taking on the Red Kite ½ Marathon distance for the first time. Still only 20 years old, but was recently third place at the competetive Longtown-Llanthony Loop fell race so may well be a contender.
Jacob Tasker (Ogmore AC) – One of the favourites for the title this year for sure. Was recently third at the Forest of Dean Spring Trails Half Marathon and outright winner of the classic Rhayader Round the Lakes 30k in March so is clearly in good form and will take some beating.
Jake Collier (Keswick AC) – A bit of an unknown quantity, but any Keswick runner is bound to be strong on the hills. An U23 runner, but was on the podium for the Wrekin Fell race earlier this month and seems to be competitive on the fell running scene.
Owain Schiavone (Cardiff AC) – One of the masters athletes who may be a dark horse for a high finish. Comfortably won the nearby Silver Trail Half Marathon in March, and also the recent classic Teifi 10 road race at Lampeter on Easter Sunday.
Robin Woods (Builth and District) – another masters runner who is capable of pushing the younger athletes for a podium position. Coming into the race after a fine cross country season winning the Gwent League M45 title, and would have actually made the podium in the M35 category. Ran a 5k PB time of 16:02 earlier this month in the Hereford Couriers 5k Series so clearly has the speed to back up the strength.
Ollie George (Sarn Helen) – Last years 10k winner and has decided to step up to the half this time round. Still only 18 years old but already has a road half marathon PB of 75:32 and was second overall in the Hoka Trail Half Marathon at Port Talbot in February so the distance won’t scare him.
Ffion Price (pictured) (Builth and District) – last year’s champion and surely the hot favourite amongst the women once more. Chooses her races carefully but looks in good form having won the recent Nant yr Arian midweek 5 miler and setting a course record in the process – a perfect warmup race for the big one.
Lucy Williamson (Mynydd Du) – another fell runner who should be strong on the hills, and will be pushing for a podium position.
Wendy Price (Amann Valley Harriers) – she may be a F45 runner, but Wendy Price is a quality athlete who should be close to the podium. Was runner up recently at Merthyr Half Marathon and was also second place at Rhayader Round the Lakes 30k this year so looks to be in good form.
Jacqueline Lee (Eryri) – An athlete with bags of experience whom has finished on the podium at some very big races in the past, including first place at Ras y Gader in Dolgellau and a third place finish in the Snowdon International race. These results go back a few years now, but you can’t rule out a runner with such pedigree.
If you’re not running, why not come up to support the runners either along the route or at the start and finish area at Woodlands Caravan Park in Devils Bridge – Junior races start at 11:00 with the seniors 10k and Half Marathon starting at 13:00.
Pic: Ffion Price leading some of the strongest men at Nant yr Arian last week (thanks to Shelley Childs)