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Cerist Triathlon Club – Its History | Clwb Triathlon Cerist – Yr Hanes

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Soon after Bro Ddyfi Leisure Centre opened in Machynlleth, and the arrival of staff to encourage sport and fitness, they created the first Standard Distance Triathlon event in the area in 1991. It was a split transition event, with a swim in Aberdyfi, bike to Bro Ddyfi Leisure Centre and a 10km run loop, which proved very popular during the August holidays when it was first held.

Triathlon was an up and coming sport, and it became more popular here when the race was included as part of the national championship circuit, attracting elite athletes. During this time the informal Cerist Triathlon Club was very active with four members participating for Welsh and GB teams both here and abroad. 

The ‘Dyfi Dash’ sprint triathlon was first held in March 1996.  It became very popular, with over 200 triathletes taking part, with novices and elite athletes performing side by side - an early year leg stretcher for the elite and some experience for novices. The emphasis would be “participation for all”.

These events plus a few others continued for several more years until 2006 when the main organisers retired from planning.

It was clear to many of those that were BTF members that we should formalise as a club and affiliate to the BTF.

The name of the club was derived from Dŵr Cerist, a local spring water company that one of the original club members helped set up in those early years. Cerist provided water for the events, seemed well associated with the members and Machynlleth so we adopted the name, officially establishing “Cerist Triathlon Club” in 2005.

As the previous race organiser had retired, we decided to continue with the March Sprint Triathlon event, adopting “Dyfi Dash” title. The Dyfi Dash continues to attract over 100 athletes every year to a friendly event, and it still provides a great opportunity for people to try out the sport, either individually, or as part of a relay team. This year’s event would have been held in early April, but unfortunately, we had to cancel the event again this year. But we’re planning to come back strongly in 2022 with another event to kick start the triathlon season.

As the membership grew so did the number of interested youngsters. We took on a Junior section that became very popular with our local kid's event becoming part of the Welsh Triathlon Tri-stars series.

In such a small town like Machynlleth, we’d never expect a large number of members but with some local initiatives such as discounted circuit training, membership grew to over 100, with nearly all from within a 10mile radius of the town.

During these more recent years, the club has hosted a BBC film crew using the Dyfi Dash as a backdrop to the World Triathlon Series 2014 in Auckland New Zealand. Also, Louise Minchin of BBC breakfast TV fame took part in the Dyfi Dash as her warm-up for that year!

Lockdown has reduced the level of club activity with most people participating in virtual events or joining Zoom sessions at home. But with no accessible facility for most of us, swimming has been our biggest loss.

Many of our members have kept running though, taking advantage of the excellent trails we have in the area to keep up with their training and get out in the open countryside. With a slightly different focus over the last year and the huge interest in trail running within the area, the club has also recently affiliated with Welsh Athletics, as well as Welsh Triathlon to support its members in taking part in some different events to complement triathlon, and also to be able to put on a few additional events of our own when we’re able to again.

So the club is going from strength to strength and is focused on supporting the health and well-being of its members and friends within the Dyfi valley.

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Yn fuan wedi i Ganolfan Hamdden Bro Ddyfi agor ym Machynlleth, gyda staff i annog chwaraeon a ffitrwydd, aethant ati i greu Triathlon Pellter Safonol cyntaf yr ardal yn 1991. Roedd yn ras gyda dwy ardal gyfnewid, gyda’r nofio yn Aberdyfi, beicio i Ganolfan Hamdden Bro Ddyfi, a chwrs rhedeg 10km, a brofodd yn boblogaidd iawn yn ystod gwyliau mis Awst pan gafodd ei chynnal i ddechrau.

Roedd Triathlon yn gamp oedd yn dechrau amlygu ar y pryd, a daeth yn fwy poblogaidd yma pan gafodd y ras ei chynnwys fel rhan o’r bencampwriaeth genedlaethol, gan ddenu’r prif athletwyr. Yn y cyfnod hwnnw, roedd clwb triathlon anffurfiol Cerist yn brysur iawn, gyda phedwar aelod yn cystadlu i dimau Cymru a Phrydain yma a dros y môr.

Cynhaliwyd triathlon sprint y ‘Dyfi Dash’ am y tro cyntaf ym Mawrth 1996.  Daeth yn boblogaidd iawn, gyda dros 200 yn cymryd rhan, a rhai newydd i’r gamp a’r prif athletwyr yn cystadlu ochr yn ochr â’i gilydd – cyfle i’r prif gystadleuwyr ymestyn eu coesau yn gynnar yn y flwyddyn, a phrofiad da i’r dechreuwyr. Roedd y pwyslais ar gael pawb i gymryd rhan. 

Parhaodd y rasys, ac ambell un arall am rai blynyddoedd, tan 2006 pan benderfynodd y prif drefnwyr ymddeol o’r holl waith cynllunio.

Roedd yn glir i lawer o’r rheiny oedd yn aelodau o’r BTF y dylid ffurfioli’r clwb, ac ymaelodi â’r BTF yn ffurfiol.

Daeth enw’r clwb o gwmni Dŵr Cerist, cwmni dŵr lleol yr oedd un o aelodau gwreiddiol y clwb wedi helpu i’w sefydlu. Roedd Cerist yn darparu dŵr ar gyfer y rasys, a gyda chysylltiad cryf â’r aelodau a’r ardal, felly mabwysiadwyd yr enw, gan sefydlu ‘Clwb Triathlon Cerist’ yn ffurfiol yn 2005.

Gan fod y trefnwyr blaenorol wedi rhoi’r gorau iddi, penderfynwyd y dylid parhau â’r Triathlon Sprint ym mis Mawrth, gan fabwysiadu’r teitl “Dyfi Dash” eto. Mae’r Dyfi Dash yn parhau i ddenu dros 100 o athletwyr bob blwyddyn i ras gyfeillgar a chartrefol, ac mae’n parhau i gynnig cyfle gwych i bobl roi tro ar y gamp am y tro cyntaf, un ai’n unigol neu fel rhan o dîm cyfnewid. Roedd y ras eleni i fod i gael ei chynnal ddechrau mis Ebrill, ond yn anffodus, bu’n rhaid gohirio’r digwyddiad eto eleni. Rydym yn bwriadu dod nôl yn gryf eto yn 2022 gyda ras arall i gychwyn y tymor triathlon.

Wrth i’r aelodaeth gynyddu, roedd diddordeb y criw iau yn cynyddu hefyd. Cychwynwyd adran iau yn y Clwb, a ddaeth yn boblogaidd iawn gyda’r plant lleol, a’n ras plant yn dod yn rhan o gyfres Tri-stars Triathlon Cymru.

Mewn tref fach fel Machynlleth, doeddwn ni erioed wedi meddwl y bydden ni’n cael cymaint o aelodau, ond gydag ambell fenter fel gostyngiad ar sesiynau cylched, tyfodd yr aelodaeth i dros 100, gyda’r cwbl bron yn byw o fewn 10 milltir i’r dref.

Yn y blynyddoedd diwethaf daeth criw ffilmio’r BBC draw i ddefnyddio’r Dyfi Dash fel cefndir ar gyfer rhaglen am Ras Cyfres Triathlon y Byd yn Auckland, Seland Newydd yn 2014. Hefyd, daeth Louise Minchin o raglen brecwast y BBC, i gymryd rhan yn y Dyfi Dash fel rhan o’i pharatoadau ar gyfer ei thymor rasio y flwyddyn honno!

Mae’r cyfnod clo wedi gostwng lefel gweithgaredd y clwb wrth gwrs, gyda mwyafrif yr aelodau un ai’n cymryd rhan mewn digwyddiadau rhithiol neu ymuno â sesiynau Zoom o’u cartref. Ond heb fynediad i’r cyfleusterau arferol, mae methu nofio wedi bod yn golled fawr i lawr.

Ond mae nifer o’n haelodau wedi cadw i redeg, gan fanteisio ar y llwybrau gwych sydd gennym yn yr ardal i gadw i ymarfer a mynd allan i gefn gwlad. Gyda ffocws ychydig yn wahanol dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, a diddordeb anferth mewn rhedeg llwybrau yn yr ardal, mae’r clwb hefyd wedi ymuno ag Athletau Cymru’n ddiweddar, yn ogystal â Thriathlon Cymru, i gefnogi’r aelodau i gymryd rhan mewn ambell ras wahanol i gyd-fynd â thriathlon, ac hefyd i fedru cynnal ambell ddigwyddiad ein hunain pan fydd hynny’n bosibl eto.

Felly mae’r clwb yn mynd o nerth i nerth, a’i ffocws ar gefnogi iechyd a lles ei aelodau a’i gyfeillion yn Nyffryn Dyfi.

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