Records fell at Saturday’s 11th running of the Pipe Dream race from Dolgarrog, Conwy Valley.
This was the second fixture of the North Wales Series, and the first of the Open Welsh Champs, and it would seem this drew two of the region’s fastest, namely (our?) Math Roberts and Aberystwyth’s Felipe Jones to do battle. In addition, the in-form Katie Beecher of Mynydd Du made an appearance to show the North Wales ladies how to do it.
Katie ran away with it, winning in 38.08, in 12th overall and a mere ten seconds over the record. The young but ever improving Eryri Bronwen Jenkinson followed up, but not challenging at nearly 6 minutes behind. The also improving Louise Emery-Jones took third, 6 seconds under the fv40 record, but sadly a couple of months short of turning 40! Maybe next year.
Back to the men, and Math led strongly from the off, gaining a 29 second lead over Felipe by the summit. With Math hardly a slouch on a downhill one would think he’d have it in the bag, but an amazing descent through the woods from Felipe brought him back level with Math by the time they reached the road. A sprint for line concluded with a single second separating them, Math taking a satisfying win in 33.16, smashing the 2011 record by nearly two minutes.
Dylan Lewis of Sarn Helen took third.
In the v40’s John Parkinson took the win and 4th overall in 36.26, which takes a minute off the v40 record; and Jenny Heming comfortably led the ladies in 46.34.
Steve Toogood of Buckley narrowly beat Eryri’s Michael Belshaw by 13 seconds for the v50 slot.
Don Williams finished off the record breaking bonanza by taking over 5 minutes off his v70 record and comfortably winning the category. Of note is the fact that both second and third finishers namely John Morris and Eryri’s Geoff Fielding were also inside the old record.
89 runners in total and the weather held off for an enjoyable day all round.
WFRA champs tables will be updated and published soon after each fixture.