Drizzle, poor visibility and a snow-melt surface made this year’s Sugarloaf a more ‘interesting’ contest. Keeping your feet
was a major challenge in places as was staying on route for more than a few.
Young Tom Burden and the more experienced Martin Shaw took up the early running, with Martin edging away along the Deri
ridge run hoping to build a big enough lead to keep off the expected threat from last year’s winner Mark Palmer. Martin
“ I reached the summit about 15 seconds clear but knew what was going to happen soon after - Mark came flying past on
the treacherous early part of the descent with a 'Hiya Martin, long-time-no-see, are you keeping well?' “
Martin put Mark under pressure on the lower slopes and the run-in through the Abergavenny lanes but Mark had paced it
well enough to keep a six second cushion at the finish. Rich Johnson had a solid run to take third, while Tom Burden
went a bit off-course among the criss-cross paths on the grassy part of the descent.
The women’s race was also a cracker with the first three well up in the finishing order. Liza Barry finally got back
ahead of Helen Marshall and Sharon Leech with less than a minute between them. Helen described her descending experience:
“Once up on the top it was a hop, skip and a slip down the hillside. The snow had all gone leaving a very muddy path.
I went with my guts, and kept running following the path I was on, roughly heading in the same direction from the summit.
Upon entering the woods it became apparent that I was being chased down by a runner…Liza Barry came charging past having
got lost on the descent from the summit.”
Naomi Law, Caroline Dallimore, Jonathon Gledson, Steve Davies and Steve Littlewood took the age category honours.
The race incorporated the East Wales Championships whose gold medallists were Martin Shaw, Rich Johnson, Steve Davies,
Dai Smout, Samantha Toop and Naomi Law.
Thanks to Emma Bayliss and team for a fine race and to the sponsors, Abergavenny’s Tudor Brewery, for the bottle of ale
handed to each runner as they crossed the finish line!