Les Croupiers and friends take flight to Den Haag for their Annual Tour
Over the weekend of the 10th of March, 65 Les Croupiers runners and friends took to the Hague for their annual tour - the first one since the COVID pandemic.
The race of choice? The famous Loop Den Haag, emulating a similar trip Les Croupiers did in 1990 to the 10-mile race preceding the modern event.
The runners awoke with one goal - the World-renowned ‘Z’ parkrun in Zuiderpark. The mission was 3 loops on the alternative course.
The marshalls were over the moon to see the Cardiff based group and other runners from Redway runners in Milton Keynes the reason? It turns out this broke the attendance record. The average participation is 70 runners on the day it was 217. Not only did runners take part in the run, but Karen Chadwell volunteered her time as a tailwalker.
Dave James (the current 3,000m all comer record holder for Wales with 7:46.95 set in Cwmbran in 1980) - setting the age grade record with a run of 18:32 - 90.47%.
On the Sunday the rest of the group headed to the roads for the loop den haag, a 5km, 10km and half marathon.
In the 5k race, Claire Bruce finished 1st in the V45 category and the 16th woman across the finish line. There was another medal in the 5k race, this time for Darren Griffiths-Warner who finished 3rd in the M55 category.
Next up was the 10k race.
First through the finish line in the men’s race was Elliot Richards battling it out for 4th place in a time of 31:34.
There were great performances in the women’s race, Alaw Beynon-Thomas came home in 2nd place and Helen Oliver in 3rd.
Other great performances included Kay Chapman and Rachel Hooper coming in 1st and 3rd place respectively in the V55 category and Annie Conroy winning the bronze in the V75.
To complete the tour was the half marathon which saw a number of big performances. There were new personal bests for a number of athletes. Phil Hambleton set a new PB of 1:12:56 and Amy Griffiths brought home the women with a PB of 1:28:37.
Among the personal best times that a lot of the tour got, there was a 3rd age category win for the one and only Mike Davies in M70.
But the standout moment was a new Welsh Record in the M65 category Dave James winning in a time of 1:22:07 - 10 minutes ahead of second place.