Around Wales, Around the Clock - good job done!

Around Wales Around the ClockA group of Welsh runners are currently nursing some blistered feet after an epic, non-stop, 750-mile run around the entire border of Wales!

The group of nine runners - Olympic torchbearer Rhys Jenkins; his brother Scott; Dom Hedges; Rhys Bennett; Mike Rabaiotti; Dave Lerway; Eli Carter; Sammy Alderman; and Joanna Lowes - finished the run at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay on Monday 9 April after four complete days of running.

The ‘Around Wales, Around the Clock’ run team averaged 170 miles a day, with each runner taking turns to cover part of the distance over the four days, after they set off from the Norwegian Church on Thursday 5 April.

In the process they have so far raised more than £1,400 for the charities Friends and Parents of Ashgrove School and the Noah’s Ark Appeal, with more donations and sponsorship still to come in.

During the run the group split into three sub-teams. Each member of a sub-team would run for 30 minutes then rest for an hour while the other two members ran, before running again for a further 30 minutes.

The sub-teams rotated, with those not covering the distance on foot sharing the responsibility of driving the support vehicle.

The minibus - in which the runners slept, ate and rested - was provided by Ashgrove School and those runners who were not running took it in turns to drive the support vehicle.

Speaking on their return on the Monday, runner Scott Jenkins said: "It was a really good team effort.

"We always had confidence in our team mates that they would go out and get the job done and team camaraderie was crucial with an event like this when morale could get low in the early morning runs.

"The hardest part was the first night, when it was so cold that we were running in snow and frost in some places," he added. "When it’s minus four or five degrees it’s hard to get into the rhythm of things."

The route saw them head east out of Cardiff and up to north Wales along the border with England before returning the long way around the coast.

Sammy Alderman, who was called up as a late replacement, completed the run for the first time: "The lack of sleep was the worst part, as you could only grab an hour here or there," he said.

"There were a lot of hills during the run too, which were really hard work.

"The late night runs were the hardest ones. Running on some roads at 2am you had to have the minibus drive behind you so you could see where you were going!"

Rhys Jenkins, who completed the run last year and is hoping the challenge will become an annual event, said: "The last 24 hours were the hardest. When we were running in Ogmore-by-Sea the wind and rain was really hitting our faces and it was quite a challenge.”

Four of the runners however won’t be resting those feet for too long. Scott Jenkins, his brother Rhys, Sammy Alderman and Dom Hedges will join friends, Kris Lindsay and David Thomas to embark on a 1,100 mile cycle from Turin in Italy to Cardiff in just ten days via the steepest inclines from the Tour De France in order to raise money for MacMillan Cancer support and Dumfries and Galloway Endowment Fund. Ten days might appear a short time frame to cycle the 1,100 miles but if you think about the terrain, insane temperature fluctuations (intense highs and lows) and steep inclines and hairpin descents, it appears somewhat less easy – especially for six amateur road cyclists. Rhys and Sammy have never ridden a road bike and the rest are self proclaimed amateur road cyclists. Scott, the mastermind behind the 1000tt sums the challenge up:

"It is more of a mental battle than that of a physical one. We each need to focus on creating short term goals to help us achieve the mammoth long term goal. This challenge is all about pushing each of us outside of our comfort zones, otherwise it wouldn’t be a challenge. Daily cancer survivors and patients deal with far bigger challenges than the obstacles that this event will throw at us so if by pushing our bodies we can help to raise awareness of these two great charities and increase donations to them, then that is a win-win for each of us.

"This challenge is about doing something bigger and better, in essence, it is designed to help others."

To follow the challenge, you can visit the website where blogs are updated or ‘like’ them and share with friends on Facebook and tweet them @1000TT. The guys are happy to have support along the way, so if anyone wants to cycle part of the route, contact them via their website.