First Hydro/Snowdon Railway Peris Horseshoe Race Report – 22nd of August 2015.
‘A less than favourable forecast failed to deter the fell runners!’
A total of 87 runners (35 for the half, 52 for the full) arrived on a wet Saturday morning in Llanberis for what was the first revised route for the classic Pedol Peris fell race.
With an additional mile or so in length & a steeper start through the slate quarry, combined with moderate to poor visibility at times meant that even the most hardened runners were truly tested!
The revised started from lake side this year, before going across the field, the route then took a left turn following the initial climb instead of going up through the second lot of zig zags. This means a more direct route, but significantly steeper onwards to Elidir Fawr. After this first ascent, gradually the pack (of runners) started separating, a fast descent then followed & onwards ascending to Y Garn, down to the valley & up loose scree to the top of Glyder Fawr. With Pen-y-Pass in in sight the challenge was then to pick the right line down & not to get stuck in any boggy areas.
Arrival at Pen-y-Pass meant the end for some, but for most it was merely a welcome chance for a quick drink & fuelling on cake for the second half. And what a second half it was! Arrival at Pen-y-Pass can easily give any runner a false sense of confidence, upon crossing the road & subsequently turning off the Miners track & up towards Y Lliwedd that sense of confidence could easily be dented by route which seems to only get steeper & rougher as you go onwards. After coming down Lliwedd it was decision time – the regular route up Watkin Path to Snowdon or to go the much steeper direct route? How much I have I got left in the tank? Most took the direct route in an aim to save time.
Having reached Snowdon, never have the on-hand jelly babies tasted so good (thanks marshalls!). A gulp of these was definitely required before then heading down The Rangers Path. Wet weather conditions & tired legs at this point made it hard for most to take advantage of this decent, let alone then going up the final climb to Moel Cynghorion. The weather at this point had cleared up & helped to drive everyone home towards the final descent. Bwlch Maesgwm, over the fields to Café Penceunant, then the final descent towards Llanberis. The route was extended (previously finishing in the woods prior to the Royal Victoria) to go onwards past the little castle, through the fields and finishing at the lake side. Completion of race meant several slices of cake and refreshing pint (or tea) at the Heights.
It was then time for prize giving. Full Peris 1st male went to John Hunt (Dark Peak) in a time of 04:07:52, 2nd male went to Mark Davies in a time of 04.08:08, 3rd male went to Martin Cliffe in a time of 04:11:46. V40 went to Dyfed Whiteside Thomas in a time of 04:28:10, V50 to Emlyn Roberts in a time of 05:34:28, V60 to Clive Edwards in a time of 05:56.55 & V70 to Brian Robbins in a time of 06:14:00. In addition to Brian, Alwyn Oliver also ran under the V70 category – inspiring stuff for us youngsters to see them performing at such a challenging race!
1st and only female went to Lou Beetlestone in a time of 04:59:14.
Half Peris 1st male went to Chris Atherton in a time of 01:58:57, 2nd male went to Goronwy Hughes in a time of 02:02:00, 3rd male went to Shaun Davies in a time of 02:06:31. V50 went to Kevin Hagley in a time of 02:06:45, V60 went to Mike Blake in a time of 02:30:59.
1st female went to Sian Williams in a time of 02:26:36, 2nd female went to Victoria Whitehead in a time of 02:31:53, 3rd female went to Gemma Brown in a time of 02:35:46, V50 went to Ellie Salisbury in a time of 03:00:35 & V60 to Maggie Oliver in a time of 03:15:40.
Many thanks to First Hydro & Snowdown Railway for their generous sponsorship & cooperation and not forgetting of course all the volunteers / marshals who looked after the runners and provided the refreshments during and at the end of the race. Many of these stayed out for over nine hours in the wet weather to make sure the race went to plan.
Emlyn Owen, Eryri Harriers.