5,000 flock to Tenby for Long Course Weekend

Western Telegraph: SUNSHINE START: Hundreds of Wales Marathon runners stream their way along Tenby's High Street at the start of the hot and hilly course.PICTURE: Gareth Davies Photography (650308) SUNSHINE START: Hundreds of Wales Marathon runners stream their way along Tenby's High Street at the start of the hot and hilly course.PICTURE: Gareth Davies Photography (650308)

AROUND 5,000 athletes from 42 countries are arriving in Pembrokeshire this weekend for a massive, world-class weekend of sport.

They will be swimming, cycling and running their way through the Long Course Weekend, centered on Tenby and taking in the challenging terrain and the stunning sights of the south county coast and countryside

In just four years, the unique Long Course Weekend has become an established and respected event, attracting some of the best triathlon talent in the UK and the world, including a number who will be tackling Ironman Wales in September.

“It looks set to be another brilliant weekend,” said Matthew Evans of Pembrokeshire-based Activity Wales Events, which is staging the challenge. “The format has proved such a success that it has now been franchised, with Long Course Scotland being next on the agenda.

“Last year, 547 million homes worldwide were reached through television coverage of the Pembrokeshire event, and this year we’ve once again got Sky Sports, Eurosport and Channel 4 - to name a few - filming to put together an hour-long programme for August.

“It’s a great event for Pembrokeshire, and the atmosphere in Tenby’s Tudor Square for the sportive and marathon starts and finishes is going to be electric.”

The weekend features Friday’s The Huub Wales Swim, Saturday’s The Tredz Wales Sportive and Sunday’s The Newton Wales Marathon

Contestants can pick and choose their races and distances, with the elite signing up for all three longer-distance races in a bid to claim the coveted Long Course medal. There are also 350 youngsters taking part in the Taff Kids event as a curtain-raiser to the swim on Tenby’s North Beach.

Communities along the run and bike routes also have the chance to be winners, with £1,000 on each day being offered to the top-supporting areas. One of the top contenders is sure to be Saundersfoot, where cyclists will be competing in ‘King of the Hill’ in a race up the steep St Bride’s Hill.

For more information, times and routes, visit www.longcourseweekend.com

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