The 32-year-old Rokman ambassador, completed the coastal route from Chester in North Wales to Chepstow in South Wales in an incredible time of 20days 10hrs 36mins, beating the previous record by 2hrs 19mins.
Photo by Kelly Felstead
The Wales Coast Path is a designated footpath which follows or runs close to, the coastline of Wales. Launched in 2012, the path is 870 miles long with a total ascent that exceeds the height of Mount Everest more than four times.
Speaking at the finish, Jenkins, an ultrarunner and race director for Pegasus Ultrarunning, said: “I can’t believe what I’ve just achieved. That was a complete physical and emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. It was truly the most brutal 20 days of my life.”
“I could not have done it without the huge support from my friends, family, pacers and people we met along the way.
Photo by Abby Fleming
Speaking about his support van driver and wife, Cerys, Rhys said: “The one person I could definitely not have done this without is my wife, Cerys. She has not just been my support driver for the whole challenge but she has been my rock. She’s looked after me every step of the way of this challenge, feeding me, hydrating me and putting up with me when I was tired and grumpy. She is a remarkable woman and one of the strongest people I’ve ever met.”
Photo by Abby Flemming
“For me, the cherry on top was raising over £4,500 for charity through my JustGiving page. The whole reason I embarked on this challenge was for three amazing charities, each one extremely close to my heart. They were the child protection charity the NSPCC, as my wife suffered abuse as a child, the cancer support charity Maggies’s Cardiff, as they helped my mum through her recovery from cancer last year, and the Cystic Fibrosis charity CF Warriors, a charity set up by my best friend who suffers from the disease. These incredible causes hugely motivated me the whole way round.
Photo by Stu Clarke
The record Jenkins beat had previously been held by fellow Welshman now living in New Zealand, James Harcombe, who ran 20 days 12 hours and 55 minutes in 2017.
During Jenkins’s record attempt, Harcombe even sent Rhys messages of support and encouragement. Jenkins said: “James is a true gentleman and set a tough benchmark in which to beat. I feel incredibly honoured to take the record from such fantastic ultrarunner.”
Photo by Abby Fleming
Talking about the inspiration for the challenge, Jenkins said, “When lockdown hit, I was training for the toughest race on the planet, the Badwater 135 ultramarathon, which unfortunately had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Determined to not let my training go to waste, the postponement actually gave me a great opportunity to experience Wales from such a unique perspective and set a new record in the country I hold so dear to my heart.”