Main Menu / Cynnwys

Ammanford 10K Breaking Records & Ben Thomas shines in Hungary PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nathan Jones   
Sunday, 08 July 2018 17:55

A further two events to report on from today (Sunday 8th July) as London Marathon hero Rees takes Gold in the Annual 10K Road Race over at Ammanford, plus Thomas records new personal best at the European Athletics U18 Youth Championships in Hungary...


Image may contain: 3 people, sky, crowd and outdoor


Ammanford Town Centre, located in Carmarthenshire hosted a second big running event in the space of a few weeks over the weekend. The first was the very successful Ammanford Junior Fun Run Races at Amman Valley Leisure Centre on Monday 11th June where 380 youngsters ran around the track.

Then, four weeks later down the road (today) at the Recreation Ground Rugby Club, it was turn of the seniors as nearly 300 took part in the Annual Ammanford 10K Race as the fun run season continued in the Amman Valley.

Cynhaliodd Tref Rhydaman, a leolir yn Sir Gaerfyrddin ail ddigwyddiad mawr yn ystod y mis dwethaf dros y penwythnos. Y cyntaf oedd Rasys Hwyl Plant Rhydaman yng Nghanolfan Hamdden Dyffryn Aman ar Nos Lun, 11eg o Fehefin lle daeth 380 o blant bryd hynny.

Yna, pedair wythnos yn ddiweddarach (heddiw) yng Nghlwb Rygbi Rhydaman, fe wnaeth bron i 300 gymryd rhan yn Ras 10K Flynyddol Rhydaman wrth i'r tymor redeg hwyl barhau yn Nyffryn Aman.



Entries could be done online this year for the very first time, and over 200 of those as well as runners who entered on the day made it a great occasion from the 15 year olds right up to the veteran 60 on a very hot Sunday morning. Organised by Amman Valley Harriers Athletics Club, A new organising team were in place for the 2018 edition and it was again kindly sponsored by the Ammanford Lions Club who provided the trophies and numbers. They were assisted at the finish line by Councillor J.Mansel Charles, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council and his Consort, Bethan Charles-Davies who presented the finishers medals.

The prize money was kindly sponsored by Llys Cennen Solicitors with age group trophies up for grabs in several categories from open male & female through F35, M40, F45 and M50 up to the F55 and M60, meaning everyone had something to play for. In addition, the winning male and female team trophies were also presented with three per team counting. Every finisher received their finishers medal with bottles of water provided by our friends at Brecon Carreg.

As has been the case over the past few races and weeks, conditions were on the warm side in the low to mid 20 Celsius even at the new time of 10am in the morning, when the athletes got underway on the main road near to Ammanford Park.

Event Organiser, Rob Davies told us: "Today's race has been a great success. We had online entries for the first time this year which has proved to be really popular with 275 runners today. The heat made it tough going which certainly warranted the extra water stations! Thanks to our 3 sponsors Ammanford Lions, Llys Cennen Solicitors and Brecon Carreg. Next year's race is set to be even bigger, see you there!"


The ever popular race. described by many as one of the best road races around at the present time, was on open roads and took runners on a scenic route starting on the Iscennen Main Road. Passing the Bonllwyn Green and surrounding areas, they headed to the half way mark at Llandybie and Bleanau before returning down the country lanes via Aberlash. At the 8K point, runners re-joined the main road and re-traced their steps back to the finish line outside the Ammanford Bowls Centre, where family and friends were waiting to cheer them on.

Despite the climb heading out on the first part of the course, it was a route that suited novice and club runners alike and it was great to see participants of all ages and abilities getting involved in an event which has continued to go from strength to strength for more than 20 years by now!

This event was made ever more popular and successful by incorporating the West Wales Road Running Championships, which was welcomed back this year after a number of years out. It certainly attracted good numbers of club athletes in particular to this element from Port Talbot Harriers, Amman Valley Harriers, Llanelli AC, TROTS, Sarn Helen, Run4All Neath, Neath Harriers, 3M Gorseinon, Sospan Road Runners, Aberdare Valley, Carmarthen Harriers, Vegan Runners UK and Les Coupiers just to name a few!

In its biggest turn out yet after over 20 years of running, 275 runners finished the course in excellent times despite the sweltering conditions!


Image may contain: one or more people, sky, crowd, tree, outdoor and nature


Image may contain: 15 people, people smiling, outdoor and text



Matthew Rees (Swansea Harriers) took this year's win in a time of 33 minutes and 49 seconds and has been a popular figure since the London Marathon in 2017, where he stopped to help fellow runner David Wyeth across the line as they entered the final straight after 26.2 miles of running. It was great to see Matthew back at this local West Wales race, many congratulations!

Commenting on his win, Swansea Harrier Rees said: "It was a fantastic race and I was delighted to win. It was a very hot morning and I adjusted my pace goals to take this into account. It was a challenging course and that made it all the more fun. I love racing local events, the organisation was great, the marshals so friendly and I will definitely be back next year."

His club teammate Marc Hobbs followed in runners up spot (34:31) with Port Talbot Harriers' Ben Williams crossing in third (35:03) to make up the top three and win the West Wales Road Running Championships medals in the process. Following them in the top 10 also were the following: Dai Kennan (Llanelli AC 35:13); Sion Price (Sarn Helen 35:20); Daniel Triggs (Neath Harriers 35:26); M40 champion Daniel James (Run4All Neath 36:42); Craig Foley (Port Talbot Harriers 37:14); Tom Sinton (RTN 37:25) and Steven Williams (Llanelli AC 37:31). Other winning male winners in the other age groups were: M50 Simon Tonks (Vegan Runners UK 40:45) and M60 Alan Davies (Llanelli AC 38:11)

Over to the female, and coming 34th overall, Rhodie Jones (Unattached) was the first athlete back home in 41:09. She was followed over the line by Michelle Cole (3M Gorseinon RR 42:20) and Wendy Price (Carmarthen Harriers 42:41). In the West Wales Championships, Cole was announced as the F35 champion as well as West Wales gold, with the silver going to Caryl Wyn Davies of Sarn Helen (43:10) and bronze heading to Port Tabot Harriers and to Deb Chick (44:23). Judith Oakley (Vegan Runners UK 45:21) was the F45 winner with Chick claiming the F55 title.

Swansea Harriers took team gold in the men's thanks to their one-two finish in Rees & Hobbs. Raul Reismann in 18th was home as the third scorer. Meanwhile, the Amman Valley Harriers' women's enjoyed home advantage as they picked up the female team winners - Clara Davies, Tanwen Randell-Davies and Helen Janney.

Carmarthen Harriers members' finishing times: Archi Morgan (40:06); David Jones (41:23); Wendy Price (42:41); Vince Bailey (43:38); Iwan Davies (59:26) and Wendy Davies (1:06:47)


Image may contain: 4 people, mountain, shorts, sky, shoes, outdoor and nature


After everyone finished and were congratulated over the line, the rugby club was open following the conclusion of the race for runners and spectators to join together for drinks and snacks in a friendly atmosphere. A great crowd stayed on to applaud those who were presented with an award outside shortly after.

Rhian Thomas, President of Ammanford Lions as well as the rest of the team, who sponsored the event and also presented trophies added: "We were very pleased to sponsor the Ammanford 10K Run once again this year. The event gets bigger every year and this year the turnout has been fantastic."



The organisers at the AVH club would like to congratulate all the runners who took part in this year's Record-Breaking 10K and would like to thank every one of the volunteers who made it possible in front of and behind the scenes, including all marshals, sponsors, Online Race Results and St John Ambulance / Dyfed Powys Police.

The wordings of "thank you marshal" said by a large number of participants as they passed the different points was a great testament of all the hard work that has gone in to putting the event on. The post race comments from runners and spectators have been very positive all round. See you all in 2019!!

The Ammanford 10K Road Race Report, Results & Action Shots will feature in the local press over the next 14 days. Make sure that you pick up your copies of the South Wales Guardian, South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal / Llanelli Star, Llanelli Online Website and the Carmarthenshire & Llanelli Herald Newspapers for all the coverage.

In the meantime, visit the Amman Valley Harriers' club Facebook and Website Pages for more pictures!

For a copy of the FULL RESULTS click here / cliciwch yma ar gyfer y CANLYNIADAU LLAWN

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, sky and outdoor

Event Media & Press Reporter & Pictures in Ammanford: Nathan Jones


Elsewhere Over in Gyor, Hungary, Carmarthenshire teenager and U20 Carmarthen Harriers' Ben Thomas wore the Great Britain vest for the very first time over the weekend at the European U18 Youth Championships with his proud family and friends trackside, (July 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th) having been one of the 33 to be chosen to #REPRESENT and it was a moment that he took!

Ahead of the championships last week, Thomas said: "I had an excellent block of warm weather training in Portugal which, on the back of a good winter's preparations, has set me up for the summer. I have had a series of races planned and times I have run have reflected my form in training. This last week has seen the finishing touches put in place."

"The British Milers Club Grand Prix in Sportcity in Manchester was a major turning point. I knew I could run the qualifying time but not by 8 seconds. To do it again at the BMC meeting in Milton Keynes confirmed my form and technically it was a much better race. Bedford was very important, as it was the last head to head competition prior to European selection."

In his steeplechase event, he did not run an European qualifying time once, not twice but a total of three times in a short period of time. Back in the middle of May, he headed to the BMC Grand Prix event at SportCity in Manchester where he ran a 5.57.89 followed by 5.57.81 at the BMC PB Classic in Milton Keynes at the beginning of June. Not only did Thomas make a name for himself those evenings, but also broke the Carmarthen Harriers club records held previously. Selection for the upcoming championships was sealed having run another sub 6 minutes of 5.59.70 at the England Athletics U20/23 Championships in Bedford just a few weeks ago having taken a comfortable victory that afternoon.


In Gyor on a wet Friday Evening, Ben went in the second heat of the boys' 2000m Steeplechase and after overcoming a mid-race argy-bargy, he battled back professionally to qualify for the final on Sunday Evening. His time in the qualifying rounds of 6:01:47 secured eighth position and headed into the next round as one of the fastest five runners-up spots.

48 hours later again live on Eurosport, he was back out on the 2K start line at the Youth Championships for most probably his biggest race of his career so far. Featuring a total of fifteen athletes full of talent, it was always expected to be a top quality battle.

After 800m of running the group started to break up with the Frenchman Guyon breaking away to claim gold. However, the headline from our end is on Ben who crossed the line in 9th position, BUT recorded a new personal best performance of 5:53:47 which he can be very proud of having run two races in the space of two days! Perfformiad arbennig wrth meddwl taw 6:16 roedd yn gwneud y llynnedd.

After the race, Thomas said: "I wanted to do my best in the final so to get a PB, you can't ask for much more. I was quite tired after the heats so to be able to run quicker tonight is really encouraging. I was maybe hoping for a big quicker but I'm pleased overall."

"I want to earn British vests in the future. This has really inspired me to work harder and experience these moments again in the future."



Image may contain: 2 people, outdoor


Llongyfarchiadau Ben o bawb yn y clwb! Read our athlete profile full story and interview with Ben from last week before travelling by CLICKING HERE

Paul Clarke also had a good day in the sun up at Solihull, where he represented the Welsh Masters Athletics Team in the 1500m and came in first position.