Upcoming Races
October Newsletter

The WFRA Championships and Series are sponsored by Inov-8 and Cotswold Outdoor and Paul Fosh Auctions. Cotswold Outdoor offer a very good discount to WFRA members.
The Welsh Fell Runners Association (WFRA) is an independent organization providing the following services to fell / mountain runners in Wales – an annual race calendar, regular Newsletters (minimum 3 per year), website, Open Championships,Civil Liability insurance for members (including Race Organisers). Annual Membership is £10.The membership year runs from January 1st to December 31st. If you join after 1st October your membership will last until the end of the following year. If you would like to join a membership form is available on this website (click on Join). You will need acrobat reader to download the form. Acrobat reader is available free on www.adobe.co.uk.
2015 WFRA Wales and Borders Race Calendar
This is a comprehensive Calendar, containing details of most Fell races in Wales and the Borders. It includes some races not in the FRA Calendar. The Calendar is free to paid-up members. Members, who have renewed their membership for 2015, will automatically be sent a copy. Non members can obtain a copy for £5.00 from Sandra Rowlands. Cheques payable to ‘Welsh Fell Runners Association’.
Please enclose a C5 size(162mm x 229mm) SAE with standard first or second class postage.2015 Membership renewals Now   
Fell Race Organisers  WFRA Safety Requirements 2015
The WFRA Committee has finalised its revised Safety Requirements document (see above).
The Safety Requirements document re-iterates the principle that fell runners have primary responsibility for their own safety. The document includes minor changes in standards and clarifications but nothing that changes the essence of the sport. The Committee encourages all prospective competitors and Race Organisers to read the document carefully.

Any comments should be directed to Andrew Blackmore, Hon. Secretary Andrew Blackmore

Race organisers for any of the events listed on the WFRA site are invited to e.mail full results to the webmaster when they will be promptly published on our results pages.
WFRA Race Acceptance Policy
  Cwmdu   Darens Dash   Eilio     just arrived I will also feature any race reports I receive

Volunteers Wanted
The WFRA is looking for volunteers to join its Management Committee. We are particularly interested in hearing from individuals who would be willing to assist us in managing our financial affairs and coordinating our annual programme of races. The duties are not onerous, especially as we will provide full support and guidance to all new Committee members. For an informal discussion, please contact any current Committee member and/ or Andrew Blackmore, Hon. Secretary. Andrew Blackmore

2015 Membership Form is now available
Gyrn Gallop Sat 25th July

I am organising a race known as the Gyrn Gallop on behalf of Oswestry Olympians and I would like to advertise it on the WFRA site if I may. The race is on Saturday 25th July starting at 1pm from Rhiwlas Community Centre, 5 miles west of Oswestry. The race is held in conjunction with the village fayre so there is usually plenty of food to be had. Entry is five pounds on the day. The distance is 10.6k with an elevation gain of around 350m.. The race will be run under WFRA rules. Further information will be found on www.oswestryolympians.com
Contact for any queries is myself Ray Pickett email raypickett@btopenworld.com



Moel y Gamelin      Sun 28th June      Results

Midweek Final Series Results      Final Results

The final results for the Joe Brown Tuesday Series. Includes results for Race #12 Llanberis as well as the final standings - best 5 count. Jim Bacon the Series Champion though only 0.75% ahead of Rob Grantham - very close and exciting race series. Full set of race reports form Mike Blake on the Eryri Harriers Facebook timeline.

Pedol Cwm Pennant       Sat 20th June       Results

To celebrate the third anniversary of this already legendary race, the weather finally decided to be at its worst – well in the case of visibility this certainly was the case. The race which starts at the Cwm Pennant hostel and conquers the summits of the Moel Hebog range as well as the Nantlle ridge welcomed an enthusiastic and competent 36 starters. Weather conditions were actually near perfect for running – zero wind and light drizzle, the only problem was the near zero visibility.

On inspection of entries, it looked as the mens race would be between two time champ, Simon Harding and the Calder Valley legend, Carlos ‘The Jackal’ Gray, whilst the female battle would include Sarah Ridgway and Lou Beetlestone. As the runners set off the early thorough marking of the course would hopefully ensure all runners got onto the slopes of Moel Hebog and CP1 in one piece. This was not the case, as 4 runners managed to miss CP1 but still seemed to enjoy a nice 2hr run prior to returning safely to HQ. As the race progressed, as forecasted it was Harding and Gray who were way ahead, with Sarah also having a healthy lead over Lou. Visibility remained abysmal with a number of runners reporting wayward lines whilst descending Moel Lefn. As the leaders approached the final summit of Garnedd Goch there was some confusion as the marshall was also trying to help someone who’d lost their dog! With the final ankle breaking descent of Cwm Ciprwth completed it was left to the 2.5 mile run in along the legendary road and track and this is seemingly were Gray managed to drop Harding. Karl eventually taking the win in 2.40.15 – a mere 14 secs off the record, but a new vet 40 record, with Simon 2nd in 2.41.35. NWRR’s Mark Davies retained his bronze in a time of 2.56.29. Eryri’s Steve P Jones – current vet 60 leader in the British champs – ran excellently to finish 8th overall in 3.00.48, and a new vet 60 record. Noel Craine of Eryri took the vet 50’s in 3.20.04 – over 20mins outside of his record from 2014. In the ladies, Sarah took the win in 3.20.08, with Lou in 2nd in 3.42.25 and 3rd for Megan Hughes in 3.52.34. Stell Farrar and Jackie Kearsley ran home together to jointly take the vet 50 crown in 5.22.50. There were 27 finishers.

The main success of this race is the rock solid helpers, so thanks to Iorwerth Roberts, Pete Rowley, Jane O’Donnell, Gareth Wyn Hughes, Sioned Ellen Rowlands and Tina McDonnell, Sam Green, Dils Rowlands, all the Roberts' family and helpers, Helen Blair, Owen Roberts, Dafydd Whiteside Thomas and wifie, Jo Moore, Jonathan Moore, Trefor Jones, Adam Haynes as well as all the staff and Ken at at the hostel, all the landowners in particular Emyr et al at the car park location!.....also of course to Stu McDonald who took over from me part way through and Alex Fletcher.

In its fourth year in 2016 the race will be a champs race so an excellent opportunity for you all to race in North Wales’s greatest valley along its greatest race route.

Hot Foot Up Famau     Wed 17th June     Results

A record field of 117 runners from both sides of the border turned out for this year's Hotfoot up Famau, no doubt lured by the good conditions and the promise of a facilities-free race HQ at Bwlch Penbarras. A lot cooler than last year, not too much bracken on the course and a hint of rain in the air. In form Rob Grantham (Pensby) got quite close to the male record, closely followed by David Parker (Wrexham AC) and former winner Jez Brown (Buckley).

In the female race, a fine performance by Caitlin Rice (Glossopdale) saw her hold off the challenge from Lisa Grantham (Pensby) and Alice Robinson (Tattenhall).
Neil Shepherd (Bowland) was first M50, Anne Rosbottom (Pensby) first F40. Andy Robinson (Helsby) won a competitive M60 category, with John Morris (Buckley) romping round a course that suits his talents to win first V70. Brenda Tiedtke (Prestatyn) was first F50 and Steph Charman (Spectrum) first F60.

Many thanks to all the runners, as well as the superb marshals, sweepers and time-keepers who all gave up their evening for the minimal reward of cheap wine, beer and tea cakes.     Simon Roberts

Trail Race up the Beast     Wed 10th June    Results

Up the Beast was more fortunate this year as the weather was superb, different to last year when it was thunder and lightning.
A very good turn out with 96 runners who all set off and all came back. This being the first time in the history of the race. Runners have always been impressed with the variation of prizes ranging from bottles of wine , bags of potatoes down to a jar of Vaseline and lots more in between.

As this was the first time all the runners came back I finally achieved my goal. So I have decided this was to be my last year for organising this race. I have had a couple of people interested in taking it on. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have helped over the eight years I have been organising this race with the marshalling, time keeping and registration.

Midweek Series after 11th race (Tal Y Mignedd) and Series Results so far      Results

Results from the excellent Tal y Mignedd Tuesday night race. All overall series with one to go. It’s very close between the top two (Jim Bacon and Rob Grantham), looks like it’ll go to the final race - next week in Llanberis.

Welsh 1000 Metres     Sat 6th June     Welsh 1000 metres Report    Results

Longtown, Herefordshire. Saturday 6th June 2015 - The 10th Darrens Dash Hill Race    Results     Photos

Mark Killeen of Wye Valley Runners approaching the finishing straight with Hatterrall Ridge behind.

Race day dawned with a mixture of sunshine, cloud and a couple of light showers. The showers passed through and left a glorious running day behind. A move to a Saturday and away from Father’s Day seems to have been popular - runner numbers were the highest ever at 121. We were very pleased to welcome travelling runners from Ilkeston and Northamptonshire as well as strong contingents from local clubs on both sides of the border.

After a warm up lap of the event field a new route took runners steeply up through Cayo Farm and to the Rhiw before entering Wales and being rewarded with magnificent views of Llanthony Abbey, Pen y Gadair Fawr and the Vale of Ewyas. There wasn’t much time for enjoying the views however as the 552m trig point on Hatterrall Ridge was soon reached and then it was all downhill, reversing the ascent route from the Rhiw. Chris Jones of Mynyddwyr De Cymru led strongly from the start and flew down the descent slopes to set a new course record of 40:31, followed shortly afterwards by Paul Murrin of Chepstow Harriers and Andrew Stephens of Monross Trailblazers. In the Women’s Race Gintare Gaigal of Wye Valley Runners won in 50:11 holding off the challenge of Nikki Morgan of Chepstow Harriers and Clare Dallimore of MDC. Simon Downs and his dog Figaro were the first finishers in the Cani Cross event in a time of 67.03. Congratulations to Ed Dickson of MDC who was awarded the ‘first local’ trophy in 50:54 having cunningly moved into the area since the last race. MDC were on great form and

narrowly beat Wye Valley Runners to the inaugural mixed team competition.

Other results:

1st MV40	Chris Harrhy, Mynydd Du
1st MV50	Tim Taylor, Hereford Couriers
1st MV60	Neil Grant, Chepstow Harriers


1st FV40		Sue Shergold, FODAC
1st FV50		Nikki Childs, Wye Valley Runners
1st FV60		Joyce Dodd, Chepstow Harriers
NB. Competitors were only awarded trophies for their highest achievement to spread them round!

Full results available on: www.wyevalleyrunners.co.uk

80 children took place in the children’s races and showed their potential for the future. Great tea and cakes were provided to all runners and there was a goof haul of prizes in the raffle

Grateful thanks to the main event sponsors:
Celtic Vale – who provided the race water and sponsored the event t-shirts
Arlene and Richard Clare – who sponsored the race trophies and children’s medals
Ty Bryn Cider – also used as race prizes.
The event could not go ahead without the permission and good will of the following landowners: Eric and Jean Price, Rob and Julie Bevan, Richard Prosser, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and the Brecon Beacons National Park. A final but sincere thank you to Longtown Mountain Rescue Team who provide the mountain safety cover for the event.

Many tough runners decided to combine the race with the following day’s Magic Roundabout in the Begwyns and camped at Tan House Farm conveniently close to the Crown Inn for refuelling purposes.

Why not join us on Saturday 11th June 2016 for next year’s race?

Mike Fawcett     Race organiser

Boars Head Hill Race     Wed 3rd June 2015    Results

After days and days of really uncomfortable weather we were fortunate enough to get the first pleasant day of June for the race and we didn't even have the midges – clearly they hadn't warmed up enough yet !!

I'm sorry there was a certain amount of confusion about such race details as start time, entries, teams, etc. – this can go squarely at the door of the FRA's ridiculous policy on truncating the website information (which they had been given in full) of races registered elsewhere than with the FRA. There were full details in the actual FRA Calendar, the WFRA Calendar and the WFRA website but those people who relied on the FRA website had problems – 57 of them emailed me in the four days before the race and got the information they needed but I suspect from the slightly reduced field that quite a few were disappointed.

However, back to the race – Macclesfield and Stockport arrived in force yet again and the results clearly reflect this. Simon Harding, last year's winner, will have to engrave the trophy yet again after a fine run to come home first over a minute and a half clear of James Scott-Buccleugh, who was a minute ahead of the next two, Tom Bush and Gareth Briggs (the first veteran) and then there were another two minutes before the pack arrived in force, led by Olivia Walwyn who put in a superb performance to finish not only first lady but an astonishing fifth place overall. Congratulations are definitely due here.

I apologise profusely to Jeff Norman for giving his V70 position to Trevor Faulkner; my fault entirely as I didn't even look at the first results board for a V70 on the assumption that they would be a lot further down the field – Jeff's continued speed proved me embarrassingly wrong !!

One notable and pleasant feature was the appearance in some strength of two clubs, Chorlton (21 runners) and Bramhall (14 runners), the first of which produced the 3rd lady but who could by no stretch of imagination be described as established fell running clubs – very nice to see them and I hope they continue to grow and prosper in the future.

I trust everyone enjoyed themselves, including the dedicated marshalling and officiating team to whom I offer my heartfelt thanks, and I look forward to seeing you next year.     Dave Jones

World Mountain Running Championships (September in Wales!)     Event Information

I’m emailing today from Run4Wales, part of the organising team behind this year’s World Mountain Running Championships(inc. the World Masters Mountain Running Championships), which take place in North Wales this September.

You may have already heard about the event, but as a closely related organisation within athletics and mountain running in Wales, I thought that I would get in touch as we are looking at ways to promote the event to those who may be interested in taking part (particularly in the Masters and Open races) from around the UK and beyond who may not have heard about the event so far.

I have attached some information about the event as a PDF and as a word document, and I wondered whether there might be an opportunity to be featured in any forthcoming newsletters, website features or emails to members?

Cwmdu     Sat 30th May     Results

Dick Finch, the Cwmdu Race Organiser suffered a serious bike accident earlier this week leading to several days in hospital and throwing the Cwmdu race into doubt. But fear not, Dick's Chepstow Harriers and MDC club mates stepped into the breach and organised the race on his behalf. I, and the other runners are immensely grateful to Gareth, Karen, Paul and James for organising the race and laying on the great weather and yummy cakes. Thanks also to Kay and Martin for summit duties and Andy for parking an unfeasibly large number of cars in the small Hall car park.

Finally, on behalf of all fell runners may I wish Dick a full and speedy recovery. A fuller race report will follow in due course.

Blorenge Downhill     Sat 22nd May    Results
Ras Moel Eilio     Sat 23rd May 2015     Results
ladies winner Lauren Jeska descending from summit

There was a good turnout as the race was a counter in the Cotswold Outdoor North Wales Series. The weather was mild, dry and overcast. There were light winds and the summits were clear.

Preseli Beast     Sat 9th May      Beast Results    Ultra Beast Results    Preseli Bach Results

Preseli Beast Video

Photo by Stephen Roberts

Burden of the Beast 2015

A Viking, a wonderwoman, and a man dressed in a pink tutu aren’t what you’d usually get at a fell race, but that was just three of the 231 runners who took part in the Burden of the Beast event on the 9th May.
Three different length races, all sharing various parts of the route, and all converging for an onslaught for the finishing line in the small bustling village of Maenclochog. The winners of each race crossing the line within 30 minutes of each other to the rapturous applause of many of the locals who'd come out to support the event with drums, clackers and horns.
Race day was blessed with glorious sunshine and blue skies which made a huge difference to runners wanting to take in the sights. Runners would have faced a different Beast if the race was 24hrs earlier as you could hardly see your hand in front of your face due to the thick mist and clag. Worried! Of course I wasn’t!!!
The new 32 mile UltraBeast(UB) with 31 starters, took an extra loop from the Preseli Beast(PB) race across to Foel Drygarn on the eastern end of the Preselis. A few past PB competitors decided to take on this challenge, with a number of them saying “ What’s an extra 8miles!” Some might have regretted saying this as it does have quite a bite to an already tough route! The ascent doesn’t have the same as a big mountain race, but the terrain certainly makes up for that with some saying it was ‘As hard as Nails’!
Last years PB winner Gancho Slavov made a flying start to the UB and was well clear even by the time they got to the top of the village! He was 7 minutes up at the 1st checkpoint at 4miles. He kept up this momentum and was 15minutes up by mile 12. His Aber AC team mate Dave Powell did his best at closing some distance back, and certainly made some ground up on the rougher second half. 13 minutes was the difference when both crossed the line, but more amazingly is that Dave is a MV50!!! Who said that you get slower with age!!!!
A fine battle ensued between the front runners in the FV35 class with the lead changing several times before local lass Kat Steed eventually crossing the line 2minutes in front of Northampton ultra runner Jasmine Banks
The pink tutu dressed runner, little Dave, ran exceptionally well coming home fourth, and 1st MV40. There must be something running in womens clothing after all! Local boy Mark Coghlan also did well in his first ever Ultra in just under 6hrs.
The PB race with 55 starters was this year in the South Wales Champs series and it brought down a few who'll be contending for prizes. MDC runners were down in force with Harry and Chris Jones leading the race from the off. They were both together and well clear of the chasing pack until CP4. Harry then started pulling away on the tougher second half which is quite different from the first and generally catches a lot of runners out with a few dropping out at the penultimate CP. Harry went on to break the course record by an astonishing 13 minutes with Chris finishing 4mins behind. And we all thought Gancho’s time last year was quick!!
MDC took the team prize even though we couldn’t find their team entry sheet. Sorry!
Katie Beecher ran extremely well coming home 3rd overall, and defended her title for the third year running. She probably knows the course better than some of the locals now! Helen Brown(was Fines!) had a great run too finishing second lady, 10th overall, with local lass, little Nerys Jones, finishing close behind her in 11th.
Chris Welton, and Tasha Sexton took away the 1st locals trophy in 12th and 15th respectively.
Even though MDC took the team prize, the team with most prevalence was certainly the DDMT team who’d come in great numbers, and with great smiles. Many of whom took away prizes in the UB, and PB. Purple Power!
The 11mile Beast Bach with a staggering 145 starters also saw records broken with Sarn Helen runner Dylan Lewis coming in 8minutes quicker, and remained unchallenged for most of the race. Eryri runner Ben Beachell came home 1st MV40, and 4th overall.
Ellie Astins of Pembs Tri Club was first female home, but only after a hard battle to keep the 30second gap to the next female Claire Cleathero who was first female last year. A welcome sight was seeing Jackie Taggart returning to the hills after breaking her ankle earlier in the year. She probably would have liked to have been up there with the other front runners, but her smile was more than enough to make amends to any disappointment in her result.
Ist local, and 1st MV50 was Richard Thompson who was 9th overall. Bethan Ouseley was 1st local female in 46th overall.
As a change to the normal, ‘winner gets loads of goodies’ approach, we decided this year as an unkown last minute gesture of gutsy determination that the last male, and female, finisher of each distance receive a small handmade stained glass trophy(www.rachelphillipsglass.com). Well, they are out there longer than anyone else and deserve recognition too! Their faces were a picture, and some were even reduced to tears….of joy I hope! We hadn’t announced this beforehand as some runners might have run at snail pace on purpose!!!
Biggest cheer as he crossed the line must go to Roger Bennett who had painted a picture of part of the PB race route and was giving it as a prize to the first lady home. Roger received to great delight the last finisher award in the Beast Bach race, and is getting to be a bit of a celebrity with our locals.
The male and female overall winners of each distance received a pair of Salomon Speedcross trainers kindly donated by Cotswold Outdoors, Carmarthen, as well as receiving a glass trophy.
All the runners received a goody bag complete with slate coaster, bowl of cawl, cheese, bread, tea/coffee, and the mandatory staple food of all runners......Cake!!!
So, why three races? I guess I want to make it a race for ‘everybody’. From the super fit fell experts, to the ones who want to experience the thrill of running in the hills who perhaps wouldn’t dare to do so off their own back or without the know how. Why mark the course? Yes, why? Am I mad?? It’s a heck of a job marking 32 miles, and takes about 3 full days!!! Over 300 white posts are put out, some with arrows, and some with comical sayings to keep the runners enthused in their quest to ‘Tame the Beast’. I guess I’m just trying to do my bit to get people into fell running.
The comments from many of the runners have been amazing, with most commenting on the amazing support from the marshals and locals around the course. Here are just two- ‘Thanks, it remains the best sporting event in Pembrokeshire. It has such a friendly and welcoming feel and the finest range of cakes known to man. The course is both spectacular and challenging.’ local Beast Bach runner.
‘Before the race, I was hesitating as it’s a long way to travel down for, but I was really glad I did. Thanks for putting on such an awesome race! Well it was a bit more than that; it was a bit of a Maenclochog experience. The route was amazing; possible the most picturesque, magical and memorable I've ever done. I felt completely steeped in the local history and culture throughout. The route, despite its awesomeness, was however overshadowed by the marshals, and crew, and locals along the route...all with an impossibly friendly cheer. I'll be back. I loved it.’ UltraBeasT runner, Pontypridd.
I have to say a huge massive thank you to all who travelled down and ran, to the all the sponsors, to the cake makers, and most of all to the huge team of marshals who'd given up their time to make this event such a huge success and without whom this event would not happen. Thank you.

Photo by Stehen Roberts
Llangynhafal Loop 2nd May 2015.     Results

This year the weather was not kind; wet, windy and cold so a big thank you to all the marshals who helped. I would also like to thank the Golden Lion for allowing me to run the race from their inn.
Due to the weather conditions it took a bit longer than usual to get the results ready so thank you to all those who could stay. First home was – John Hunt in 44.46 and 1st female home was Andrea Rowlands in 47.44
Proceeds from race will be donated to charity. Hope you all enjoyed the race and hope to see you all again next year.

The Blorenge Downhill only race date has been changed to Friday 22 May
Gyrn Gallop Sat 25th July

I am organising a race known as the Gyrn Gallop on behalf of Oswestry Olympians and I would like to advertise it on the WFRA site if I may. The race is on Saturday 25th July starting at 1pm from Rhiwlas Community Centre, 5 miles west of Oswestry. The race is held in conjunction with the village fayre so there is usually plenty of food to be had. Entry is five pounds on the day. The distance is 10.6k with an elevation gain of around 350m.. The race will be run under WFRA rules. Further information will be found on www.oswestryolympians.com
Contact for any queries is myself Ray Pickett email raypickett@btopenworld.com

Ras Mynydd Mawr     Tuesday 28th April   Results
Cribyn Fell Race     Sat 18th 2015     Results

Picture by Stan Gilbert

A beautiful day in the Beacons saw 45 runners tackle Cribyn Fell race on Saturday 18th April.
The race was won by Dan Anderson of Dursely and District runners in a time of 59.13. Iwan Morton of Pontypool runners and Rob Gordon of Mynydd Du had a close battle to the line with Iwan’s alternative decent route paying off, taking 2nd place by 6 seconds in 1h 02.
The ladies race was won by Helen Brown of Mynydd Du in a time of 1h 10. Lucy Baker of MDC finishing 2nd in 1hr 19 followed closely by Amy Jones of Bristol in 1hr 20.
Mynydd Du’s Rob Gordon, Helen Brown and Natalie Taylor took the team prize.
A Special thankyou to the marshals and helpers for making the race a success, It wouldn’t have happened without them.     

Sugar Loaf        Results

It seems we now have a theme for this race as yet again only 100 bottles of beer were purchased, so runners were told to up the anti or miss out on their free beer ;-)
First male and female back were Mynydd Du, Mark Palmer and Katie Beecher. Katie showing her continued good form by knocking 3 minutes off the ladies course record!!!! Both male and female team prizes also went to Mynydd Du.
Thanks to all the marshals and helpers See you all next year         Emma

Ras Y Moelwyn       Saturday 18th April      Results

There was a record turnout this year as the race was a counter in the British Championships, inov-8/WFRA Open Welsh Championships and Cotswold Outdoor North Wales Series. The race took place under cloudless skies with a stiff cool breeze on the summits. Photo is of race leaders Matt Roberts and Morgan Donnelly approaching summit of Moelwyn Bach. Full results will appear on this website as soon as they are available.

Tim Budd's Blog

Moelywns was a blast, as you'd expect, though I really didn't feel as good as last year. Unfortunately it also broke my run of coming 6th in every Welsh race this season... but if I came 6th in a British counter... well, that would have been a bit of a turn up for the books.
Moelwyns Blog Tim

Ras Mynydd Swtan       Sun 12th April      Report and Results
Aber Dash       Tuesday Night Series 7th April      Results

What a stress,90 plus runners but a good evening for it.not a midge in sight! I don't know what John Spills diet is but I could do with some of it ! Under 16 record last year and last night the U 18 and open record dragging along Rob Grantham in the process who also beat the open record and also took 1.25 off the M40 record. SPJ not content with beating all the V50's tonight and taking SEVEN minutes off the V60 record beat the V50 record by nearly 3 min, can that count ??? In the ladies Lisa G made it a family vet double. Other quick mentions, Ryan Cain 1st U16 in 4th, Lowrie Jones 1st U16 and the 1st 3 F50's all within 29 seconds of each other, watch your back Ellie smile emoticon Thanks to all those who helped on the night, being an Octopus is'nt one of my talents so without you all. . . . .

CAERNARFON TYRES JNR CHAMPS. Another good turnout, Ben and Jasmin winning the U8's, Eva and Cemlyn the U10's, Ossian (getting back before the U10's) and Samia the U12's while Sam and Ceri took the U14. I'm off to bed now, just had Joe Bonamassa for company for the last 2 hours, up in 6 hours so, Mike"        Hwyl,        John

Llantysilio Mountain Race       Sat 28th March       Results

The Llantysilio Mountain Race, hosted by Tattenhall Runners, took place near Llangollen on Saturday March 28th and saw 50 people brave the poor early morning weather to tackle this tough 6.2 mile course. This year's race introduced a new descent of Moel y Gamelin, eliminating a recently cobbled section. Several people commented on the quality of this new route, involving a high degree of technical fell terrain. The race was won by Rob Grantham from Pensby Runners in a time of 54m 59sec, the ladies race was won by Helen Davies of Wrexham Tri in 71min 35sec.

Particular thanks to the marshals for standing out on exposed hillsides, including the top of Gamelin, and enduring the worst of the weather.

Fron Four      Saturday 4th April      Results

James Bingham-Winner

For a change conditions were ideal this year – cool, dry, sunny intervals. The race was won by James Bingham of Cheltenham, with John Parkinson of Eryri one second behind. The ladies race was won by Bronwen Jenkinson of Eryri. A total of 33 runners competed.

Llanbedr-Blaenafon      Sat 28th March      Results

here are the results for the race, and a little quote from the winner - Hugh
Very much enjoyed race yesterday. On the Men's side: Good battle with newcomer Harry Jones, Mark Palmer and Chris Jones. Tough conditions with very strong headwinds particularly from the top of Blorenge to the masts. I managed to take the wrong line off Sugarloaf (distracted by walkers!) and found myself going from being in the lead to 4th place by the time I reached Abergavenny. Fortunately I was able to catch the leading group back up and had a good "run" up the Blorenge to get back into the lead.

The race unfortunately clashed with 900 walkers taking part in the popular 3 Peaks of Abergavenny Charity Walk, and the 'Might Contain Nuts' races, so it was pretty crowded along the route, not what the runners are used to!

Special mention and huge thanks as always to the wonderful marshals. Not an easy task to take numbers on top of mountains in such cold windy, wet conditions.
Cheers,           Chris.

Moel Tryfan    Tuesday 31st March 2015    Results

"MOEL TRYFAN, Rnd 1 JOE BROWN MIDWEEK SERIES Well that was certainly fresh tonight was'nt it, hands up those who saw the brass monkey's sheltering behind the wall.
88 starters and 86 finishers the lowest turnout @ this race but the forecast was rubbish, should be better on sat wink emoticon.1st race win to my knowledge for Jim Bacon,well done but the records fell in the ladies. Glossopdales Caitlin Rice ( record holder @ next weeks Aber Dash) took 28 seconds off the ladies, Lauren Jeska took over 2 1/2 min off the F40 while Bronwen took 17 sec off her own U18 rec and has the distinction of holding the U16 & U18 records.Left property , a small quilted coat and hat and a water bottle,

see me next week @ the Aber Dash, registration @ the top car park with the toilet block, follow the arrows.
CAERNARFON TYRES JNR SERIES. Well done to all of you for turning out on such a cold night, I bet most of you are reading this on your phones under the blankets now, when I was your ages I had to walk 2 miles to the nearest phone box with my 2 pennies then press button A, those were the days, Mike"
Facebook Pages

Birnam Hill Race Video

We thought you and the WFRA would be interested to see our video of Saturday’s Birnam Hill Walk. The link is above
Phil Brammer

Ras Mynydd Swtan

This year's Ras Mynydd Swtan is over a new 2.5 mile circular route , starting and finishing at Swtan Heritage Museum.
Age limit is 16 yrs and over. All other details as shown in WFRA calendar.

Pipe Dream Sat 28th February 2015

Well folks, it's what you've all been waiting for...

Pipe Dream 2015 - The Movie, by Jane Bowles. See it here

Many thanks to Jane, who has created this entirely for the benefit of those taking part. I'm sure those who took part will be keen to see if they feature in this excellent record of the race. Set aside 30 minutes of your life, sit back and enjoy the grunts and groans! ..............Craig.

Ras y Aran     Sat 21st March 2015     Results     Race Report

Moel Tryfan     Sat 7th March     Results

Weather was grim this year with gale force winds and driving drizzle.

Dare Valley     Sat 7th March     Results
THE HATTERALL HAMMER      28/2/15    Results

With a slightly adjusted course to avoid, as far as possible, collisions between flying descenders and toiling ascenders, the event remained at 4.1 miles with about 1000 ft of ascent. We were blessed with decent weather, chilly and breezy, but Caribbean compared with what greeted those fearless competitors in the following day's Tour of Torpandau.To avoid this fixture clash next year, we will look at reverting to the previous Saturday.

A field of 74, slightly down on last year, were sent on their way by the enthusiastic farmer whose land they crossed before heading up the lane for half a mile on the way to hitting the stony path leading on to the open fell and the run to the trig point. Some of this progress may be viewed in the great video on Youtube made by Paul Dodd.

A supremely relaxed-looking Mark Palmer [Mynydd Du], perhaps having a mind to the following day's exertions, held a twenty yard lead over the flying Ben Moon [MDC] as they turned back into the field to finish and the positions remained the same at the line. Mark's time of 28.07 will be considered a new record given the course change. In third,Grant Lewis [MMRT] was half a minute behind Ben. In the women's event, the 2013 joint British and English Fell Champion, Helen Fines [now Holmfirth Harriers] was a clear winner in 31.48 and twelfth overall, erasing Katie Beecher's mark of last year. 2nd woman was Amy Jones [Bristol TACA] with Lucy Baker [MDC] 3rd. First female under 23 was Laura Gordon [Mynydd Du], V40, Beverley Tucker [Brecon], V50 Tracy Miles [Worcester] and V60 Joyce Dodd [Chepstow]. In the men's race, Ben Arkell [NGOC] was first U23, and the vets winners, Andrew Stephens [Monross] V40, Julian Boon [FOD] V45, Ian Travis [unattached] V50, Phil

Hands [Leicester Coritanians] V55, Mike Murphy [Les Croupiers] V60, Tom Davies [Croft Ambrey] V65 and Robert West [MDC] V70. The women's team race was won by Mynydd Du [Daniela Gormley, Louise Ann Massy and Rona Davies] while Wye Valley Runners [Jim Masters, Jerry Jehan and Mike Fawcett] carried off the men's team prize.

We were offered great hospitality at the Old Pandy Inn and I must give special thanks to Alan McCardle of the St Margarets Cider Co for donating the prize presentation bottles of Hatterall Hammer cider whose labels featured a design by Mike Wrenn depicting Joss Naylor in full flight. Further thanks must go to our fine gang of officials and marshalls, the ever intrepid Kay and Martin Lucas [in the clouds], Mike Blenkinsop, Clive Rowberry, Hazel Wall, Carol Anson, Geoff Kay, Bev Bishop, Sheryll Evans, Russ James, Max Suff, Mark Adams and sweep runner, Kev Barnes.

Steve Herington [Hereford Couriers]

Pipe Dream     Sat 28th February    Tim Budd Blog     Results

Records fell at Saturday's 11th running of the Pipe Dream race from Dolgarrog, Conwy Valley.

This was the second fixture of the WFRA North Wales Champs, and the first of the Open Welsh Champs, and it would seem this drew two of the region's fastest, namely Math Roberts and Aberystwyth's Felipe Jones to do battle. In addition, the in-form Katie Beecher of Mynydd Du made an appearance to show the North Wales ladies how to do it.

Katie ran away with it, winning in 38.08, in 12th overall and a mere ten seconds over the record.

The young but ever improving Eryri Bronwen Jenkinson followed up, but not challenging at nearly 6 minutes behind. The also improving Louise Emery-Jones took third, 8 seconds off the fv40 record, but sadly a couple of months short of turning 40! Maybe next year.

Back to the men, and Math led strongly from the off, gaining a 29 second lead over Felipe by the summit. Hardly a slouch on a downhill one would think he'd have it in the bag, but an amazing descent down through the woods from Felipe brought him back level with Math by the time they reached the road. A sprint for line concluded with a single second separating them, Math taking a satisfying win in 33.16, smashing the 2011 record by nearly two minutes.
Dylan Lewis of Sarn Helen took third in 36.13.

In the v40's John Parkinson took the win and 4th overall in 36.26, which takes a minute off the mv40 record; and Jenny Heming comfortably led the ladies in 46.34.

Steve Toogood of Buckley narrowly beat Eryri's Michael Belshaw by 13 seconds for the mv50 slot and Celia Mills of Mercia never threatened by clubmate Sue Howarth as first fv50.

Clwydian's Chris Wilcox ran a great v60 race in 43.41 finishing 33rd overall.

Don Williams finished off the record breaking by taking over 5 minutes off his v70 record and comfortably winning the category.

Of note however is the fact that the two v70s behind him, namely John Morris and Geoff Fielding were also well inside the record. 89 started, 89 finished - that's how we like it.        Craig

Tour of Torpantau    Sunday March 1st    Results     Pics from Andy

The ‘Tour’ was the second race in the weekend’s Double Header of fell races in South Wales. Local legends Mark Palmer and Helen Fines took the honours at the Hatterrall Hammer race on Saturday and then turned up at a very cold Torpantau on Sunday to lay claim to the ‘double double’.

The weatherman appeared to have got the weather forecast wrong as I was greeted by clear blue skies when I arrived at the barren car park which serves as the start and finish for the race, but fear not, the ‘Tour’ lived down to its reputation, with ferociously cold, stormy gusts developing, accompanied by sharp hail, sleet and snow showers on the tops.

The weather conditions didn’t seem to bother Mark and Helen who went on to claim the ‘double double’ by taking the mens’ and womens’ honours respectively, with Helen knocking over nine minutes off the previous record.

As always a big thank you to the very cold and windswept marshals, Derek Thornley, and Steve and Bethany Force for looking after the summits. Derek was so numb and befuddled with cold that he couldn’t find the pub for the post-race drink! Thanks also to Gareth Jones for sweeping and my wife Louise for helping with registration, and of course, to the select band of runners who took the Tour.
Andrew Blackmore

Pics by Liz Eynon

Ras Moel Y Ci     Sat 14th February          A Race Report from Tim Budd     Results     Pics by Malcolm Stephens

Maybe it was the great weather, maybe it was the fact it was an early testing race in the season, but something attracted a massive 167 runners to today's Moel y Ci fell race at the Moelyci Environmental Centre in Tregarth. This is a record turnout for this race in its considerable history. Lots of familiar faces, as well as plenty of new ones, were beaming with anticipation at the start line, chomping at the bit to get going, many from afar and plenty from nearby too. The weather belied the time of year and conditions in previous races; no shin-deep mud, ice, or snow to trouble the runners, although the white-topped Carneddau and imposing Elidir Fawr could be seen from many places, but possibly not from the misty summit of the hill.

The leaders changed in the earlier stages, but last year's winner, Matthew Roberts (unattached), eventually came through to win again, and retain his title, in an impressive time of 35.53, not far off the course record of 35.10. Just over a minute later, Lloyd Taggart (Manx) flew over the line in a time of 36.58 (also 1st V40), with Pensby's Rob Grantham in 39.12, a sterling third position and also 2nd V40.

In the women's race, Katie Beecher of Mynydd Du took the title in a brilliant time of 42.54, watched keenly from the sideline by 2009 record holder Jackie Lee on her crutches nursing a fractured fibula, whose sigh of relief at her record not being taken was apparently audible from the surrounding allotments. In second place (and 1st FV40) was Eryri stalwart Andrea Rowlands in 46.03, closely followed in third by Bangor University's Sarah Caskey in 46.12.

Other results saw John Parkinson (Eryri) receive the V40 prize, Steve Toogood (Buckley) taking the V50, Steve "the legend" SPJ Jones (Eryri) taking the V60, and Don Williams (Eryri) stamping his authority on the V70 category. Sarah Ridgeway was FV40 in 48.34, and two other highly respected Eryri regulars claimed their category, with Ellie Salisbury taking the FV50 in 58.33, and Maggie Oliver refusing to relinquish her grip on the FV60 in 63.57.

The Junior race saw a fantastic 16 entries and both male and female records broken, both by last year's record setters, Ryan Cain and his sister Jody Cain. Ryan, who would have claimed many scalps in the senior race if only he was old enough, took the title in an utterly impressive time of 8.18, shaving over a minute off last year's time (and then record) of 9.27. Jody, in a time of 10.31 blew away her record from last year (11.41) again by over a minute. High standards are being set by these juniors. Watch out seniors.

Overall, Eryri Harriers were well represented at this local race with 39 club members running, and all of the following also doing the club proud, well done: Sam Orton (39.54), Arthur Connell (40.13), Hugh O'Donnell (41.13), Craig Jones (41.32), Ross Roberts (44.27), Michael Belshaw (44.58), Johnny Moore (45.09), Llion Iwan (46.50), Emlyn Roberts (48.08), Kean Rowlands (49.53), Glyn Griffiths (50.02), Megan Hughes (50.15), Louise Emery-Jones (50.20), David Andrew Norris (50.24), Richard Evans (51.46), Paul Hodges (52.22), Nia Albiston (52.58), Ashley Wager (53.29), Helen Morgan (53.55), Sandra Rowlands (55.31), Emyr Gibson (56.13), Dei Jones (56.46), Emily Wood (57.29), Emma Green (58.25), Jenny Williamson (58.44), Jill Riley (59.21), Hayley Turner (59.56), Brian Robbins (59.59), Geoff Fielding (60.23), Gwyn Evans (62.07), Tina McDonell (62.22), Iolo Roberts (63.44), and Nina Bentley (67.41).

In total, 167 runners registered, 165 finished, 1 DNS and 1 DNF.

A massive thank you to the following for making the race a big success: All the staff at the Moelyci Environmental Centre, the marshals and other volunteers, Jeremy Williams for his wise words, and you, the runners, because without all of you, there wouldn't have been a race today.

Projects at the Moelyci Environmental Centre focus on sustainability, local produce, local employment and crafts (www.moelyci.org). Please support them.

Race results can be found on the Eryri website at: www.eryriharriers.org.uk . Please let me know if you spot any errors in this report or the results.

Lost property. The following were handed in at Race HQ: a pair of gloves, a buff, a heart rate monitor. Please contact me to claim them.
Thanks/diolch     Gary

Pics by Gwynfor James

Pen Tir Drop (*) – Saturday 14 February, 2pm BS 6.8km/350m 4.2 miles/1150ft PM      Results      Pics from Liz Symons

A nice, dry day with light breezes for a run from Cwmdu up over Pen Tir on Valentines day.
First man home in 31mins. 53secs. was Mark Palmer MV 50 of Mynydd Du with Ben Moon of MDC second in 33mins. 28secs., bearing the scars of a close encounter with lots of gorse and brambles. They were closely followed by Andrew May, unattached, in 33mins. 34secs. First lady and 11th overall in 39mins. 46secs. was Niki Morgan FV 40 of Chepstow Harriers with Lucy Baker of MDC, second in 41mins. 30secs. Third lady in 44mins. 4secs. was Amy Jones of TACH.

At the finish, a choice of eight fabulous cakes created by Co-Race organiser Karen or heart shaped Welsh cakes cobbled together by the other RO plus tea and coffee, was the reward for the 29 souls who ventured forth and made it back to base. A few took the short route back through the gorse and brambles. They were the ones with scratched, red striped, lacerated legs ! You can't tell these old gnarled runners; they know best ! Grateful thanks to Niki who helped Karen at Registration and results, Andy Creber for cramming the cars onto the car-park and Andy Blackmore who stood guard on the gate leading onto the hill both in and out. No livestock escaped ! (the runners scared the life out of them !!). Thanks also to Kay and Martin Lucas who were our marshals on the hill, Martin getting a run in as sweeper. We'll be there again next year !          Gareth Jones (Race Organiser)

Dash in the Dark     23rd Jan 2015    Results

Friday night saw the final round of the Dash in the Dark series return to the forest trails of Coed Llandegla. The biggest field so far in the series warmed up for what eventually turned out to be the most tricky and coldest of conditions so far in the series. In the days leading up to the race, the forest had its fair share of fresh snow, but with the final inspection of the route late on Friday morning, the go ahead was given for the massive field of 191 runners to set off into the deep dark forest. The runners did set of slightly later than planned, delayed only due to some late course alterations to ensure that all runners safely returned for their well earned hot soup and tea.

First home in the ladies field was Kirsty Steddon of Chester Tri in a time of 33:13, Helen Davies from Wrexham Tri came home in second place ladies with 33.20 and Sarah Rhyder from Wrexham Tri third with a time of 33.58. Sarah also defended her overall lead in the series and won the best female overall.

In the mens category, and for his first time competing in this years series, Stephen Skates, u/a, came over the line with a blistering time of 25.30. The course record holder, Karl Steinegger from Ambleside AC, came in for a second place time of 25.44, closely followed by Thomas Hiles, u/a, coming in third with 26.39 on the clock. Karl’s consistent efforts over all 3 of the races in the series saw him take both best male overall and also maintain his 6.Km off road course record at 25.15.

Nine runners competed for Clwydian Range Runners with Paul Stinton 30:35, Neil Coppack 32:48, Chris Wilcox 34:29 ( 1st male 60 ), Dave Stephens 36:37,Rebecca Roberts 37:29 Eifion Matthias 37:45, Wayne Thomas 47:40, Susan Ridings 49:10 and Karol Howard 57:52.

Many thanks goes to all the race marshals and helpers for their help and support over the race series and to those runners that gave up their race on the night to marshal due to the high numbers that entered on Friday.

A massive thanks goes to One Planet Adventure for hosting the series.

Full results can be found on the website clwydianrangerunners.com
Keep an eye out for future events with a summer race planned for the summer solstice.

Ras Tarren Hendre     Sat 24th January    Results     Pics from Arfon Hughes

Great race today visibility was excellent, no rain and the ground had thawed out. Sharp cold wind on the top but soup at he pub helped to warm the runners and marshalls. Next race in Meirionnydd's winter series Ras yr Aran on 21st March.

Craig yr Allt      Sat 24th January    Results     Pics from Jane Aggleton

This was the second year that the race was held and attracted a marginally larger field of 87 runners. The field would have been slightly larger however an accident on the motorway delayed a few runners from making the registration in time.

Whilst the weather immediately before the race was the same as last year, the weather during the race was very different thankfully. The pre-race sunshine continued for the duration of the race and for post-race prize-giving too. It was 7-8 deg C with a mild 9mph wind from the WNW.

The race started at the foot of the access road to Rockwood Riding Centre (from Blackbrook Road) and took the most direct route to the summit before traversing off the path towards the north. The runners then had to run a long muddy flat section, then make another ascent to the ridge before descending towards the Taff Trail via the technical descent near the zig zags by the mast. The subsequent Taff Trail section enabled the road runners to stretch their legs however this was followed by a long ascent to the summit before a short descent to the finish near the northern edge of the Access Land boundary.

Sebastien Krogvig and Ben Moon (MDC) had a great duel at the front of the pack with Sebastien pipping Ben to the finish line by a split second in a time of 29m 40s, ten seconds outside the course record set by Chris Jones (MDC) in 2014. Daniel Hooper (Sarn Helen) just managed to make the race start after negotiating a motorway queue and finished in third in a time of 30m 02s.

In the ladies category, Katie Beecher (Mynydd Du) smashed last year’s course record in a time of 32m 00s. Niki Morgan (Mynydd Du) finished in 2nd in a time of 37m 35s and retained the FV40 title from 2014. Caitlin Pearson (Les Croupiers/MDC) finished third in a time of 38m 23s.

MV40 Winner – Daniel Hooper (Sarn Helen) also 3rd overall
FV40 Winner - Niki Morgan (Chepstow Harriers) also 2nd lady overall

MV50 – Paul Dodd (Chepstow Harriers)
FV50 – Julie Scholey (Les Croupiers)

MV60 – Michael Murphy (Les Croupiers)
FV60 – Joyce Dodd (Chepstow Harriers)

MV70 – Rob West (MDC)

Gary and Dawn would like to thank all the volunteers and marshalls particularly Martin & Kay Lucas, Derek Thornley, Ange Champion, John Aggleton (sweeper), John Chidlow (timekeeper) & Jane Aggleton (unofficial photographer!).

Runners and volunteers subsequently enjoyed delicious food and drink in the canteen at Mountain View Ranch who kindly let us use their parking facilities for the large field of competitors. Gary & Dawn would also like to thank the landowners Tony and Alison Dascombe who granted permission for using their land for the race.     Thanks      Gary & Dawn Davies

Tor-y-Foel 2015     Sat 10th January    Results     Photos     More photos from Christine James

Out on the course the day before the race the weather could be best described as bestial. On the lower slopes of Tor-y-Foel the wind speeds must have been approaching 50 mph, on the top with the rain as well, an inhospitable place to be. So you think if today is tomorrow then a shortened version of the race or maybe cancellation is what will happen.

Come the day the rain had gone and the wind though strong had abated. The decision on, summit or not was left until the intrepid Kay and Martin Lucas got there and were able to decide whether an hour or so on the top as a marshall was possible. Yes was their answer and a million thanks to them for their audacity.

So to the race and the highlight, a tremendous performance by Katie Beecher, first lady and with a new record of 37m 38s a significant improvement on the previous record of 39m 38s set by Emma Hitchins. The men's race was a little more competitive, Ben Moon a previous winner of the race was at the sharp end until the open section of the race started, when the order was shuffled, a fight for the front between the first three finishers. All of whom were over forty with the winner Mark Palmer a super vet with a time of 34m 10s just 2 seconds outside the best men's time of 34.08. set last year. Thus over fifty and within a mere 2 second off the record is this man a late developer or would he perhaps have been closer to 30 minutes ten years ago, answers on a postcard please.

Many thanks to all of you who came and ran the race, we started with what I thought was 115 runners and finished with 116, much better than the other option of starting with 115 and finishing with less than that.

Huge thanks also to the people who made this event work, they deserve to be mentioned, thus, Mike Bugler, Geraint James, Peter Sowerby, Huw Morgan, Stuart Iles, Kay and Martin Lucas, Andrew Jenkins, Seamus Hamill-Keays and Richard Preece as marshalls. Hilary Williams, John and Margo Sweeting, John Chidlow and Colin Huntley for number crunching, Toni and Jo at Dan-y-Wenallt for working miracles in a small space and Peter Williams for his major contribution in transforming the parking situation at the race.

Hopefully next year we will have the hostel to ourselves and thus a lot more space to breathe and, the learning process goes on and on, an improved delivery on the results side, I blame the assistant time keeper this year, having an IQ of 7 is always going to be a problem.

Hwyl am y tro,         Les Williams


The December 2014 Newsletter has been emailed to all members. If you have not received your copy please email me geoff@wfra.org.uk

Jubilee Plunge     Sunday 28th December    Results

The snow covered conditions and a change in route required to avoid an icy stretch of road made for a particularly challenging festive run for the 37 runners who braved cold for last Sunday's Jubilee Plunge race.

In spite of the conditions Steve Toogood (Buckley) produced a very quick descent to finish in 13.07 just 9 seconds ahead of second placed Stephen Skates. Laura Bestow (Vale Royal AC) was first lady home in 14.51 with second lady Louise Beetlestone (Eryri) not far behind.

Many thanks to all the race marshalls for there help and support and also to the various surprised onlookers for their gasps and cheers as the race went passed

Kymin     Sat 3rd January     Results
Tour de Llyn Llydaw     Thu 1st January     Results

More than 50 competitors braved the gale force winds and rain to take part in the 40th race around Lyn Llydaw from Pen y Pass. One competitor was heard to remark; ‘it was the most exhilarating thinks they had done in a while’.

Skirrid     Sat 20th December     Results

Skirrid Shenanigans

Not sure if Skirrid achieved a record entry for a winter hill series race, but Registration guru Karen Elvers complained of RSI in filling out 137 labels for the results board.

Whether it was the clement weather conditions, getting out of Christmas shopping, guilt from over-eating at office Christmas parties, avoidance of relatives, or just simply because they fancied a run up a hill, we are indebted to all of you who turned up and raced and made the event such a success.

The early birds who registered benefitted from the free bears being handed out. Apologies to those that assumed free ‘bears’ was a typo and that they would enjoy a pleasant post-race alcoholic beverage. We assumed 100 chocolate mini-bears would be plenty. However race director Mr Creber’s heavy duty Facebook advertising, race leafleting and general bullying campaign resulted in this number being surpassed – so 37 went bearless. We apologise. We hope you got some free chips in the pub. The landlord also reported RSI, chopping potatoes to produce enough chips to satiate numerous ravenous runners.

After a 450m warm up trot from the pub to the start, Andy bellowed the countdown to the start and they were off – running around in circles round a muddy field. The intention of this seemingly pointless exercise was to disperse the field and avoid lengthy queues at styles later on. A wise move. However, with the volume of runners, inevitably queues formed and the competitive, ambitious and impatient debated with themselves over the moral quandary of queue-jumping. Some went for it, and suffered the verbal wrath of those dutifully waiting in line. Obviously queue-jumping is ethically dubious – however, I went for it, gained a couple of places, and promptly lost them and more when the righteous overtook me in a steam of fury – thus proving the law of karma.

Soon the fields and styles ran out and it was time to prove your mettle. The climb to the saddle loomed menacingly ahead – to run, walk or crawl? I think most did a mixture of all three, apart from the likes of race supremo/winner Paul Murrin – who clearly is not mortal. After friendly encouragement from saddle marshal Rob Beves, it was ‘over the top’ and a plunge into the dark, rocky, muddy abyss on the other side. This short(ish) technical section was a great opportunity for those with talent in matters of descent to showcase their abilities. It was also a great opportunity for those with no talent in matters of descent to showcase their inelegance and incompetence. I fall into the latter category. Now, for the final, brutal, near vertical climb to the summit. It wasn’t so much hands-on-knees, as hands on sheep-poo, grasping at clumps of grass to heave your Christmas party excesses up the hill. At last, the trig point – all the hard work done – apart from the evil, direct, heather-bashing, mud-sliding, tree-dodging descent. Once this had been negotiated, runners emerged bloodied and battle-hardened ready to take the final fields by storm. A real sprint now to the finish – just giving it as much welly as your screaming quads and calves could muster until crossing that finish line – elated, exhausted and quite frankly, ready for free chips.

A special congratulations to MV70 Syd Wheeler who, despite his better judgement, braved the Skirrid as it was Chepstow Harriers’ club championship. He’s so enthused, he’s now going to take on the Kymin fell race in January – go Syd!

Both male and female course records were broken. Congratulations to overall winner, Paul Murrin from Chepstow Harriers for smashing the course in 30 minutes and 6 seconds, and to Katie Beecher who also smashed the female course record (previously held by me – I’m not bitter…) in 34:42 – fantastic results!

A titanic, gargantuan, Herculean thank you to all our fabulous marshals and helpers, without which the race could not have been staged. These were Karen Elvers, Gill Stott, Andy Stott, Rob Beves, Steve Herrington, Laurie Carter, Di and Christine Vorres, Maria Anthony, Rob Brown, Paul Dodd, Dick Finch, John Chidlow.

Apologies to Paul and Beverley Tucker who were missing from the provisional results. I believe this was due to the race numbers not being clearly visible, although it may have been the short-sightedness of the finish marshals – whatever, we humbly beg forgiveness. We also retract previous references to eternal Skirrid ghost curses, yellow vested banditry and any other scurrilous and unfounded rumours.

By Niki Morgan (hard pressed personal assistant of Mr A Creber)

Prize Winners were:

1st Man: Paul Murrin		M40	Chepstow Harriers	30.05
2nd Man: Ciaran Lewis           M23	Cardiff AAC	30.48
3rd Man: Andrew Stephens 	M40	Monross Trailblazers	30.59
1st MV40: Daniel Hooper		Sarn Helen           31.24
1st MV50: Paul Jeggo			Springfield          34.28
1st MV60: Mike Murphy			Les Croupiers	39.00

1st Female: Katie Beecher		Les Croupiers	34.41
2nd Female: Emma Bayliss		Mynydd Du		38.05
3rd Female: Niki Morgan	F40	Mynydd Du		38.14
1st FV40: Vanessa Lawson		Chepstow Harriers	41.13
1st FV50: Ruth Pickvance		Les Croupiers	42.11
1st FV60: Joc Dodd			Chepstow Harriers	46.40

Team Prizes:
Chepstow Harriers:  Paul Murrin, James Blore, Matthew Lawson
Mynydd Du:  Emma Bayliss, Niki Morgan, Sasha Habgood
Change of Race Dates and Other Corrections

Correction...This years Jubilee Plunge is on Sunday 28th (not 30th). Full Race Details

Corndon "Three Peaks" Classic (9.3km/565m), Priestweston, Sun 21st Dec.        Results    Photos from Charlie Leventon

The shortest day and a truncated morning for racers as the start time had, at short notice, been brought forward an hour from the advertised 12 noon. No matter, because while a few disappointed (and a couple of relieved looking) would-be competitors arrived expecting the later start and to whom we apologise, 72 made it to the starting line in time for the off, a turnout that compares well with previous years.

Maldwyn Harriers’ Tim Davies underlined his recent excellent form over the tough cross-country courses of the Herefordshire League by taking the win in a time of 45:43 with team mate Roland Stafford in third place (47:22) behind Dominic Jones of Mercia (46:00). In fact as both Tim and Rolie also swear allegiance to Mercia, our West Midlands friends might be forgiven for assuming a clean sweep were we magnanimous enough to let them do that on our home soil.

Young Billy Sterling of Mercia claimed the Men’s u23 award, an achievement all the more remarkable as he still has about eight years of competition left in that age group. His time of 47:47 was good enough for 5th overall, 16 seconds adrift of Simon Rowley (Clapham Chasers) who took the Senior Men’s accolade. At the other end of the age spectrum, Croft Ambrey’s Guy Whitmarsh scooped the M70 gong (62:46).

Merica’s Mel Price won the women’s race in a time of 49:25 for 13th place overall, ahead of Louise Barker (Aberystwyth) in 56:58 and Helen Skelton, representing Hangar 18 ORR (58:30).

With Maldwyn Harriers’ last race of the year over and done with there was nothing else to do but to retire to the Miners’ Arms for food, liquid refreshment, welcoming log fires and presentations. Our thanks then to the “mine hosts” and their locals for their hospitality and to everyone for supporting the event again this year and who helped make it such a success (and once more our apologies to those who fell foul of the late time switch). See you in 2015.

Ian Fraser         Maldwyn Harriers

Blorenge          Sat 29th November        Results
WFRA Safety Requirements for Competitors - 2015

The WFRA has refreshed its Safety Requirements for competitors - these are effective from 1 January 2015.
Our requirements have been distilled into 10 simple rules, (as follows) supplemented by fuller guidance as included in the 2015 Safety document.
Competitors are advised to read these rules carefully.



Factors including weather and terrain mean that fell racing takes place in a hazardous environment. Competitors must have appropriate experience in the conditions that may be encountered so that they can manage their own safety.
The Race Organiser (RO) has a duty of care to competitors in their race. However, competitors must accept that race monitoring (marshals, checkpoint recording, search and rescue etc.) is not infallible and must not be considered a ‘safety net’.
A competitor enters a race on the understanding that they are responsible for their own safety. The competitor must obey all instructions from the RO and officials but must equip and conduct themselves as though they were unsupported for the duration of the race.
As a condition for entering any WFRA race, the competitor shall:
1.    comply with these safety rules and any additional race specific safety rules imposed by the Race Organiser (RO).
2.    follow the procedures described by the RO if they fail to start or abandon the race.
3.    obey all instructions from race officials.
4.    be aware of the serious disabling consequences of hypothermia, dehydration and heat exhaustion and act appropriately during the race.
5.    carry sufficient kit, e.g. body and leg cover which gives protection from the effects of wind chill and safety equipment, (including food and drink) throughout the race to be able to navigate and provide
      protection from hypothermia, or dehydration and heat in the worst foreseeable weather conditions during the race, noting that rescue could take a long time.
6.    take note of the length and severity of the race and local weather forecast for the day and judge their capabilities accordingly.
7.    consider how any health impairments may jeopardise their safety or of others and act accordingly.
8.    take specific note of RO information on the nature of the terrain on the race route, checkpoints to be visited or course to be followed and any restrictions to route choice.
9.    have the skills, experience and equipment required to comply with the RO’s navigation and safety requirements, having assessed conditions on the day.
10.   take reasonable care not to create hazards that may cause harm to other people and support anyone in need of assistance, even if it means abandoning their race.

Dash in the Dark Trail Race 2      Fri 5th December      Results

In the run up to the second race of the Dash in the Dark series the weather could not have been any worse. Icy winds and heavy rain failed to put off the 84 runners that arrived ready to tackle the 6 Km off road route at Coed Llandega.
Eventually the rain gave way to a slippy start in the forest as the full moon guided runners off onto the night time trails.

Defending his lead in the series and first back was Karl Steinegger, Ambleside AC on (25:26), with Thomas Hiles only 28 seconds behind him at (25:54) and Jason Large , from Picked Riders, in third place (28:04).
First of the ladies back was Sarah Ryder , Wrexham Tri, for her second win in the series and one second slower than her last time (33:17), then Sandra Rowlands, Eryri Harriers in second (34:43) and Hayley Evans from Buckley Runners in third (34:50).

Thanks goes to all the marshals / helpers on the day and a big thank you goes to the hosts at One Planet Adventure for the facilities and lovely hot soup.
Best wishes to all for the festive break and hopefully see you back in the New Year with the 3rd race in the series planned for Friday 23rd January 2015.