The Green Green Grass of Home, Llangynhafal - 27th July       Results

After last year's deadheat on a steep down hill we were close to seeing the same again! In a mad dash downhill only 3 seconds separated winner James Trollope, of Birchfield Harriers, from the flying Rob Grantham. On James's first visit to the Clwydian Hills he built up a commanding lead over the rest of the field but Ellesmere Port's Rob fought back to overhaul him, James surged ahead again to lead and in an exciting finish Rob came close to getting back, but not close enough. Runners took a variety of non-prescribed routes back from the final summit and Clwydian Range Runner Tim Higginbottom used his local knowledge to good effect in finding a line to come in third. Fourth was first over 40 former Hong Kong-based runner Mark Williams.
Wirral AC's Lisa Grantham finished strongly in the ladies race to overtake Sarah Hammond of Tattenhall and third lady was the fast improving junior Rachel Jefferson of Warrington AC. Andy Smith of Helsby RC wore the number 50 on the day to commemorate his 50th birthday and Mrs Challinor, once again, poured out the drinks at the finish. Thanks to all our helpers on the night and to Pet and Al for taking the snapshots!

(The Clwydian Summer Trots races have raised over £600 for local hospices. Thanks to all our runners and helpers through the series.)

Crychan Forest Trails       Results
Pen y Fan        Report and results


James Waldie

Waun Fach       Results

This was our second year in charge of this race and it went really well. The weather was great for running – sunny patches but cool breeze on top. Despite this the times were on average a few percent slower than last year. The recent we weather made going underfoot a bit soft and squelchy.

The winner was the indefatigable Mark Palmer but it was Chepstow Harriers who gained the team prize with Paul Murrin (2nd ), Matt Stott (4th ) and James Blore (6th and first under 23).

Helen Bennett appeared surprised with her win in a good time. Others were perhaps not surprised with stories of hard training on foot and bike.

MDC were just beaten into 2nd ladies team by Mynydd Du – Angela Jones, Anne-Marie Harris and Naomi Law taking the honours.

The best performance on the day is arguably Steve Herington celebrating his 63rd birthday with a time of 66:38. Looking back over recent results he was faster than last year and 2 minutes faster than 2009.

The course records set in 1995 (Mark Kinch and Ann Buckley) still hold – looking like they need some serious competition to be bettered.

The great support from marshals ensured there were no problems on the day, though parking remains one of the main issues for this and the Mynydd Troed races.

See you all next year – but please share transport!

Best Regards      Gerry and Sue Ashton

36th International Snowdon Race       Pics from Alastair       Pics from Gwynfor       Results       Report       Junior Results

Llanberis, Wales – The 2011 International Snowdon Race / Ras-yr-Wyddfa produced one of the closest finishes in the race's history yesterday, as England's Andi Jones took his fifth title on this famous mountain.

Highlights of the race will be shown on S4C at 9pm on Sunday, 24th of July. Thereafter the race will available on S4C's watch-again service, Clic

Race results via TDL Event services are now online here

Fan y Big       Pics from Alastair       Report and Results
Elidir Fawr       Pics from Alastair       Pics from Gwynfor       Results
New Race
THE GARN RACE - 2m/600ft - LLANFAIRYNGHORNWY COMMUNITY CENTRE (BETWEEN LLANFAETHLU & CEMAES , ANGLESEY) - 7pm FRIDAY 19th AUGUST 2011 - £3.00 (INC. ENTRY TO SPORTS FIELD ) ORG: Steve Pilbeam 01407730963 stephenpilbeam418@btinternet.com
This is the traditional village hill race,part of Llanfairynghornwy Sports Day ( a variety of events commence at 5 pm ), now held for the first time as a WFRA event. The race includes a 1.5m/400ft event for 12-16yrs.
Dash in the Daylight 1       29th June 2011       Results
Stiperstones       Pics from Alastair
The Druid 13th July      Results

A record 123 runners completed the Druid race up to Foel Fenlli and back. In form Rob Grantham finished a minute clear of Jez Brown (who won the teddy bear!) while his wife Lisa Grantham won the ladies in a very tight finish with Kate Titlow. Three juniors in the top ten included Tom Hiles of Clwydian Range Runners in fourth. Competition at the other end of the field was just as fierce with over 70's Peter Norman and Robbie Webster coming home seconds apart.

Ras yr Aran       Sat 9th July      Pics from Alastair       Results      Report

This year the race was a counter in the British Championships and attracted a strong field from all over the UK. It was also a counter in the inov-8/WFRA Welsh Championships and North Wales Series (sponsored by planetFear). Weather was good - dry, sunny intervals, cool breeze and the summit was clear. Underfoot conditions were boggy in places after the heavy rain of the previous day. The race was won by Morgan Donnelly of Borrowdale in a record time of 1.22.55. The ladies race was won by Philippa Maddams of Keswick also in a new record time of 1.39.08.

Coity Fell Race 2011 Report      Results

Running the race on a Saturday seemed to be a success judging by the numbers with an almost unanimous vote to continue with a Saturday rather than midweek race. Cliff at the Whistle Inn agreed to open specially for us, as he normally only opens at lunchtime on Sundays, so we had the place to ourselves which was just as well as we filled the bar.

Not sure if we were lucky or unlucky with the weather as Friday was very wet and Sunday very hot, so perhaps dry and very windy wasn’t too bad and produced some very good times. Up front two newcomers took full advantage of the absence of the defending champion and race winner for the past 4 years Matt Collins with both bettering his old course record. In Richard Phillips case this was by nearly 20 seconds and Phillip Mathews in 2nd was also 3 seconds inside it. Stephan Sims comfortably won the Vets category only 20 seconds off Adrian Woods record. A remarkable 7th place for SV Steve Davies was also a new record by about 40seconds. While Steve Herrington in the over 60’s took just over a minute off the old best time.

No record for the women I’m afraid, but Helen Fines amazing time of 40.40 in 2007 will take some beating. However Katie Beecher was a comfortable winner in 44.11, 1min 30sec ahead of Emma McWilliams in second place. Sharon Leech was the first FV and Caroline Dallimore the first FSV.

So that raps it up for another year so I guess we will go for a Saturday in late June again next year.

Moel Siabod Race 2nd July       Pics from Alastair       Results

Ifan Richards

A large turnout and hot sunny weather made for a good atmosphere this year. Thanks to Cotswold Outdoor for the prizes, Tyn Y Coed Hotel for the food, Capel Curig Show Committee, Team Dolly and everyone who helped on the day. Ross

Darrens Dash       Sunday 12th June 2011       Darrens Deluge!       Results

This year’s Darrens Dash hill race was organised as a new partnership between Longtown School PTFA, Longtown Pre-School and Wye Valley Runners. A new course and new event base were established but everything hinged on the weather….

The weather forecast certainly wasn't promising - 50 mph winds, extensive hill fog down to 300m and persistent heavy rain! A quick emergency route choice had to be devised and 30 brave runners took up the challenge of the ‘Darrens Deluge’. A newcomer to the Darrens Dash - Duncan Birtwistle of Harrogate Harriers - won the race in fine style in 36:00 minutes whilst Hereford-based Alan Mayo-Evans put in a gritty performance to take 2nd place in 38.10 and Male Vet 50 Adrian Woods came in 3rd in 39:00 minutes. The first lady home was Emma McWilliams from Mynydd Du in 40:50, followed by club-mate Female Vet 40 Angela Jones in 42:20 and Female Vet 50 Alice Bedwell of MDC in 44:20.

The childrens fun run also attracted 18 entrants who battled it out on the slippery course. A bouncy castle, raffle, BBQ, produce stall and fantastic teas and cakes compensated for the dampness. Many thanks to all runners who took part and a particular big thank you to Longtown Mountain Rescue Team who provided marshalls 'on the hill' in tough conditions and to the farmers / landowners who let us use their land. Race drinks and trophies were sponsored by Black Mountain Mineral Water company.

Thanks to the generosity of many local sponsors, more than £500 was raised for Longtown School PTFA and Pre-School.

The Goblin Tower Trail Race        3.25m/330' CS Saturday 2nd July

Top Yorkshire cross country runner Myra Jones returned to her home town to see off all the men in the inaugural Goblin Tower Trail race. This was a low key (so far!) short, class 'C' race held at short notice in Denbigh and the girls predominated! There weren't many men but second placed Peter Barraclough can be happy that he currently holds the male record! Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and Keri Jaques (3rd lady/first junior) and Vicky Cortvriend can both be pleased with their second race in four days. Thanks to all the runners and helpers including the Air Cadets, Denbigh Locality group and Workplace Worksafe and Tai Clwyd for sponsoring the t-shirts plus Denbigh's mayor for starting the race. Watch out for next year's event!!             Martin C

Moel Y Gamelin Sunday 26th June      Results

There was a good turnout for this WFRA North Wales Series race. Weather conditions were hot, dry, sunny intervals.Andrea Rowlands set a new course record in the ladies race.
Ponderosa Polka Report and Results

Tyn-y-Groes Hill Race       Sat June 25th       Results       Pics from Alastair and Esyllt Richards

Having returned home from Slovenia, there was a return to action for Ifan Richards last Saturday lunchtime as he dominated proceedings at the Tyn-Y-Groes Hill Race held in Ganllwyd.

Four Bro Dysynni athletes in action at the Tyn-Y-Groes Race. Dylan Evans, Richard Griffiths, Andy Unwin & Sheila Symonds.
With persistent rain making conditions treacherous over the 2.1 mile course, which included 700 feet of climbing, Ifan Richards the Meirionnydd RC athlete gradually pulled away from the rest of the field to claim victory at the event for the 3rd year in succession, on this occasion in a time of 16.01mins.
Runners up spot was claimed by Dylan Jones of Aberdyfi, the first of four Bro Dysynni athletes home, in a time of 17.55mins, with Jamie Evans of Bryncrug completing the podium, the 2nd Meirionnydd finisher in a time of 20.25mins.
There was a show of strength in depth from Meirionnydd as a further seven athletes followed. The seven were led home by Arfon Hughes of Dolgellau in 20.36mins, to be followed by Dylan Evans of Bryncrug in 21.14mins. There then followed an exciting tussle as Ricky Francis of Talyllyn just pipped the colourful Tony Hodgson of Llanelltyd, the two finishing in times of 21.42mins & 21.43mins. Nich Bradley of Dolgellau was the next Meirionnydd finisher in a time of 22.58mins with Kevin Evans of Brithdir & Pete Nicholls of Llanfachreth following home in respective times of 23.29mins & 24.15mins. A trio of Bro Dysynni athletes followed in the guise of Richard Griffiths of Tywyn, home in 24.40mins, Andy Unwin of Harlech, beaming depsite all the odds as he crossed the line in true perambulatory fashion in 41.33mins and the evergreen ever improving Sheila Symonds, the Dolgellau based veteran claiming victory in the female section of the event, in an excellent time of 52.29mins.
As has become the norm with the Tyn-Y-Groes Race, monies raised at the event were passed on to the Welsh Air Ambulance.


The true spirit of fell running embodied in the form of Iorwerth Roberts of Eryri

Tintern Trot       June 30th       Details
           Hot Foot up Famau      Wed 22nd June      Results

A record turn out of 104 starters emphasising the growing popularity of fell running round here! The first two finishers were young under 23 runners as were quite a number of the rest of the field.
Ricky Challinor of Liverpool Harriers broke the record but he was chased hard by Tom Beasant from Dark Peak, former winners Ian Houston and Tim Higginbottom had to be content with top ten finishes.
Lisa Grantham of Wirral AC was outside Anna Frost's record but was still well clear of Mary Gillie and Leanne Callaghan to take the ladies prize (which in her case was a pink pig!)
A chilly midsummer night with a strong cold breeze to test the small band of marshalls and helpers who included the winner's mother who was co-opted (willingly!) to help with the drinks at the finish!
Martin

Pontesbury Fell Race      Wed 22nd June      Pics from Alastair
Moel Hebog Saturday 18th June        Pics from Alastair      Results

Conditions were good for running. Weather was cool, dry, cloudy with the occasional sunny interval. Prizes donated by Y Warws / Gelert. All runners and helpers received a free ice cream courtesy of Glaslyn Ices. Thanks to Aberglaslyn Mountain rescue and everyone who helped on the day. Ross


picture by Gwynfor James

Rodney's Pillar Fell Race       Wed 15th June       Pics from Alastair
Trail Race up the Beast       Tue 14th June        Results
Foel Fras        Sat 11th June       pics from Alastair       Pics from Gwynfor       Results
Welsh 1000m Peaks Race      Saturday 4th June       Results - Long Race       Results - Short Race

This was an important year for the race. It was the 40th Anniversary and the first time Glyder Fawr was included. The race was also a counter in the inov-8 / WFRA Open Welsh Championships and the WFRA North Wales Series (sponsored by planetFear). Consequently there was a large turnout. Weather conditions were hot and sunny. Fortunately, there was a cool breeze on the summits.

Gogbatch Gallop & Relay       Wed 1st June       Results       Pics from Alastair

A great evening for this slightly unusual race which is aimed at giving juniors a chance to experience Fell running. The course is designed carefully with more downhill than up and is just over 1.5 kms with about 160 metres of ascent and 223 m of descent( all ready for the metric calendar!). Runners have to enter as a pair with 16 being the lower age for an “adult” runner; as you can see from the results the times are adjusted so their ages can be taken into consideration. No need to worry as all get some chocolate and go home smiling. As can be seen from the pictures there is plenty of fire in their bellies!

Much effort has been put into the Shropshire races this season with the aim of encouraging juniors to participate (and parents to share their fun). Our thanks go all the race organisers for their combined efforts and so there are juniors who have been entering all our races and seek more….

Next year the race will start at 7.00 so that Prize giving will be in the sunshine; see you then.
Jan & Rick

Batch Bash       Wed 1st June Pics from Alastair
Ras y Gader 28th May 2011       Pics from Alastair       Results      


Andy Lanz followed by Craig Jeffrey and Matthew Heywood

Abergwyngregyn Tue 24th May        Pics from Alastair
Slateman Triathlon Sun 22nd May        Pics from Alastair
Carneddau Saturday 21st May       Details       Pics by Alastair      Results

Conditions were 'challenging' this year as the runners had to contend with gales and driving rain. The heroes were the marshals who spent hours on the summits in appalling conditions. Everyone returned safely (eventually). Thanks to the following - Dewi Sinclair who provided a buffet for the runners and helpers, Cotswold who provided some of the prizes, George Inn, Team Dolly and everyone who helped on the day.
Ross

Moel y Gest       Pics by Gwynfor       Results

Cribyn       Sat 14th May       Pics by Alastair       Results

A fine sunny start to the day with increasing cloud cover that did not actually break, and a cold and fitful wind at HQ had many pondering over what to wear.

Race Organiser Helen Fines was away at a British Championship race, but left behind a stout team who got the 44 runners off successfully. Martin Cox led Mark Palmer all the way with Alec Woods about four minutes back as the race moved into the second phase across the valley to the foot of the steep haul to Cribyn summit.

The first six finishers were seasoned men of M40 vintage, while Pete Williams and Gary Gunner took the other age prizes.
Emma McWilliams led the women’s race throughout ahead of returning-to-fitness Helen Marshall and F40 winner Lou Summers. Kate Hovers took the F50 category.      DF

Sarn Helen         Sunday 15th May         Pics by Alastair
Moel Eilio       Sat 14th May       Pics by Gwynfor       Senior Results       Junior Results

Dinas Bran       Results

Increased numbers on a warm evening for a well organised event - records for men and women for the new course were broken by Ian Houston (Wrecsam Tri) and Emma Collins (Denbigh Harriers).

Caradoc Classic Wed 11th May       Pics from Alastair
Mynydd Troed 8 May 2011       Results      

The second counter in the WFRA South Wales Championships was contested in blustery, showery but fresh conditions. Chepstow’s Paul Murrin obviously enjoyed the rapidly changing weather and put a minute and a half on MDC’s Ben Moon with first 40 year-old Crispin Flower coming back well from an absence from the fells.

Mynydd Du’s Angela Jones held off the rapidly improving Vanessa Lawson for first woman with Helen Marshall not very far back in third. Anne-Marie Harris, Pete Williams and Gary Gunner succeeded in the remaining age categories. Paul and Angela chose Air Ambulance and Ty Hafan Hospice as their favourite charities to receive all the proceeds of the race entry fees.
DF 080511

Llangynhafal Loop 7th May 2011       Results       Pics from Alastair

101 finishers - good day for running but a strong wind meant a record time was unlikely. Tim Davies won in 37.48 a fair bit faster than his winning time of two years ago. 16 year old Nathan Jones of Colwyn Bay, a mere strip of a lad, broke the junior record coming in 5th overall in 41.44. Andrea Rowlands won the ladies race, not for the first time! Thanks to all who helped on the day and to those who took part especially those who travelled from further afield including the Leighton Buzzard boys from Bedfordshire who regularly support our races.

Great photos already from our very professional photographers!!

and lightning fast uploading from your webmaster........

Bluebell Run Sun 8th May       Pics from Alastair
Fron Four Sat 23rd April       Results
Ras y Diafol Sun 1st May       Pics from Alastair
Red Kite Challenge Sat 30th May        Pics from Alastair
Pentyrch Hill Race        Tuesday April 26th 2011      Results       Dry & sunny but with a chilly East wind.

Thanks to all the athletes who competed at this 25th staging of the Pentyrch Hill Race, and to everyone who helped with the organisation, especially organiser John Gough. Apologies if any of the names of athletes are not quite right. Some of the handwriting was very difficult to read. Please let me know if any names need to be changed – or, indeed, if there are any errors in the results.

The 133 entries was slightly down on the previous highest of 141 in 2010.

Given the recent dry weather, fast times were expected but there was disappointment for local lad Peter Ryder, a former Radyr Comprehensive pupil, who was the first to finish for the third year, but in a time slower than in either of the two previous victories.

Nicky Dukes (Les Croupiers) produced his best-ever performance at the event to claim second spot while Matthew Symes impressed. Taffs Well resident Peter Coles (Ponypridd Roadents, M45), the leading Master at this event for the past seven years, was finally beaten by another master athlete - Stefan Simms (Griffithstown, M40), improving by nearly a minute on his 2010 time to claim fourth place – while Daniel Bodman hacked nearly five minutes off last year’s clocking to just beat his Pontypridd team - mate to finish fifth, and retain his u20 top spot..

Brackla Harriers provided the winner of the senior women’s race, Charlotte Wells finishing in 26th place, almost 80 seconds ahead of Angela Jones (Mynydd Du, W40), with Cheryl Hugdell (Les Croupiers, W35) completing the top three. A record number of 29 women competed.

Athletes from Les Croupiers formed the biggest club contingent competing – there were 27 of the club’s members in action, an increase of five on 2010 – but there were 35 unattached athletes taking part, many of whom have the talent to be quality club runners.

For the third consecutive year, the event included the South Wales Regional Hill Running championships. A post race scrutiny of the entries highlighted an unexpected problem which was not picked up when the awards were issued on the night. In the Pentyrch race, the awards for the men’s master age group start with M40 and, as a result, athletes in the M35-39 category are listed as ‘senior men’ on the entry and on the results system. At Regional level, there is only one master category for men and women and both start at 35. This year, a significant number of senior men have reached ‘M35’ status. The difference in Master Men’s age group led to incorrect presentation of Regional awards on the night. The region also provides team awards on the basis of three to score. Only one award was issued on the night – to the Les Croupiers Master Women’s team.

South Wales Regional Results
Senior Men: 1 Peter Ryder (Cardiff AAC); 2 Daniel Bodman (Pontypridd); 3 Matthew Wells (Brackla): No teams
Master Men (M35+): 1 Nicky Dukes (Les Croupiers); 2 Peter Coles (Pontypridd); 3 Jason Scanlon (Pontypridd):
Team: 1 Les Croupiers A (1, 4, 5) 10; 2 Pontypridd (2, 3, 7) 12; 3 Les Croupiers B (6, 9, 10) 25; 4 San Domenico (8, 11, 14) 33; 5 Les Croupiers C (12,13, 19) 44
Senior Women: 1 Charlotte Wells (Brackla); 2 Clare Dallimore (Les Croupiers); 3 Anne Follan (Pontypridd): No teams
Master Women: 1 Cheryl Hugdell (Les Croupiers); 2 Libby O’Duffy (Les Croupiers); 3 Maria Zubizarreta (Les Croupiers): Team: 1 Les Croupiers (1,2, 3) 6
The provisional date for the 2012 Pentyrch Hill Race is Tuesday, April 24th.

Pen Dinas       Tue 26th April      Pics from Alastair       Joe Brown Tuesday Night Series All Results
Wrekin Streak Wed 27th April       Pics from Alastair
Ras Y Moelwyn – Dydd sadwrn Ebrill 16eg – 1.00yh Saturday April 16th - Race Details and Course Map

Corrected Results      Video from Huw Jenkins       Pics from Alastair       Pics from Gwynfor

Ras Mynydd Swtan Sun 17th April       Results
Foel Lus Tue 12th April       Pics from Alastair       Pics from Gwynfor      Results
Sugar Loaf Race 9 April 2011       Results

Young Emma Bayliss revived this dying fell race last year and is making a great success of it. Well over 100 runners from as far afield as Derbyshire, the Lakes, North Wales and Berkshire made the journey to sunny Abergavenny and enjoyed balmy weather and stunning views from the Pen y Fal summit. The winner was a Scotsman resident in the nearby Wye Valley, Rob Gordon (Mynydd Du), who was delighted with his form three weeks before his major 2011 target, the 3 Peaks race up in Yorkshire. MDC’s Matt Collins in his first race for a while was less than a minute behind with Chepstow’s Paul Murrin in third. Chepstow’s James Blore and Paul Dodd joined Paul M in the winning men’s team.

Katie Beecher of the Cardiff Les Croupiers club came from behind to overtake Sam Knile in the race down the track from the summit for the women’s prize, followed by Mynydd Du’s Angela Jones who also won the F40 category.

Crispin Flower, Paul Dodd and Steve Herington took men’s age group prizes; Joc Dodd and Brenda Avery the remaining women’s age cats.

First Clwydian junior fell run, Saturday 9th April - Llantysilio Lollop       Results

It was lovely sunny day for the first of the Clwydian junior series. The 6 and 7 year old;s race was an all female field and won by Isabella Bailey in an excellent 3 minutes. Amelia Bailey also competed and did very well but her big sister had the advantage of legs that were a year older! In the 8-9 year old's Kale Kenworthy won the girls race and won outright in 3:22, Paul Hunt took the boys prize just beating Jake Thurlow in a sprint finish. The Morris family swept the board in the 10-11 years old. William ran an excellent 6:41, soon followed by Bethan in 7:06. Grant Leach ran the 14-15 year old's route 7:51. Well done to everyone.

Many thanks to all the marshals and the local farmer for their help on the day.
The next race will be at Ponderosa, Horseshoe pass on the 26th June.

Llantysilio Mountain Race       Pics from Alastair       Results

Llanbedr-Blaenafon Fell Race       Pics from Alastair   Results
116 eager participants made their way to the little village of Llanbedr to start the 31st L-B three peaks fell race at midday on Saturday 2nd April. As they set off the sun shone brilliantly, surprising many runners who struggled with the heat. It even felt warm up on the mighty Blorenge, great for the marshals, but not so good for the runners.

Having won this race the last 2 years in succession, (and many other years too) Mark Palmer (Mynydd Du) reached the first peak at Crug Mawr in 3rd position, behind Martin Cox of Team Bath, and Alastair Murray from Horwich Harriers.

By the time these three experienced fell runners came off Crug Mawr, they had settled into what turned out to be their finishing postions. Martin Cox finished in 2:08:20, and although nearly 3 minutes quicker than last year, Mark Palmer could’nt catch Martin and finished in second place in 2:10:49. These two were well ahead of the rest of the field, with Alastair Murray claiming 3rd position in 2:21:05.

Eryri Runner Andrea Rowlands achieved a stunning time of 2:30:05, and was 8th overall, Emma McWilliams second lady in 2:47:13. Helen Fines came in for third position in 2:54:21.

In other categories, Bryan Stadden from Bitton Road Runners was our first Super Vet, he finished in 17th position overall, in a time of 2:38:04.

First SSV Male was John Morris, Buckley Runners.
Just a fraction over a minute separated first Vet Lady, Lou Summers of Chepstow and first SS Vet Lady, Sharon Woods of Mynydd Du.
The Team prize was taken by Chepstow Harriers.
The participants came from far and wide, Eric Quibell from South Africa joined us as he was here on holiday, and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. 5 Stubbington Green runners came from the South Coast to make a weekend of it on our Welsh Mountains, hopefully they will venture back next year too.

Our thanks as always to everyone who helped on the day, apologies for the unfortunate lack of showers, but hope that the magnificent spread put on by Anne at the Rugby club made up for it.

Oh, and congratulations to Mike Heare, who spotted the ‘deliberate’ mistake on the T-Shirts – they will be collector’s items in years to come!!           Christine Vorres.

Report 2          Report 3

Wrekin Fell Race   Sun 27th March        pics from Alastair       Results
Llanthony Sat 26th March    Results   Pics by Alastair   and South Wales Winter Series Final Results

Photos from Annoymousecoward          Video of the Race

Warm Spring sunshine and very firm going don’t seem quite the right setting for the Llanthony Winter race, but we didn’t hear anyone complain. Gareth Hurst of the Royal Marines finally got his first win after overhauling Hugh Aggleton (MDC) down the last steep field before the dash to the Abbey wall. Only 23 seconds short of Pete Ryder’s 2009 record, and good enough to give Gareth the Series gold medal.

Les Croupiers Club from Cardiff city centre, not noted for fell-running, gave us first woman in the shape of Katy Beecher, only 29 seconds outside Helen Fines’ record.

Steve Harrhy (Lliswerry) took 6th place and first M40; Hugh’s dad John (MDC) was M50 winner, only 48 seconds adrift of Steve; and Dai Smout of Parc Bryn Bach was M60 winner.

Brecon’s (and Finland’s) Satu Haikala took F40 honours, while Chepstow’s Joc Dodd in her first ever race on the mountains was F50 winner.

At the presentation In the Abbey Hotel, due appreciation from the runners was given to marshals Kay Lucas and Del Thornley, course marker Andy Stott, timekeepers John Chidlow and Ian Wade, and photographers Becka Werner and Al Tye.

Ras yr Aran    Sat 19th March         Pics from Alastair        Results
Blaenbran Blast Results

Tom Blasts Blaenbran
World Adventure Race Champion Tom Gibbs (MDC and Chepstow Harriers) showed he could still do it in a short fell race. This one, devised and organised by Matt Collins, starts in Upper Cwmbran and visits the summit of Mynydd Twyn-glas.

Warm Spring sun was a surprise and most welcome to runners who responded by getting their legs out for the first time in months. They even sat in the Queen’s beer garden afterwards for the prize-giving.
At the finish Tom had a hundred seconds on Gareth Hurst, while 40+ Max Suff had a stunning run for 3rd.
Chepstow’s Lou Summers, also 40+, took the women’s prize ahead of U23 Claire Dallimore and 40+ Niki Morgan....DF

MOEL WNION Updated race details         Results        Junior Results         Pics from Alastair
        Pipe Dream Sat 5th March        Results

Ninety-one runners lined up for the second race in this years WFRA North Wales Series. Perfect morning conditions heralded quick times for this years Pipe Dream Race and it proved to be right as the course record was smashed by race winner Ifan Rhys Richards of Meirionnydd RC, taking 51 seconds off Math Roberts' time set in 2008. He arrived home with a clear view between him and second placed Martin Cliff of Eryri in 36.12, an excellent time in itself. Third was Eryri's Rory O'Donnell.
The ladies race was much closer, with only 6 seconds seperating winner Eryri Harrier Jenny Hemming in 44.41 and second placed club mate Tammy Lewis-Jones. Third was Joanne Moore, unattached.
The field arrived home safely, and all seemed to enjoy themselves. The first local runner home was Tony Harvey, coincidentally the only local runner from the three villages of Tal Y Bont, Dolgarrog and Trefriw! Despite annual advertising no other locals seem to have the guts to have a go at this demanding course which climbs 1270 feet in the first mile.
Thanks to Team Dolly for marshaling once again, and also for the generous sponsorship from local RWE npower. Proceeds to Dolgarrog Community Centre.
Craig Jones.

Long Mynd Valleys          Pics from Alastair
Titterstone Clee          Pics from Alastair
Quantocks                  Results

Tyn y Groes Hill Race

Boxing Day and for the last few years has meant only one thing - the Tyn y Groes fell race and the chance to run off some of the excesses of Christmas Day, followed by soup, mince pies and even more beer.
Unfortunately this year one of the heaviest December snowfalls in memory meant the race simply couldn't take place.
Undaunted though, Tony Hodgson, Nich Bradley, Kevin Evans, Pete Nicholls and Tony's dog Poppy decided to at least maintain the Boxing Day tradition and run the route anyway. Going up wasn't too bad and apart from Tony the rest of us were probably somewhere near our usual time getting to the summit (Tony stayed with us out of politeness I think and also had an unexpected encounter with a deer). The views at the top were spectacular and amongst the trees it looked like the Kingdom of Narnia.
Coming down was a lot slower but nobody fell and we crossed the frozen river back to the
Tyn-y-Groes all in one piece and were greeted with a loud round of applause from a welcoming bar.

Devils Chair Dash Sunday 26th December         Pics by Alastair
The winner of the Run and Become Competition in the December WFRA Newsletter was Richard Johnson of Islwyn RC. Full text here.
Mortimers Forest Fell Race Sunday 12th December          Pics from Alastair
Cardington Cracker Sunday 5th December          Pics from Alastair
Blorenge Saturday 27th November         Results        Pics from Alastair

Winner Scores on the Tea Urn

Blorenge winner Mark Palmer may not have beaten his course record this year, but he got back down the snow-sprinkled mountain quick enough to keep Chepstow’s Paul Murrin behind him, and in time to serve tea and coffee to the rest of the runners as they trailed behind him into the village hall.

Jess and Chris Taylor laid on the usual well-marked and marshalled course, as well as the tasty sandwiches and seasonal stollen cake to accompany Mr Palmer’s welcome hot drinks.

Women’s winner, Helen Fines, dedicated her run to her recently departed dog, George, of whom your humble reporter also has fond memories of a shared van seat to a distant fell race in the summer.

Wrekin Wrecker Sunday 21st November Pics from Alastair    Results
Penmaenmawr Fell Race Saturday 20th November      Pics from Gwynfor James     Pics from Alastair     Results

Anna Frost     Photo by Gwynfor

Rhobell Fawr 13th November 2010      Pics from Alastair     Results

Ideal fell running conditions greeted the 68 athletes who gathered in Llanfachreth, near Dolgellau, last Saturday lunchtime as the village played host to the 8th running of the Rhobell Fawr Fell Race.

Facing the competitors on a glorious late Autumnal day was a 6 mile course which included an overall 1,900 feet of climbing, with competitors both local and from further afield taking on the challenge.


Richard Roberts of Eryri Harriers, race winner at the Rhobell Fawr Fell Race.

The overall 2010 results bore remarkable similarities to the 2008 event with repeat victories in both the male & female categories. Overall victory was achieved by Richard Roberts of Eryri Harriers in a time of 49.44mins with club-mate Matthew Roberts following in a time of 51.23mins, an exact repeat of the 'one, two' of 2008 and for Matthew Roberts, the third time he has now claimed runners up spot at the event, having also finished 2nd in 2007. In 3rd position overall was Ifan Richards of Brithdir, the Meirionnydd Running Club member unable to repeat his race victory of 2009 as he crossed the line in a time of 51.29mins.

With Eryri Harriers claiming 5 of the first 7 finishers, there was still an excellent 8th placed finish for Adam Preston of Dolgellau, the Meirionnydd R.C. athlete home in 56.58mins. There was also a 'Top 10' finish for an athlete with strong Tywyn connections as Jos Jones of Aberystwyth A.C. came home in 57.55mins. The first female competitor home, repeating her 2008 victory at the event was Anna Bartlett of Shrewsbury A.C. in a time of 59.01mins.


Pete Nicholls of Llanfachreth on his way to a finishing time of 1hr 12.31mins at the Rhobell Fawr Fell Race.

A further 9 athletes affiliated to Meirionnydd R.C. also completed the event. They were led home by Kevin Jones of Dolgellau in 59.38mins, with Tony Hodgson of Llanelltyd following, as a finishing time of 1hr 07.38mins also claimed victory in the Male Over-60 category. Local knowledge was advantageous in helping Pete Nicholls of Llanfachreth home in a time of 1hr 12.31mins with John Smith of Dolgellau following in 1hr 15.23mins. Kevin Evans of Brithdir led home Nich Bradley of Dolgellau in respective times of 1hr 18.18mins & 1hr 20.03mins with Estelle Patrick of Barmouth leading home the three strong contingent of female athletes affiliated to Meirionnydd R.C. in a time of 1hr 24.21mins. She, in turn, was followed by Dolgellau-based team-mates Janet Preston & Margaret Roberts, home in times of 1hr 25.50mins & 1hr 29.28mins.

In the Junior Race, there was also another excellent performance from a promising Dolgellau youngster as Katie Bailey claimed victory in the event in a time of 22.15mins.

Clwydian Hills Race Sun 7th November Pics from Alastair             Results


Some of the prizewinners in the inov-8/WFRA Welsh Champs and North / South Wales Series...... Photo by Alastair Tye

Race numbers were up by 50% at the Clwydian Hills race, near Mold, as the race was the final counter in the inov-8/WFRA Open Welsh Championships and North Wales Series. Weather conditions were dry with sunny intervals and light winds. It was very muddy, wet and slippery underfoot due to the rain in recent days.

The race was won by Steven Cale of Shrewsbury in a time of 72 minutes and 38 seconds. Matt Gilbert of Wreham Tri was 2nd in 74.02 and Tim Higginbottom of Clwydian 3rd in 74.25. Other category winners - Over 40 Paul Jones (Oswestry) 76.06, Over 50 Peter Gardner (MDC) 82.08, Over 60 Don Williams (Eryri) 94.11, Over 70 Peter Norman (Wrexham) 127.32. The ladies race was won by Anna Lupton of Radcliffe in 83.03. Andrea Rowlands of Eryri was 2nd in 90.12 and Sarah Hammond of Tattenhall 3rd in 92.31 (also 1st over 40). Other category winners Over 50 Sue Ellis (Tattenhall) 112.23, Over 60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri) 129.30.

The inov-8/WFRA Welsh Champions for 2010 are Tim Davies of Mercia and Andrea Rowlands of Eryri. Tim Davies is also the British Fell Running Champion for 2010. Other category Champions - Male : Over 40 Paul Jones (Oswestry), Over 50 Peter Gardner (MDC), Over 60 Don Williams (Eryri), Over 70 Peter Norman (Wrexham).
Female : Over 40 Sandra Rowlands (Clwydian), Over 50 Annie Williams (Eryri), Over 60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri).

The winners of the WFRA North Wales Series, sponsored by Benard's Gallery, Llandudno, were Ifan Richards of Meirionnydd and Andrea Rowlands of Eryri. Other category winners - Male : Over 40 Paul Jones (Oswestry), Over 50 Arwel Lewis (Eryri), Over 60 Don Williams (Eryri).
Female : Over 40 Sandra Rowlands (Clwydian), Over 50 Annie Williams (Eryri), Over 60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri).

Sugar Loaf Saturday 30th October          Results

Organiser Douglas Adlam has got himself a winning formula with the Winter version of the Sugar Loaf race, especially when he can say “Numbers were a bit down at 97 – wasn’t the OMM on this weekend?” Indeed it was: with a dozen runners from Chepstow alone roaming over Dartmoor.

To accommodate almost 100 runners in the first steep, narrow lane, Douglas brought the start back to race HQ, the Crown Inn at Pantigelli, to allow half a minute of wider road for the field to thin out some.

Sunny Autumn weather with good views for those who took the opportunity to look around at the summit, and a well-marked course bore many favourable comments from the 97.

They also enjoyed the Crown’s “yummy” (the Organiser’s words) hot sausage rolls and other post-race treats.

A ding dong battle at the front had old rivals Mark Palmer and Matt Collins never more than a few seconds apart over the five miles, with the M40 Mynydd Du man prevailing over his younger Mynyddwyr de Cymru rival. “I worked hard to take advantage of Matt not being on top form” said Mark afterwards.

Helen Fines regained her title just 80 seconds behind her record on the slightly shorter course, and admitted that despite the fulsome course-marking “I still went wrong in the bracken – what a dizzy blonde! But now the English and British championships are over, it was a pleasure to enjoy the outing on one of my favourite courses.”

Ceiriog Canter Sun 24th October Pics from Alastair             Results

Fan Fawr Saturday October 2nd     Results

Here are the final corrected results from Fan Fawr 2010. gildersleve@ntlworld.com     Chris

Rhayader Rant

Dear All, It was decided to postpone ,until next year ,novembers Rhayader Rant followimg the sad death of my fellow race organiser at Rhayader A/C, Terry Simpson. A rearranged date should follow on. Terry will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Many thanks Paul Beeson (Maldwyn Harriers.)

Mendip Muddle 10th October       Report      Results
Breidden Hills Race       Pictures from Alastair
Arenig Fawr Fell Race 3rd October 2010       Pics from Alastair      Results

The 5th anniversary of the race confirmed it as a fairly popular event in North Wales although participation is limited by the remoteness of the location. The wet weather did not deter the 71 entrants who enjoyed a run in quite mild but very wet underfoot conditions. The morning’s heavy rain abated by midday and most of the race route was clear apart from the higher ground where visibility was quite limited.

Steven Cale of Shrewsbury was the clear winner in the men’s race in a time of 56:10, which is just over two minutes slower than Lloyd Taggart’s record set in drier conditions. Andrea Rowlands was the winner in the women’s race with a time of 71:33.

The majority of the runners were in the veterans categories. There were three male runners under 23 and they all received prizes as an encouragement to younger runners.
Much against my instincts, the entry fee was increased to £4 this year in order to cover the various prizes, gifts to the marshals and the farmer who owns the quarry and also a donation to Team Dolly, who again turned up to support the race with radio communications at the check points and to provide high quality photography. As in previous years, there was food, cakes and refreshments provided by Kath, Wynn, Pat and Pam and judging from the comments, runners greatly appreciated this.

My thanks the Welsh FRA, Geoff and Ross in particular for their help and thanks to my fellrunning friends who helped set the course and man the checkpoints.
As usual, Running Bear supported the event by providing prizes at a generous discount. For the first time this year Mr Running Bear himself, Tony Hulme, ran the race. The race was a counter in the WFRA North Wales Series.
Next year the race will take place on Sunday 2nd October.......... . Yiannis Tridimas

Long Mynd Hike Saturday 2nd October      Pics from Alastair
Black Mountains Saturday 25th September       Pics from Alastair      Results

Photo of Tim Davies on top of final summit (Crug Mawr) on his way to victory. He has also won the British Championships and WFRA Open / Welsh Championships in the process. Congratulations also to Helen Fines who won the ladies race.

Llyn y Fan 18th September 2010       Pics from Alastair      Results

This is one of the most scenic short fell races around, and only its remoteness in the wilds of the Black Mountain (not to be confused with its plural version in south-east Wales) can account for a field of just 21.

Two other potential entrants found their way to the start well after Race Organiser, John Sweeting, had sent the mighty few on their way up the track to the lake. The latecomers weren’t to be denied their run though, and enjoyed their own race arriving at the finish to the applause of the waiting 21.

Women’s record holder Helen Fines found herself in the lead by the top of the track. “This was a new experience for me, and I thought I’d make it a special training run by pushing hard up the hills, and cruising on the downs – the opposite to my usual style,” she recalled.

Over three minutes behind, Pontypridd’s Rhodri Evans and Cardiff Harlequins’ Adam Smith did their best to keep Helen’s rear from disappearing over the grassy horizon. I imagine that she’d let her dogs out of the van by the time the second and third placers had reached the finish line.

As he handed out the prizes, John wondered whether this had been the first fell race won by a woman. We’d be interested to hear of any others.

Stretton Skyline Sun 12th September       Pics from Alastair      Results
Peris Horseshoe Sat 11th September       Pics from Alastair     Results
Machen Monday 30th August       Results Machen Website
Llanfest       Results      Pics from Alastair
Moel Famau Mon 30th August        Pics from Dave pinnington      Results
Cilcain Caper 30th August 2010        Results

We had our best ever turn out, with 38 runners. The beautiful weather helped encourage youngsters to enter. It was also pleasing to see a good spread of ages, boys and girls so everyone had plenty of competition. The routes took in much of the new senior route and so the children had a taste of what the adults had to contend with. The Emily and Iwuan Kearney and the Davis girls gave some great performances showing talent can run in families, each taking first prize in their categories. As ever, many thanks to all the marshals.

14-15 years 3.3km
12-13 years 2.75km
10-11 years 2.2km
8-9 years 1.35km
6-7 years .73km

Ras Beca Sat 28th August        Results
Y Cnicht Sun 29th August        Results     Pics from Alastair       Pics from Gwynfor
The Cnicht race, sponsored by Fifth Element in Porthmadog and DJ Fruit and Veg in Criccieth, took place from Croesor, near Porthmadog.

The weather was cool, showery and windy. Conditions were slippery underfoot. There was a good turnout as the race was a counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association North Wales Series. A minutes silence was held before the race in memory of Gareth Williams who was a regular participant in north west Wales mountain races.

Andrew Davies was first to the summit but was passed on the rough descent by Sam Smith. However, when the terrain improved Andrew was able to catch and pass Sam to win in a time of 36 minutes and 48 seconds. Birthday boy, Martin Cliffe (Eryri) won his first race in the over 40 category in 40.43. The ladies race was won by Jenny Heming of Eryri in 46.04.

Ragleth Inn Wednesday 25th August       Pics from Alastair
Tryfan Downhill Dash Posted on 24 August 2010 by Math Roberts       Pics by Alastair

The annual running of one of the most exhilirating of British fell races took place earlier this Tuesday evening - the Tryfan downhill dash, 1 kilometre with 680 metres of descent...... it's seen as the annual celebration of Mike Blake's astonishing 1990 record of 8 minutes - a time no one has got near to during the last years, also the ladies record of 13.41 set by Ali Thomas in the reincarnation year of 2008. This year was going to be slightly different though - 14 runners started on a very damp but clear evening and from the off two of Wales best rough courses descenders - last years champ Sam Smith and Welsh international Ifan Richards of Meirionnydd steam rollered downhill. At the base of the rocky scramble Richards led by some 10 seconds a gap he kept to the base of the scree, along the final grassy run in it seemed as if the Doctor was to overhaul Richards but not to be as Richards won by 2 seconds in an incredible ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................
8 minutes and 30 seconds, proof that in better conditions Blake's 1990 record will be beaten.
What was beaten though was Ali Thomas 2008 ladies record, Llanberis' Kat Spinney decimated the old record by 2 minutes 21 seconds to win the ladies in a superb 11 minutes 20 seconds.
All proceeds went to Ogwen MRT.

1. Ifan Richards 8.30
2. Sam Smith 8.32
3. Muir Morton 9.00
4. Emlyn Roberts 10.24
5. Martin Cliffe 11.06
6. Kat Spinney 11.20
7. Paul Williams 11.36
8. Mike Blake 12.49
9. Gary Porter-Jones 12.58
10. Matt Fortes 14.46
11. Jeremy Williams 15.20
12. John Joddrell 18.55
13. Jenny Williamson 20.15
14. Ellie Salisbury ????
Brecon Beacons Saturday 21st August       Results

Amazingly, 45 runners braved the British summer and got some lovely views of the inside of clouds and a free shower courtesy of lots of rain. Despite this there were some good times and only 1 minute 15 seconds separating the top 3, who stayed together for a lot of the race.

Some good battles down the field, including a sprint finish for the coveted “nearest 4 hrs” prize.

The marshalls were superb, putting up with some horrible conditions. Perhaps we will have some summer next year ?

Tom

Sugar Loaf Saturday 14th August       Results

A field of 84 runners turned up at Abergavenny Leisure Centre after a few years break from the Sugar Loaf fell race. A cloudy start to the day soon turned into patches of blue sky as the runners headed across the sports field and up the road on to the Deri. The start of the climb saw a few of the leader’s head the wrong way in the ferns, making Martin Shaw work harder for his race win. With a nice ridge run after the Deri then the sharp climb on the final ascent, Tom Gibbs (MDC) arrived at the trig first in 36min. He was shortly followed by Martin Shaw (Mynydd Du) then Hugh Aggleton (MDC). Martin now had a race on his hands due to his navigational error at the start of the run, he ran an excellent descent to re-claim his first place in a time of 53.03. Second place went to Tom in 53.57 and third to Hugh in 54.11. Neil Lewis (Mynydd Du) who has also been achieving some good results recently, finished in 4th place overall, first V40 in 56.23.

The ladies race was also exciting, with the first 2 beating the previous course record. Helen Marshal (Aberystwyth AC) had a strong run to the top and arrived at the trig in 15th place, 41min. She was closely followed to the summit by Jenny Hemming (Eryri) 42min. Jenny however had the edge on the descent and won with an impressive new course record of 60.10. Helen was 2nd with a time of 60.37. Joanne Thatcher (Aberystwyth AC) was first V40 in a time of 64.06 and third overall lady.

Thanks to all the Marshals and helpers, see you all next year.
Emma Bayliss

Ras Elidir Fawr Saturday 21st August       Results       Pics from Gwynfor       Pics from Alastair


Photo by Gwynfor James

Y Garn Saturday 14th August       Results

Weather conditions were mostly dry, cool and overcast. The race was won by Sam Smith of Eryri in a time of 29 minutes and 21 seconds. A group of 4 runners missed out checkpoint 2 at the bottom of the hill. Martin Cortvriend opted to return to CP2 to complete the course and consequently finished last in a time of 59.40!

The Junior race was the final counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association Snowdonia Junior Series. Award Winners as follows -
Male : U/18 1.Tecwyn Evans (Eryri), U/16 1. Morgan Evans (Menai), 2. Osian Williams (u/a) U/14 1. Gerwyn Roberts (u/a) U/12 1. Mael Evans (u/a) . Female : U/16 1. Nicola Berry (Stockport), U/14 1. Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri), U/12 1. Erin Roberts (Menai).

Guto Nyth Bran Results   South Wales Summer Hill Series Results after 5 Races
Run Snowdonia Thursday Night Runs

These runs are for free and have been advertised on the Eryri site but we thought we'd like to open them up in case any runners from outside Eryri or the immediate vicinity fancy attending. I was chatting to a guy recently from Colwyn Bay who was a fell runner but had never heard of the runs and is now a regular attender.

Cheers Iain Ridgway

Snowdon Uphill Trials Sunday 8th August     Pics from Alastair     Pics from Gwynfor    Results
The Fox Trot Sat 7th August    7 miles 1000ft    Results Pics from Alastair
45 runners took part (and all finished) in this new race from Newfield in Colwyn Bay (with kind permission from Rydal Penrhos School). The runners enjoyed a variety of terrain through the Pwllycrochan Woods, with a steady climb up the Nant-y-Glyn valley before turning round and heading back down over open farmland with views of Conwy, the Great Orme and Colwyn Bay.

First back was Neil Parry in a very impressive time of 49:31, making it two wins in 7 days for the on-form Clwydian Range Runner. Paul Rowley of Sale Harriers was second home in a time of 51:11. First in for the ladies was Andrea Rowlands (Eryri) in a time of 57:02 and the second lady home was Helen MacArthur from Colwyn Bay in a time of just over an hour.

Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a really good spread of tea and cakes. Thanks must go to all the marshals and helpers who did a fantastic job and to all those that made and donated cakes. Over £150 was raised for the cancer unit at Glan Clwyd hospital.

Thank you to everyone for coming along on Saturday and for supporting this new race and I look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Richard Watson

Llanthony Show   Sat 7th August    Results

Llanthony showgoers seemed amused by the record field of 40 seniors and five junior runners weaving their way through the horseboxes and the beer tent on the way out to the 1,000 ft climb of Hatterall Hill and the Offa's Dyke ridge.

A cool drizzle set in as local 20 year-old Max Murdoch led M40s James Wrench of Brecon and Neil Lewis of Mynydd Du through the damp bracken and on to the open mountain.

A few places behind another young local athlete Aly Rowell was holding off Lewes AC's F40 Maria Judd (who having been brought to the show by friends she was staying with for the weekend, decided that morning that she'd like a run on the Monmouthshire hills) and Griffithstown's comeback girl Emma Bayliss.

Meanwhile, halfway up the hillside the sound of the starter's pistol releasd the five juniors from their starting trap by the second ash tree. 14 year-old Charlie Sapwell (also staying with friends, and up from Kent in his case) and 13 year-old Sadie Melhuish from the Forest of Dean club led Beatrice, Jo and Indigo in the traditional chase to get back to the arena before being swallowed by the peloton. Only Charlie managed to stay away, but Sadie made the tete de la course work hard.

Tony on the loudspeaker kept the spectators informed of the race progress in between commentary on the gymkhana and the under 15-inch dog race (photo finish between a whippet and some sort of terrier it looked like), Coming down through the final fields Max was being rapidly overhauled by Neil, while Maria had also passed Aly on the descent.

Thanks are due to course markers and marshalls Lou Summers, Mark Harvey, Sue and Gerry Ashton, all provided free by Chepstow Harriers, and to our Llanthony Show hosts.

Dick Finch

Waun Fach Race - 31st July 2010         Results

It was an overcast day with a small chance of rain, but cool for July. The car park was full and registration busy. With little advertising the organisers (Sue & Gerry Ashton) expected some 30-40 runners, but 67 were there on the start line.

Waun Fach is the highest peak in the Black Mountains, and the race follows a natural line. At first you drop to the bottom of the valley, them is the major climb up to the summit via the ridge to the South West. All is runnable for those at the front, though naturally, as you drop through the field you see less and less running!

The run across to Pen y Manllwyn was good on the day - not too muddy and yet not too dry. From here is the favourite section, down the ridge over Y Grib, with clear instructions to stay on the top of the ridge all the way. The race has its sting in the tail with a steep grassy climb in full view of the finish team and all the runners better than you! We had a report of a great sprint up this from Matthew Stott - obviously not trying hard enough in the earlier sections?

Martin Shaw (Mynydd Du) took the honours, some 20 seconds ahead of Hugh Aggleton (MDC) and more than a minute clear of Paul Murrin (Chepstow). The course record of 44:21 looks quite tough. Hats off to Kevin Hagley who broke his wrist in an unlucky fall near the top of the descent but still managed 14th place - chasing the runner who offered to go and get help!

First lady was Helen Marshall (Aberystwyth AC) with a time of 64:15 followed by Angela Jones (MDC) at 65:50. Niki Morgan (Chepstow) was third with a time of 69:25.
Team prizes were awarded to Mynydd Du who just beat Chepstow in both categories.
Presentation took place in the garden of the Castle Inn with sunshine and general good cheer. Thanks to all the people that helped, and the Castle Inn for their warm welcome.
Sue & Gerry Ashton

Push up the Pincyn   Pics by Alastair     Results

From the outset this year, Neil Parry of Clwydian Range Runners was pitched against his regular sparring partner Jez Brown of Buckley. They were closely pursued by Martin Cliffe and Matt Ward, both of Eryri.
The long, steady drag out of Clocaenog to the foot of Pincyn Llys punished many from a run, to a jog, to a walk. The climb up the Pincyn punished Jez enough to cause a hamstring to pull. Neil Parry romped home to an impressive winning time of 45:14 narrowly missing last years winning time though on a slightly longer course. Probably the best result was that of Willem Van Prooijen who travelled from his home in The Hague, Holland to run up and down the Welsh hills of Denbighshire.
Sadly Claire Riley of Denbigh Harriers badly cut her leg but dashing heroes John Morris, Paul Oldfield, Graham McVey and Richard Davies came to her rescue.
Maggie Oliver wins again.

Neil Coppack

The Green Green Grass of Home Pics from Alastair    Long Race Results   Short Race Results

A race in two parts! Twenty three runners missed the last summit and thereby ran their own race with Jez Brown (Buckley) and Adam Perry (Pennine) deadheating on the fast downhill finish. Sarah Hammond of Tattenhall ran with this errant pack to finish first lady on the 'Short Course'.

Completing the full course as described Kean Rowlands of Clwydian Range Runners had a mighty smile on his face when he received first prize back at the Goldie. The improving Claire Riley of Denbigh Harriers ran a strong race to take the ladies prize. The forty four runners who raced the full 5 miles/1800' pleaded for this new route to be retained for next year. The organiser made his apologies to the assembled finishers, gave out two sets of prizes and promised more robust flagging for next year!!!

International Snowdon Race Pics from Alastair    Official Site and Results
Kymin Dash   Photos from John Richards
Pen y Fan Sat 17th July    Results

76 seniors and 11 juniors wanted beer and curly wurlies enough to make this a proper party of puffing and panting. Before the start Martin Shaw was looking lean and nippy, but Will Horsley also had a spring in his step, particularly when he found out Mark Palmer was away to run Holme Moss. The juniors mingle with the rest on the fast run out to the stile, then turn and hurtle back, dodging the trailing grown-ups. Louis Norton of Brecon AC won by 15 seconds, while Sadie Melhuish just beat Arunn Jones in a sprint finish for second, also setting a new girls record for the course. When the seniors appeared on the skyline, two runners were clear - Martin leading Will up the long haul to Corn Du, with a thin group a couple of hundred metres behind. By the summit, Martin had a lead of about 30 seconds, and from the finish we saw him taking his "most cunning" line off Pen y Fan, much further north than the direct descent taken by everyone else. For a while we thought Will might catch him, but Martin's line is obviously a good one, and he powered home in 34:05 with Will still half a minute behind. Paul Murrin certainly took the scenic route, and it was a full 5 minutes later that he crossed the line, holding onto 3rd place despite touring much of South Wales on the way down. Kevin Hagley ran a blistering descent as usual to finish 4th and 1st V40, but the fastest descender of the day was actually Stewart Bellamy, who pulled through from 18th at the summit to 7th at the end, taking 9:28 from top to bottom (note that KA's fastest was 7:05!). Helen Marshall pipped Alice Bedwell in the ladies race, and our prize fund for breaking the records remains unclaimed. As in 2009, MDC packed well to take the team prize.

Thanks to Mike Law on the summit, Tom Harrison at the Tommy Jones obelisk, Colin Cottell and David McCoy or Corn Du, Martin Wilkerson on the descent, Hartmut and Viviana at the stile, Ricky and Emma at registration and the finish, and to anyone else we've forgotten. And thanks to the sponsors Breconshire Brewery and St. Mary’s Bakery, the beer and food for all seemed to go down well!

More information

Crispin and Naomi

Crychan Forest Sun 11th July    Results

There was a good turnout for the first ever Fell Races run on the Crychan Forest Trails near Llandovery on 11th July. With support from members and friends of the Crychan Forest Association, together with Llandovery based staff from Forestry Commission Wales, races were provided for all ages, from 6 years old to 80. Plus cream teas at the finish!

In spite of the short notice, runners came from a wide area, including Exeter, Aberystwyth, Haverfordwest, plus a couple of passing tourists from Dolgellau! There was a particularly strong contingent from Lampeter based club Sarn Helen. The winners of the final event (8 miles/1600 feet), Peter Ryder and Helen Fines, have set challenging times for runners to aim at in future years. The winner of the short race (4.5 miles/900) was local farmer Huw Protheroe, encouraged by strong family support!

We hope to see a few more at next year's event - children welcome!

Fan y Big     Sat 17th July     Results     Pics from Alastair          More Information
Moel Siabod     Sat 17th July     Results    Pics from Pete Macmillen and more pics from Alastair and Peter Douglas are on www.prdouglas.co.uk and www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk respectively.


Tim Davies descending

Numbers were up by 50% this year as the race was a counter in the inov-8 / WFRA Open /Welsh Championships and North Wales Series. After a wet morning the rain cleared and it was dry with sunny intervals for the race. The summit was clear. There was no run through the river this year as the Carnival had moved to a different field. Tim Davies won in a time of 46.47. Tim has now won 3 out of the 4 races so far in the Open / Welsh Champs.

The Druid     14th July       Results

A top class field on a thundery night saw Adam Peers of Liverpool Harriers head off Math Roberts of Eryri by nearly two minutes. Good to see Wrecsam Tri's Gilbert back on the mountain in third place. Laura Bestow of West Cheshire confirmed her growing promise regarding fell running by finishing 21st overall, well ahead of Tattenhall's Sarah Hammond. Glenda Davies of Prestatyn has managed to stay injury free for some time and was in fine form for third. A record turnout for a swift but tough little race with solid packing from Tattenhall, Clwydian and Prestatyn..

Stiperstones Pics from Alastair       Results          Preseli Bluestone Fell Race Pics from Alastair
Run Rampage           is an exciting and brand new 10k extreme cross country - multi terrain event which is to be held on the SUN 16th of January 2011. The venue is the MOD's Bagshot army barracks on the D1 and D2 alpine sites, which are their vehicle testing tracks, and as the word alpine describes, expect some very, VERY steep hills! Our competitors will be challenged both physically and mentally as we know they wouldn't want it any other way! Uneven terrain, grade one and two hills, water, and thick muddy bogs you name it, at Run Rampage we have everything and we throw it at our competitors to test their skills to the extreme! This event is only for the filthy minded as our runners will be tested, get messy and love every tough minute of it, so because of this, entrance is only open to people aged 16+. For more information on Run Rampage please visit www.runrampage.com e.mail hello@runrampage.com or tweet us @runrampage.
TAL Y FAN         Saturday 10 July 2010         Pics from Alastair         Results

The forecast was for intermittent showers, fairing up later, which was fairly accurate, with some light showers and a reasonable breeze as the runners registered, it immediately improved to sunshine after whistles were simultaneously blown by the organisers' two small boys. Although hard under foot around the whole course, due to the lack of rain in recent weeks, the humidity resulted in a slower race than has been seen in the last couple of years.

        

James McQueen (Eryri) and Hugh O'Donnell (Ambleside) , closely tracked by Arwel Lewis (Eryri) and Tristan Gwilym (Caernarfon Rugby Club), led the field of 47 around the 8 mile course from the Rowen Carnival field, up over Tal y Fan (610m), towards Penmaenmawr and back again.

James (V40) led the way home, finishing in 1hr12-07, nearly 2.5 minutes ahead of Hugh (U40) (1:14:33) and 3.5 minutes ahead of Arwel (V50) (1:15:22).

Andrea Rowlands (Eryri) won the Ladies race for the third consecutive year in 1:23:51, and the V60 category was won by Don Williams in 1:27:56.

A big thank you to all of our marshals, especially Sharon on the registration/start & finish.

Helen and Doug Blair         Race Organisers

Callow    Pics from Alastair     Ricks Relays
Tuesday Night Series Final Race Llanberis Tuesday 29th June   Moel Eilio and Series Results
Ras Tyn-y-Groes June 26th 2010    Results     Pics from Alastair Tye     Marshall Jane's Slideshow

Ifan Richards of Brithdir dominated proceedings at last Saturday's Tyn-y-Groes Hill Race held in Ganllwyd, near Dolgellau, as he claimed a comfortable victory in a time of 15.57mins, knocking a remarkable 44 seconds off the previously held course record.

The new record was set in gloriously sunny conditions which greeted the field who had gathered to take on the 2.1 mile course which included a steep climb of around 700 feet. Having won the event in 2009, a repeat performance was very much on the cards from the in-form Meirionnydd Running Club athlete, what nobody could have predicted was the ease of victory as well as the amount taken off the previous course record.

Indeed, athletes from Meirionnydd Running Club dominated the event, claiming the first four overall finishers as well as victory in the female section of the race.

                     

Janet Preston of Dolgellau on her way to victory within the female category at the Tyn-y-Groes Hill Run held last Saturday.

The top four were completed by the Dolgellau based duo of Tom Roberts and Adam Preston in times of 17.41mins & 17.56mins with Tony Hodgson of Llanelltyd claiming an exellent fourth placed finish in a time of 20.09mins. It was to prove a successful day for the Preston household as Janet Preston claimed victory in the female section of the race in a time of 27.31mins.

There were also some excellent performances within the junior categories as Gerwyn Roberts of Ganllwyd won the junior male section in a time of 22.16mins with Cara Evans of Brithdir claiming success in the junior female category in a time of 35.01mins.

Other performances of note at the event came from the Meirionnydd duo of Graeme Stringer & Ricky Francis as the Llanelltyd based athlete led home the Talyllyn based athlete in respective times of 20.33mins & 21.17mins. Also counting for Meirionnydd on the day were Brithdir-based Kevin Evans, home in a time of 23.04mins & John Smith of Dolgellau, completing the course in a time of 24.02mins.

Bro Dysynni A.C. were also represented on the day by a quartet of competitors amongst whom were Richard Griffiths of Tywyn & Alan Jones of Bryncrug, home in times of 24.21mins & 25.01mins. Other locally affiliated athletes in action on the day were the Meirionnydd duo of Danny Evans of Brithdir and Barrie Jackson of Bala home in respective times of 30.30mins & 31.04mins with a beaming Andy Unwin of Harlech following, the Bro Dysynni stalwart home in 37.43mins, with club-mate Sheila Symonds of Dolgellau producing another fine performance as she crossed the line in a time of 49.57mins

As has become the tradition with the Tyn-y-Groes event, all entry fee monies collected on the day (a total of £91) will be passed on to the Ukraine Humanitarian Aid charity.

Hotfoot up Famau Wednesday 23rd June         Results

Great turn out from local clubs plus a happy bunch of Pensby Runners from up the Wirral supporting this popular race. On a slightly cooler evening than of late, Jez Brown was chased hard by Neil Parry but held him off to win with Peter Taylor coming in third. Laura Bestow of West Cheshire benefitted from altitude training to win the ladies race in a fast time choosing a giant water pistol as her prize. Jane Ashbrook and Sandra Rowlands completed the ladies top three. The promising junior runner Karl Steinegger of Ambleside took a top ten position and a case of beer. Thanks to all the marshalls and Peter Douglas for a fine set of photos capturing the spirit of the event perfectly.

Three Hills    Pics from Gwynfor James    Pontesbury    Pics from Alastair
Moel Hebog Saturday 19th June    Pics from Alastair       Results


Ifan Richards on summit of Moel Hebog

Ideal conditions this year - dry, sunny, not too hot, summit clear. Ifan Richards of Meirionnydd led from the start to win in a time of 49 minutes and 17 seconds. Thanks to 'Gelert' who donated the prizes and to 'Glaslyn Ices' who gave free ice creams to all runners and helpers.

Trail Race up the Beast    Tuesday 15th June     Results        Pics from Peter Douglas
Rodneys Pillar        Pics from Alastair
New Event

CRYCHAN FOREST FELL RACES (near Llandovery)
SUNDAY 11th JULY 2010
8m/1600ft, over 18, 2 15pm, £5
4½m/900ft, over 16, 2pm, £4
Junior races if enough interest (from 1pm)
From Cefn Farm Entrance (GR SN 813387), signposted off the A483
AMPLE PARKING AND SOME REFRESHMENTS
PROCEEDS TO MOUNTAIN RESCUE
John Sweeting: 01550 721086, email: john@wfra.org.uk
www.wfra.org.uk or www.crychanforest.org.uk

Foel Fras Saturday 12th June     Results    Pics from Alastair

        
Matthew Roberts winner at Foel Fras pictured on summit.

There was a good turnout as the race was a counter in the inov-8 WFRA Open / Welsh Championships and WFRA North Wales Series. Weather conditions were dry, overcast with occasional sunny interval.
Cloud level was around the summits.
The race was won by Matthew Roberts of Eryri in a time of 1 hour 39 minutes and 51 seconds, more than 10 minutes ahead of the next runner! The ladies race was won by Sarah Ridgway of Eryri in 1.54.58, nearly 8 minutes inside the old record!

Y Garn     Photos from Gwynfor James     Results
Welsh 1000 metre Peaks       Pics from Alastair       Results
Abergwyngregyn      Pics from Gwynfor James     Pics from Alastair     Results
Mynydd Myfyr       Pics from Alastair       Batch Bash       Welsh 1000 metre Peaks
Ras y Gadair       Local Report by Andy Unwin       Pics by Gwynfor James        Pics by Alastair Tye     Results

Inclement weather conditions did little to deter the enthusiasm of more than 300 athletes, both young and old, who descended upon Dolgellau last Saturday to take part in the various races which constituted the 20th running of the Royal Ship Hotel sponsored Ras Y Gader.

The majority of the competitors had gathered to take part in the 10.5 mile Ras Y Gader, leaving Eldon Square to climb the 2,927 feet to the peak of Cader Idris before the descent back into Dolgellau. Having finished in 2nd place at the 2008 event, Andrew Davies (Maldwyn Harriers) went one better in 2010 as he led home the 214 finishers, completing the course in a victorious time of 1hr 28.29mins. There was much popular acclaim for the next finisher, as Ifan Richards of Brithdir claimed runners up spot, leading home the 14 strong Meirionnydd Running Club contingent taking part in the race, in a time of 1hr 31.09mins, an amazing 15 minutes quicker than his finishing time of 2009. There were also loud cheers in Eldon Square as Dolgellau resident, Tom Roberts, was the second Meirionnydd finisher, claiming an overall 15th placed finish in a time of 1hr 40.42mins. The first female finisher followed as Helen Fines (Vegan Runners) followed up her runners up spot in the ladies race in 2009 by claiming victory in 2010 in a time of 1hr 42.18mins. Four further Meirionnydd Running Club athletes then followed as Adam Preston of Dolgellau came home in 1hr 43.30mins, Dave Whittey of Llanelltyd in 1hr 49.49mins, Tony Hodgson, also of Llanelltyd, having the added bonus of victory in the Male Over-60 category, in a time of 1hr 52.02mins whilst Ricky Francis of Dolgellau came home in 2hrs 01.26mins.

Picture - Tony Hodgson of Llanelltyd on his way to victory in the Male Over-60 section at Ras Y Gader
Photo by Peter Douglas

Swapping his rugby boots for fell running shoes for the occasion was Cedri Williams of Dolgellau Rugby Club & Llanbedr, home in 2hrs 02.27mins before a further 3 Meirionnydd finishers crossed the line, namely Pete Nicholls of Llanfachreth in 2hrs 11.09mins and the Dolgellau-based duo of Juliet Edwards and John Smith, home in respective times of 2hrs 13.39mins & 2hrs 16.48mins. The Tywyn-based Bro Dysynni AC father and son partnership of Richard & Gavin Griffiths followed in times of 2hrs 18.52mins & 2hrs 27.05mins, the pair being split by Meirionnydd athlete Kevin Evans of Brithdir, home in 2hrs 26.15mins. The locally affiliated contingent in action were completed by a further quartet of Meirionnydd athletes as Alison Price of Fairbourne crossed the finishing line in 2hrs 27.20mins with the Dolgellau-based trio of Gaenor Smith, Kevin Owen & Christine Owen completing the tough event in times of 2hrs 42.31mins, 2hrs 46.21mins & 3hrs 16.06mins.

There was also local success in the various 'Y Sospan' sponsored junior races held on the day. In the Junior Fun Run, the 1st boy home was Carwyn Lloyd Davies of Trawsfynydd and 1st girl home was Llio Roberts of Rhosygwalia. There was success for Mael Evans of Bala & Kate Bailey in the Under-12's race whilst promising Dolgellau youngster, Alex Lanz, claimed a comfortable victory in the Male Under-16's section.

Picture - Tom Roberts of Dolgellau, '1st local' finisher at Ras Y Gader Photo by Peter Douglas



Picture - Ifan Richards of Brithdir, runner-up at the 2010 Ras Y Cader

Cader Idris Race Report. Ras y Gadair 2010         Adair Broughton

What is it? Cader Idris Race is essentially, 10.5 miles up and down Cader Idris in the South of the awe-inspiring Snowdonia National Park at the head of the Mawddach estuary that starts and finishes in Dolgellau

I’d heard a lot about this race and decided it was time to mark it down on the calendar. After morning birdsong and rain tapping lightly on the skylight to nudge me out of bed, just for an instant my enthusiasm had waned. Just one week before setting off to the Lletty with the bluest of skies and thinking there is something about the sun that makes you feel alive, Instead it was a quick dash into the car for cover as the dull grey miasma above created an atmosphere of dark intent.

A few miles in, heading over the welsh border, Simon and Garfunkel on the radio (not realising how apt it might be later “Slow down you move to fast…..Just kicking down the cobble stones” and the excitement begins to swell like a summer tide. Picturesque Bala glimmers to the left, so is there to be a brief respite from the rain?

Only the lightest of rain offering the softest of touch welcomed me into Dolgellau, and a quick look around like all good fellrunners to find the cheapest car park and I had my spot. Already there were many smiling faces and stretching limbs, yawns awakening the body from car long journeys, people heading to race registration in Dolgellau, some walking, some jogging. Those familiar faces from other races that acknowledge you with a little nod or a cheeky grin.

With a race start in the charming Dolgellau complete with band and a good crowd this is definitely a moment and a race to savour. The deep beat of drums (from a band also splendidly dressed) somehow infuses the body with an energy of tribal spirit, and then you realise the rain has stopped and a good chance they’ll let us run the complete route to the top.

Lining up at the start, single file, in preparation of the invaluable kit check, the sun breaking through the clouds, the promise of some warmth at last, well it wasn’t to last long but the air was fresh and like the start of all races, that rainbow of vests, serious faces mixed with the chatter and banter of friends, last minute stretching, looking at watches, waving to more sensible members of the family on the sidelines with cup of tea in hand and they wave back with incredulous belief that people they love and members of their family find enjoyment in doing this! Well I’d driven on my own but I like to share the moment!

It is to a different beat that we start the race, the pounding of fell shoes heading up the steep metalled Cader road, lungs already being tested for the roughly 2.5km run to Gelliwyd Fawr the first marshalled checkpoint. People clapping at various points, already cheering, the body now finding that familiar rhythm that desires to go faster than is sensible, knowing how long is left of the race.

We are now off the road, ducking and diving, trying to miss the lower branches of trees, but still watching for tree roots, a feeling that the race has really started, the heels of the person in front, the breath of the person behind. The route then reaches the rear of Gwernan Lake, opening out from the trees and the feeling of light and freshness and nature and significance and insignificance. This is why I run. But that perfect moment was lost to the sound of a misplaced foot into a muddy puddle and someone with a deft manoeuvre overtaking through scrub.

Ty Nant another marshalled checkpoint arrives and some offering of water much needed even though the sky had been offering it all day. The first photographers already in prime position catching us at our best!

Runners are directed to the Pony path, which, maybe I shouldn’t say this word, is the ‘easiest’ but the longest of the main trails. Its length from the mountain base is 5km with 2000ft of climb.

At some point it had started raining and then a few minutes later all you could see ahead were phantoms of people, grey ghosts, apparitions getting steadily further away. It was certainly testing conditions, especially as it felt the ears were filling up with water from the horizontal rain (was it amost hail?) and to think earlier I had the silly notion that I’d gone off too fast. My legs were arguing differently.

It was slippy and the recommended choice of a shoe with grip for the slabs and scree was welcomed. There were little lines and off runs to take to save valuable seconds and bit by bit as more ascent was made the scenery disappeared.

The first two ladies were having what appeared to be a close battle to the top, Helen Fines leading Phoebe Webster by maybe 20 metres or so.

Cadair Idris is composed largely of Ordovician igneous rocks (I know this from geological research undertaken at the University of Google - I spent the best three minutes of my life there) is quite a technical route once you are high up. The top is covered in scree so choosing a good line and even better foot choice is essential. Yet this race is runnable albeit if you are very careful or can disengage the brain.

Somehow I’d made it to the top. It’s not every day a summit actually has your name on it. Penygadair, or if translated Top of the Chair. Well I do like a good sit down. And if conditions had been a little better I think I would have done.

Credit and thanks really does have to be given to the marshals on a day that could easily have sported the decision of a lesser route. It was wet, windy and they still offered encouragement to red-faced fell runners who could only manage the merest of grunts in thanks.

According to the other web expert Wikipedia (Where do Mr or Mrs Wiki find the time?) there are numerous legends about Cadair Idris, one of them being ‘anyone who sleeps on its slopes alone, will supposedly awaken either a madman or a poet’. Well I guess a 50 per cent chance isn’t so bad, and I didn’t have a chair, was definitely not in the mood for sleeping, and have no desire to tell limericks for the rest of my life, so if bards would sleep on the mountain in hope of inspiration what could fellrunners do instead?

Run down it as fast as possible I guess? Which is exactly what people did and it appeared some of the front-runners were risking the ridiculous to achieve the sublime.

Long strides, muscles taut, and arms out offering balance. I am always impressed by what speeds people can achieve downhill so I guess Ifan Richards ran superbly downhill as I noticed him 5th coming down from the top but he ended finishing the race in 2nd! Andrew Davies who won the race overall looked comfortable but I bet it takes an incredulous amount of training and effort top achieve that look I’m sure! Helen Fines overall ladies winner surely had a good run down to finish 18th overall.

And even coming down people going up were still offering words of encouragement to the runners, Becki Law 5th lady overall still commanding a smile even in those severe conditions. How does she do it?

When you look back on something you realise it’s fun but at the time? I’m sure that’s how the other 214 competitors felt running down Cader that day, because you have been in cloud, you have put your body through a rigorous trial, you have tested muscles and mind and then you have to hit the road heading back to Dolgellau after a hard descent but your legs want to refuse any notion of speed for the last section of the race. And so it is only with the knowledge of a cup of tea and cake that through gritted teeth you can push your body just that little bit further.

And then you can hear people clapping and cheering and see the unique Dolgellau town centre and find yourself immersed in very welcoming and generous applause to the finish line. What a race!

How better to summarise than some more of the words from Simon and Garfunkel that had seemed so apt for the day “I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep….Life, I love you. All is groovy”

Lletty Fell Race      Pics from Alastair

Hard going on a hot, humid day. Quite a number of DNF’s with some big names retiring. Having held this race in August last year on a hot and humid day we decided to move it to an earlier date for some fresher spring weather. No such luck and the NEWSAR mountain rescue team were thankfully stationed on the course and at the finish on to deal with several participants who had succumbed to the heat. The fact that this was an Intercounties championship race made the organisation somewhat more complex. A record number of counties entered and many travelled quite a distance – the strong Scottish presence was particularly evident. In addition there was an interesting bonus for the frontrunners since this race had been nominated as the first event in the newly created McCain’s Mountain Challenge with prize money up for grabs.


Winner of Lletty race - Martin Cox

On the day, Martin Cox representing Leicestershire, led Simon Bailey home by well over a minute, both runners seemingly coping very well with the high temperatures. Not much further down the field there was mayhem with some big names falling by the wayside and others uncharacteristically further back than perhaps they should have been. Despite the loss of one of their runners early on Yorkshire’s remaining three counters packed well in 2nd, 4th and 5th to take the Intercounties team title convincingly. Victoria Wilkinson charged home to lead Yorkshire to the ladies title. Interestingly most of the ladies seemed to cope much better than the men with the heat. Much thanks to all the helpers, marshals, Army cadets, farmer and his wife and everyone else who contributed to the event’s success.

Moel Eilio     Pics from Gwynfor James     Sarn Helen pics from Alastair
CRIBYN 2010    Results     Pics from Alastair    

The second race in the Inov8/WFRA Welsh Open Championships was the Cribyn Fell Race, on May 15th. Although a short race at 5.5m, with 3100 feet of ascent, it's a tough one. The sun came out and a quality field of 97 runners started the race.

Tim and Andrew Davies finished 1st and 2nd respectively for Mercia, depriving last years winner, Shaun Godsman (Calder Valley) of a double. They were closely followed by a group of Welsh runners from North and South, with local Mynydd Du runner Crispin Flower coming home first MV40.

WFRA secretary Ross Powell won the MV50 category, with first MV60 Don Williams just a few minutes behind, sporting bandages from the previous week's Carneddau race. Pete Norman from Wrexham won the MV70 category.

The women's race was close, with Jenny Heming (Eryri) sealing a good win from Phoebe Webster (Aberystwyth). Helen Marshall, also Aberystwyth, was 3rd. Clwydian runner Sandra Rowlands came home first FV40, and Gill Stott took home the FV50 prize for another local club MDC.

Thanks to everyone who helped on the day, and everyone who travelled down to race. Greyhound Rescue West of England will be getting a useful donation from the race entries.

Finally, special award for World Class numptiness goes to the anonymous caller who followed his satnav to my home address instead of the race venue. Not sure at what point he realised there are no fells in Gloucester !

Next race in the Inov8/WFRA Welsh Open Championship series is Foel Fras (long) on June 12th.

Helen

Great Arrete Mid Week Series     Results to Moel y Gest
Caradoc Classic    Pics from Alastair     Results
Sinclair Steel Carneddau Race Saturday 8th May Pics from Alastair     Junior Race Pics from Gwynfor     Results

The weather was dry, overcast and the summits were clear (but there was a cold North Easterly wind). After the long dry spell conditions were good underfoot resulting in fast times. The race was dominated by Dark Peak Fell Runners who took the first 4 places. First home was Es Tresidder in a time of 1 hour 36 minutes and 15 seconds, more than 5 minutes inside the old record! The ladies race was won by Andrea Rowlands of Eryri also in a new record time of 1.57.01. Despite falling and breaking a tooth Don Williams (Eryri) still went on to win the over 60 category. Alwyn Oliver took a tumble descending off Yr Elen and was unable to continue. Thanks to the runners, marshals and Ogwen Mountain Rescue who went to his assistance. Alwyn had stitches to a leg wound and was released the same evening. Apologies for the delayed Prizegiving. Those who missed out will have a second opportunity at Moel y Gest on Tuesday. Thanks to Dewi Sinclair, Team Dolly, George Inn and everyone who helped on the day. Ross

The second race in the inov-8 WFRA Open/Welsh Championships takes place at Cribyn in south Wales next Saturday 15th May. Pairs of Fell shoes will be awarded to the first 3 in most age categories as long as the runner completes a minimum of 4 races including one at each distance. Why not combine the race with a recce of the Black Mountains route on the Sunday?

Childrens 21st Fell Races     Pictures    The next Clwydian fell run was cancelled.
Red Kite Challenge     Pics from Alastair     Results     Ras y Diafol
Pen Dinas 27th April     Pics from Alastair    Photos from Gwynfor James
Llantysilio Mountain Race Saturday 24th April    Results

There was a good turnout for this WFRA North Wales Series race. Weather conditions were warm, dry and sunny.

Ras Mynydd Swtan    Pics from Pete MacMillen

A beach start for the third Mynydd Swtan race. Cool conditions with cloud at the summit - unusual for the Ynys Mon hills ! As one of the runners commented " It's a short blast of a race ". Craig and Paul were neck and neck all the way until Craig finally pulled away on the descent. Morgan Evans had a superb run to finish third (1st Junior) and Sarah Livett was first female in a time which will take some beating , as will Tony Hulme's brilliant Vet 60 time.
Many thanks to all the marshalls/helpers , Cyfeillion Swtan for refreshments and help and to the farmers/National Trust for permission.

1.   Craig Jones   Eryri   15.00   V40
2.   Paul Jenkinson   Eryri   15.16   V40
3.   Morgan Evans   Menai   16.08   Jnr
4.   Steven Farrar   Cybi   16.24   V40
5.   Gareth Williams   Cybi   16.25
6.   Tony Hulme   Wilmslow   16.27   V60
7.   Sarah Livett   Menai   16.38  
8.   Louise Emery   Eryri   17.23   
9.   Philip Pilbeam   Cybi   17.30
10. Jamie Smith   U/A   17.59   Jnr
11. Dan Williams   Eryri   18.04
12. Bronwen Jenkinson   Eryri   18.51   Jnr
13. Ian Rothery   Cybi   18.52   V50
14. Dei Williams   Cybi   19.02   V40
15. Alexandra Fletcher   Eryri   20.04
16. Alwyn Williams   Eryri   20.31   
17. Alan Kennet   U/A   25.29   V60
 
Steve Pilbeam.
Wrekin Streak     Pics from Alastair     Llantisilio Mountain Race Pics from Alastair     Results
Mynydd Mawr     Pics from Gwynfor James
Mynydd Troed    Results     Pics from Alastair

Chepstow Dominate Hot Troed

Chepstow Harriers, whose Club Championship it was, provided 37% of the field, but their leading man Paul Murrin couldn’t stop Mynydd Du’s Martin Shaw from repeating last year’s victory.

A very warm Spring day with a slight but refreshing breeze may have accounted for the slower leading times: that of Martin, 63.32, was a full seven minutes short of his record, while leading woman Helen Fines, at 74.47, was also four minutes behind her record.

First M40 Crispin Flower was well placed in 3rd, just two places above first M50 Pete Gardner. Les Williams, leading M60, was also well positioned in the top half.

The experienced women also placed well: Sharon Woods taking 2nd and Chepstow’s Vaness Lawson and Niki Morgan in 4th and 5th.

The category winners kindly donated their prize money to their chosen charities with the result that the Wyeside Arts Institute in Builth Wells and Greyhound Rescue West Of England will share the total entry fees of £171.

The race ‘organiser’ is very grateful to the magnificent support team – Louise & Carys Blackmore, Kay & Martin Lucas, Hanneke van der Werf, Ian Wade, Gareth Jones - who relieved him of all responsibilities and allowed him to run, in a feeble attempt to score some Chepstow Club points…

Ras Y Moelwyn Saturday 7th April Pics by Alastair Tye      and two from Gwynfor below     Junior Results      Senior Results

  

Conditions were glorious this year being sunny dry and warm.
The race was won by Richard Roberts of Eryri in a time of 1 hour 19 minutes and 20 seconds. Ifan Richards of Meirionnydd was 2nd in 1.26.58 and Martin Cliffe of Eryri 3rd in 1.27.45. Other category winners - Over 40 Roger Lamb (Mercia) 1.31.50, Over 50 Arwel Lewis (Eryri) 1.32.39, Over 60 Don Williams (Eryri) 1.44.56.
First home in the ladies race was Andrea Rowlands of Eryri in a time of 1.38.05. Rebecca Law (Eryri) was 2nd in 1.45.18 and Joanne Moore (u/a) was 3rd in 1.47.30. The over 60 category was won by Maggie Oliver (Eryri) in 2.19.20.
The Junior races were the first counter in the WFRA Snowdonia Junior Series.
Full results not yet available but the winners as follows -
Under 18 : 1st Tecwyn Evans (Eryri) 35.00, 2nd Tom Thomas (Calder Valley) 38.00

Under 16 : 1st Megan Withers (Pembrokeshire) 23.58, 2nd George Oliver (Deeside) 24.38, 3rd Megan Turner (Aberystwyth) 24.40

Under 14 : 1st Gerwyn Roberts, 2nd Aaron Roberts, 3rd Osian Williams

Under 12 : 1st Mael W Evans 18.40, 2nd Aaron Huw Jones 19.00, 3rd Aron Roberts 21.58

The next race in the Snowdonia Junior Series will be the Carneddau race on Saturday 8th May. Junior course will be 2 miles long with 360 feet of ascent. Start time 12.30pm approx. Enter on day only before 11.45am (£1). Registration at George Inn, Bethesda (GR 625 672). Further info on website (www.wfra.org.uk) or contact Series Coordinator Ross Powell (tel 01286 881491 or e mail ross@wfra.org.uk).

South Wales Winter Hill Series 2009-2010 Final Result     and Report
Llanbedr-Blaenafon Sat 10th April    Results     Pictures     Pics from Alastair
         Corndon 3 Peaks Classic Monday 5th April          Pics from Alastair      Results

First race in the inov-8 WFRA Open / Welsh Championships. Also a counter in the WFRA North and South Wales Series.

A quality field of 96 boys & girls came out to play for the Bank Holiday WFRA Triple counter round at the Corndon Classic. A warm welcome was extended at the Miners Arms (and a cracking pint.) on a perfect afternoon for a bimble over 3 lovely hills. Tim Davies was first home in a new record time, with Anna Bartlett taking the ladies honours. My sincere thanks to all who supported the first champs round ever in this area, and all at the club, pub and marshalls who helped me out on the day.These things would not happen without you all.     Paul Beeson.

Wrekin Fell Race         Pics from Alastair         Results
Llangynhafal Loop 27th March                  Pics from Alastair         Results

Borrowdale runner Morgan Donnelly escaped from the Lake District to knock over a minute off Tim Davies' record to win from Anthony Smith and Martin Cliffe.
A great run from Warrington AC junior Rachel Jefferson gave her the ladies title and a fine run from junior James Ellis, also of Warrington AC, brought him home in 8th place overall.
More runners than expected and we ran out of entry forms and numbers but managed to improvise. Prize giving back at the pub was the usual fun with Rhian Pierce nabbing the gooseberry bush as her prize before I'd even taken it out of the car boot!,
John Morris won the garden gnome but then tried unsuccessfully to swap it with several other prizewinners.

Thanks to all the marshalls and helpers and to Al Tye and Pete Douglas for taking their usual batch of excellent photos.
Martin

Ras yr Aran        Saturday 20th March          Pics from Alastair        Results

The race was the final counter in the Meirionnydd Winter Series and the first counter in the 2010 WFRA North Wales Series. The weather conditions were damp, low cloud and rain at times. There were snowdrifts to contend with on the summit which made the times slower than normal. The overall winners of the Aran Organic Lamb Meirionnydd Winter Series were Ifan Richards of Meirionnydd and Jenny Heming of Eryri.

The 2010 inov-8 WFRA Open / Welsh Championships commence on Easter Monday 5th April with the Corndon race near Welshpool.

Run Round Rhes Y Cae First of a Series of 3 Children’s fell runs for 6-17 year olds      Details       Report       Results
Moel Wnion         Pics from Alastair        Results
Carding Mill Canter         Pics by Alastair      Results
Pipe Dream        Results        Pics by John Richards

Fifty-one athletes from various clubs across North Wales and beyond lined up for the 6th annual running of the Pipe Dream Fellrace at Dolgarrog. With clear skies, cool air and firm ground, the conditions were as good as perfect, although at a distance of 5 miles and 1700 feet of ascent and descent covering rough and technical terrain, this is a tough hill run for anyone.

Coming off the back of an excellent win at Moel Y Ci a fortnight earlier, Menai Track & Field runner Tim Lloyd showed his strong current form by forging a clear lead from the rest of the field as they climbed the first mile beside the large water pipes rising steeply from the village.

Despite a strong run by second placed Matthew Fortes of Eryri Harriers, he led throughout the race to take the win in 37 minutes and 25 seconds. Neal Hockley followed up a minute later in third slot. Being over 40years, Lloyd was also the veteran winner, comfortably beating vet clubmates Craig Jones and Paul Jenkinson, finishing 4th and 5th overall respectively.

The ladies’ turnout was low this year, but that didn’t stop a solid performance from previous three times race winner Andrea Rowlands of Eryri in 41.19. However the result wasn’t exactly guaranteed as she was beaten to the summit by Eryri newcomer Tammy Lewis-Jones, who despite many years experience as a runner, was taking part in her first fellrace. The downhill experience of Andrea shone through as she overtook and opened up almost a minute gap by the end.

Eryri’s Ellie Salisbury followed up in third, also taking the 1st veteran slot, with Melanie Williams of the Mysteruns of Abergele in 2nd.

Other results - Vet 50, Arwel Lewis, Eryri, way out in front of second V50 Ross Powell. Barrie Wells of NWRRC in third.
Vet 60 – Don Williams, Mike Blake, Francis Uhlman.
Ron Hird the only Vet 70 showed he can still tackle a tough course and finish strong.

The race was sponsored by RWEnpower at Dolgarrog Power Station. All proceeds from the race to go to the Dolgarrog Community Centre.

1.	37.25	Tim Lloyd		Menai Track & field
2.	37.41	Matthew Fortes	Eryri
3.	38.24	Neal Hockley		WFRA

Vet 40
1.	37.25	Tim Lloyd		Menai Track & Field
2.	38.53	Craig Jones		Eryri
3.	38.56	Paul Jenkinson	Eryri


Vet 50
1.	39.42	Arwel Lewis		Eryri
2.	45.19	Ross Powell		WFRA
3.	45.43	Barrie Wells		NWRRC

Vet 60
1.	43.27	Don Williams		Eryri
2.	45.25	Mike Blake		Eryri
3.	54.44	Francis Uhlman	WFRA


Ladies

1.	41.19	Andrea Rowlands	Eryri
2.	42.10	Tammy Lewis-Jones	Eryri
3.	49.29	Ellie Salisbury		Eryri

Vet 40
1.	49.29	Ellie Salisbury		Eryri
2.	58.55	Melanie Williams	Mysteruns

Longtown Fell Race        Results       Pics from John Richards
Ras Moel y Ci      Results      Pics from Alastair Gwynfor and Pete Mac     Tregarth, Gwynedd      BS / 5m / 950ft 20.02.2010

While deep, fresh snow and bright sunshine make for a fantastic hill run, they cast fear into the heart of the race organizer ! Sure enough, lots of early phone calls to ask if the race is still on – it was. On the way to the venue at 08.30am there was a Police road closure blocking all those coming in from Llanberis; fortunately opened again soon enough. Sun, snow and the reputation of post-race soup and cakes brought 101 runners to the Moelyci Environmental Centre this year. Congratulations to Richard Roberts of Eryri, taking his second win on this course in 36.50, and to Anna Bartlett of Shrewsbury leading the women round in 46.14 at 20th overall. Matthew Fortes (u/a) was 2nd in 42.39 and Steve Jones of Eryri cruised round into 3rd place and 1st MV50 in 42.53. David Carson of Shropshire Shufflers was 1st MV40 and 5th in 43.24, Don Williams of Eryri 1st MV60 at 31st in 48.35, and of the two MV70s Ron Hird was first back in 1.09.45. Annie Williams of Eryri repeated last year’s form at 1st FV40 in 51.44 with Maggie Oliver of Eryri again 1st FV60 in 1.04.57.

The junior race winner was Bronwen Jenkinson of Eryri in 11.53 with Leo Dearden of Achille Ratti first boy at 2nd overall in 12.25.

Many thanks go to the Centre staff, marshals, ‘Team Dolly’ radio network, the registration and finish team and prize donators. Projects at the Moelyci Environmental Centre focus on sustainability, local produce and local crafts. The soup and cakes were from organic local suppliers accompanied by Fair Trade tea and coffee.

Quantocks Results
South Wales Winter Hill Series Results are now online
Blaenbran Blast       Gills Gallery      Results
Rhayader Rant      Sat 14th February      Results       Pics from Alastair

Just 23 lucky ruuners enjoyed a wonderfully sunny, clear day to help launch this new,scenic and totally runable fell. Maldwyn & Mercias Tim Davies took honours on the day and for this new series, with Abers' Pheobe Webster in top place for the ladies. All seemed happy with the course and all went well from my point of view. Many thanks to all at Rhayader for staging this new fixture.
                    The futures bright, the futures steep and muddy        Paul Beeson.

Ras Tarren Hendre      and local report        Results
Kevin Jones of Dolgellau on his way to a 9th placed finish at the Tarren Hendre event.       pic by Alastair Tye

Pics from Alastair

The freezing weather conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm of the athletes who gathered in Abergynolwyn last Saturday lunchtime to take on the challenge of the Tarren Hendre Fell Race, a 6 mile event which included a tough 2,000 feet of climbing.

With athletes having travelled from as far as Lancashire and the Midlands to take part in the event, it was left to athletes from within the Principality to dominate, with Eryri Harriers having five athletes placed in the final top 10, with local club, Meirionnydd R.C. having four.

It was left to athletes from Eryri Harriers to claim the respective race winners as Iwan Morton won the male event in a time of 51.55mins with team-mate, Andrea Rowlands, claiming victory in the female section in a time of 1hr 00.56mins.

The large Meirionnydd R.C. contingent were led home by the consistent Ifan Richards of Brithdir, settling for runners up spot on this occasion in a time of 53.46mins. Three Dolgellau based athletes affiliated to Meirionnydd also claimed Top 10 finishes, namely Tomos Roberts, 4th in a time of 55.52mins, Adam Preston, 5th in a time of 56.11mins & Kevin Jones, 9th in a time 57.49mins. Mark Atherton of Llan Ffestiniog was the 5th Meirionnydd finisher in a time of 59.24mins before the Bro Dysynni duo of Dylan & Tom Jones of Aberdyfi followed, Dylan winning the family battle as they finished in respective times of 1.00.08mins & 1hr 02.10mins. Llanelltyd-based athlete, Tony Hodgson was next home, the Meirionnydd R.C. stalwart stepping up his preparations for the London Marathon as he claimed victory in the Male Over-60 category in a time of 1hr 04.34mins.

The 1st of the locally affiliated female athletes followed as Juliet Edwards of Dolgellau crossed the line in a time of 1hr 13.05mins, marginally ahead of John Marsh of Tywyn, the Tarren Hendre athlete utilising local knowledge to finish in a time of 1hr 13.37mins. It was then left to 5 further athletes affiliated to Meirionnydd R.C. to complete the local contingent, Amanda Wilde finishing in 1hr 16.54mins, Alison Price of Fairbourne in 1hr 20.18mins, Nich Bradley of Dolgellau in 1hr 21.10mins, Janet Preston, also of Dolgellau, in 1hr 24.07mins and Ricky Francis in a time of 1hr 28.47mins.

With the race being supported by Forestry Commission (Wales), it was left to their representative on the day, Graeme Stringer (Recreation Ranger) to state 'It is very pleasing to see this event attract an ever growing number of local athletes, as well as a contingent who are willing to travel from much further afield to take part in an event which is now firmly established within the North Wales fell running calendar.'

As ever the race organisers also expressed their gratitude to the Railway Inn in Abergynolwyn for their ongoing support in the event as well as to the large number of volunteers who assisted in raceday running as smoothly as ever.

Titterstone Clee                         Pics from Alastair         Long Mynd Valleys        Pics from Alastair
The Kymin        Results        Report        Race Flyer
Garth Uphill race 16th January 2010         1.5 miles/915 ft uphill only         Results

‘Fell races may go down as well as up’ says the entry form for one of the other Winter League races. Well not this one. No way. Up, up and up again from the foaming waters of the glorious Taff to the summit of Cardiff’s only mountain. Flat out effort and heavy breathing all the way but all over in a shorter time than it takes to write this report and the rest of the afternoon in the pub to discuss wild schemes for the summer. What’s not to like?

Despite minimal publicity for the first running of the race 41 runners nevertheless parked their sanity in Gwaelod y garth and lined up on the footbridge over the Taff. I dismissed the fleeting thought that this was probably the heaviest load the bridge had supported in the last hundred years.

Whilst the upper part of the course was entirely under snow 24 hours before the start, a rapid overnight thaw gave clear but very (very) muddy paths. The mud didn’t stop Matt Collins and Peter Ryder putting on a masterclass in uphill running – it’s just a shame the rest of us didn’t see it! Full results are attached but it’s interesting to note that most people scored higher league points than they have on up and down courses. This seems to demonstrate that not only are the top boys and girls better than the rest of us on the way up but that they are better again on the way down. Personally I’d vote for more uphill-onlys please…

Thanks as ever to our long suffering marshals (particularly those who rang to volunteer and who didn’t have to be press-ganged), to John the timekeeper who at last reached the top of a mountain and to the Village Hall people for use of the car park. We might even do it again!

Martin Lucas

The Morning After        Pics from Alastair        Cannock Chase Trig Point Race
Llyn Llydaw Race Pictures from Pete McMillen
New challenge for 2010...The Stone Circle
Tyn-y-Groes Hill Race         Results         Pics by Alastair Tye

Mortimers Forest Fell Race                 Pics by Alastair Tye

Cardington Cracker        Results         Pics by Alastair Tye

WFRA PRESENTATIONS

The Presentations for the WFRA Open / Welsh Championships and North / South Wales Series took place after the Blorenge race in south Wales on 28th November. This was the final race in the WFRA Open / Welsh Championships.
The WFRA Welsh Champions for 2009 are Martin Shaw of Mynydd Du and Andrea Rowlands of Eryri. Other category winners -
Male : Under 23 Matt Stott (Chepstow), Over 40 Paul Beeson (Maldwyn), Over 50 Ross Powell (WFRA), Over 60 Don Williams (Eryri), Over 70 Peter Norman (Wrexham).
Ladies : Over 40 Ellie Salisbury (Eryri), Over 50 Sue Ashton (Chepstow), Over 60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri).


Prizewinners at the WFRA Presentations

Sleepwalker 2009 20 mile Night Time Trail Race 28th November Full Details and Entry
The Blorenge Saturday 28th November Pics from Alastair          Results

It was thankfully dry for the Blorenge race (2.5m/1400ft) this year, although recent rainfall meant the descent through the woods and tunnel was slippier than ever. But there were no casualties and most people seemed to enjoy a short sharp competitive outing to end the Open Welsh Championships.

The men's race was exciting with a lead group breaking away on the climb- Martin Shaw made the best descent to challenge the record (possibly set on a shorter course?) for Mynydd Du, finishing in 24.19. Matt Collins was second in 24.51, but the finish came just in time, as he was rapidly closed down by Pete Ryder (Brycheiniog) and only one second separated them Then came two excellent runs for Chepstow- Paul Murrin, 4th in 25.54, and then first junior Matt Stott (27.29)- one to watch for the future.

Andrea Rowlands made the trip south to represent Eryri, win the race and seal the Women's Open Welsh prize. She capitalized on her ascending strength to dominate a good field, coming home in 32.49, from Louise Emery (35.27) and Joanne Moore (36.39). Naomi Prosser was first junior female.

Tim Clarke from Hereford was first vet to finish, in 28.33. The MV50 category was harder fought- organiser Chris Taylor (Mercia) prevailed in 30.58, closely followed by Peter Gwilliams and frustrated descender John Aggleton (MDC). Gary Gunner's 35.28 was enough to take top honours for the MV60s, with Les Williams and Dick Finch right behind. Peter Norman outran Harry Franklin to be first MV70.

Sue Ashton (Chepstow) had an excellent run to be first vet, almost 3rd overall, and as ever first FV50. She beat the first FV40, Eryri's Ellie Salisbury, by 2 minutes. Maggie Oliver, also for Eryri was the FV60 winner.

The race was followed by presentations of the prizes for the WFRA Open Welsh Championships, the North Wales summer series and the South Wales summer series- see Results page for details.

Penmaenmawr Fell Race Saturday 14th November        Results         Pics from John Richardson                 Pics from Alastair Tye

Corndon Classic Sunday 15th November         Results        Pics from Alastair Tye

What turned out to be a stunningly clear late autumn day ,boosted the field to a smashing 76 runners on the morning.
Folks were still arriving as I gave the race briefing and beyond, with Mercias Rick Robson starting a good few minutes after the main field. After watching all slog up the valley to the bottom of Corndon proper, and then again come over the 3rd peak of LLan Fawr heading for home , not many didn't look as though they had been amply tested by this lovely little race. Maldywns own Tim Davies took the honours ,with Anne Bartlett dashing home for the ladies top slot.
A totally rewarding morning washed down with a superb pint of Big Nevs in the Miners Arms afterwards.It just couldn't get much better.
Thanks to all who ran and helped me on the day.    See you all next year.     Paul Beeson.

Rhobell Fawr 07/11/09         Pics from Alastair         Results         Andy Unwins Local Report


Pic by Alastair Tye Horizontal rain, stinging hail, mist and even a little snow is all a summit marshall needs. Having left a little late for comfort the summit marshalls "hurried" from base control in damp , slightly breezy weather at a creditable pace. Having got really sweaty we paused a few hundred meters from the summit to get into more clothing as the weather deteriorated.

Alastair with his camera made the smart decision to stop before the final uphill. Later on he was privileged to see a total of 13 runners go flying as they put their feet in a hidden piece of deep bog.

Leaning into the wind we reached the summit just 10 minutes before the runners where we struggled into additional clothing. I cringed behind the trig point with numbed fingers trying to write things down and Dave Wittey shouted out the numbers while the wind tried to blow his words away. Fortunately all the runners made it to the summit and with no weak runners in the race our time up there was shorter than normal.

Coming down the hill was a succession of reliefs as the wind dropped and temperature increased. 62 runners don't half make a mess and I slipped and sat down just before the Bwlch with no injury except my pride. From the Bwlch was almost enjoyable and we arrived at base to enjoy the soup.
No doubt a proper report will arrive in due course.
Bob Chilton

SUGAR LOAF RACE 31/10/09              Results

Martin Shaw made the best of the good conditions and his current good form to win the Sugar Loaf race (5m/1455') in 37.31, leading from start to finish. Pete Ryder (Brycheiniog) was only 15 seconds behind in second, both of them being close to Matt Collins 2007 course record. Hugh Aggleton of MDC was 3rd, and with Rob Gordon and Mark Palmer 4th and 5th it was 3 in the top 5 for Mynydd Du.

The club didn't have it all their own way in the women's race though, as Welsh International Emma Bayliss was beaten to first place by Chepstow's Marianne Gittoes in a good time of 47.38. Nicki Morgan was 3rd and 1st FV40, followed by Esther Barrett, both also for Chepstow Harriers.

John Aggleton was first MV50 in 45.54 for MDC and Sue Ashton (Chepstow), recovering from injury won the FV50.

Clwydian Hills Race Sunday 1st November    Results     Pics from Alastair

                

Because of the severe weather - strong winds and blustery showers the bad weather route was used. The race was won by Steven Cale of Shrewsbury in a time of 45 minutes and 31 seconds. Roger Lamb of Mercia was 2nd in 45.34 (also 1st over 40) and Rhys Findlay-Robinson of Dark Peak was 3rd in 45.55. Other category winners - Over 50 Andrew Fox (Glossop) 49.03, Over 60 Peter Roberts (Buckley) 54.48, Over 70 Pete Norman (Wrexham) 77.05. The ladies race was won by Andrea Rowlands of Eryri in 50.11. Mary Gillie of Clwydian was 2nd in 52.49 and Lisa Morley of Wrexham 3rd in 56.01. Other category winners - Over 40 Linda Jones (Wrexham) 63.02, Over 50 Sue Ridings (Clwydian) 75.43.

SNOWDONIA MARATHON           Pics from Alastair Tye       Commentary
Mendip Muddle 11th Oct 2009 Race Report          Extended report            Full Results

The Mendip Muddle is Weston AC's toughest race yet is arguably the most enjoyable. Enjoyable that is if you don't mind over 1400ft of climb over the 12.6 mile course. Held in the glorious and spectacular setting of the Mendip Hills near Weston-super-Mare, the Muddle attracts a hardy bunch of runners who appreciate the dramatic views from the highest point of the race, at Beacon Batch. The weather gods were firmly against us this year with heavy rain falling throughout the race and providing such a contrast to the summer like conditions from 2008. Despite the rain, the marshals and race volunteers kept their spirits high and cheered on the runners throughout the course.

The poor weather meant that the hills felt a bit steeper than usual (if that is possible!) and the ground that extra bit muddy but despite that, the finishing times were very quick. First across the finish line was Richard Phillips (Senior Male – Serpentine Running Club) in 1h 20m 19s, with Hugh Aggleton (Senior Male - Mynyddwyr De Cymru) in 1h 24m 20s and Matt Marshall (Senior Male – Chippenham Harriers) in 1h 25m 12s following closely behind. For the ladies, first home, and in a new course record, was Helen Fines (Senior Female – Calder Valley Fell Runners) in 1h 30m 08s, with Robyn Golding (Senior Female – Westbury Harriers) in 1h 32m 41s and Clare Prosser (Senior Female – Wells City Harriers) in 1h 36m 30s making up the other major placings.

Thanks to the bumper entry of 314 entrants and generous sponsorship of the race, we were once again able to donate a significant sum to the Wrington Vale branch of the RNLI. A big thank you to the Weston AC and RNLI marshals and volunteers who gave up their time to make sure the runners got around safely and for also giving them generous encouragement along the route.

A note for your diary, next year’s Muddle will take place on October 10th 2010. See you there! Full race results and Muddle details can be found at www.westonac.co.uk/mendipmuddle

Ceiriog Canter Results
Ron Skilton Memorial Half Marathon Pics from Alistair
Breidden Hills Race Pics from Alastair Tye       Results              Ceiriog Canter
Arenig Fawr Fell Race Sunday 4th October 2009              Pics from Gwynfor       Pics from Alastair Tye       Results


Ifan Richards of Meirionnydd RC...Photo by Alastair Tye

This was the fourth running of the race. Weather conditions were ideal, cool and clear although the ground was quite wet in places, particularly the last stretch to the finish. Numbers were up from previous times. This and the increased entry fee helped cover the cost of the prizes, gifts to the marshals and the farmer who owns the quarry and also a small donation to Team Dolly.

Sam Smith of Eryri Harriers was the overall winner in 58min 41sec. Newcomer to the race Helen Fines of Calder Valley had a splendid run to finish 10th overall and set a new course record with a time of 64min 40sec. Team Dolly turned up as usual to support the race with radio communications at the check points and to provide high quality photography.

I would like to thank the Welsh FRA and Geoff Clegg in particular for their back-up, my fellrunning friends who helped in various ways and Wynn, Pat and Kath who cooked and baked and provided refreshments. It is apparent from the feedback that socialising over a cup of tea and cake after the race adds to the pleasure of being out there in wild Wales. Next year the race will take place on Sunday 3rd October.

This was the penultimate race in the WFRA Open Welsh Championhip series and the last race in the WFRA North Wales series.
Yiannis Tridimas

Long Mynd Hike                    Pics from Alastair Tye

Fan Fawr       Results      

Clwydian Junior Series       Points       Ponderosa Results
Ponderosa 20.09.09

The weather was lovely and the ground dry for the last race of the Clwydian Junior Series. There was a good turn out and great to see new runners, even some from Australia. Eight competed in the 6-7 years old, Freya Davis won outright, closely followed by Billy McCorkell. In the 8-9 years race, Tom Holmes ran a great race but Sasi Williams and Martha Owen were hard on his heels. Sasi and Martha fought it out the whole way round, Sasi just finished ahead. Lilly Davis and Lucia Hughes both powered up the hill but Lilly took the lead on the descent. Grant Leach, Matty Blackwell and Madison Davis all gave great performances in the 12-13 years old race, Matty won in 9.24.
Freya and Billy also won the series for the 6-7 years, Tom and Martha won the 8-9 years old, Tom won all three of his races. Lilly and Lucia were joint winners of the 10-11 years catergory. Grant and Madison won the series for 12-13 years. Jim Davis won the 'Best Marshal prize.

BLACK MOUNTAINS RACE 26TH SEPTEMBER 2009       Results       Pics from Alastair Tye

Weather conditions were excellent for the race this year- dry underfoot with perfect visibility, though it was a little hot for some.

An intriguing mens field quickly became a duel between Mark Palmer (Mynydd Du) and Lloyd Taggart (Dark Peak) as they pulled away from the rest of the field on the first climb up Pen Cerrig Calch. By the summit of Pen y Gadair Fawr, Lloyd held a lead of about 2 minutes, and despite taking a slower line on Chwarel y Fan, was still ahead at Bal Mawr. However, in the latter stages Mark's post-Mont Blanc strength endurance came into play, as he took the lead ascending Crug Mawr, and pulled away to win by 3 min 41 secs in a time of 2.27.10. This excellent run beat Billy Bland's longstanding MV40 record- which looks even better as the winner is an MV45!

Illness prevented Eryri's Jackie Lee from making it 7 in a row in this race. Although still finishing in a respectable (if PW) time of 3.10.22, it allowed Helen Fines to clock up a win in 2.57.24 for Calder Valley. Phoebe Webster (Aberystwyth) was 3rd in 3.29.30.

First senior male, and 3rd overall was Hugh Aggleton from MDC in 2.46.03, followed by a very sick and below-par Rob Gordon, also Mynydd Du . Chris Taylor (Mercia) won the MV50 class with 3.14.58, and Dick Finch the MV60 (3.46.44) for Chepstow. Chepstow Harriers also had the depth to take the team prize, despite Mynydd Du's two top-5 finishers.

Llyn y Fan       Results       Pics from Alastair Tye
3rd NORTH WALES JUNIOR MOUNTAIN RUNNING CHAMPIONSHIPS      Results-1       Results-2
Stretton Skyline              Pics from Alastair Tye       Pics from Peter Douglas       Results
Ras Beca       Results       Machen       Results      Reports coming
Pedol Peris      Results       Peris Llawn by Gwynfor James      Peris Hanner by Gwynfor James    Pics from Alastair Tye    Pics from Peter Douglas
       Source of the Severn      Results       Pics from Alastair Tye      
Moel Fammau.      Results       Pics from Alastair Tye      Pics from Dave Pinnington

  

Winner was Ricky Challinor, other photo is of Vic Belshaw. Mary Gillie won the ladies race.

Cnicht Sunday 30th August      Results     Pics from Alastair Tye     Pics from Peter Douglas

Sponsored by Fifth Element, Porthmadog and DJ Fruit and Veg, Criccieth.

The race took place from Croesor, near Porthmadog. Weather was wet, windy and with low cloud. Conditions were very slippery and muddy underfoot.
The race was won by Sam Smith of Eryri in a time of 37 minutes and 56 seconds. Ifan Richards of Meirionnydd was 2nd in 38.36 and Chris Near of Eryri was 3rd in 39.02 Other category winners - Over 40 Alan Ward (Dark Peak) 39.59, Over 50 Adam Haynes (Eryri) 43.53, Over 60 Dafydd Whiteside Thomas (Eryri) 51.52
The ladies race was won by Jackie Lee of Eryri in 45.17, Louise Emery (u/a) was 2nd in 52.53 and Joanne Moore (u/a) 3rd in 54.58. The over 40 category was won by Marie-Anne Fischer of Headington in 78.59

Doug Morris Memorial Pics        from Alistair Tye
Brecon Beacons Results      
Tryfan Downhill Dash       Pics from Peter Douglas       Pics from Alistair Tye
British and Irish Trial Race       Pics from Gwynfor       Results
The Tavern Fell Race 22nd August 9.5m/2900ft      Pics from Peter Douglas       Results

Wins for Anthony Smith (Ambleside) and Andrea Rowlands (Eryri Harriers) over a newly devised route on a warm day. 68 runners turned out and we had good feedback about the venue and the toughness of the course. Thanks to all the marshalls plus Julian for the drinks. Anthony's time was 85.12 and Andrea was 6th overall in 91.31.
We'll stick to this route for next year but it will be held earlier in the year.

Elidir Fawr       Pics from Gwynfor       Results
Also, after a number of false starts, I think I have a (willing ) organiser for a South Wales navigation course! If you've got space in the newsletter (and on the website perhaps), you could ask people to contact me if they're interested.      John Sweeting

This year's Pumlumon Challenge is on 12th September. The organiser (Wynne Jones) wasn't in time to get it into the Calendar www.pumlumon.org.uk/challenge.php.

I should be grateful if you could let your members know about the unveiling of the ‘Remembering Doug Morris’ bench in Llanwddyn, just close to where the half marathon starts. It will take place on Saturday, 29th August at 11:30. It will be an informal affair although I have no doubt that a few words will be said and if any of your members would like to attend (or even say something) they would be most welcome. We look forward to seeing you there.

Thanks and regards       Colin Williamson       Shropshire Shufflers and Margaret Morris

Dear Webmaster

I would like to inform you of a fell race so that you can put it on the race calendar and inform other members please.
Details are as follows:
Llanfest Fell Race      Race Route       12th Sept 09 (Saturday). 12:30pm. Location: Ty'n Llwyfan Farm, Newry Drive, Llanfairfechan. Registration from 11am. 3 pounds entry, monies raised for community projects. 6.5 mile marshalled race, all runners to have full kit including map, compass and whistle. All entrants must be over 18. B medium 1366 ft ascent. race organisers reserve the right to cancel this race owing to weather conditions.
Many thanks       Neil Grew

Hi there everyone in WFRA land,

regarding the recently added advert for the Llanfest fellrace on 12th Sept. This is a brand new race which is being organised last minute by Neil Grew, his first go at doing a fellrace. However in support of the event I can say that I've given him some advice on organising it and route choice, and will be doing it myself.

It utilises some of the Pen fell route (Bwlch y Ddeufaen towards Pen), but also uses some fresh ground not used in other fell races, such as the sharp climbs of Garreg Fawr and Moelfre. I can say that it's a good course, quite tough for it's distance and climb, with some mixed terrain and quite a sting in the tail climbing Moelfre.

I recommend giving it a go.

Craig.

Llanthony Show       Sat 1st August      Results

The wettest Llanthony Show Hill Race in living memory - and the event goes back at least four years - was nevertheless enjoyed by a record 32 mud-spattered entrants. In the local primary school geog text book the Honddu Valley is now designated sub-tropical rain forest, and the organiser and his glamorous assistant had to sharpen their machetes more keenly than ever before to hack through the head-high bracken.

Hence the delayed start, but it gave enough time for the monsoon to pass over, and Rob Gordon led the pack in sticky but rain-free heat through the horse boxes, beer tent and fast food stalls and out of the quaggy show field. And it was Rob who led them back 30 minutes later, but with his lead extended to two minutes over Stuart Moore.

On the come-back trail, Di Vorres led the over 40s in third place, with first over 50 Pete Williams in 5th and first 60+ Garry Gunner in 12th, just nine seconds behind first woman, Angela Jones. Also on the come-back was second woman Sharon Woods, while third-placer Julie Davies also picked up a prize the next day in the Brecon 10 road race.

Sweet sixteen and never been kitted out in anything but a Hereford Couriers vest, Naomi Prosser ducked under the 45 minute barrier for first junior. You read it here first folks - a fell star in the making!

In the Junior race, winner 13 year-old Charlie Sapwell is also tipped for great things.

Grateful thanks to chief bracken-slayer Lou Summers (and sons Joe & Jake), and knee-deep marshals Louise Blackmore and Jane Rymer (just dig out the receipt and I'll reimburse you for those jeans Jane. £4.99 from Primark I would guess from the look of them).

Apologies for purple prose,       Dick

Y Garn Race Saturday 1st August (British Champs, WFRA Open / Welsh Champs, WFRA North Wales Series)       Results      Pics from Alastair Tye       Pics from Peter Douglas

This year the top fell runners in Britain were present as it was the final counter in the British Fell and Hill Running Championships. Heavy overnight rain and strong winds had given way to a pleasant day - dry, light winds and sunny intervals. Conditions were good for the runners albeit a bit slippery on the descent after the rain. The summit was clear. Because of the strong field both the mens and ladies records were broken. The race was won by Bangor University student Nick Swinburn of Northumberland Fell Runners who finished in a time of 25 minutes and 44 seconds (also 1st under 23). The ladies race was won by Clare Whitehead of Cosmic Hillbashers in a time of 32 minutes and 8 seconds. There was a good turnout for the junior race which was the final counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association Snowdonia Series. Snowdonia Junior Series Award Winners
Male U/12 : 1. John Spill (Menai) 36pts, 2. Aaron Roberts (u/a) 34pts, 3. Alex Hearle (Mercia) 29 pts.
Male U/14 : 1. Gerwyn Roberts (u/a) 34pts, 2. Morgan Evans (Menai) 31pts, 3. Rhys James (Menai) 28pts.
Male U/16 : 1. Owain James (Menai) 30pts.
Female U/12 : 1. Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri) 36pts.
Female U/14 : 1. Nicola Berry (Stockport) 36pts.
Female U/16 : 1. Sarah Livett (Menai) 36pts.

Fan y Big      Results       Kymin Dash      Results       The Kymin Dash Website

Push up the Pincyn      Results

The inaugural Push Up The Pincyn attracted 50 runners from as far away as Keswick and Preston in England and plenty of local Welsh runners represented from Eryri, Wrexham, Prestatyn and Clwydians.
The weather god's smiled on the Clawddnewydd and Clocaenog show from where the race began.

      

Being limited in 'true' mountains in that area the race made the most of the terrain, using fields and forest, brooks and bogs to try and sap the energy from the runners. Lack of sheer up and sheer down meant for a fast and furious pace. The gentle drop in altitude from the start in Clawddnewydd to Clocaenog meant for a gruelling long drag from fields into the forest and to the base f Pincyn Llys.
The Pincyn is a monument to the Baggot family who owned the land and it's position commands fantastic views of the Clwydian Range to the East, Liverpool Bay to the north, the Berwyn range to the south and good old Snowdonia to the west. I very much doubt anyone stopped to take in the vista having climbed a very steep final 300m in slippery mud to reach the peak. How many people wished they had fell shoes rather than trail shoes? The climb was eaten up from the outset by Chris Edis of Keswick who was pursued by Ian Houston of Wrexham Tri. Close behind were team mates from Sale Harriers - Richard Huston and Gareth Rhys Mathews. The course sent competitors down and then back up through sections of forest before starting a long fast down to Cloc. Exposed roots, stones and mud for the down resulted in an array of bloody, grazed and mud splattered limbs. Runners retraced their footsteps once back at Cloc. This made for a steady climb back up to Clawdd. The cheers from the show spectators spurred on the sweating and now exhausted runners to fall like nine pins once over the line. The finishing line-up remained the same as the climb with Chris setting the record at 44mins 54sec. Poor Chris had a microphone shoved under his nose by the MC asking him where he was from. As he heaved for air through a very attractive face pack of mud, sweat and saliva the reply sounded something like Kez....w....ick.
First lady was Welsh woman Ruth Metcalf of Eryri in 54:23 who I know really does prefer the sheer stuff.
Many thanks from the organisers for the support and the very many positive comments from the runners, here's to next year. Neil Coppack

Pen y Fan 11.00am Saturday 18th July 2009       Results             Past results and Comparisons

This year’s Pen Y Fan Race clashed with Snowdon, Ingleborough and Moel Siabod, not to mention swine flu and rubbish weather, so it was great to see 62 seniors and 11 juniors lined up. And lovely to see so many familiar faces from far flung corners. If Snowdon has its Italians, well Pen Y Fan has regulars from the eastern flatlands - the Springfield Striders and Cambridge Harriers - along with a healthy smattering of northerners (English and Welsh). Last year’s 3rd man Will Horsley from Northumberland was back, and this time he had brought his Dad! He threatens to bring the whole club next year.

But at the start line everyone was eyeing up the tall dark stranger in the black top – strangely familiar… of course, the cover model for the latest Fellrunner magazine, Simon Coldrick.

Meanwhile I was keeping an eye on the “Valleys” posse – who were these guys with the shades, tattoos and bleachy mops? Ah that would be Afan Humphreys and Mark Davies and support crew, top roadies venturing into the rough stuff. Well they showed some class on the climb, but racing flats are never going to work on a wet 45 degree slope, and this showed in their descent times. Wear studs next year guys! Simon Coldrick led from the start, and had a 40 second lead at the summit. But Will Horsley is a great descender and knows the route, and by the time they reached the stile the gap was down to about 5 seconds. Simon took the track, Will took the field, and watching from the finish we thought Will was going to nick it, but a powerful sprint brought Simon home in 35:15, 3 seconds clear.
In the ladies race, Angela Heeley had hung in with Helen Fines on the climb, but the moment they leapt off the edge of Pen y Fan it was all over – Helen pulled out the second fastest descent of the day, faster than Simon, to win for the third time in 40:50 (5th overall); Angela held second in 43:35. This knocked over 3 minutes off Helen’s PB but is still a couple of minutes shy of the record - maybe next year.

Other notable performances included Kevin Hagley, who may have done Pen y Fan more than anyone else (including some blistering times) with the 4th fastest descent, and Clifford Berry, who still beat Kevin to the V40 prize. Further down the field, marshals reported that Laura Gray re-appeared at the summit, saying she couldn’t go down the precipitous slope! Horsley senior came to the rescue and showed her the way. With Mynydd Du fielding only Puffing Billy, it was left to a highly experienced MDC team to show what South Walians are made of, just pipping Springfield Striders to the team prize. In the junior race, running for its second year, Charlie Jenkins smashed the record with 7:48, and Ellie Jones led the girls in 8:58, also a new record. It was great to see some fearsome sprint finishes! The records were safe and sound, and the prize fund on the men’s record will rise to £500 for next year. Thanks to Mark Palmer and Mike Law on the summit, Tom Harrison, Colin Cottell and David McCoy, Tony and Nadia Pettitt, Steve Ellwood and thingy, Hanneke van der Werf, Kate Short and Sally Law, and to anyone else I've forgotten. Thanks to the sponsors who helped us provide great prizes (Cotswold, Breconshire Brewery) and food for all (St. Mary’s Bakery).

Crispin and Naomi

The Green Green Grass of Home      Results

Fifth anniversary of this race - the route changes every year which is fun as runners never quite know what to expect. Due to some helicopter launched bracken spraying we had to avoid a fair chunk of the mountain and this year's race was a fairly sraightforward climb to Moel Famau and back.
Tim Davies missed the Snowdon Race because his wife was giving birth to a daughter (Congratulations by the way!) but he was allowed out on this calm cool Wednesday evening to demolish the rest of the field by some distance.
Neil Ashcroft was very happy with another second place ahead of a promising new face for Eryri Harriers by the name of Sam Smith who seemed to enjoy himself.
Mary Gillie celebrated her birthday by wining the ladies race with Sarah Hammond and Rhian Pierce in 2nd and 3rd places.
82 finishers which is a record!

Moel Siabod Race - Saturday 18th July        Pics by Scott Lennon      Results

There was a good turnout for the Moel Siabod race which took place in Capel Curig. The weather was dry with sunny intervals and the summit was clear. Although there had been heavy rain the previous day the senior runners were still able to run through the river near the finish.

The race was won by Lloyd Taggart of Dark Peak in a good time of 49 minutes and 18 seconds. Craig Jones of Eryri was 2nd in 55.48 and Chris Idis of Keswick 3rd in 55.55. Other category winners - Over 40 Roger Lamb (Mercia) 55.59, Over 50 Graham Jones (Shrewsbury) 59.33, Over 60 Mike Blake (Eryri) 66.36.

The ladies race was won by Jackie Lee of Eryri in a time of 62.18. Ruth Metcalfe of Eryri was 2nd in 65.58 and Sandra Rowlands of Clwydian 3rd in 73.32 (also 1st over 40). The junior race was a counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association Snowdonia Series. Results -
Under 14 : 1. Angus Lamb (u/a) 13.30, 2. Gerwyn Roberts (u/a) 13.45, 3. Joe Hearle (Mercia) 14.42, 4. Osian Williams (u/a) 18.12
Under 12 : 1.John Spill (Menai) 14.36, 2. Alex Hearle (Mercia) 15.38, 3. Aaron Roberts (u/a) 15.58, 4. Ross Kirby (Shrewsbury) 16.46, 5. Montague Lamb (u/a) 21.35
Under 16 : 1. Sarah Livett (Menai) 14.56

International Snowdon Race       Sat 18th July      Pics from Alastair Tye       Race Website
Stiperstones       Pics from Alastair Tye       
ATHLETICS – DARRENS DASH

New course record set by Matthew James

Matthew James of Hereford Couriers set a new course record by the narrowest of margins - 1 second – over the testing 5 mile course. 53 runners from as far afield as Portland, Cardiff and Northampton were attracted to Longtown on Saturday 20th June for the fourth ‘Darrens Dash’ charity fell race based at Longtown Outdoor Education Centre and hosted jointly by the Outdoor Centre and Wye Valley Runners.
Conditions were ideal with a light, cooling wind and firm ground underfoot. The run began with a 900 ft ascent of the zig-zag path between the Red and Black Darrens up to the Offa’s Dyke path. Most runners were forced to walk at least part of their way due to the steep ascent. After turning south the runners were rewarded with 2 miles of level running and great views across the Black Mountains. The descent to the Olchon Valley was fast and furious and James pulled away strongly on the descent from Tim Hindle of Brecon A.C. Having crossed the Olchon River, a steep finishing section led up to the finish field where spectators watched Hindle try in vain to gain ground on James who crossed the finish line in the new record time of 34.12. Third over the line was in-form Tim Iveson of Builth & Distric runners.
The first lady home in 9th place was Ann Dixon of Forest of Dean A.C., whilst the first junior runner home in 17th place was Daniel King of host club Wye Valley Runners. Places were also fiercely contested in the parallel event – the Courthouse Canter, a Family fun run on an undulating multi-terrain course in the centre grounds.
Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved more than £700.00 was raised for St. Michael’s Hospice and the Longtown O.E.C. Bursary Fund.
Full results can be viewed on-line at

Results:

1st Male			Matthew James (Hereford Couriers)	34.12

2nd Male			Tim Hindle (Brecon A.C.)		34.39

3rd Male			Tim Iveson (Buith & District)		35.00

1st Female			Ann Nixon (Forest of Dean A.C)		38.58

2nd Female			Angela Jones (Brecon A.C.)		40.30

3rd Female		 	Claire Conway (Wye Valley Runners)	42.07

1st Veteran Male 40	        Tim Hindle (Brecon A.C.)	        34.39	

1st Veteran Male 50	        Lyndon Gwilllym (Unattached)		39.08
  
1st Veteran Male 60	        Gary Gunner (Croft Ambrey)		41.48	
	
1st Veteran Female	40	Angela Jones (Brecon A.C.)		40.30

1st Veteran Female	50	Ann Nixon (Forest of Dean A.C)		38.58

1st Junior			Daniel King (Wye Valley Runners)	40.43

1st Local Male		Harry Franklin (Wye Valley Runners)	        46.15

1st Local Female		Laurianne McKenzie (Wye Valley)	      1.02.50

1 km

1st 				Holly Porter				 6.25
2nd 				David Pritchard				 6.50
3rd				Tom Smith				 6.53

2 km

1st				Arum Jones				 9.05
2nd				Cameron Morgan				 9.34
3rd 				Iona Prosser				10.02

5 km

1st				Ellie Jones				23.19



WAUN FACH 11.07.09       Results

Conditions were good for Waun Fach (7m/2000') in the Black Mountains and Martin Shaw (Mynydd Du) made the best of them to win by 3 min 32 sec- all the more impressive with this being just a week after knocking 9 minutes off Lloyd Taggart's Rhinogs record.

Griffithstown Harriers were well represented and successful, with Dimitri Vorres taking overall 2nd and 1st MV40, and Steve Davies, who started fell running just 3 months ago, 1st M50 and 8th overall. Chepstow were also out in force. Improving junior Matthew Stott finished 3rd overall.

Senior women were outnumbered 7 to 1 by vets- Angela Jones (FV40) from Brecon AC was the first woman home and Sue Ashton suffered a rare FV50 defeat from her Chepstow clubmate Gill Stott.

Tal y Fan       Pics from Alastair Tye       Results
Trail Race Up The Beast - Maeshafn, Mold - 7th July 2009       Pics from Peter Douglas         Results
Hot Foot Up Famau       Results

On a very hot sultry evening at the Hotfoot up Famau race there was a record entry of 84 runners but no record times were recorded. A route change provided a drop of about 800 feet in 125 yards which everybody seemed to enjoy! Tim Higginbottom of Eryri Harriers won the men's race and Lisa Morley of Wrexham AC was the first lady home.

Callow       Pics from Alastair Tye
Rhinog Horseshoe 4th July 2009       Pics from Alastair Tye          Pics from Peter Douglas         Results

Llanbedr played host last Saturday lunchtime to the 3rd fixture out of 6 which constitute the 2009 Welsh Fell Running Open Championships. The race chosen was the Rhinog Horseshoe Fell Race, a gruelling 15.5 mile event which took in the peaks of Rhinog Fawr, Rhinog Fach, Y Llethr & Moelfre, providing an overall total of 5,200 feet of climbing.

As such, the race attracted the elite long distance fell runners from within the Principality and beyond and this, in turn, was reflected within the race results.

John Marsh                         Photo by Peter Douglas

Having finished 3rd at the event in 2008, Martin Shaw from the Mynydd Du Club based in the Black Mountains around Swansea, returned north again this year and achieved his aim of race victory as he completed the challenge in a time of 2hrs 41mins and 37secs, more than 5 minutes ahead of his nearest challenger, Matthew Roberts (Eryri Harriers), home in a time of 2.47.05

The podium was completed by North Derbyshire based athlete, Alan Ward (Dark Peak Fell Runners), who completed the event in a time of 2.52.05. Other category winners - Over 50 Ross Powell (WFRA) 3.20.19, Over 60 John Marsh (Tarren Hendre) 3.49.58

The female section of the race was dominated by Andrea Roberts (Eryri Harriers), finishing in a time of 3.42.26, well ahead of the Aberystwyth A.C. runner Phoebe Webster who finished 2nd in a time of 3.50.28. Ali Thomas of Eryri was 3rd in 3.57.01 (also 1st over 40).

Beacon Batch       North Somerset        (5 miles) 1000ft climb 23.06.09      Results by category       Full Results

We were blessed with a beautiful summer’s evening on one of the longest days of the year to enjoy fantastic views across the Mendips. 98 runners took on the 1000 feet climb over 2 miles to the Beacon Batch summit which was followed by a glorious mile along the top of the Mendips, before the 1000 feet descent to complete the 5 mile circuit.

  

Marianne Gittoes (Female Winner Chepstow)                   Jason Rowley (Male Winner) Clevedon AC)

   

John Battersby(Male Vet 70 Winner Mynyddyr De Cymru)                 Dave Andrews (No 48) and Brenda Avery (No 49) both of Chepstow Harriers

Local runner, Jason Rowley was first home improving on his 4th place from 2008 and taking nearly 30 seconds off his previous time. Congratulations go to Marianne Gittoes from Chepstow Harriers who broke the long standing female record of 14 years. Marianne was closely followed by Weston AC runner Phil Richards. Well done also to Patrick Scallan who improved his 2008 time by nearly 4 minutes to take the Junior Male Title. A special mention goes to all Chepstow Harriers who had 21 entries and won 3 of the 10 categories.

Many thanks to all the brilliant helpers and the Langford Inn in Lower Langford where many enjoyed a good meal and drink after the race.

Rob Skeen

The next WFRA Navigation Course will be on Sunday 15th November in Llanberis, Snowdonia. For further details please see attached poster. A course can also be arranged in South Wales if there is sufficient demand.

Hot Foot up Famau        Pics from Peter Douglas      
Llanberis June 30th       Pics from Alastair Tye
Tyn-y-Groes Hill Race           Pics from Peter Douglas        Pics from Alastair Tye       Results

  
Ifan Richards the eventual winner......pic by Alastair                         John Smith....pic by Jane with Pete's camera

Ganllwyd was the venue last Saturday lunchtime for the annual Tyn-Y-Groes Hill Race, an event which can trace its original roots back to 1925 and beyond, with records of past winners kept in the nearby Tyn-Y-Groes Hotel for the sake of posterity. The 2009 edition attracted an enthusiastic field with the local Meirionnydd Running Club being particularly well represented. Indeed, it was they who provided the race winner of the 2..1 mile event, which included 700 feet of climbing, as Ifan Richards of Brithdir completed the course in an excellent time of 17.16mins. Familiar faces followed, as Dafydd Roberts of Dolgellau was 2nd home in 18.16mins with Mark Atherton of Llan Ffestiniog being the 2nd Meirionnydd Running Club competitor home in a time of 18.44mins, a time good enough to claim an overall 3rd placed finish.

The ladies event was dominated by Sian Roberts of Dolgellau as a time of 21.07mins ensured victory in the female section of the race as well as 6th placed position overall. Next female home was Sioned Jones of Brithdir, the Meirionnydd Running Club member home in 29.36mins, whilst the evergreen Sheila Symonds of Dolgellau, one of only two Bro Dysynni A.C. athletes in action on the day, claimed 3rd spot in a time of 45.55mins.

A total of £176 was raised from entry monies and donations for the Charity Ukraine Humanitarian Aid all of which will be directly spent on medicines for child cancer patients in the Ukraine.

Following the ensuing hospitality at the Tyn-y-Groes Hotel many of the contestants and supporters moved on to a barbecue hosted by Sue and Pete Nicholls whose garden is opeming under the National Gardens Scheme on 26th July. Details

Pontesbury Hill Race                Pics from Peter Douglas        Pics from Alastair Tye              Results
3 Hills Penmaenmawr                Pics from Gwynfor James       
The Druid                Pics from Peter Douglas       Results
For the fifth year running Ian Houston, having completed the gruelling Bala Triathlon at the weekend, won the annual midsummer race up Foel Fenlli - but it was a close shave with Eryri's Tim Higginbottom two seconds behind. Times were a little faster this year due to footpath resurfacing and the wooden steps up the North face of Fenlli are being rebuilt. Sarah Hammond, who is gradually returning to top form, won the ladies race over a minute clear of Denbigh Harrier Rhian Pierce.
Rodneys Pillar Hill Race                Pics from Alastair Tye       Results
European Uphill Trials Pics   Results    from Pete Macmillen       from Alastair Tye       from Gwynfor       from Peter Douglas
Pics from Gwynfor                          Moel Hebog                         Pics from Alastair Tye
Moel Hebog - Saturday 13th June Weather conditions were warm and dry with sunny intervals. The course was changed this year to avoid the railway which had recently opened. There was a good turnout of 57 seniors and 14 juniors. The Junior race was a counter in the Snowdonia Series. Lloyd Taggart ran away from the rest of the field to finish 5 minutes ahead of the second runner in an excellent time of 47 minutes and 9 seconds. Thanks to Y Warws of Beddgelert who donated the prizes and to Glaslyn Ices who gave free ice creams to all Senior runners. Thanks also to Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue and everyone who assisted on the day. Ross Powell

Results        Pics from Pete Macmillen

Welsh 1000 metre Peaks Race       Pics from Paul Tye       before the race was abandoned!

Stretton Hills Race - 6th June              Pics from Alastair Tye       Mens Results      Ladies Results

Batch Bash - 3rd June       Results       Pics from Alastair Tye

Cader Idris - Saturday 30th May       Results       Pics from Alastair Tye

Conditions were hot and sunny this year.
The race was won convincingly by Lloyd Taggart of Dark Peak in 1.26.25
Richard Roberts of Eryri was 2nd in 1.29.05 and Martin Shaw of Mynydd Du 3rd in 1.33.54.
Other category winners - Over 40 Jon Morgan (Dark Peak) 1.36.24, Over 50 Arwel Lewis (Eryri) 1.44.59, Over 60 Dic Evans (Cardiff) 1.52.29
The ladies race was won by Jackie Lee of Eryri in a time of 1.41.38. Helen Fines of Calder Valley was 2nd in 1.46.07 and Sarah Ridgway of Eryri 3rd in 1.49.03. Other category winners - Over 40 Shan Roberts (Ingli) 1.54.28, Over 50 Kim Braznell (Halesowen) 2.08.20

Pics from Gwynfor       Abergwyngregyn      Pics from Alastair Tye and Pete Macmillen's Junior pic's are here

Video from Peter Douglas

Sinclair Steel Carneddau Race - Sunday 24th May      Results       Video from Peter Douglas

Conditions were glorious this year being warm, dry and sunny.
The race was won by Alan Ward of Dark Peak in a time of 1 hour 42 minutes and 4 seconds (also 1st over 40). Tim Higginbottom of Eryri was 2nd in 1.44.46 and Dave Aucott of Dark Peak 3rd in 1.48.00. Other category winners - Over 50 Arwel Lewis (Eryri) 1.57.16, Over 60 Mike Blake (Eryri) 2.12.31
The ladies race was won by Ruth Metcalfe of Eryri in 2.08.41. Sandra Rowlands of Clwydian was 2nd in 2.24.30 (also 1st over 40) and Ellie Salisbury of Eryri 3rd in 2.37.31
Junior Race results - U/12 - Male 1. Aaron Roberts (u/a) 7.16, 2. Anthony Granton (Menai) 7.20. Female 1. Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri) 8.16
U/14 - Male 1. Gerwyn Roberts (u/a) 35.45, 2. Rhys James (Menai) 36.16, 3.Morgan Evans (Menai) 37.22, 4.Osian Williams 40.41
U/14 - Female 1. Nicola Berry (Stockport) 37.47, Olivia Perez (Liverpool) 40.43
U/16 - Male 1.Calum Muskett (Eryri) 32.19, 2.Owain James (Menai) 38.04. Female 1. Sarah Livett (Menai) 40.48

Sarn Helen - Sunday 17th May       Pics from Alastair Tye 16.5mile   4mile   1.5mile

There was a much larger entry than normal this year as the race was a counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association Open / Welsh Championships. Weather conditions were perfect for the runners being cool, mostly dry and overcast.

The race was won by Matthew Roberts of Eryri in a time of 1 hour 45 minutes and 31 seconds. Julian Baker of Les Croupiers was 2nd in 1.48.09 (also 1st over 40) and Steve Rees of Port Talbot 3rd in 1.48.30. Other category winners - Under 23 Carwyn Thomas (Sarn Helen) 1.59.23, Over 50 Martin Cortvriend (Clwydian) 2.11.47, Over 60 Steve Herington (Hereford Couriers) 2.18.54

The ladies race was won by Shan Roberts of Ingli Runners (also 1st over 40) in a time of 2.06.56. Phoebe Webster of Aberystwyth was 2nd in 2.12.16 and Clare Phillips (Swansea) 3rd in 2.19.34. Other category winners - Over 50 Gill Stott (Chepstow) 2.33.43, Over 60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri) 2.52.11

Cribyn 16/05/09      Results      and slideshow

A field of 55 runners contested the first running of the Cribyn race since 2004. Conditions were quite poor with rain and strong winds, but visibility was good. This was lucky for Lancashire raider Shaun Godsman of Calder Valley Fell Runners who enjoyed his first race in South Wales. Having no prior knowledge of the area, he successfully led from start to finish, recording a fantastic time of 55.18, over 5 minutes clear of his nearest rival Mike Duxbury (Stroud) who was first MV40. Nigel Bunn of Tring was 3rd, just 3 seconds behind.

It was a double for Calder Valley as Helen Fines took women's first prize in a new course record after a battle with clubmate Anne Johnson, who was first FV40. Chepstow's Liz Francis was 3rd.

It was an unusually small field on the veteran front- perhaps they were saving themselves for Sarn Helen the next day? First MV50 was Mark Saunders, and John Sweeting (MDC) got the better of Gary Gunner by 2 minutes for MV60 honours. Of the two U23 men, Christopher Worley came out on top.

Many thanks to the awesome marshalling team of Del Thornley, Kay Lucas, Jessica and Chris Taylor, timekeepers Gerry and Sue Ashton and all round troubleshooter Fiona Turner.

Ras Moel Eilio

Pics from Gwynfor

Pics from Alastair Tye

Results

Video from Peter Douglas

Moel y Gest Pics from Gwynfor
Caradoc Classic Pics from Alastair Tye

Results       Foel Fras Pics from Pete Macmillen         Foel Fras and Bluebell Walk/Run from ALastair Tye

FOEL FRAS Saturday 9th May There was a good turnout this year as the race was a counter in the WFRA North Wales Series. However, a period of bad weather, worse than expected, arrived just as the runners approached the summits. Cold, low cloud, gale force winds and driving rain made navigation difficult and more than a quarter of the field failed to complete the course. Fortunately, the severe weather was short lived and everyone returned safely (eventually). Two competitors ended up in Ogwen and one in the Conwy Valley! I expect the next WFRA Navigation Course will be well attended! Provisional results are as shown. It is known that 61 runners passed through Moel Wnion. Therefore, some of those that have been credited with a time did not complete the full course. If you did not visit all the checkpoints (including Moel Wnion) and have been given a time please let Ross know so that the North Wales Series results can be as accurate as possible.
(e mail ross@wfra.org.uk or tel 01286 881491).

Pentyrch Hill Race Report and Results
Children's Fell Runs Sunday 31st May
Y Garth Nant Peris         Gwynfors Pics
Mynydd Swtan         Results and Report         Pics from Peter Douglas         Pics from Pete Macmillen
Ras y Moelwyn         Gwynfors' Pics         Pics from Alastair Tye         Results
STRETTON HILLS RACE Saturday 6th June
Note that entry is limited to 400. Pre-entry available (£5), or on day if limit not reached.
Use standard FRA entry form. Cheques payable to "Mercia Fell Runners". More info on www.merciafellrunners.org.uk. All other details unchanged.

New race...Preseli Challenge ...Sun 19th July

Foel Lus Pics from Alastair Tye and Gwynfor

MYNYDD TROED 12/04/09        Results

The first of the Open Welsh Championship races of 2009 was over this AM course (7m/2700') from the Castle Inn, Pengenffordd. Racing conditions were excellent- a warm windless day, dry underfoot, and this resulted in both course records being revised this time. Although this race is only 4 years old, it is a superb route, requiring all the skills a good fellrunner should possess. If you haven't done this race you don't know what you're missing! A shame that only 62 runners started, though this a relatively large field for South Wales. Alas 2 of these were disqualified before the race began for having no kit. (AM- compulsory).

Martin Shaw (Mynydd Du) continued his good form with a superlative run leading from start to finish to come home well clear of clubmate Mark Palmer (1st MV40), and beat Matthew Collins 2006 record by 7 seconds. Martin's fell running career began at this race 3 years ago and he has improved ever since. An injury-free period has allowed for consistent quality training so he is sure to improve further. Hugh Aggleton (MDC) was 3rd, making it a clean sweep for the Southern clubs. Peter Williams, also MDC, was 1st MV50 and 13th overall, closely followed by 1st MV60 Don Williams from Eryri harriers. Not forgetting a great run by youthful-looking 71 year old Cledwyn Jones, yet another MDC member.

The women's field was disappointingly low in number but Helen Fines (Calder Valley) won despite poor route choice towards the end of the race. Sue Ashton (1st FV50) limped home 2nd with a twisted ankle, still beating all the other younger women for Chepstow. Maggie Oliver (Eryri) was 1st FV60.

The next race in the Open Welsh series is Sarn Helen, Carmarthenshire (BL) on Sun 17th May. Mynydd Troed was also the first in the WFRA South Wales Summer Series, for which the second fixture is the Cribyn (AS) on Sat 16th May- see www.cribynrace.org.uk. Doing both could make for a great weekend!
HF

A warm, sunny day and good underfoot. Martin Shaw took seven seconds off Matt Collins' 2006 record, and Helen Fines beat her own record set in the same year by 12 seconds.

Thanks to marshalls Ed, Tim and Emily of the Stott clan who also supplied three of the runners. Thanks to Lou Summers and John Darby who each marked half of the course and got back in time to run. And thanks to Louise Blackmore and the little Blackmores for doing entries and helping at finish.
DF

Llanbedr Blaenafon        Saturday 4th April        Results

The weather we ordered in especially for the event arrived, and it was a fantastic day.

We had 61 entrants, and what's more, 61 finishers.

Mark Palmer won it comfortably, in 2.07.01
Second Man home was Hugh Aggleton, 2.12.45, followed by Martin Humphreys in 2.22.55

Although Mark Palmer's category is Male Vet, he was awarded 1st Overall position. This meant that Dimitri Vorrés, (5th man home), took 1st Vet category prize. His time was 2.27. 2nd VM was Steve Long, 2.28.58, and 3rd was Max Suff, 2.29.57.

Steve Davies, in his first off-road race won 1st SV in a time of 2.37.03

Gary Gunner retained his 1st prize trophy for a 3rd year running in the MSSV category, his time was 3.06.09

Julie Davies was first lady, her time was 2.48.06, followed by Helen Bennett, 2.51.53 and then Emma Bayliss, 2.54.17

Jan Richards won first Lady Vet, her time was 3.51.47

The cream on the cake for our first ever hosting of this event was that Griffithstown won the team prize. Dimitri, Steve and Julie were all home within the first 15 finishers.

Feedback from the event so far has been very positive.

We had a few issues with kit (as always on fell runs) which we will have to tighten up on next year.
Some poor runners got lost in Blaenafon in the last mile - but that usually happens. Are they lost, or just going a different way? there is never a set route to follow in this run!

A big pat on the back to everyone who helped, the marshalls were excellent. Thanks to John Chidlow who volunteered his services as timekeeper. Blaenafon Rugby club were perfect hosts, a big thank you to all their staff. Thanks also to Gareth Buffet for his invaluable advice and assistance. We look forward to next years event.

Llantysilio Mountain Race        Saturday 4th April        Results Pics from Alastair Tye

The race was again run on a bright sunny day, and as usual, centred on the 14th century Sun Inn. The good running conditions were taken full advantage of by Tim Davies of Mercia, running the whole race clear of the field, knocking 44 seconds off the 2002 course record. Tim finished in 46' 46". Andrea Roberts (Eryri) was not very far behind the ladies record, winning in 57' 36". First home for the MV40 was Alan Ward from Dark Peak in 51' 49", Sandra Rowlands of Clwydian Range Runners winning the LV40 in 67' 00".

Martin Cortvriend (CRR) continues his good form by winning the VM50 prize in 60' 51", with Jackie Keasley of Helsby winning the LV50 in 79' 59". MV60 was won by the ever-present Don Williams (Eryri) in 62' 16", with Jan Atkins of Chorley Harriers taking the LV60 prize, finishing in 82' 18".
Thanks to all runners, always good to see a good spread of clubs represented.

Wrekin Fell Race        Sunday 29th March        Pics from Alastair Tye
Llangynhafal Loop        Results         Pics from Alastair Tye

Great race today with 113 runners - big thanks to all the marshalls and helpers - couldn't have done it without you! Big table full of prizes in the pub - Easter eggs for the marshalls, etc, etc. Very pleased that they were on hand to enable me to run the race for a change.

Adam Peers made his occasional trip over from the Wirral to win comfortably - Andrea Roberts took the ladies prize (for some strange reason she seemed in a very celebratory mood!) Some great performances from younger runners- James Ellis and Sam Tosh (3rd and 4th overall) were both under 18 as were Leo Harvey and Owain Morris. Other good runs from Laura Bestow of West Cheshire AC (first outing on the fells for 2nd overall lady) and Kate Tetlow from Warrington for 3rd lady.

Ras Pen Cerrig Calch        Report and Results         Photo 1         Photo 2        Photo 3

Gweryd Gallops Results    Race Report    Photo 1    Photo 2

Celyn Multi-Challenge Adventure Race             Results

  

Sunday 22nd March 2009. Start 11.00a.m       John Morris Tel 01352 755198

Dash in the Dark Trail Race 3

Saturday 7th March 2009            Results

Ras yr Aran Sat 4th March            Results              Pics from Alastair Tye              Pics from Gwynfor

Course records smashed in local fell race.

A warm sunny Spring day in Llanuwchllyn created perfect conditions for the 107 runners who took part in this years Aran Organic Lamb fell race and course records fell like cherry blossom.

In the main race Tim Davies of Mercia and Richard Roberts of Eryri battled all the way to the summit of the 3000ft Aran Fawddwy and were still only 8 seconds apart when they got back to the finish line at the end of the 10 mile race. The victory went to Davies in 1.23.26 a full 8 minutes inside the course record while Roberts time of 1.23.34 was 15mins faster than his previous best for the course. Roland Stafford of Mercia came home third in 1.31.41 Age group wins, and new records were set by both Alan Ward of Dark Peak (0/40) in 1.34.02 and Adam Haynes of Eryri (0/50) in 1.38.42 Mike Blake of Eryri was first man 0/60 in 2.00.19

The results in the ladies race were even more spectacular with the first four runners finishing inside the previous record. Kate Bailey, of host club Meirionnydd RC, and Anna Bartlett of Shrewsbury were neck and neck toward the top of the mountain but Bailey managed to pull out a lead on the descent and crossed the line first in 1.41.14 seven minutes inside the course record and a magnificent 9th place overall. Bartlett came home in 1.44.10 and Andrea Roberts of Eryri was third in 1.46.07

Age group wins went to Sandra Rowlands of Clwydian RR (0/40) breaking her age record with a time of 2.05.00 while Maggie Oliver of Eryri shattered the 0/60 course record by a phenomenal 28mins finishing in 2.20.25

There was also a good turn out of local athletes, mainly from the Meirionnydd Running Club. Kevin Jones, despite his dislike for down hill running, romped home in 1.49.24 with new club mate Ifan Richards not far behind in 1.54.58 Next home was Hedd Evans, who chose to run in trainers instead of his traditional hiking boots, and he duly took the first local prize in 2.07.44 Next in was John D Smith in 2.12.38 while a struggling Iori Jones completed the course in 2.29.24

The Garth Fawr junior race was won by Owain Llyr James in 14.13 and first girl was Elin Edwards in 23.53 Ras yr Aran was the final counter in the Meirionnydd winter race series, an accumulation of times from the Aran, Tarren Hendre and Rhobell Fawr races. Richard Roberts second place today was more than enough to secure him the Race Series, finishing with a cumulative time of 3.04.49 a new series record, nearly half an hour ahead of his nearest competitor. The ladies race however was a far far closer affair but Kate Baileys win on the day wasn’t by a big enough margin over Anna Bartlett, and the series win went to the latter by a mere 12 seconds. Bartletts finishing time of 3.42.27 was also a series record.

The organisers would like to express their thanks to all of the Aran landowners and the Eagles Inn and Aran Organic lamb who made the race possible.

Moel Wnion 14.03.09          Results                       Pics by Alastair Tye              Pics by Gwynfor              Pics by Pete Macmillen

Photo Alastair Tye
Pipe Dream 07.03.09             Results              Pics by John Richards

This was the 5th running of the Pipe Dream Race, and it turned out to be a record turnout with 101 taking part, no doubt helped by the fact it was a WFRA North Wales Series counter.
As an organiser I’ve been very lucky to be able to take part in four of the five races, and I’ve been able to do this because of the great help I’ve been given on race day by Sheila and Geoff who have managed the registration and timekeeping for me.
And what can I say about this year; with the absence of a few of the big guns some of us slightly lesser mortals were able to battle it out…and I find myself in the ‘almost’ embarrassing position of actually managing to win my own race!
Scott Butterworth and I had a great battle, which was decided in the final descent. John Montgomery took 3rd overall and 1st Vet 40; the three of us being less than a minute apart.
As ever we all seemed to choose various route combinations along the upper pipeline, this time into a difficult wind coming down from Llyn Cowlyd.
And so which is the best line to take along the pipe? That would be telling!!!
Eryri’s Andrea Roberts managed to win the race for the second time, with a comfortable minute over clubmate Rebecca Law, with 3rd overall being Vet 40 Joanne Hill of Oswestry.
Vet 50 was won by Steve P Jones (Eryri), Vet 60 by Don Williams.
And I didn’t realise at the prizegiving, but we also had a Vet 70 in the shape of Ron Hird. Apologies Ron for not mentioning you.
Thanks to everyone who came. The race managed to raise money once again for the community centre. And thanks once again to Team Dolly for providing radio and safety cover, plus photographs of everyone.
See you next year.         Craig.
Carding Mill Canter              Pics by Alastair Tye
LONGTOWN FELL RACE- 28.02.09              Results       

Photo by tuf99ty        tuf99ty's photos

This was the first running of this new race on the calendar, and the only one of the South Wales winter series this year to start in England. An out-and-back course over 3.2m/1150ft ascent provided a bit of tarmac, a good steady climb and a fast descent.

The men’s race was another exciting affair, and the closest winning margin this season. Martin Shaw, representing Mynydd Du, won by just 1 second after passing Pete Ryder (Brycheiniog) in the final fields. The winner was in great form after a recent top 10 finish in the Welsh National Cross Country Championships. Ryder looks to have the winter series sewn up providing he can maintain his form at the final fixture. Welsh International Matthew Collins was 3rd, returning from injury.

The MV40 winner was again Mike Duxbury of Stroud AC, and John Aggleton was very excited to take the MV50 award for MDC. His son Hugh was 4th overall. Another on the comeback trail after injury was Hereford’s Steve Herrington, first MV60. John Collins (Swansea) won the MV70 prize to complete a good day for veterans.

In the women’s field Helen Fines made it 5 out of 5 this series for Calder Valley Fell Runners, with Helen Bennett (MDC) 2nd and Daniella Woodbridge (Griffithstown Harriers) 3rd.

However, it was a sad day for fell running in Wales as news arrived of the death of 28 year old Kate Auchterlonie, after being hit by a car whilst cycling up Caerphilly Mountain. Kate, who recently came 3rd at the Kymin, was not only a gifted runner, but excelled at cycling, rowing and polo, as well as being a talented musician and Oxford graduate.

HF

Gwynfors' Pics              Ras Moel y Ci, Tregarth, Gwynedd, BS / 5m / 950ft 21.02.09      Pics by Alastair Tye

Warm spring weather and the reputation of post-race soup and cakes brought 130 runners to the Moelyci Environmental Centre this year.
Congratulations to Lloyd Taggart of Dark Peak who set the new course record of 35.21 (-1.37), and to Jackie Lee of Eryri setting the new women’s record of 41.38 (-1.59) at 9th overall. Francis Blunt of NFR was 2nd in 38.44 and Iwan Morton of Eryri cruised round into 3rd place at 39.23 listening to Girls Aloud.
Adam Haynes of Eryri, 1st MV50 and 5th, pipped John Montgomery of Clwydian, 1st MV40 and 6th to the finish, with Don Williams of Eryri 1st MV60 at 28th in 46.12. Annie Williams of Eryri had a great run-in as 1st FV40 at 52.21 with Maggie Oliver of Eryri 1st FV50/60 at 59.43.

The junior race winner was Tecwyn Evans setting a new course record of 9.14 (-1.09) with Lisa Peters first girl at 6th in 10.31. Tecwyn wins a day’s navigation course at the Moelyci Centre; good training for the longer fell races ! Sixteen juniors ran.

Many thanks go to the Centre staff, marshals, ‘Team Dolly’ radio network, the registration and finish team and prize donators.

Senior Results

Titterstone Clee             Pics by Alastair Tye
LLANTHONY FELL RACE 31/01/09              Results

The Llanthony winter race took place over a new course for 2009 of 3.3m/1150ft, hence records were set in all categories. The deep mud underfoot in the lower fields leaves them open for improvement in years to come though. This year, in lieu of prizes, organizer Dick Finch opted to donate the race profits to humanitarian aid in Gaza.

The men's race was as exciting as has been seen in recent times, with Pete Ryder and Paul Murrin fighting it out to the final yards. Murrin, running for Chepstow, led for most of the long diagonal climb to the ridge and along the Offa's Dyke path, only to be passed by Ryder (Brycheiniog) on the steep descent. After the final stile into the fields the mountain-bike specialist regained the lead, and the race looked to be over, until a final sprint by Ryder in the last 40m denied him. Just a minute behind them Stroud AC's Mike Duxbury took 3rd and 1st MV40. Chris Taylor and Gary Gunner continued their streak of good form by taking the 1st MV50 and 1st MV60 respectively.

The women's race was a less close affair, with Helen Fines 1st female and 8th overall for Yorkshire club Calder Valley. Liz Francis of Chepstow had an excellent run in 2nd place, beating Alice Bedwell (MDC). Both were 1st and 2nd FV40s, and close behind was 1st FV50 Sue Ashton.

Results Dash in the Dark Trail Race 1 Fan Fawr 4th Oct 2008 Better Late than Never!
Tarren Hendre 24-01-09        Slideshow pics by your injured webmaster Results Pics by Alastair Tye

There was an excellent turnout this year as the race was the first counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association 2009 North Wales Series and second race in the Meirionnydd Winter Series. The weather was dry with sunny intervals but with mist on the summit.
The race was won by Richard Roberts of Eryri in a time of 51 minutes and 22 seconds. Iain Ridgway of Eryri was second in 52.01 and clubmate Adam Haynes 3rd (also 1st over 50) in 56.53. Other category winners - Over 40 Paul Howarth (Eryri) 57.29, Over 60 Don Williams (Eryri) 63.20.
There was fierce competition in the ladies race with the first 4 finishing in the top 13 overall. The race was won by Anna Bartlett of Shrewsbury in a time of 57.24 with Jackie Lee of Eryri 2nd in 58.46. Kate Bailey of Meirionnydd just managed to beat Andrea Roberts of Eryri into 3rd place in 59.38. Andrea finished in 59.46. Other category winners - Over 40 Sandra Rowlands (Clwydian) 69.44, Over 50 Sheila Bennell (Eryri) 95.47, Over 60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri) 79.57.

KYMIN REPORT- 10/01/09        Results

There was an excellent turnout for the fourth race in the South Wales Winter Hill series, at the Kymin in Monmouth. Although the Kymin is only about 600ft in overall height, an inventive and challenging course comprises 1150 feet of ascent in just under 4 miles.

After the early leader Hugh Aggleton was forced to retire with an ankle injury, the race turned into a fascinating battle between 17 year old Kristian Jones of Swansea Harriers, and Tom Gibbs (MDC/Chepstow). Gibbs, who performs better in longer races, tracked the youngster and caught him at the top of the final climb to the Observatory Tower. However, orienteer Jones had the superior descending skills, and despite the two being neck and neck with a quarter mile to go, his finishing speed gave him a 14 second advantage at the finish. A new record of 30.34 was written into the books. Mike Duxbury of Stroud AC, always a consistent performer on the fells, was third in 31.25.

In the womens race Helen Fines achieved a comfortable win, though slower than her record set last year after being affected by stomach pains. Alice Bedwell, representing MDC, was second (and first FV40) in 38.57. She was chased all the way to the line by unattached runner Kate Auchterlonie who worked hard to catch Bedwell along the final road section, only to be outsprinted at the line.

The veteran categories were competitive, with Simon Blease taking the MV50 in 34.59 and Gary Gunner (Croft Ambrey) the MV60 in a fast 39.22. For the women, Sue Ashton (42.05) continued to dominate the FV50 category, and Clare Johnson was first FV60 in 53.44.

Hangover Hobble      Results

A bitterly cold day greeted 55 runners for the annual Hangover Hobble at Coed LLandegla. This years course unfortunately cut short due to -10 degrees on the summit, although this didn't seem to bother anyone.

Darren Rowlands for Wrexham Tri coming home first in 33.07 a good distance ahead of second place Gary Norgrove at 35.14 (Wrexham Tri) and Jez Brown at 35.20 (Buckley).

Ladies were headed home first by Maddie Horton in 37.52 followed by Mary Gillie in 40:42 (CRR) and Lisa Morley in 41.29 (Wrexham Tri)

Finally, my thanks to all the marshals who braved the sub zero temps.        Ben Amesbury

Jubilee Plunge        28th December 2008       Results      Photos from Andy Mitchelmore

Increased numbers at this year's Jubilee Plunge downhill race from the summit of Moel Famau to Llangynhafal.
Downhill specialists came from far and wide!! Runners could choose whatever route they like and this year Craig Jones found a good line to break the record by nearly a minute.
The ladies race went too with local runner Rhian Pierce of Eryri using her knowledge of the mountain to good effect. Especially encouraging was the number of local runners, including many juniors who thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

webmaster
The next WFRA Navigation Course has provisionally been arranged for Sunday 29th March in Llanberis.
Further details available from Ross Powell - E mail ross@wfra.org.uk.
Llyn Llydaw 1st January 2009

Pictures from Pete Macmillen       Pen Y Pass to Llydaw round the lake and back.       Results

The Morning After      Photos Alastair Tye

Rosey Nosey, Graianrhyd, Denbighshire, 27th December BM 3.75/600ft      Results

Eryri's Tim Higginbottom enjoyed the challenge of the Rosey Nosey fell race on 27th December. Held almost on his doorstep from the Rose and Crown at Graianrhyd, the route took in some tough scrambling through heather and over ancient frozen stony tracks and, although Tim led throughout, he was seriously tested by the masterful off road technique of Jez Brown and the sheer power of Neil Parry.
Jenny Ewels and Sue Ridings contested the ladies prizes and a top quality field were all home injury free within 15 minutes of each other. Pints of Bah Humbug at 7% completed an enjoyable afternoon.
Thanks to Rod the landlord for an excellent venue and to Vicky, the organiser's wife, who took over the organising to enable him to do a second circuit of the course.

Martin

Boxing Day Tyn y Groes Hill Race       Results       Photos Alastair Tye


A Flying Huw Brassington ...pic by Alastair Tye
On a cold but gloriously sunny day 24 runners took to the hills above the Tyn-y-groes for the annual Boxing Day version of the Tyn-y-Groes Hill Race.
No records were broken and it was Adam Haynes of Eryri that took first place in 21:15 followed by Huw Brassington in 21:45 and Mark Atherton in 22:45.

This years Ladies winner was Janet Preston in 33:26 and runner up 15year old Iola Jones in 35:58 with 3rd ladies place going to Cathy Bradley in 36:40.
As usual hot soup and mince pies were freely available in the Tyn-y-Groes afterwards.
A raffle/collection for Charity raised £106.

Photos from Peter Douglas

MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS       CARDINGTON CRACKER 07/12/08              Photos Alastair Tye
Brian Smith's Photos

MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS       RAS Y MAST 30/11/08              Photos Alastair Tye

MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS       THE BLORENGE RACE 29/11/08              Results in excel format

46 runners contested the Blorenge race this year in cold, dry conditions. This unique race was almost lost from the calendar, until new organisers the Taylors stepped in. The use of the warm village hall for registration, with free tea and biscuits and real, actual toilets, was an unexpected and welcome luxury. For £2 entry free you get all this, and the lunacy of a relentless 1 in 3 climb for 1400ft, a treacherous descent, and surely in no other race in Britain do you get to run under a canal. Twice.

A close men's race was won by Hugh Aggleton of MDC by just 4 seconds, from Rob Gordon of Mynydd Du. The latter was racing off a period of hard training, and despite a better descent than the winner, could not quite catch him. Hugh, a cyclist, comes from a family of fell runners- father John was 16th overall and 2nd MV50- and reports that he may have seen the light and converted to fell running. A good climb brought him to the bunker in 2nd place, behind eventual 3rd placer Paul Murrin from Chepstow Harriers. Both the first MV40 Mike Duxbury (Stroud) and MV45 Max Suff (Hereford) are consistent top 10 placers in the South Wales Series.

Helen Fines was first woman home for the 3rd year running, although a pitifully poor line of descent put paid to chances of breaking the record. After a bad ankle injury in this race last year, Helen Bennett was relieved to come home safely in 2nd, and another Mynydd Du's Sharon Woods was 3rd (1st FV40). Chepstow's consistent stalwart Sue Ashton (FV50) was close behind.

The wooden spoon award has to go to Dick Finch. After selflessly leading his clubmates up the Blorenge for a recce the previous week, he proceeded to take possibly the most convoluted route in the history of the race. Returning over an hour later, he reported having visited the old railway sidings and the village of Garn Dyrys. Sightings of him enjoying a cream tea are unconfirmed, but he certainly failed to challenge John Sweeting for the MV60 win.        Helen Fines

MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS       Corndon Classic        Sun 16th November      Results
A great total of 66 runners made the re-birth of this smashing 6 miler totally worthwhile . Despite a drizzly start to the race the hard pull over the top of Corndon Hill from the start at the Miners Arms soon warmed every one up. The day and the views then simply got better and better.
The race obviously threw up new course records for both the men & women. Maldwyn and Mercias own Andy Davis diposing his brothers long standing time with a run of 40.55 on the day.Tim will argue I,m sure that it was a different course back then. Aberystwyth's Pheobe webster nailed first lady home with a splendid 53.13. Amongst many good efforts was a great showing from Mick Ward to grab the over 70s with an amazing run.
Cheers and thanks for running, Paul Beeson
MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS        Penmaenmawr Sat 15th November           Results    Photos Alastair Tye


          Photo by Alastair
WFRA Open / Welsh Championship and Series Presentations 2008
Prizes donated by - Ultimate Outdoors, Innovate, Run and Become, Benard's Gallery
The presentations took place after the Rhobell Fawr race on 8th November 2008. Congratulations to all the Prizewinners listed below.


Photo by Eve Collins      

The winner is missing having had to leave early to go to a friends wedding

WFRA Open / Welsh Championship
Male U/40 - 1. Richard Roberts (Eryri), 2. Harry Mathews (Mynydd Du), 3. Iain Ridgway (Eryri).
Male O/40 - 1. Neil Lewis (MDC), 2. Paul Beeson (Maldwyn), 3. Glyn Fletcher (Maldwyn).
Male O/50 - 1. Ross Powell (WFRA), 2. Kean Rowlands (Clwydian), 3.Martin Cortvriend (Clwydian).
Male O/60 - 1. Don Williams (Eryri), 2. Gary Gunner (Croft Ambrey), 3. John Sweeting (MDC).
Male O/70 - 1. Peter Norman (Wrexham).
Female U/40 - 1. Helen Fines (Calder Valley), 2. Kate Bailey (Meirionnydd), 3. Andrea Roberts (Eryri).
Female O/40 - 1. Sandra Rowlands (Clwydian), 2. Ellie Salisbury (Eryri).
Female O/50 - 1. Sue Ashton (Chepstow). Female O/60 - 1. Maggie Oliver (Eryri).
The 2008 WFRA Welsh Champions are Richard Roberts and Andrea Roberts.

WFRA North Wales Series
Male U/40 - 1.Richard Roberts (Eryri), 2. Matthew Roberts (Eryri), 3. Scott Butterworth (Eryri).
Male O/40 - 1. Paul Beeson (Maldwyn), 2. Noel Craine (Eryri), 3. Michael Kelly (Leighton).
Male O/50 - 1. Graham McAra (Cheshire), 2. Martin Cortvriend (Clwydian), 3. Jim Bennell (Eryri).
Male O/60 - 1. Don Williams (Eryri), 2. John Morris (Buckley).
Female U/40 - 1. Andrea Roberts (Eryri), 2. Mary Gillie (Clwydian), 3. Hannah Toberman (Eryri).
Female O/40 - Sandra Rowlands (Clwydian), 2. Ali Thomas (Eryri), 3. Emily Wood (Eryri).
Female O/50 - 1. Sue Ashton (Chepstow). Female O/60 - 1. Maggie Oliver (Eryri).

WFRA South Wales Series
Male U/40 - 1. Matthew Collins (MDC), 2. Harry Mathews (Mynydd Du), 3. Stuart Moore (Wye Valley).
Male U/23 - 1. Matthew Stott (Chepstow).
Male O/40 - 1. Max Suff (Hereford), 2. Dimitri Vorres (Griffithstown), 3. Peter Williams (MDC).
Male O/50 - 1. Steve Littlewood (Hereford), 2. John Darby (MDC), 3. Clive Rowberry (Hereford).
Male O/60 - 1. Gary Gunner (Croft Ambrey), 2. Les Williams (Eryri), 3. John Sweeting (MDC).
Female U/40 - 1. Emma Bayliss (Mynydd Du), 2. Helen Bennett (MDC), 3. Daniella Woodbridge (Griffithstown).
Female O/40 - 1. Sharon Woods (Mynydd Du), 2. Hanneke Van Der Werf, 3. Christine Vorress (Griffithstown).
Female O/50 - 1. Gill Stott (Chepstow).

MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS        Rhobell Fawr Sat 8th November           Results    Photos from Gwynfor


Michel Kelly of Leighton Athletic           Photo by Gwynfor
With the jammiest of weather windows a race organiser could wish for, 89 runners took to the fells above Llanfachreth in overcast, windy but generally dry conditions. The race was won by Richard Roberts of Eryri in 50.01, a time 4 mins faster than his last visit to Rhobell, getting his Winter Series challenge off to a flying start.

In second, despite improving his personal best over the course by 36 seconds, was last years Series champion Mathew Roberts of Eryri, finishing in 51.32. Third place, having travelled from South Wales for the race was Harry Mathews in a time of 53.13.

In the veterans categories first man 0/40 was Paul Beeson of Maldwyn Harriers in 57.31, first man 0/50 was Adam Haynes of Eryri in 57.10, and first man 0/60 was Don Williams of Eryri in 1.03.08.
In the ladies section less than 4 minutes separated the first 5 finishers! Anna Bartlett of Shrewsbury returned to the course for the first time since 2005, taking 19 seconds off her personal best to win in 1.00.53. In second place, only 54 seconds behind and fresh from her victory in last weekends "Hellrunner", was Meirionnydd Running Clubs Kate Bailey, returning to her spiritual home to finish in 1.01.47. In third was Mary Gillie of Clwydian Range Runners in 1.02.14, and in fourth and fifth, continuing their Battle Royal from the 2006 Winter Series, when a mere 39 seconds decided the title, were Phoebe Webster of Aberystwyth University (1.03.15) and Andrea Roberts of Eryri (1.04.16). Any one of these 5 could go on to take the ladies title in the Meirionnydd Winter Series - who has the staying power? only time will tell....
Age category victories went to Sandra Rowlands of Clwydian Range Runners in 1.10.39 (0/40), Sue Ashton of Chepstow, setting a new age category record of 1.11.34 (0/50), Maggie Oliver of Eryri, who broke Brenda Jones age record with a time of 1.21.33 (0/60), and finally Sheila Symmonds of Bro Dysynni who set a new age record 0/70 in 2.15.00
Winners of the Short/Junior Race were Owain Llyr James in 16.00 with Bronwen Jenkinson first girl in 17.42.

Graeme Stringer       Meirionnydd Running Club

MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS           Sugar Loaf Sat 1st November          Results

Conditions were cold and breezy for the winter Sugar Loaf race (5m/1455ft), and the large field of 116 runners enjoyed snow underfoot at the summit. Spectators were treated to a close finish in the men's race, with Danny Lewis (representing the RAF) beating Peter Ryder of Brycheiniog by just 2 seconds. Danny's father and brother also competed in the race. A below-par Rob Gordon had to settle for third place this time.

In the women's race, Helen Fines (Calder Valley) made it a hat-trick of record-breaking runs, lowering the course record by a further 25 seconds this year. Chepstow Harriers' Liz Francis was second woman and first FV40. A fast-finishing Helen Bennett just held off the challenge of Lisa Newing for 3rd place.

An encouraging number of juniors entered the race. First male, and 10th overall, was student Matthew Franklin from UWE. First junior female was Naomi Prosser of Hereford AC. Moving towards the other end of the age scale, Crispin Flower (Mynydd Du) was able to celebrate his new status as a vet by taking the first MV40 prize, 8th overall. Bryan Stadden, on a Bitton Road Runners club away-day, was first MV50

MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS             Clwydian Hills 2nd November 2008.             Results            

The Clwydian Hills race took place from Cilcain, near Mold on Sunday 2nd November. Weather conditions were overcast with rain at times. Underfoot conditions were heavy and the competitors even had to run through deep snow in places!
The race was won by John Hunt of Dark Peak in a time of 81 minutes and 18 seconds (also 1st over 40). Scott Butterworth of Eryri was 2nd in 81.44 and Jez Brown of Buckley was 3rd in 82.22. Other category winners Over 50 Steve P Jones (Eryri) 85.14, Over 60 Mike Blake (Eryri) 98.52, Over 70 Peter Norman (Wrexham) 123.50.
The ladies race was won by Mary Gillie of Clwydian in a time of 92.54. Sarah Hammond of Tattenhall was 2nd in 95.37 (also 1st over 40) and Ann-Marie Jones of Altrincham was 3rd in 102.37 (also 1st over 50). The over 60 category was won by Maggie Oliver of Eryri in 119.18. 89 ran. Regards, Ross Powell

Wrekin Wrecker 2nd November 2008.             Results             Photo's from Alastair Tye
Rhinog Horseshoe 11th October 2008.             Results             Race Report
Mendip Muddle 12th October 2008.             Results             Photo Links     Prizewinners

The Mendip Muddle is Weston AC's toughest race yet is arguably the most enjoyable. Enjoyable that is if you don't mind over 1400ft of climb over the 12.4 mile course. Held in the glorious and spectacular setting of the Mendip Hills near Weston-super-Mare, the Muddle attracts a hardy bunch of runners who appreciate the dramatic views from the highest point of the race, at Beacon Batch. The weather was very kind to us this year and with another record entry of runners, the scene was set for another successful race.

Despite the good weather, the hills were still as steep and the ground still as muddy. First across the finish line was Richard Phillips (Senior Male – Serpentine Running Club) in 1h 23m 52s, with Andrew Deamer (MV40 – Wells City Harriers) in 1h 27m 33s and Martin Pengilly (MV40 – Chepstow Harriers) in 1h 29m 45s following closely behind. For the ladies, first home was Robyn Golding (Senior Female – Westbury Harriers) in 1h 39m 29s, with Phillippa Stephens (Senior Female – Weston AC) in 1h 40m 22s and Lynette Porter (FV40 – Bitton Road Runners) in 1h 42m 22s making up the other major placings.

Thanks to the record entry of 330 entrants and generous sponsorship of the race, we were once again able to donate a significant sum to the Wrington Vale branch of the RNLI. A big thank you to the Weston AC and RNLI marshals who gave up their time to make sure the runners got around safely and for also giving them generous encouragement along the route.

A note for your diary, next year’s Muddle will take place on October 11th 2008. See you there! Full race results and Muddle details can be found at www.westonac.co.uk

FRA Relay Llangynhafal October 19th         Photo's from Alastair Tye        Results        Photo's from Harry Moon
Photo's from Paul Sheard
At 19.30 on 19th October the web site went down for the first of several occasions.The initial cause was 1424 visitors to the site and downloads of the maps for the FRA relays causing the site to exceed its allocated bandwidth. I purchased more bandwidth but that lasted just a few hours before the site crashed again. Another bandwidth top up followed but the high volume of visitors yet again crashed the site. I've now moved the site to a new server with 15 times the capacity. If anyone finds a missing file or broken link please contact me.

Final Entry List   Course Maps    Leg A   Leg B   Leg D

Breidden Hills Photos from Alastair Tye
Fan Fawr 4th October 2008         Results

With the onset of October and the arrival of the South Wales wind and rainy season earlier even than the most doom-laden of global warming prophecies might have predicted the monthly gathering of the Winter League aficionados kicked off with a bog-snorkelling approach to the summit of Fan Fawr and back. On a traditional bracing autumn day a 2 mile yomp and hurtle, on race day, well it would have drier to swim the River Tawe.

Nevertheless, there being no end to the madness of the dedicated winter league crew and with rebukes such as “you must be barking” a ringing endorsement in their collective soggy ears, the 1000ft swim up Fan Fawr’s eastern flank began. With Kay Lucas, hermetically sealed as summit marshal, co-conspirator Wheeze nobly offered to forgo the opportunity for nirvana by mud and rain and debunked with me to the safety of the Golf GTi race vehicle as the runners and swimmers disappeared into the gloop and clag.

Quite what happened in the intervening 18 minutes or so is entirely a matter for conjecture however the finish line team bravely emerged into the elements as the leading pair of Andy Jones and Peter Ryder squelched out of the mid-section boglands and into view down the finish schuss. Neck and neck they slipped, slithered and hurtled toward the finish line sheep trod where we cowered beneath umbrellas and cags wringing out the results sheet every minute or so. Empirically separated by a second in the results in reality it was a lot closer, the width of a Brycheiniog vest separating Peter from his maiden Winter League win. With young Aggleton H., completing a youthful 1,2,3, a bevy of newly aged vets jostled several youngsters to the lower reaches of the top 10, Mike Duxbury prevailing for a second year in a row. Youthful Aggleton senior, John, Hugh’s father, continued his fine summer form with 11th position and first in the V50 category. Comeback queen Liz Francis nailed the ladies categories and we were delighted to see the return of prodigal Les Williams, one of the original members of the South Wales fell running scene, to home turf after a decade or so in the northern wilderness as he carted off the V60 crown. Last home was V70 John Battersby demonstrating that even in the autumn of his running career a more than modest touch of seasonal rain would not put a dampener on his racing programme.

My thanks to evergreen Kay Lucas for braving the awful conditions at the summit and to Simon Blease for calling them in through wind and rain at the finish.

Toffer
(For Steam Bunny productions Inc.)

Arenig Fawr 28th September 2008.             Results             Alastair's Photos     Pete's pictures

The Arenig Fawr race took place in a beautiful remote area near Bala. This deceptively tough race was a counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association North Wales Series. The morning mist and drizzle had cleared by the start leaving conditions mild, dry, overcast and light winds. Cloud level was around the summit.
Lloyd Taggart of Dark Peak took nearly 3 minutes off the previous record finishing in a time of 53 minutes and 52 seconds. Richard Roberts (Eryri) was 2nd in 54.36 followed by Matthew Roberts (Eryri) 3rd in 59.31. Other category winners - Over 40 Stephen Pyke (Staffs Moorlands) 59.48, Over 50 Graham McAra (Cheshire) 66.35, Over 60 Mike Blake (Eryri) 75.41.
The ladies race was won by Andrea Roberts of Eryri in 66.47. Anna Bartlett of Shrewsbury was 2nd in 69.37 and Mary Gillie of Clwydian 3rd in 72.08. Other category winners - Over 40 Sandra Rowlands (Clwydian) 76.13, Over 60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri) 94.16.
Excellent unlimited soup, cakes, tea and coffee were waiting for the runners on their return. Thanks to Yiannis and his team for a great race.
Ross Powell

Final Entry List   Course Maps    Leg A   Leg B   Leg D

FINAL ENTRY LIST FOR THE FRA RELAYS 19TH OCTOBER 2008

My original limit (and I'm sure you'll realise we have to have a limit somewhere for various reasons some obvious some not so obvious) was 125 - I've had 128 entries plus teams who have asked for extra entries which constitutes the waiting list. I've decided to accept the 128 assuming they'll whittle down to 125 and in the event of more dropping out then I'll take entries (in the order as listed which is the order that I received applications) from the waiting list.

19.30pm19-10-08 website went down due to extreme traffic viewing the maps! These were disabled to keep the rest of the site functioning but are now re enabled on the new server Details are on p 54 of the latest edition of the Fellrunner magazine - clubs who have entered will receive a package of information through the post in September.

The photo on the left is from last year's Llangynhafal Loop race at the same venue. Further details, including route information will appear here in the next few weeks.

Please note:

FRA Relay Entries Llangynhafal October 19th We have passed the cut off date for entries for this year's FRA Relays. The limit of 125 teams has been reached and there is a waiting list of teams who will step into the breach should there be any drop-outs. If your club feels that for some reason they must pull out a team that has entered please let the organiser know asap in order that a substitute team can be entered. 1. The entry fee is £45 per team as specified on the entry form

2. Thanks to a last minute ruling by UK Athletics, the Vets team can include ladies (all must be over 40 years old)

Pedol Peris Photos from Gwynfor Photos from Pete MacMillen Photos from Alastair Tye
Stretton Skyline 14th September 2008.             Results             Alastair's Photos

At a time when we’ve had more rain than an Amazon downpour in the height of the tropical monsoons, the race Organisers prayers were answered & the clouds parted in time for a wonderfully dry & sunny weekend for the 28th running of the race & the typical Skyline weather was bestowed upon us.

The race got off to a tremendous start with an exceptional 96 starters, lead by a man meaning business & going for a course record. Early morning cloud & mist lingered on the tops with Pole Bank feeling on the cool side, never the less our man on a mission had a good 5 minutes lead at this point & disappeared into the mist now with his sights firmly set on Little Stretton back down in the valley.
      

First Lady runner Kate Bailey of Meirionnydd RC was also consolidating her position whilst looking decidedly cheery in the process.
Competitors then tackled the switchbacks of Ragleth, Caer Caradoc & Lawley hills before crossing the valley & heading off once again for the Long Myndd Plateau. The grind up onto the Myndd usually takes it’s toll on tired legs leaving the long fast Motts Road decent back into Cardingmill & eventually Church Stretton to finish on the town Cricket & Football Pitches. As the race progressed & as to be expected both of the leads grew with Mike having a 23 minute margin as he crossed the finish line over Andrew Primrose of Mercia Fell Runners & Kate had a 13min lead over Camilla Stewart who was unattached.

Mike’s finishing time was 2:18:22 just 1 minute off the record set way back in 1986. The water logged fields from Comley farm just after Lawley hill seemed to slow his progress & could well have been the reason that he just missed out. Probably just as well he was slowed as I’d only just put the last flag in the ground when he came through!
In a year which broke from the norm seeing relatively more senior finishers in the top 20 than veterans. First male veteran back was Nick Thomas of Telford Harriers & First Lady veteran was Lisa Garside of Telford AC.

Many thanks to all who helped with the Goody Bags, Marshalling & Water Stations along the way, the Church Stretton Social Club for providing the Registration & Post race venue, this is all very much appreciated by both the organisers & runners alike.
Also I musn’t forget to congratulate Paul Sanderson who not only ran around before the event setting out the course & delivering water station equipment, ran the race & then cleared away afterwards – I hope he had a well earned pint in the social club afterwards!

91 Finishers (95 Goody Bags made, phew!)

Race report – Andy Smith & these rather dodgy photos

www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk             www.prdouglas.co.uk

LLYN-Y-FAN RACE 13/09/08            Results

Martin Shaw made up for the disappointment of missing out on World Trophy selection by landing only the second outright win of his career in the Llyn-y-Fan race (5.5m/2000ft). By finishing in 42.47, less than a minute from Mark Palmer's record, he gained a comfortable victory over junior Carwyn Thomas of Sarn Helen (44.27). In fact there were four U23s in the field of 25, with another- Chepstow Harrier Matt Stott- taking 3rd overall. 4th and 1st MV40 was Tim Hindle (Brecon).

Last year's women's winner Naomi Law had to settle for second this time, with Helen Fines finishing 5th overall and first woman for Calder Valley in 53.54. Chepstow's ever-consistent Sue Ashton was 3rd and 1st FV50. Naomi, Sue, Martin Lucas (1st MV50) and Elvet Jones (1st MV60) all finished within a minute of one another, but overall the small field quickly spread out. However, the bright sunshine and clear blue skies meant for easy route-finding and a thoroughly enjoyable race with something for everyone- a long gradual climb, fast ridge running, a short steep climb, a very steep descent and some fast grassy terrain.

Loop Round Llangynhafal     Childrens Races     Results      Organizer Mary Gillie      Sunday 7th September     
Rather damp weather didn't deter 18 young fellrunners participating in the Loop Round Llangynhafal on the 7th September. The downpours over the 2 days before had turned the paths to mud and streams. There were plenty of contenders for the muddiest runner prize.

It was Freya Davis' first fell run but that didn't stop her winning the 6-7 yrs race in a fantastic 4:08 in an all female field. She took it in her stride, commenting that 'there was only one hill'. Tom Homes stormed home in 10:55 in the 8-9 year olds race. Sian James finished the run with great determination despite rather bumped knees.

Given the conditions the 10-11yrs and 12-13 yrs ran the same route together. Lily Davis sped home winning outright in 10:14. Hard on her heels was Oliver Major who won the 12-13 yrs category in 10:29. Glyn Dickerson was the first 10-11yrs boy in 11:52 a nd the first girl in the 12-13yrs group was Hannh Sykes. Ben Amesbury won the 'Best Marshal' prize.


Slideshow

The Kinmel Arms     Tavern Trial Race     Results      Organizer Martin Cortvriend 01824 790534
Kinmel Arms Tavern, Llandyrnog, Denbighshire 2.30 pm Saturday 30th August      9 miles/2000ft

Ben and Yvonne Amesbury

Jez Brown and Neil Parry
Y Cnicht Cnichty Pictures    Results

The Cnicht race took place from Croesor, near Porthmadog, on Sunday 24th August.
There was a large turnout as the race was a counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association North Wales Series. The weather was mostly dry with sunny intervals. It was wet and slippery underfoot.
The race was won by Richard Roberts of Eryri in a time of 36 minutes and 30 seconds. Matt Gilbert of Wrexham Tri was 2nd in 36.43 and Roland Stafford of Mercia was 3rd in 38.01. Other category winners - Over 40 Paul Jenkinson (Eryri) 41.22, Over 50 Graham McAra (Cheshire) 44.56, Over 60 Don Williams (Eryri) 46.16
Andrea Roberts of Eryri was first to the summit in the ladies race but was passed on the descent by clubmate Jenny Heming who went on to win in a time of 45.23. Andrea Roberts was 2nd in 47.51 and Mary Gillie (Clwydian) 3rd in 48.32.
Other category winners - Over 40 Amanda Wilde (Meirionnydd) 52.30, Over 50 Mandy Whitehead (u/a) 70.28, Over 60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri) 62.28.
The missing runner was found safe and well in Nantmor a couple of hours after the race.

Loop Round Llangynhafal Childrens' Fell Races Sunday 7th September
GILL HARRIS         The WFRA are sad to report that Gill Harris of Mercia has died after a long illness. The Welsh Fell Runners Association would like to extend their condolences to all family and friends. Please see the Mercia fell runners website for more information (www.merciafellrunners.org.uk).
MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS   Gladstone 9        Sat 9th August         Results
Photos from Alastair Tye         Photos from Pete MacMillen

The Gladstone 9 race sponsored by Sinclair Power Access and Conwy Outdoor Shop took place on Saturday 9th August from Dwygyfylchi near Penmaenmawr. This year the race was a counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association North Wales Series. Weather conditions at the start of the race were wet and windy. However, soon after the start the rain stopped and it became warm and humid with sunny intervals.

Adam Peers of Pensby, Richard Roberts of Eryri and Matt Gilbert of Wrexham Tri set the early pace running away from the rest of the field. They were still together at the Stone Circle on the return to Dwygyfylchi. However, Adam Peers (under 23) was the stronger winning the race in 1 hour 16 minutes and 36 seconds. This was nearly 3 minutes inside the old record! Richard Roberts finished second in 1.16.52 and Matt Gilbert 3rd in 1.17.49. Other category winners : Over 40 Paul Beeson (Maldwyn) 1.23.43, Over 50 Steve P Jones (Eryri) 1.28.17, Over 60 Don Williams (Eryri) 1.32.01

The ladies race was won by Andrea Roberts of Eryri in 1.29.04, Val Swingler of Shropshire Shufflers was 2nd (also 1st over 40) in 1.37.09 and Sandra Rowlands of Clwydian was 3rd (2nd over 40) in 1.38.44

MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS   International Snowdon Race        Sat 26th July   Results

Pics by Alastair Tye                  
      Ascent from Dave Pinnington
Descent from Dave Pinnington
Due to the volume of photos I took I have decided to split the two galleries up may help runners to find pics of themselves. 500-600 ish still to do....Dave
Gwynfor's Pics
MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS   The Green Green Grass of Home   Wed 23rd July Photos by Dave Pinnington

Results

The Green Green Grass of Home Race Report July 23rd 2008, AS 5 Miles 1800ft by Harrymoon (Adair Broughton)
Tucked away and resting peacefully on the slopes of Moel Famau lies the quiet idyll of Llangynhafal, a place where ‘three cars can cause gridlock’, but one which openly welcomed the midweek pain seekers otherwise known as ‘fellrunners’. Turning into The Golden Lion (always worth a visit www.thegoldenlioninn.com) the car park was already filling up with eager athletes already over the hump of the week and now about to challenge the humps and contours of the Clwydians. It was the third race in the Clwydian Hill Series, the Green Green Grass of Home.

So how many people can remember the song of that title that made it to Number 1 over numerous weeks? Today while I was sitting in work, I thought how apt the lyrics were “Then I awake and look around me, at four grey walls surround me and I realize that I was only dreaming.” Like the prisoner in the song I too find the fells a personal freedom, somewhere my mind can drift too and legs can look forward too at the end of a day in work. It’s definitely good “to touch the green green grass of home”. Even if we don’t live in a specific area there is a certain solace in meeting friends and pushing ourselves to the limits of ‘fun’. I can’t talk for anyone else but I do feel at home on the fells and I’m sure plenty of other people do too.

With a number and some quick stretches and the start a few minutes away we clambered over styles and slowly jogged over a few fields already feeling the heart start beating its playful rhythm. It was a warm night with little breeze, heavy cloud cover but with some gaps of teasing blue and hazy sunrays forcing themselves through to provide enough light for Dave Pinnington to take some excellent photos (www.flickr.com/photos/davepinno/sets/72157606335944058/)

The Golden Lion was below but there was a golden glow of Tattenhall Vests congregating at the start showing how well they have supported this wonderful series of races. It was also a Helsby club counter so the green Helsby vests were also dominant. Martin stood tall on the slope as he gave us a rundown of the course, watch out for the quarry and the obscenely large thistles to name one or two things! But first there was the steep green start to contend with, a runway between the ferns ready for fell runners to take-off, engines primed with fresh air and the promise of a gentle five mile run over sleepy hills.


The winner Adam Peers, (Liverpool Harriers and Loughborough University) negotiating the Field of Thistles
Svelt and naked bodies of toned athletes graced the front of the field leading the charge of the light footed brigade following close behind. It felt a fast start considering the slope but would not compare to how the race would end later on, finishing down the same line. How many people dared recce that at race speed before the start? Good job there were no speed cameras for the finish. Gaps were forming early and there would be a tough race at the front between the Liverpool Harrier Adam Peers, and Clwydian regulars Stan Charles and Ian Houston. This is why it is so good to have people photograph the races because afterwards we can see how the race pans out from the photos taken at different locations. www.sanoodi.com/route/welsh-harrier/162149/green-green-grass-of-home-2008/

This was a tough course. At the end of the race I was proudly showing my blister, the size of a halfpenny when it paled into insignificance against Steve Riley’s. Please also take a look at his great report from the race here (www.furiouscycling.blogspot.com/) and a look at the photo. Maybe the green green grass of home could be called the ‘like walking on hot coals’ race instead. Even with blisters and aching legs a day after I don’t think I’d want anything to change about this event, apart from the course being changed every year! I can’t begin to thank people enough that I can be a part of this event knowing that other people are taking numbers, organizing administration and marshalling, mapping out the course, co-coordinating results etc to name just a few of the jobs required. It is a pleasure to be able to enjoy the pain; each friendly chat and pint of Holts bitter somehow helping you to forget what torment the body was feeling while raising itself to compete with the contours and elevations, ferns, slopes and heather and the final descent of green green grass that made up this peccadillo. In fact, now I feel fantastic which always brings the eternally asked question to self ‘why didn’t I run faster?’


Steve Hatfield of Prestatyn leading a Tony Benton of Denbigh Harriers and Mick Bull of Middleton Harriers.
There was so much variety on this course and it took lots of concentration but if the runner could spare a few seconds once they had reached the top of the first climb the views were a highlight of the summer so far. Even with the cloud, colours were vivid and and it is easy to see why. The Clwydian range is classed as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

What a wonderful finish to a race though, the tough climb knowing it will make the legs very heavy for the downhill stretch. Mario pulled away with a turn of speed that I can only file away in my race memory banks in the drawer ‘impressive’. Snowdon should be an easy race after this. It was good to be back and taste the water. With spectators and race finishers clapping and cheering in each runner, watching them all finish with a flurry, I have to say that I didn’t think Rob Armstrong from Eryri was going to stop, with visions of him jumping the gate at the end due to the momentum he’d built up. It was all fabulous to watch.

A slow walk back to the car was in order and then the prize giving. Can anyone put on as good a prize giving as Martin can? Random and wonderful is all I can say. Camping gear, singing gnomes, a beautiful pair of pink futuristic fell running shoes (crocks), a chair, chocolates and most importantly beer and wine. I think the biggest cheer of the night was when Ian Houston picked up the gnome. There also were eight qualifiers for the legendary hard-earned Clwydian Trots t-shirt.

There was lots of banter and spirit on show, a magic night and I’m sure Steph Charman will be very happy with the unanimous decision of the pink shoes chosen on her behalf for winning her age category. She had a fantastic run and I’m glad Martin acknowledged that. First lady home was Holly Taylor on only her second fell race of the year closely followed by another Helsby lady Janet Robertson, with Alison Smith of Tattenhall in third. Once he was on the tops the eventual men’s winner, Adam Peers (Liverpool Harriers), flew round the course to open up a healthy gap over Stan Charles (Clwydian) in second place and Ian Houston (Mercia) third. Well done to all the other prize winners including the Ellis family from Tattenhall who all won prizes, Steve Bellis (Buckley) (V50), Andy Todd (Helsby) (V60), Peter Norman Wrexham) (V70), Sara Atkinson (Tattenhall) ( (L40) and Steph Charman (Helsby) (L50). Now if only there were four races in this series. see you at a race soon

NOT THE MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS    Race the Train    Tue July 24th     Photos by Alastair Tye
SNOWDONIA SEVEN       www.snowdonia7.co.uk
MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS   Moel Siabod Sat 19th July   
Results    Moel Siabod Aquathon! Photos from Gwynfor         Photos from Alastair Tye

The Lightspeed/Ultimate Outdoors Moel Siabod race took place from Capel Curig on Saturday 19th July. There were frequent showers before the race making conditions slippery underfoot. Mercia runners were out in force as it was a Club Championship race. First home was Tim Davies of Mercia in a time of 52 minutes and 7 seconds. Matt Gilburt of Wrexham Tri was 2nd in 52.54 and Iain Ridgway of Eryri 3rd in 53.09. Roger Lamb of Mercia won the over 40 category finishing 4th overall in 55.36. Ed Davies of Mercia was 1st over 50 (7th overall) in 57.44 and the over 60 category was won by Don Williams of Eryri in 63.58.

The ladies race was won by Kate Bailey of Meirionnydd in 60.25, with Andrea Roberts of Eryri 2nd in 61.36 and Jenny Heming of Eryri 3rd in 62.11. There was a very competitive race in the over 40 category with Amanda Wilde (unattached) winning in 72.54, Annie Williams (Eryri) 2nd in 73.05 and Celia Mills (Calder Valley) 3rd in 73.06.

The Junior Race was won by Calum Muskett of Eryri in 13.36 (Male U/16). Tecwyn Evans of Menai was 2nd in 13.50 (2nd U/16) and Owain James of Eryri 3rd in 14.08 (1st U/14). Other category winners - Male U/12 Alex Hearle (Mercia) 16.27, Female U/16 Lisa Peters (Menai) 15.25, Female U/14 Elin James (Eryri) 18.14, Female U/12 Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri) 16.50.

This was the final race in the Welsh Fell Runners Association Junior North Wales Series. Trophies were presented after the race to the following - Male U/16 - 1st Tecwyn Evans (Menai), Male U/14 - 1st Owain James (Eryri), 2nd Morgan Evans (Menai), Male U/12 - 1st Rhys James (Menai), Female U/16 - 1st Sarah Livett (Menai), 2nd Lisa Peters (Menai), Female U/14 - 1st Elin James (Eryri), Female U/12 - 1st Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri).

Waun Fach    Results    Waun Fach Slideshow    Photos from Richard Kenington    More of Richards Photos
The British Fell and Hill Relays 2008 are being held at Llangynhafal on Sunday 19th October 2008.

The Race starts at 10.30 am and the organiser is Martin Cortvriend

Tal y Fan       Photos from Alastair Tye
Moel y Gamelin    Results   Photos from Phil Rees
Midsummer Meander Childrens Races Results    Photo 1    Photo 2
MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS   Hot Foot up Famau     Wed 2nd July   Results

After the afternoon's downpour which soaked the organiser as he diligently marked the course out the skies cleared and we had a glorious summer evening's running.
Stan Charles charged through the bracken and gorse to finish a minute and a half clear of Neil Ashcroft. Anna Frost showed most of the men a clean pair of heels as usual by coming in fourth overall.
The lush vegetation slowed things down a wee bit and no records were broken.      Martin.

Report from the Hot Foot up Famau Race 2 of the Clwydian Hills AS 3.5m 1200 Wednesday 2nd July by Harrymoon (Adair Broughton)

I’ve managed to be lucky enough to follow sport in some wonderful locations, Twickenham for Rugby, the French Open at Roland Garros, Chantilly for the French Derby but I will have to admit I have visited no greater sporting spectacle than the tantalizing green arena of the Clwydian Hills. It was made even more special because I could share this occasion with 55 other runners. Whoever makes the trip for the British Fell Relays will be in for a real treat.

Leaving work the sky was the colour of school trousers and stayed that way until the border of North Wales where the clouds gracefully dispersed as if to make deliberate amends for the weather received at the Druid.
Even so it was not a warm evening but the smiling fresh faces all appeared to appreciate the blue roof that had appeared. Some sullen looking clouds let in wonderful shafts of light over Ruthin and beyond so the sky was fast becoming an interesting spectacle in itself.

Back on the ground I could sense the excitement and began to absorb myself in the friendly atmosphere that pervades all the fell races I’ve attended. I know when this summer takes it’s last exhale before the deep breath needed for autumn I’ll be looking back at these races in the Clwydian Hills as some of my highlights already looking forward to them for the next year.

There is a great community spirit of relaxation, fun and banter that is hard to beat. Also hard to beat are the many quality athletes testing their legs in what is a short and sharp race up and down Moel Famau. Over in the distance I caught a glimpse of Neil Ashcroft reccying what line to take for the finish. Could he compete with the in form and fluid Stan Charles? The conditions seemed ideal for some great times.

The long race legend Phil Gillard gave me some interesting points on the course, then duly showed me one of his training runs in the area, something I hope to do more of myself in the future. But tonight we all had to concentrate on reaching the summit where the Jubilee Tower stands as a silent marshall casting its shadow onto the many runners below. On a clear day I’ve been told it’s possible to see the Isle of Man, Winter Hill and even Blackpool Tower from the top. See you learn something everyday but then also forget something every night.

Yet running in itself can offer a great perspective too. It allows us to leave any thoughts of work and stress or the tiny problems that often become misplaced in importance alone for a time, to breathe in fresh air and feel alive and magical. At least that is how I feel and I’m sure others do too.

Listening to Joni Mitchell on the way she sang the following words and I couldn’t help feeling how apt they were for how I feel at the start of a race. ‘and you want to get moving, and you want to stand still, but lost in the moment, some longing gets filled’. Here I was at the start of the Hot Foot up Famau and sure enough I wanted to start running but also to savour the moment, seeing and watching the people do last minute stretches, all somehow relaxed yet slightly nervous about how they will treat the race and how the race will treat them. It is a perfect moment in time, the anticipation finely balanced with the desire for time just to slip away, knowing exactly how we will feel in our battles up the stone gulley. If Martin wasn’t such a great chap I’d say he was slightly cruel for allowing us to run it!

Link to Google Map    

I once heard a famous climber say ‘Just because you love the hills, doesn’t mean the hills love you’ but either way, no matter how the race turns out, it is us against nature, us against each other, and us against ourselves, there are many races in one and that is why each race is always so unique and why we can take so much out of them, even the bad ones!

After Martins descriptive and much need outline of the course I Managed to forget the tiredness that follows a trip to Glastonbury and too many ciders and take the last few breaths before my heart and lungs do their best to disassociate themselves from my acquaintance. You could quite easily forget the issues with the credit crunch as the crunch of fell shoes on stone marked the beginning of the hot feet up famau.

But first we went down! Into the gorse and bracken and ferns, mud teasing us to go faster at the verge of losing grip. I knew I was not alone in falling down as I heard other people slip behind. Part of me questioned how Stan and Neil and others could run so fast and remain on their feet but this was far too much fun to worry about.

The heather around the Clwydians provides the food and shelter for such wildlife as Red Grouse, European Stonechats and Eurasian Curlews. There was a different type of wildlife to spot on this Wednesday night and on the downhill stretch I’m sure some it was also flying. Legs and feet and fell shoes, socks and shorts were all doing their separate dances of delight but all about to slow a little in pace as we jumped a small stream and began a climb up the slope of Famau through the prehistoric ferns. What a wonderful smell that is and what a variety of noises made by people grasping for air.

Silently cursing myself for starting too fast as people passed me on the upward stretch I could only admire the likes of Neil Parry and Anna Frost as they showed a quality of tenacity of consistency in never slowing down all the way up. The charismatic Stan Charles was already out of sight. I cursed each can of Cider from the weekend, as my legs turned into objects heavier than the scales will ever show.

Like everyone I guess, at the top I felt a small tremor of resurgence and was able to power past Ian Houston something I’ve never managed to do in a race before…. OK, I’ll confess he was standing still and marshalling ….

In the distance I knew there was an old friend to shake hands with, the stone gully of the Llangynhafal Loop. It seemed to take ages to get there, like an Escher painting almost. I looked down it seemed flat and fast ground but there was little energy to burn anything more than a canter. It is a deceiving stretch of ground but perseverance and a look behind to see the fast improving Mary Gillie had me finding the stony surprise and another chance to try and run well up at least one hill in Wales.

Run is too strong a word but hands on knees helped the cause, each breath an object of desire and bit by bit the by now very hot feet forced their way to an opening and two more marshals in Mario and Joe pointed the way home as well as a friendly dog that jumped all over me and wanted to run that way too. Mario showed me a little route to take to save a few seconds; I hope he showed John Morris it as he was right behind after a stunning stint up the gully!

It was now the run in, a good slope of descent but not enough to catch a breath. I forced on hoping to catch Mark Smith of Tattenhall but he held on strongly. I think I chose the safest approach home but it was definitely not the most interesting, as other runners would be more capable of that.

What a fantastic night and it just induces a greater excitement for the third installment soon, the Green Green Grass of Home.

After some water and a chat, with all runners home it was time for prizes and an informal celebration of the talents on show. Anna Frost definitely had the prize of the night, some Garden Gnomes, and who knows maybe they will travel the world sending postcards from obscure races. The ladies prizes were first as Stan Charles was doing a fine Forrest Gump impression and just kept running! He did get back for his prize though. A great win.

Please take a look at the results to see all the much-deserved winners.

My highlight though was seeing a prize for the most obscure route to the finish! You just don’t get that in a road race. I’ve just had an epiphany of sorts, fell running is the future, so see you all very soon.

Thanks to all the marshals and another finely organized race.

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MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS        Sat 28th June   Results    Pictures from Alastair Tye   Jane Chilton's Photos

Winner Stanley Charles - Clwydian RR

Second placed Steve Gilliland - Bro Dysynni

Third placed Kate Bailey - Meirionnydd RC

Saturday saw a break in the wet weather as a small but enthusiastic band of runners tackled one of the steepest shortest courses in the calendar.

For once Steve Gilliland didn't have it all his own way as Stanley Charles of Clwydian Range Runners scrambled up the hill along the weaving undulating summit path down through the lush green forest paths to the Afon Mawddach and up stream along the bank to the Tyn-y-Groes picnic field finish in a new record time of 16:41.

Steve cruised home in second place a few seconds later in 17:36 but the performance of the day came from Ladies Winner Kate Bailey who took third place with a new record ladies time of 19:28.

MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS   Pontesbury Fell Race     Wed 25th June   Results    Pictures from Alastair Tye    Pics from Colin Williams   
MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS   Aber Race     Tue 24th June       Pictures from Alastair Tye    Presentation    Pics from Pete MacMillen
MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS   Moel Hebog     Sat June 21st    Results    Photos from Alastair Tye    Photos from Gwynfor
  

Last year the race was held in August and had to be cancelled due to floods, driving rain and strong winds. This year the race was moved to June and it was again wet! Fortunately it was mild and not as windy so the race could go ahead. The field was small, probably due to the weather, but those that ran thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The construction work on the Station is finished for the moment so the race could start and finish at the back of the main car park.

The race was won by Rob Samuel of Bangor University in a time of 52 minutes and 20 seconds. Jackie Lee of Eryri won the ladies race in a new record time (for this course) of 54.26. Best descent was from Mike Blake, who revelled in the conditions, improving from 19th at the summit to 11th at the finish and winning the over 50 category just ahead of Jeremy Williams.

Thanks to the following: -
Race Sponsors 'Y Warws' of Beddgelert who generously donated gift vouchers as prizes.
Glaslyn Ices who gave a free ice cream to all runners and helpers.
Tourist Office for the use of a room for registration and race HQ (it was invaluable given the weather conditions)
Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue - who ably attended to a casualty on the hill
Dr Davies, wife of a Welsh competitor (now living in Australia), who kindly attended to a couple of injured runners at the finish.
Finally, a big thank you to all those who helped out on the day in the wet conditions.
Ross Powell