Hywel James was the first DMBSRC Runner to claim and retain the title of ‘Darth’s Champ’, and he was the first runner to be inducted into the Darth Mannion Hall of Fame.
In the inaugural DMBSRC event, Hywel, from North Wales, out paced Darth Committee-men and popular local runners David Carey and Owen McNamara to claim first place; and in the second event in 2011, he snatched victory from a despairing Darth Mannion (Darth’s only top 3 finish). His Darth career then quickly escalated; in DMBSRC III he was ordained as a Darth Regulator and in DMBSRC IV he was promoted to Front Marker.
Throughout Hywel’s Darth Mannion career there have been many notable highs, but perhaps saving the lives of 4 participants from turbulent winter waters, after the Sea Dip at Pwll Du, and still having the energy and determination to beat Darth to the finish line, must surely rank as his most famous exploit.
Chris Tildesley (inducted 2013)
In DMNBSRC III Chris Tildesley was singly responsible for breaking Hywel James’ grip on the title of ‘Darth’s Champ’. DMBSRC III is commonly considered to be the greatest field of runners ever to take part in this illustrious event. The finale of the run included Chris, Hywel and the dreaded Gough brothers, battling each other on the famous sprint finish to South Gower RFC. Despite a punishing pace set by Hywel, and some dirty tactics by the elder Gough Brother, the diminutive runner from Stoke, shot down the outside and claimed an unexpected and well deserved victory. DMBSRC III is the only time the Darth Mannion Trophy as ever left Wales.
Chris claimed second place in DMBSRC IV but for his performance in DMBSRC III he was inducted into the Darth Mannion Hall of Fame.
Gareth Mathews (inducted 2014)
Gareth Mathews, who also hails from North Wales, was inducted into the Darth Mannion Hall of Fame after winning DMBSRC IV and V, and inspiring his select team, the Badger Teethes, to team glory.
Ably supported by his side-kick, Owen Elsom, Gareth stormed to victory in both events. The prowess and potency of the Badger Teethes has owed much to Gareth’s running ability and inspiring leadership. To demonstrate their undoubted quality the third member of their team is always selected for their lack of athleticism. This is not an arrogant gesture, but as Gareth says, it is a ‘means of inspiring those who are naturally less able’.