Welsh XC Championship

Twelve Harriers competed at the Welsh Cross Country Championships at Rhug this Saturday . despite the dodgy weather and frequent snow showers the courses were fairly dry and mud free.

In the women’s race Annabelle McQueen took the day off swimming to come 18th in under 15 girls, Bronwen Jenkinson got her first ever medal at Welsh Cross Champs with third in the under 20s. New recruit to the Eryri women , Lauren Jeska, timed her run perfectly to finish second in the senior women’s race behind Llandrindod’s finest, Ffion Price.

In the men’s races Mike Spill ran solidly to come 14th in the under 13 race while big brother John was fifth in the under 17s and Steffan Williams was 18th in the same race. Owen Roberts was fifth in the men’s under 20 race which was won by GB International Jac Hopkins.

In the senior men, Richard Roberts put in a fine performance to finish sixth with SPJ coming a fine 20th leaving many youngsters in his wake, Ben Beachell was 23rd, a resurgent James McQueen 40th and Mike Blake 50th, missing the start despite turning up two hours early.


Moel y Ci report

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.



Wrexham Half Marathon

Alun Vaughan in his first outing of the year won the North Wales Half Marathon title at Wrexham on Sunday 14th February in a time of 70:59 though he had to be content with 2nd place overall behind Tarus Elly (Salford) 70:36 with Andy Green (Warrington) 3rd – 71:10. Russell Bentley ran conservatively to finish 5th (2nd North Wales) 72:19 with: 18th Paul Wathan 77:58. 27th Dyfed Whiteside-Thomas 79:28 (PB). 43rd Martin Cliffe 81:17 (PB). 82nd (1st MV/55) Arwel Lewis 85:38. 166th (3rd North Wales) Gemma Morgans 93:06 and 325th Rhian Thomas 1:48:46.
Overall, a well organised event ran in dry and calm conditions with 545 finishers.

Oswestry XC

Amazingly another dry day for the last fixture in the cross country league, although of course there was lots of mud!  In the first race, Steffan ran well to finish 5th U17 and Don again won the o70 category. The women were led home by Bronwen, 1st U20, followed by Lou (o35), Megan (o35) and Jenny (o40)  packing well, then Sandra (o45), Ellie (o50) and Maggie (o65). This cemented the  superb achievement of being  first Womens team and first Lady Masters team, with a cup and and shield being awarded respectively. Andrea Rowlands has had a stunning season and ended up as 2nd Senior Women as well as winning the o40 category! Don again won the o70 category, Lou was 2nd and Megan 3rd in the o35 category and Maggie 2nd in the o65s.


It was great to see the mens race being won by Richard Roberts, followed in 2nd position by the ever improving Owen  U20, Fred 13th after injuring his hand during the race, Craig (o40) 23rd, SPJ (o55) 33rd, Arwel (o55) 43rd, Paul (o45) 56th, returning from injury Kean (o50) 78th and Steve Llan (o55) 98th . The Mens team finished in  an excellent overall 2nd position behind Bangor Unversity, with the Masters narrowly missing out on the medals in 4th position. Some great individual results, Fred being 5th Snr Man, Owen 2nd U20, SPJ and Arwel 2nd & 3rd o55.


Overall this season 23 women and 24 men have run for the club and they all deserve a medal for their contribution to the club`s success! Diolch yn fawr iawn i bawb!


Eryri Mountain champs 2015

Below are the club mountain championship races for 2015, as in previous years it’s best 5 results to count, with all bar vet 60’s having to do at least one of each distance.

Pipe Dream
Moel Tryfan – Saturday race
Welsh 1000
Brecon Beacons

Cross Country continues

Just when you thought the cross country season was nearly over , it isn’t if you are selected to run for North Wales at the UK inter-counties in  Birmingham on the 7th March and if you a Master – over 35 – the British Masters Cross Country Championships are being held in Ruthin on the 14th March. Further details are available on the British Masters Athletic Federation website www.xchangecms.co.uk and look at the fixtures tab. The event is pre-entry only by the 7th March.

Llandudno Running Festival

A brand new adventure awaits in North Wales this March as the Arriva Trains Wales Llandudno Running Festival launches for the very first time on Sunday 15th March.

Embracing the history, culture and beautiful scenery of the North Wales coastline, the Arriva Trains Wales Llandudno Running Festival sees the introduction of a brand new 10k, 5k and Family Fun Run. Plus the addition of primary school races, come and try athletic activities, mile races and a whole host of Alice in Wonderland-themed family entertainment, games and experiences for all the family to enjoy.

Full details here http://www.llandudnorunningfestival.co.uk

The long trek to Lilleshall

A cold but sunny day and a heavy course, water logged in places, greeted us at the National Sports Centre. It turned out to be a very worthwhile trek in terms of cementing contributions to individual and team results, with the outcome being finally decided next Sat (Feb 7th ) at Oswestry.

The first race saw John Spill finish an excellent 3rd and Steffan 6th in the u17 age category, while in the same race, continuing her superb record, Andrea Rowlands finished 2nd lady (1st F40). Bronwen Jenkinson ran well to finish 10th (as well as 1st u20) and was followed closely by Jenny Heming (F40 ),(great to see her racing again after a long injury lay off!), Sandra Rowlands (3rd F45), Helen Blair (F45), Hayley Turner, Ellie Salisbury (F50), Don Williams (1st M70) and Maggie (2nd F65).

Concern about the men having a team were allayed by the nine stalwarts who turned up! It was great to see Richard Roberts in his first cross country this season for the club, coming 2nd overall and new club member Owen Roberts (1st u20) continuing the standard of his debut run at St David`s College, by coming 7th in the men`s race. Good running saw Craig Jones (3rd M40) 25th, SPJ (1st M55) 31st, Arwel (3rd M55) 38th, Antony Woodall (M40) 50th, Paul Jenks (M45) 69th , Stu 75th and Steve Llan (M55) 98th.

The Ladies team was 2nd on the day but still has an overall lead of 67 and the Masters are also in a strong medal position. The mens team was 2nd on the day and are now only 30 points behind league leaders Bangor University in the aggregate results! The male masters were 3rd on the day and are in 4th overall position, only 23 points behind Buckley! So come on everyone, a really strong teams at Oswestry would see these great results maintained and even improved!!

Thanks to all who turned out to run for the club, with special mention to Stu for crossing the A55 dual carriageway with the gazebo and Arwel for driving the minibus! A final chance to share in the glory is the last league fixture at Oswestry on Sat Feb 7th. The free bus will leave Parc Menai at 10.30. Please confirm with Maggie Oliver to book a place. 07792053751 / 01286 871494 or Arwel Lewis 07772302411 / 01248 671202

Fell running update, race entries, etc….

Just a reminder of a few race entries that are open (or perhaps closed in one instance):

Râs y Moelwyn, British champs round 1,  Saturday 18th

342 entries to date so the biggest entry to a Welsh fell race for a long, long, long time….in fact at least over the last 10 years.

Entries: http://www.fabian4.co.uk/start/list.aspx?EventID=1132

Yorkshire 3 Peaks, Saturday 25th April

Entries: https://www.sientries.co.uk/event.php?elid=Y&event_id=1908

Edale Skyline (perfect training for 3 Peaks), Sunday 29th March

Entries: http://www.fabian4.co.uk/start/list.aspx?EventID=1193

Bradda Fell race, Isle of Man, 11th July

Entries now closed with a bumper 18 Eryri runners entered and an overall entry of 312.

Lingmell Dash, Saturday 25th July, British champs round 3

Only accepting 350 entries, entries: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/2015/01/lingmell-dash-2015-saturday-25th-july/