Maybe it was the great weather, maybe it was the fact it was an early testing race in the season, but something attracted a massive 167 runners to today’s Moel y Ci fell race at the Moelyci Environmental Centre in Tregarth. This is a record turnout for this race in its considerable history. Lots of familiar faces, as well as plenty of new ones, were beaming with anticipation at the start line, chomping at the bit to get going, many from afar and plenty from nearby too. The weather belied the time of year and conditions in previous races; no shin-deep mud, ice, or snow to trouble the runners, although the white-topped Carneddau and imposing Elidir Fawr could be seen from many places, but possibly not from the misty summit of the hill.
The leaders changed in the earlier stages, but last year’s winner, Matthew Roberts (unattached), eventually came through to win again, and retain his title, in an impressive time of 35.53, not far off the course record of 35.10. Just over a minute later, Lloyd Taggart (Manx) flew over the line in a time of 36.58 (also 1st V40), with Pensby’s Rob Grantham in 39.12, a sterling third position and also 2nd V40.
In the women’s race, Katie Beecher of Mynydd Du took the title in a brilliant time of 42.54, watched keenly from the sideline by 2009 record holder Jackie Lee on her crutches nursing a fractured fibula, whose sigh of relief at her record not being taken was apparently audible from the surrounding allotments. In second place (and 1st FV40) was Eryri stalwart Andrea Rowlands in 46.03, closely followed in third by Bangor University’s Sarah Caskey in 46.12.
Other results saw John Parkinson (Eryri) receive the V40 prize, Steve Toogood (Buckley) taking the V50, Steve “the legend” SPJ Jones (Eryri) taking the V60, and Don Williams (Eryri) stamping his authority on the V70 category. Sarah Ridgeway was FV40 in 48.34, and two other highly respected Eryri regulars claimed their category, with Ellie Salisbury taking the FV50 in 58.33, and Maggie Oliver refusing to relinquish her grip on the FV60 in 63.57.
The Junior race saw a fantastic 16 entries and both male and female records broken, both by last year’s record setters, Ryan Cain and his sister Jody Cain. Ryan, who would have claimed many scalps in the senior race if only he was old enough, took the title in an utterly impressive time of 8.18, shaving over a minute off last year’s time (and then record) of 9.27. Jody, in a time of 10.31 blew away her record from last year (11.41) again by over a minute. High standards are being set by these juniors. Watch out seniors.
Overall, Eryri Harriers were well represented at this local race with 39 club members running, and all of the following also doing the club proud, well done: Sam Orton (39.54), Arthur Connell (40.13), Hugh O’Donnell (41.13), Craig Jones (41.32), Ross Roberts (44.27), Michael Belshaw (44.58), Johnny Moore (45.09), Llion Iwan (46.50), Emlyn Roberts (48.08), Kean Rowlands (49.53), Glyn Griffiths (50.02), Megan Hughes (50.15), Louise Emery-Jones (50.20), David Andrew Norris (50.24), Richard Evans (51.46), Paul Hodges (52.22), Nia Albiston (52.58), Ashley Wager (53.29), Helen Morgan (53.55), Sandra Rowlands (55.31), Emyr Gibson (56.13), Dei Jones (56.46), Emily Wood (57.29), Emma Green (58.25), Jenny Williamson (58.44), Jill Riley (59.21), Hayley Turner (59.56), Brian Robbins (59.59), Geoff Fielding (60.23), Gwyn Evans (62.07), Tina McDonell (62.22), Iolo Roberts (63.44), and Nina Bentley (67.41).
In total, 167 runners registered, 165 finished, 1 DNS and 1 DNF.
A massive thank you to the following for making the race a big success:
All the staff at the Moelyci Environmental Centre, the marshals and other volunteers, Jeremy Williams for his wise words, and you, the runners, because without all of you, there wouldn’t have been a race today.
Projects at the Moelyci Environmental Centre focus on sustainability, local produce, local employment and crafts (www.moelyci.org). Please support them.
Race results can be found on the Eryri website at: www.eryriharriers.org.uk. Please let me know if you spot any errors in this report or the results.
Lost property. The following were handed in at Race HQ: a pair of gloves, a buff, a heart rate monitor. Please contact me to claim them.
Results are here.