Record entrants see Valley triathlon become runaway success

South Wales Guardian: HOME AT LAST: Ammanford racer Sioned Hancock reaches the finish line of the Amman Valley Triathalon. HOME AT LAST: Ammanford racer Sioned Hancock reaches the finish line of the Amman Valley Triathalon.

The annual Amman Valley Triathlon took place bathed in glorious spring sunshine on Sunday and welcomed more than 200 entrants.

The event, organised by non-profit organisation Healthy Life Activities, attracted athletes from all across South Wales and as far afield as Leeds in what proved the most successful event to date.

The majority of those taking part were doing so for the very first time and the course was perfectly suited for novice triathletes.

Ammanford Leisure Centre was the focal point for the event with the competitors starting their gruelling challenge with a 400-metre swim in the pool.

After completing the water element, the entrants then jumped on their cycles and pedalled their way through Ammanford and up towards Garnant.

The turnaround point at the Raven Inn saw competitors retrace their steps and racing back to the leisure centre.

With the 10-mile bike ride behind them, there was just the simple task of the five-kilometre foot race to complete.

The run took them out from the leisure centre at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman towards the new Sustran’s footpath and riverside walk.

They ran along the footpath through the scenic Amman Valley landscape before turning at the old footbridge and returning triumphantly to the finish line back at the Ammanford Leisure Centre.

The weather conditions were perfect with clear blue skies and very little wind throughout the morning.

There were a number of Amman Valley residents taking part and local triathlete Christopher Morris put in a superb performance to claim the Male 40 category in an impressive time of 56:36.

Other local entrants included Mathew Bartlett, Grant Williams, Penybanc RFC player Wayne Price, Rob Jones, Sioned Hancock and Ammanford RFC player Dayton Hughes.

The overall male winner was Oliver Simon who set a new course record with his overall time of 48 minutes 16 seconds.

Meanwhile. Carol Bridge was crowned the female champion with a time of 53:18.

Race Organiser Noelwyn Daniel said: “The Amman Valley Triathlon has established itself as a key event on the Welsh Triathlon calendar.

“The event attracts so many athletes from across South Wales to experience the ragged beauty of this old industrial valley for the very first time.

“The event was organised to encourage athletes of all abilities to take part in triathlon and enjoy the thrill of completing their very own personal challenge.”

The event would not have been possible without the help of more than 50 marshals, staff at Ammanford Leisure Centre, Dyfed Powys Police, and the excellent first aid support provided by the St John’s Ambulance.

If you would like to see more photos of the event or for further information on other events organised by Healthy Life Activities in Carmarthenshire then please visit healthylifeactivities.co.uk.

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