- Lou Beetlestone finished 1st solo female & an amazing 2nd overall in the Short Score Class
- Kate Worthington, in her 1st Mountain Marathon, finished 2nd solo female in the Long Score Class
- Ellie Salisbury, in her 91st (I think – lost count!) Mountain Marathon, & Adrian Moir finished 2nd mixed vets in the Long Score Class
- Brian & Hazel Robbins finished 3rd mixed supervets in the Short Score Class
- Stuart Mc Donald & Hayley Turner finished 4th mixed in the Long Score Class (too young to receive a prize!)
Capel Curig became what seemed like the centre of the sporting world this past weekend with two days of Snowman Triathlon action based at Plas Y Brenin and the Rab Mountain Marathon also paid a visit. This popular event grows every year and makes the odd foray into North Wales (last visit was 2011).
For the uninitiated a Mountain Marathon involves two days of navigating between checkpoints whilst carrying all kit for an overnight camp. In the Rab MM there are two classes, Long Score (7 hours on day 1 and 6 hours on day 2) and Short Score (6hrs/5hrs). Each class can be completed as a pair or solo. At the start you are given the map pre-marked with where the controls are and a list of the points value allocated to each control. The aim is simple….. get as many points as you can in the time available. If you are late back, there are penalties!
As I’m sure we all know the weather was stunning on Saturday morning and as we all set off there was excitement about what lay ahead. Although perhaps that was more trepidation than excitement! The first decision was whether to go into the Glyders or the Carneddau for the first day (knowing you would swap over on day 2). At the overnight camp in the lower Ogwen valley there was lots of discussion about route choice but mainly about who’d had the harder day!! At the end of day 1 a couple of things became clear. Firstly we’ve got some properly good/hard women! Secondly, what an absolutely stunning yet brutal place North Wales can be.
Firstly, the ladies. At the overnight as the Eryri Harriers Mountain Marathon sub-committee convened to discuss the days events and positions Kate Worthington spoke first to say she was second lady on the long score. Brilliant! Ellie Salisbury was dragging her other half around to second place in the mixed vet long score and Hazel Robbins was coping admirably with Brian as they were 3rd mixed super vets on the short score. Hayley Turner drew the short straw and had to put up with me as a partner as we finished day 1 as 4th mixed pair in the long score. As congratulations were passed around Lou Beetlestone casually strolled over and said she was second on the short score. Amazing second lady on the short score! Top work! No no second! Second overall!! On day 1 Lou was only beaten by a men’s pair. She had beaten all the men’s solo’s and was leading the ladies category by 55 points (at least 3 checkpoints). An incredible performance but the pressure was now on for day 2!
Day 2 dawned with the promise of another stunning day. If you get chance go and check out iancorless.org for the official photos, there are some fantastic ones. The night had been clear and cold, very cold! Although for one competitor the cold was the least of his worries! 4 trips to the loo in the night and a discussion about the “squits” left no-one in any doubt about the nature of his ailment!
Whichever way you looked the only way was up from the overnight camp, it was certainly one way to warm up! Another day through the mountains back to Capel Curig ensued with a variety of blisters, cramp, dehydration, starvation and general tiredness hindering progress. As the bruised and battered bodies gathered around bean stew, the results started to come in. Hazel and Brian finished 3rd MSV in the short score! Kate 2nd lady long score! Ellie and Adrian 2nd MV long score! And then the one we were waiting for! Could Lou catch the leading men and win the short score outright? First lady was guaranteed but could she catch them? Her deficit overnight had been 10 points but it came down 9, 8, 7, 6 really??!! Could she?? 5, 4, 3 then it stopped! She was 2nd overall by just 3 points!! Only her 2nd MM and first as a solo it was an incredible performance! As for Hayley and I we had to settle for 4th mixed pair in the long score and the only things Hayley has to show for it are a whopping blister and a sprained ankle! Sorry Hayley!
A massive well done to everyone, it was great to see some familiar faces and it was a great event. Hard but good. If you want to know more about mountain marathons then have a chat with Lou Beetlestone, she seems to have it sorted!!