John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League 2023/2024 Season begins in Carmarthenshire (hosted by Carmarthen Harriers)

The John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League, one of the most popular grassroots cross-country leagues in the UK, returned to West Wales for the seventh time on Saturday 14th October.

More than 1,000 runners (1,354 finishers) of all abilities descended on Pembrey Country Park near Llanelli and races featured the under 11 athletes right up to the seniors and masters’ categories.

Local club, Carmarthen & District Harriers Athletics Club hosted the first of five fixtures this season as a new cross country campaign got underway. The club were grateful for the support offered by Carmarthenshire County Council in hosting the event in their park.

Situated between Burry Port and Kidwelly, Pembrey Country Park has become used to hosting big running events by now. Sporting events staged here over recent years have included the Welsh Athletics Cross Country Championships, Welsh Athletics Road Relays Championships, John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League, SIAB Schools U17 Cross Country International, Carmarthenshire Primary Schools Cross Country Championships and the Llanelli Secondary Schools Area Cross Country.

Competitors, coaches, team managers, officials and spectators from more than 40 clubs travelled to Carmarthenshire from across South Wales and the South West of England.

On a course that showcased the counties park and the surrounding areas, the competitors aged 9 to 80 tackled fast grass sections, hills, sand dunes, woods and paths. Participants had the opportunity to take in some breath-taking views around the route overlooking the coastal scenery of Carmarthen Bay and the Gower.

In addition to runners scoring points for their clubs, Pembrey also hosted the West Wales Cross Country Championships 2023 where regional medals were presented to the top three athletes from the region to finish in the junior, senior and master age groups. Alongside this was the selection race for the Welsh Inter-Regional Cross Country Championships in Newtown on 18th November.

The action got underway on Saturday morning with the novice age groups, with many taking part in the event for the first time. The ten-race programme was followed by the under 13, under 15 and under 17 and 20 races (girls and boys) completing either small, medium or large laps.

In the latter part of the afternoon, the Senior & Master Women and Men ran their respective distances of 7.15km and 9.15km. There were big fields once again and plenty of support out on the course.

Among the senior winners were the Swansea Harriers duo Caryl Edwards and Dewi Griffiths.

The 2023/2024 John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League will visit Llandaff Fields in Cardiff and Blaise Castle in Bristol before Christmas. Margam Park in Port Talbot is set to be the fourth venue in February.

We hope that all clubs, athletes, officials and spectators enjoyed their visit to West Wales / Carmarthenshire and had a safe journey to and from Pembrey.


Carmarthen Harriers - Results / Harriers Caerfyrddin - Canlyniadau:

It was a great opportunity for new and established Carmarthen Harriers junior and senior members to compete on home soil at a familiar venue in the county.

The club had sixty members attend the opening fixture at Pembrey Country Park, one of the largest numbers for many years. They produced some great results on a challenging course.

Well Done to all athletes listed below, and a big thank you to the parents, team managers and coaches who also supported the event in a number of ways, including team managing, marshalling the course and clearing up the venue afterwards / Da iawn i'r athletwyr i gyd wedi rhestri isod a diolch i'r rheini, rheolwyr tim a hyfforddwyr wnaeth cefnogi mewn nifer o ffyrdd ar y diwrnod.

Thank you also to volunteers from Swansea Harriers, Neath Harriers and Llanelli AAC who supported the club with setting up the course on Friday. The event wouldn't have been able to happen without all your contributions!

West Wales championship medallists for finishing in the first three in their age group from the region were awarded to Dylan Williams (Novice boys), Tomos Cai Davies (Under 13 boys), Sam Griffiths (Under 15 boys), Iwan Thomas (Under 17 men), Jake Lynock (Under 17 men), Joshua Barnett (Under 17 men), Steffan Davies (Under 20 men), Steffan Bridger (Under 20 men), Emily Evans-Williams (Novice girls), Lowri Morgan (Under 13 girls), Amelia Williams (Under 15 girls), Frances Mackie (Under 17 women), Jessica Hyland (Under 20 women) and Celia White (Master Female 55).

The club results on the day were as follows / Canlyniadau y clwb ar dydd oedd:

Novice Girls / Merched o dan 11: Emily Evans-Williams (6:18); Gwenno Jones (6:24); Bethan Hampshire (6:43); Mared Rees (6:58); Teaghan Williams (7:06); Zara Evans (7:06); Ffion Mason (7:15); Erica Broome (7:21); Mila Evans (7:28); Lois Murray (7:37); Tayla Williams (7:58); Rose Rees (8:07); Sophie Mason (8:17); Gwendoline Fitzpatrick (8:48); Elsa Burson

Novice Boys / Bechgyn o dan 11: Dylan Williams (5:59); Steffan James (6:04); Dafydd Williams (6:06); Tomos Roberts (6:26); Macsen Davies (6:30); Jac Hughes (6:35); Mason Wrona (7:12)

Under 13 Girls / Merched o dan 13: Lowri Morgan (11:44); Beca Elfyn (12:22); Paige-lily Williams (12:37); Eva Davies (12:55); Mali Griffiths (13:24); Megan Evans (13:37); Aeronwy Morgan-Fisher (13:45); Mari Davies (16:15); Cerys Fitzpatrick

Under 13 Boys / Bechgyn o dan 13: Tomos Cai Davies (10:12); Gethin Thomas (11:07); Michael Thomas (12:57)

Under 15 Girls / Merched o dan 15: Amelia Williams (12:55); Nansi Griffiths (14:24); Sali Owen (14:32); Macy Blue (14:43); Anastasia Eggleston-Stoker (15:59); Meadow Norris (16:00); Esme Lynock (16:37); Scarlett Richards (17:00)

Under 15 Boys / Bechgyn o dan 15: Sam Griffiths (12:35); Tom Bridger (14:17); Jimmy Davis (14:23); Luke Owen (16:47); Toby Anthony

Under 17 Women / Merched o dan 17: Frances Mackie (19:40); Eleanor White (19:46); Megan Thomas (20:51); Carys Wood (21:21); Greta McKane (24:20)

Under 17 Men / Bechgyn o dan 17: Iwan Thomas (15:02); Jake Lynock (16:22); Joshua Barnett (16:46)

Under 20 Women / Merched o dan 20: Jessica Hyland (18:32)

Under 20 Men / Bechgyn o dan 20: Steffan Davies (17:21); Steffan Bridger (17:34); Rogan Cox (23:45)

Senior Women / Menywod: Celia White (34:12)

Senior Men / Dynion: Huw Davies (40:14)

RESULTS/CANLYNIADAU: John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League Fixture 3 (Pembrey Country Park, Llanelli)