The 2016 Rhondda Rollercoaster, held on 14th May 2016, was the fifth time the South Wales LDWA had hosted the event. It was also the best attended! Entries closed about two weeks before the event when the cut off figure of 280 was reached and a waiting list was created. Thankfully, everyone who wanted to enter did as several people advised the entries secretary in advance of the event that they couldn’t make it. In the end, 240 people set off from Trehafod Hall to take on the challenge that the Rhondda valleys offered.
We were certainly very lucky with the weather this year. It started off as overcast but soon the clouds cleared meaning that it was blue skies and fluffy white clouds which meant that the Rhondda and Ogmore Valleys were seen at their finest.
The 2016 Rhondda Rollercoaster saw a huge entry from people living in the valleys themselves. 75% of entrants were LDWA non-members. Every single non-member was given a membership form which will hopefully encourage people to join the association. It only costs £13 per year and provides a wealth of information on all things connected with long distance walking, particularly about other similar challenge events.
Our checkpoints were put under a bit of pressure due to people not meeting the cut-off times. It did mean that our volunteers had to remain ‘on duty’ for longer than anticipated and hopefully our entrants will ensure that in the future they can meet the challenge within the eleven hours. We may actually create a shorter version for 2017 to encourage some walkers who are not confident in their abilities to walk 26 miles where they will enjoy a shorter yet still as visually scenic walk.
Conversely, even though we started the runners at 9am, they still reached some of our checkpoints too soon. This adds pressure to the checkpoints and marshals, therefore we will be considering a 10am start for runners in 2017.
As with any LDWA event, it can only operate if the members give up their day to marshal the event and as the group challenge walk co-ordinator I am very grateful for the assistance and flexibility of all on the day. The volunteers who either helped on the day or bought food / made cakes in advance are all listed below.
The 2017 Rhondda Rollercoaster is likely to be held on Saturday 13th May.
Our volunteers were:
- Chris Hume
- Shirley Hume
- Judith Fox
- Dave Williams
- Rod Hollands
- Eddie Ball
- Andrew Clabon
- Huw James
- Gwyn Matthews
- Sue Johns
- Rob Richardson
- Jill Richardson
- Norma Lloyd
- Huw James
- Rob Wilkinson
- Claire Murray
- Gwyneth Littlejohn
- Gill Morgan
- Gerry Jackson
- Jane Hopcraft
- Cheryl Llewellyn
- Jason Winney
- Phil King
- John Tinelli
- Hugh Woodford
- Heather Holmes
- Alwyn Nixon
- Ann Nixon
Challenge Walk Coordinator
South Wales LDWA
See photographs on our Facebook page.
I would like to congratulate South Wales LWDA on the excellent organisation of the Rhondda Rollercoaster. All the staff were very helpful, there was plenty of food and drink on the route and the soup at the end was very very welcome.
We had nine members of Network Rail’s Electrification and Infrastructure Projects Teams undertake the challenge on Saturday, and the course certainly lived up to its name! It’s the first time any of us have taken part in a LDWA event, but although wearily legged, was thoroughly enjoyed by us all.
I ran/(walked the hills!) your Rhondda Rollercoaster for the first time last Saturday and I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone involved in the event.
Wow, what a fabulous day. I have ran lots of LDWA challenge events before and although they are all good this is one of the best I’ve run!
Of course the wonderful weather helped show off the fantastic views but everyone was so friendly. The food before, during and after was brilliant, the marshals were helpful and encouraging and the route description was very accurate (so nice to have lots of compass bearings to reinforce the directions).
Once again thank you to the South Wales LDWA for arranging such a great event, hopefully see you in January!
Thank You for another great Rhondda Rollercoaster event, you even managed to book the weather this year😎! Happy days
Thank you for organising! Another great event from the South Wales group and you arranged some fantastic weather too. The Tylorstown Tip doesn’t get any easier each year though – what a beast!
Many thanks to all the organisers and volunteers who made today’s event really enjoyable.
Thank you for again a hugely well organised event that broke us.
Thank you for organising. My first LDWA event and I truly loved it. Checkpoints were well organised and refreshments were amazing. Thank you so much.
Great day thanks too you all.
Great as always. Great route, stunning views and once again fantastic cakes at the end.
Brilliant event, thank you for looking after us all.
Thanks for organising a great event today, we’re aching now but had a great time. Cheers.
A great day out amazing views and some lessons learned for 2 weeks’ time.
A big thank you for a fantastic day, we have never been looked after so well. A very scenic walk and fabulous people.
Thanks guys…loved it!.
Absolutely fab event, thanks to everyone for looking after us.
Good morning. I retired at checkpoint 3 and was given the distance of 21.2 miles and 08:32. I am happy with this and will probably come back next year to see if I can complete it then. Please say thank you to all the support people on the event very much appreciated. A lovely event, well organised and worth doing again. Hopefully not in the rain. I am off to stretch now and hopefully I can walk again without shuffling by Wednesday. Thanks again for a good day.
Thanks for a great event – the climb up to the top of Tylorstown tip was positively evil 😄 soup and custard slice at the end was fantastic!
I just wanted to thank you and all the volunteers for looking after us, before, during and after the event. They were amazing.