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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
Four Fans Foel Fras   2 Hillforts   Y Garn   Brecon     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
2015-16 SW Winter Hill Series Provisional Timetable
Four Fans Fell Race        Sunday 23 August 2015       Results

What a difference a day makes! On Saturday I was sunbathing in my back garden, with Saturday evening seeing the arrival of a prolonged thunderstorm followed by torrential rain right through to the start of the race at 11am the following day.

Fell runners are a hardy bunch with the moist conditions and poor visibility not seeming to put off the 30 runners who had journeyed to Storey Arms.

The race route crosses over two streams which are usually only trickles at this time of the year, but following the torrential rain had suddenly turned into waist deep, fast flowing rivers meaning that most runners opted for the safer crossing points upstream – as a consequence the race records were safe for another year.

As usual, there was keen rivalry between the two local fell running clubs with MDC narrowly taking the honours in the mens’ race with Marcus Pinker (MDC) narrowly outpacing Mark Palmer on the descent from Fan Fawr to the finish.

In the womens’ race Helen Brown (Mynydd Du) held off Clare Dallimore (MDC) by 40 seconds to claims first prize.

Given the weather conditions I was immensely relieved that all the runners returned safely to the finish but, as always, was bemused by the tales of navigational errors, unusual route choices and epic river crossings. One or two runners seemed to be convinced their compasses had developed a fault.

I am very grateful to Gareth Jones and Karen Elvers who marshalled at CP1 and then swept the remainder of the course. Steve Force, my erstwhile Mountain Marathon partner who marshalled at CP2, (well at a point adjacent to CP2, but we will skirt over the reasons for that!). And to Paul and Joc Dodd who looked after the undistinguished summit of Fan Llia. Thanks also to my wife Louse for helping at the Start/ Finish.        Andrew Blackmore

Y Garn        Fri 21st August        Results

Race Winner Irfon Rowlands        Junior Winner Sion Rowlands


2 Hillforts        Sun 16th August        Results
Brecon Beacons Fell Race        Sat 15th August 2015       Results

The race is well established in the Welsh Fell Running calendar and entails running to seven mandatory checkpoints (including Tor y foel, Corn Ddu, Pen y Fan and Cribyn) from near the dam at Talybont Reservoir. The race is approximately 30.6km long with 1372m ascent and qualifies as a long race. The race was a counter in both the WFRA/Inov8 Open Welsh Championships and the WFRA South Wales Summer Series. The race was run in the anticlockwise direction this year with a long climb to Carn Pica to start.

The Brecon Beacons were blessed with warm dry weather for the majority of the race but there patches of mist and cloud on Pen y Fan during the race and the marshalls had to wrap up warm. The runners found it very hot and were grateful for the water supplied by the organisers at Neuadd Reservoir. The runners were advised to wear suncream and take water from the start during the pre-race briefing.

Hugh Aggleton and Chris Jones (both MDC) took an early lead in the race and distanced themselves by approximately three minutes by the time they got to the first summit of Tor y Foel. Chris Jones found another gear after Tor Y Foel and distanced himself from Hugh by 2 minutes by Cribyn and managed to hold onto the lead to win the race in a respectable 2hr 47m 40s. Hugh finished second overall in a time of 2hr 50m 42s and Mark Palmer (Mynydd Du) finished third overall after passing Sarn Helen’s Dylan Lewis on a better line from Tor y Foel.

Helen Brown (Mynydd Du) comfortably won the ladies race in a time of 3hr 25m 18s which was just over 3 minutes ahead of Macclesfield Harrier’s Kirsty Hewitson. Lauren Jeska completed the ladies podium places with a time of 3hr 34m 15s.

Mark Palmer won the male over 50 veterans category, however the prize was awarded to Jonathan Bamber (GWR) since Mark placed third overall. John Aggleton (MDC) won the male over 60 veterans category with a time of 3hr 32m 40s. The event hadn’t attracted over 70 veterans for several years however 2015 was blessed with the presence of Rob West (MDC) and Yiannis Tridimas (Bowland Fell Runners). Yiannis successfully won the male over 70 veterans prize with a time of 4hr 22m 00s at his first ever attempt in the race!

Helen Brown won the ladies over 40 category but the prize was awarded to Louise Barker who placed just outside the top three. Sue Howarth (Mercia) won the ladies over 50 veterans category with a time of 4hr 23m 46s.

A spot prize was awarded to Daniel L (Wye Valley Runners) for recording the nearest time to 4hrs.

The podium finishers and the winners in each age category were awarded with a bottle of wine each and bespoke mug designed by Gary which included an OS map of the Neuadd Reservoir Horseshoe!

The race attracted a larger field than in previous years with 86 runners starting the race and 80 completing the full course. The race organisers, Gary and Dawn Davies would like to thank each of the ten volunteers. The marshalls included those that had generously given up their time year on year (Martin and Kay Lucas) and those that had volunteered in this race for the first time (Paul Kerno, Marcus Pinker, Lucy Baker, Jane Aggleton, Richard Cronin, Mark Bottomley and Joe Botomley). John Derby also assisted Gary with some back breaking work in clearing some of the lesser used paths. Without them, the race would fail to exist.

The organisers remind potential competitors that map reading skills (using map and compass) are necessary for this race.         Gary Davies

Shropshire Fell Racing

I am reliably informed that the Shropshire fell racing site has been overhauled and the calendar is being maintained with thanks to Simon Daws and Charlie Leventon. Links have been added to the links page

Ponderosa      Wed 5th August      Results
Ras Arenig Fawr       Sunday 2nd August 2015     Results

This was the eleventh running of the Arenig Fawr race and the third year of the new and extended route. Arenig Fawr, like a number of other hills in south Snowdonia, is isolated and surrounded by wild lowlands. Race headquarters is at a disused railway siding, next to the old Arenig quarry. Race entry fee is kept low and refreshments, food and homemade cakes are provided free. Race day weather was mild clear and breezy. Participation was one of the lowest ever with 32 runners registered, all of whom finished in under 3 hours. Comments about the course have always been very favourable but the increased toughness of the race over the original shorter course has obviously put off a significant number of runners.

Parts of the race route are fairly complex and require careful navigation. A pre-race recce will definitely give an advantage and save time. It is noted that although there was good visibility, some runners lost time in the transition between checkpoints 1 and 2 by climbing high rather than following an easier contour line.

Next year the race will be run on Sunday July 31st.
Yiannis Tridimas

LLANTHONY SHOW HILL RACE      Sat 1st August 2015     Results

Showery weather and firm going faced a record field of 51 on the 11th running of this 5.6km/335m race that saw a long-standing women’s record well shattered.

Mynydd Du’s Helen Brown it was who lowered Angela Jones’ 9 year-old time by almost a minute. While Pont y Pwl’s Iwan Morton - a minute ahead of second-placer Sam Francis - found Jorge Thomas’s 11 year-old record too hard a nut to crack. Andy Wilton of San Domenico wasn’t far behind in third. The other podium women were MDC’s Amy Janes and Naomi Prosser (Under 23 winner).

Age group winners also included Coleman Corry, Patrick Wooddisse, Rona Davies, Gavin Fisher, Joc Dodd and Dai Smout.

Organiser’s grateful thanks to marshals Niki Morgan, Jen Danger, Rob Brown and Paul Dodd, finish recorders Vanessa Lawson, Lou Summers and Andy Blackburn, and course clearers/markers Joc and Paul Dodd.

The race is also indebted to the Llanthony Show people for hosting such a scenic and enjoyable event.      Dick Finch 01.08.15

Push up the Pincyn      Sat 25th July      Photos      Results

The 2015 Push-up-the-Pincyn race had a reduced field this year as another race,which was a championship counter for a number of local clubs, clashed with the popular village show in Clawddnewydd.

23 athletes started and took on the 'big bale', which at 4 foot tall challenged the best to clear it en route to the climb up to Pincyn Llys in the heart of Clocaenog forest. Race regular Mark Williams, F1 KL, led from the out with a gaggle of new faces - Andy Pritchard, Buckley, Gary Porter-Jones, Eryri and Jon Bowyer, Mold chasing.

The top four maintained their positions to the finish in brilliant sunshine, Jon taking male vet 40 to first local lad and vet 50 winner Neil Dalleywater in an impressive 54:51. Denbigh Harrier Ceri Belshaw looked relaxed as she crossed the line as First Lady in 57:55 to Buckley's Hayley Evans and Hayley Turner, Eryri. Peter Roberts, Buckley has still got it in winning vet 70 and even nipping in before vet 60 stalwart Kenny Hughes.

Shan Kerney had an interesting day out as she managed to explore parts of the area not visited by other runners and still win female vet 40.
Thanks as ever go to landowners, marshals and sponsor Jackson Fire & Security, Mold.

Gyrn Gallop       Sat 25th July       Results

Winner Andrew Salt with Peter Butler coming up behind.

We had a great day for the first run of this race in a number of years. 40 runners entered and completed the course successfully. The weather was dry and sunny although a little windy up near the summit.

The first man home was Andrew Salt of Ludlow Runners in 43:21, the first lady was Sarah Morwood representing Mud Crew in 49:53.

The local community of Rhiwlas supported the event providing a number of marshals and helping with set up and break down of the course. The run was held in conjunction with the village fair which provided great refreshment for locals and runners alike.

Feedback from the runners was very positive with all seeming to enjoy the run, the view from the summit and the hospitality.

John - thanks for your help and advice when I first contacted you, I'm looking forward to putting the race on again next year, a little wiser for the experience.

Waun Fach Fell Race        July 18th 2015      Results

Race numbers at Waun Fach were down this year by 25%. This could not have been for the weather, which was perfect for mountain running: sunny and with a cool wind plus perfect visibility. Perhaps it was due to a calendar clash with the Snowdon International event, but as was pointed out by more than one participant, Waun Fach is off the beaten tourist track and very much a race for the connoisseur.

So 32 connoisseurs took to the ragged start line at the Riding Centre at precisely 2 pm and all made it back to the finish at Castle Hill. Ben Moon came in ahead of the field – not only nigh on 5 minutes ahead of second man Patrick Woodisse, also of MDC, but actually out of sight of the rest of the pack from the timekeepers` viewpoint. This is highly unusual because the whole of the Dragon`s Back descent can be seen from the Castle finish.

The field came in thereafter in a steady flow over only a 30 minute period. This was a relief for the organisation since Ben had reported losing at least 20 seconds in searching for the boulder marking the summit. It had gone. Vandals, souvenir hunters? Enquiries with the locals brought no explanation. Since there was no marshal posted at this point all did well to come home in good order.

The organiser`s thanks go to Dick Finch, Gerry Ashton and John Cridlow for timekeeping; Andy Creber for course marking, Vanessa Lawson, Andy Stott and Dave Austin for marshalling. And to the Riding Centre for hosting the event again and for flushing two horses out of the parking field at the last minute.

Green Green Grass of Home       Wed 22nd July        Photos by Rhian Pierce      Results

A lovely clear evening in a pituresque setting range saw 78 runners set off on a changed route for this, the third race in the Clwydian Hills Summer Trots series. A close "to and fro" contest developed between the leading two runner with Stephen Kates of Prestatyn eventually managing to establish and maintain a slender lead to finish in front of Jez Brown (Buckley) with Mark Williams (F1 Runners) in third place. Local runner Ceri Belshaw of Denbigh Harriers finished as first lady with Bree Sutcliffe and Susan Fourie, both of Chester Tri, coming in together in equal second place.

An enjoyable evening for all.        Many thanks to all the marshalls and helpers as well as the runners who took part in the race.

Waun Fach       Sat 18th July      Photos by Gill Stott

Pen Y Fan      Sat 11th July       Results, Report and Photos
Fan Y Big Horseshoe      Sun 12th July       Results, Report and Photos
The Druid       Wed 15th July       Results

TAL Y FAN      Saturday 11 July 2015      Results

The morning was clear and fine, with a touch of breeze. The gazebo were up, the cavalcade of MG cars and Rolls Royce arrived, along with the bouncy castle, woodcutters and the tea and cakes team. The Rowen Carnival was in full flow.

At 2pm, 57 competitors lined up, and “Uncle Chris the children's entertainer” sounded the hooter. Off the runners went, out through the car park and on to the road through the village, before 300m later, turning rights and the start of the ascent, first on tarmac up to the youth hostel, before levelling out a bit up along the old roman road to Cae Coch, and then after climbing the stile, up the grassy bank and then the rocks to Tal y Fan summit. The runners then benefited from the recent sunny weather, as the usually boggy bit was dry, allowing for quick runs across the moors to the Penmaenmawr stone circle.

Along the North Wales coastal path for a stretch before another right turn, and an uphill section back towards Rowen youth hostel, (except for those who failed to turn left over the wall and did a detour back to Cae Coch before realising their navigational error), and it was then downhill all the way to the finish back at the Carnival. Rob Grantham, Jez Brown and Tim Budd had a close run race at the front of the field, closely followed by Hugh O'Donnell and Simon Edwards.

The cooler weather, and gentle breeze allowed for some quick runs, with three age records being broken – Rob Grantham (Pensby) won the race and broke the V40 record by over a minute, Derek Weaver (Eryri) took 42 seconds off the V60 record, and Sarah Ridgway (Run Snowdonia) took a magnificent 8 minutes off the FV40 record to win the Ladies race.

A big thanks to all our marshals and helpers, and to the rain for staying away until after we had packed up.

Helen and Doug Blair       Race Organisers The alternative Tal Y Fan report

Foel Fras       Sat 27th June       Results


Ras Y Cerrig Las      Sat 4th July      Results

It was a near perfect day for this inaugural 7.3 mile fell race on the eastern end of the Preseli hills, which saw 24 runners take on this new challenging route. Although the total ascent isn’t huge, the terrain and technicality of it makes for an interesting tough race, with some saying that it was harder than it’s neighbouring 11 mile cousin, the Beast Bach.

The route visits Carn Alw-which is a lovely little rocky outcrop, Foel Drygarn- the Bronze aged hill fort, Carn Menyn-Where the stonhenge bluestones came from, and Carn Sian- with it’s 1944 aircraft crash site.

With the race clashing with the Ironman longcourse big weekender, the numbers were going to be low, but I was well happy to have the runners that I did.

There are no facilities near the start/finish area, so the newish big tent that I’d recently acquired and my camper made for the admin and catering areas. Nothing like going back to basics, and totally different to the other race I organise, the Preseli Beast! After I got the runners to wish each other the best of luck with a hug, they set off more or less on time.

One runner got caught up behind the 100’s of cyclists on the longcourse race, and was late turning up. This didn’t stop me from throwing a number at him and telling him to catch up, which he did! Well done Conrad.

I had predicted around the hour for the 1st runner, and James Thomas from Cirencester did not disappoint. He was first back in a cracking time of 55mins 53sec. He said he went a bit off course, even though the course is fully marked! Maybe everything was a bit of blur to him for going so quick! 3mins behind came Simon Hall from Sarn Helen, with Alec Williams of Pembs harriers third and 1st MV40. 1st lady was Alice Harrison in 1hr 12.14.

When I turned up at 11am to set things up, there was already a vehicle parked up. It was to my huge surprise to see it was my friend and fell running legend Yiannis Tridimas who had travelled down the night before from Liverpool! He’d come down to possibly marshal so he’d already been around the course to see what it was like. So when I said I had enough marshals, he decided to enter and do it again. “Well, it’s too nice a route not to do it again”. Obviously he took 1st MV70.

Closest finish was the downhill sprint between Jason Wilkins and local lass Beth Coghlan. Beth was far too nice to him and let him cross the line barely a second in front!

By the time the latter runners came over the hill, the steep descent back to cross the line was more of a hindrance as they didn’t have the legs to run it flat out. “It didn’t look that steep from the start” one runner said! The category winners all received either a bottle of local ale, or thermos mugs kindly donated by Cotwold Outdoors, Carmarthen. All the runners and marshals enjoyed the all important tea/coffee, and of course the finely baked cakes.

Huge thanks to all who ran, Pembs National parks, the neighbouring hill farmer who let us race around his hills, but more so to the marshals, Jacob Martin photography, the admin princess, and the catering cake fairies. Diolch I chi gyd.

Moel Siabod      Sat 4th July      Results


‘Better late than never!’
Well I only just about got to the race on time last Saturday after flying my way around the bends of Nant Peris and onwards to Capel Curig; before jumping out of the car and shooting off to the start line where I was still tying my shoelaces as the countdown to the start began!

It was a very warm day and the race climbed steadily uphill almost straightaway. The nature of this race means that it is quite hard to get a particularly on the way up as the route / path changes so much in quite a short distance.

Luckily there was a nice breeze keeping us cool and on the way up the friendly faces of the marshals / Eryri stalwarts Ellie Salisbury and Mike Blake was a big help to motivate us runners on our way to the top.

On the way down, previous experience of running this race came into play as it made it far easier to pick a good line and avoid some of the rocky sections of the path and throw yourself down the grassy mounds. But during the last mile or so, the rocky path was unavoidable and it became very narrow and technical before opening back up and back down to the bridge to finish.

Since it was so warm, some of us then went to cool down or dip our feet in the river below the bridge, before going over the road to the field where the village festival was being held for nice cup of tea and some tasty goulash whilst relaxing and watching a chainsaw competition.

It was then time for prize giving with 1st overall male going to Math Roberts (Calder Valley) in a time of 51:55, u23 went to Sion Harlow in a time of 57.02, V40 Martin Cliffe in a time of 54.49, V50 to Noel Craine in a time of 60.29 and V60 to Stephen P. Jones in a time of 57.44.

Stephen’s time in particular was exceptional when you consider he was not only faster than the V50, but was also in 5th position out of 69 runners!

1st female and V40 went to Lauren Jeska (Eryri Harriers) in a time of 59.02. u40 went to Becky Plenty (York Knavermire) in a time of 62.22, V40 went to Ali Keets in a time of 63.08 and V60 to Maggie Oliver (Eryri Harriers) in a time of 88.36.

In the kids race U14 went to Gwion Evans in a time of 15:32 & U16 to Chloe Elliott in a time of 17:33.

To close was the annual tug of war competition between the fell runners and the local farmers. Having won last year, the runners were full of confidence, unfortunately this time we lost despite our efforts.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who looked after the runners and provided the refreshments at the end of the race.       Emlyn Owen, Eryri Harriers.

Moel y Gamelin      Sun 28th June      Results

10 more photos

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

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.