June / Mehefin 2018

XC News: Cardiff Cross & Gwent League to combine at new venue, plus Pembrey return! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nathan Jones   
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 19:00

The end of the summer track season is not too far away with the road & cross country fixtures quickly coming up. There's Breaking News ahead of the first cross country league match in Cardiff plus there's a return to Pembrey this winter!


It has been announced that the Cardiff Cross Challenge, founded in 1997 will start the 2017 / 2018 British Athletics Cross Challenge Series following a move to a new October date. The races on Saturday 14th October will take place at a new location in Llandaff Fields in Cardiff just north of the City and alongside the River Taff. It will also, in conjunction host the first fixture of the 2017/18 Gwent Cross Country League.

The new venue will offer a change of scenery for the Cardiff Cross Challenge which has been held in Bute Park for nearly two decades.

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In that time it has welcomed many, if not most of the top British endurance runners including a large number of British Champions such as; Frank Tickner, Peter Riley, Andy Vernon, Louise Damen and Dewi Griffiths. The event has also hosted several European Cross Country Champions including; Hayley Yelling, Charlotte Purdue and Gemma Steel.

The season opener will provide a great opportunity to face the best British athletes ahead of the European Trials at Liverpool in November.

Welsh Athletics' Head of Operations James Williams said: "We are delighted that the 2017/2018 Cross Challenge Series will kick off in Cardiff. It's fantastic to see one of the biggest leagues in the UK, join forces with the Cardiff Cross Challenge to showcase Cross Country Running in Wales at its best."

He continued "Welsh Athletics really want this event to become a showcase event for the sport in Wales, especially with distance running continuing to go from strength to strength in Wales."

Entries for the Cross Challenge have a closing date Friday 6th October. Entries for the Gwent Cross Country League and West Wales Championships will be made on race day as usual. If you wish to enter all three, you will have the option to indicate so, when you enter through the Cross Challenge entry portal.

The "Gwent Cross Country League" has now been going strong for numerous years, attracting athletes - juniors and seniors - from across South Wales and the South West of England. It is open to those trying cross country for the first time in the novices going through under 13, under 15, under 17/20 and seniors, so there's a chance for everyone to get involved during the winter season!

Carmarthen Harriers were delighted in 2016 to host one of their own back in March at the magnificent Pembrey Country Park after a long time out, with some of the runners describing it as the best course of the year. We are pleased to announce that the third league match will head back to West Wales on Sunday 3rd December organised once again by the club and the county council.

The 2017 Gwent league programme will visit Cardiff, Brecon, Llanelli, Pontypool and Bristol. https://www.gwent-league.org.uk/

Carmarthen Harriers club secretary Nathan Jones added: "It was a pleasure to host the successful final Gwent Cross Country League of the year last winter back in West Wales at Pembrey Country Park. It was a cold day, but dry and athletes turned up from all over South Wales and the South West of England. Comments following the event were very positive and it is hoped that the fixture at the start of December will go even better this time round. The organisation of this big sporting event could not go ahead without the support from the work done behind the scenes, including the volunteers as well as Carmarthenshire County Council who play a big part before, during and after the day. We are also looking forward to welcoming athletes for the road relays in September, moving from its usual venues at Llandow and Pontypridd over recent years."

"Bringing the first match in conjunction with the Cardiff Cross Challenge will hopefully boost the number of attendees on the day - being it athletes and spectators. The best that Britain cross country has at this present time will be involved and will without doubt inspire all those young athletes taking part."

Full event information and race entry will be available shortly.