Adroddiad Ras Moel y Ci Race Report
May I begin by assuring you that the Welsh version of this report will follow very soon.
Well, another fantastic turnout for Ras Moelyci, with 117 runners registering on the day. Once again, many of the runners commented on how they value this race, either as a tester for their winter training, or as the springboard for their preparation for the coming season after a winter of rest, relaxation and wine. Like last year, the weather decided to play ball and although it was really cold, the sun actually came out too although it couldn’t dry up the mud that lay in wait for the runners after so many weeks of relentless rain.
The camera men from local TV company, Rondo Media, asked if they could come along to find out more about sports like fell running that don’t receive much attention. They interviewed some of the runners and organisers as well as catching some video footage from the day. It will appear in their “Clwb” programme soon.
Gareth Hughes running for Mercia set a blistering pace from the off by leading the runners through the thick mud out of the fields of Moelyci farm and on towards the pot-holed tarmac and grassy lanes towards the energy-zapping boggy ascent to the summit, and those close on his heels in the early stages changed position now and again. Sarah Ridgeway of Run Snowdonia led the ladies from the start and never lost grip of this lead.
Even the crazy horses of Moelyci couldn’t put the runners off (you have to see Sports Pictures Cymru’s photos to understand what I’m talking about), and it’s reliably reported that official back marker, Dilwyn Rowlands, tried to jump on the back of one of the horses in order to save his tiring legs. A massive thanks to marshal Steve “SPJ” Jones, for rapidly acquiring horse-whispering skills and calming the crazy equines down. See his separate report as it makes extremely fun and interesting reading (I’ll upload it for him because the old John Wayne wannabe doesn’t do FB much). Thanks too to marshal Dafydd “Bugs” Williams for running up the hill to help SPJ with his horse dilemma, but forgetting to mention his severe allergy to horses and the anaphylactic reaction he usually gets when he’s near a horse. Now that’s dedication!
Once again the views of Elidir Fawr were magnificent as the runners rounded the back of the mountain as they approached the push towards the summit. The slippery descent seems to have claimed a couple of scalps, albeit temporarily, and they got back to their feet and pounded onwards towards the woods. The finish line, in its new position at the top of the small hill, was described by many runners as the sting in the tail of the race, zapping the last of their already waning energy as they clambered up towards the red tape, the smiling faces of Ann, Sharon, Sioned and Arwel with their stopwatches and encouraging cheers of “well done”, and the welcoming aroma of hot soup and a roll.
As many predicted, first over the line was Gareth Hughes (Mercia) in a brilliant time of 39.05, with many onlookers commenting that it could have been the muddy conditions that prevented him from getting closer to Richard Roberts’ course record. Less than a minute later in 2nd place was the lightening fast Spaniard, Michael Corrales (NWRRC), in his first local fell race in a time of 39.52. Not far behind, in 3rd place, was young and ever-improving Eryri Harrier, Owen Roberts, over the line in 40.15. Owen has a fantastic fell running career ahead of him if his current performance is anything to go by. The V40 category was won by Johnny Moore (Eryri) in 43.26. First V50 was David Soles (Pennine) in 45.28. Dei Jones of Eryri claimed the V60 prize and was so excited at his first category win a while. Great to see that even seasoned fell runners with years of experience still get excited by
their performances. Finally in the male section, the ever-impressive Eryri Harrier, Don Williams, easily clinched the V70 title in 57.26.
In the ladies race, and again as many in the know predicted, Sarah Ridgeway (Run Snowdonia) took the title by storm clinching the win, as well as the V40 category in 46.16. Closest rival, Lizzie Irvine (Eryri) crossed the line in 50.18, with Eryri’s Jennifer Charlton coming in 3rd in 51.19. Ali Thomas (Eryri) took the V50 title in 54.42, and Eryri’s Maggie Oliver ensured her name remained firmly on that V60 title by crossing the line in 72.07.
The junior race attracted nine runners and they all performed sterlingly. The race was won by Daniel Soles (Pennine) in 9.06, closely followed by his brother Samuel (Buxton), likely to be some good rivalry there! All the other junior runners did really well and deserve a mention: Georgia Parkinson, Abbi Parkinson, Iolo Llyr Roberts, Dylan Pye, Gwion Rhys Parry Evans, Mared Enlli Evans, and Tilly Craine. Well done all of you. Enjoy the Easter eggs.
Eryri Harriers were well represented at the race with 36 club members running. In total, 117 runners registered and there was only 1 DNF.
A massive thank you to the following for making the race a big success:
All the staff at Ffarm Moelyci; the marshals and other volunteers; and you, the runners. Without all of you, there wouldn’t have been a race.
Race results will be available on the Eryri Harriers website and Facebook pages and the WFRA website.
Please let me know if you spot any errors in this report or the results.
Richard Roberts finished 5th overall and 1st North Wales in the Village Bakery North Wales Championships Half Marathon at Wrexham on Sunday 14th February in a time of 71:00 while the only other Eryri competitor amongst the 808 finishers was 26th placed Alun Vaughan in a time of 77:42. The race was won by Salford Harrier Joe Bailey in a time of 68:24 ahead of club colleague Nathan Kilcourse 69:52. The first female finisher in 49th place overall was Welsh International Mountain Runner Hannah Jarvis (Dorking) 80:29 just ahead of Stockport’s Jenny Knass 80:35.
Round-up at Moel-y-Ceffylau
Having been out of running due to injury for the last couple of months I opted for an easy day marshalling at the Moel-y-Ci race. I was located where the runners hit the first road, a place which offered a good view of the early stages of the race. As the race started a mass of runners appeared along the track and were soon crossing the open ground below me but were quickly joined by three horses which galloped into view. At least they will stay down there I thought, little did I know!
With the race organiser’s permission I had opened up the fence next to the stile and was counting the runners as they passed through the gap. With two thirds of the field having past me I was suddenly confronted by the three horses trying to follow the runners through the fence. They had obviously decided to join the race and were looking to break the course record and possibly win the team prize.
No way I told them, not without any race numbers – besides which they were not carrying the obligatory safety gear so I knew the race organiser would not be too keen on them continuing. I had no other choice but to disqualify all three – a head to head stand-off ensued with the biggest horse but I was adamant that they were not going to get through the gap and continue down the road. Unfortunately, a small queue of runners was building up behind the horses so I shouted for them to use the stile and continued to count them past but as I was distracted the big horse managed to push past me. Whilst it waited on the road for the other two it decided to investigate the contents of my rucksack, probably looking for a mid-race snack! With all runners having past me I was on the radio complaining to the organiser about my new duties and asking for some help with the horses – I was rather worried that they would wait until the runners returned and gallop alongside them to the finish, plenty of scope for an accident there.
The big black horse now seemed engrossed in a spot of lunch, luckily not my lunch, so I took the opportunity to try and move the other two away from the gap and into a nearby field. They didn’t really want to move and hitting them on the backside and shouting ‘yiha’ didn’t seem to help – guess they hadn’t been watching the same Westerns as me, it always seemed to work for John Wayne! I eventually managed to move them down the track and ran (not supposed to be running yet, don’t tell the Physio) back to try and move the big horse off the road but it was even less interested than the other two. Just then a horse and rider appeared up the road – I guess this was the organiser’s way of sending help?
Trying to be helpful the lady rider suggested that I grab the horse by the mane and lead it back to the others – no way I said, whilst the race organiser had been meticulous with the marshall instructions there was no information about ‘leading horses by the mane’ so I couldn’t possibly do that. Her next suggestion was to take off my marshall bib and wave it above my head and shout loudly at the horse to get off the road. This action seemed more feasible – I can’t remember what I was shouting, probably not printable, but apparently could be heard way down the field. The horse was obviously fed up with me by now and beginning to think I was a bit bonkers so it decided that it might be safer to join its pals on the other side of the fence. Luckily all three headed along the path and towards an open gate away from the race route – running and shouting like a mad man I managed to get them through the gate and into the field where they proceeded to watch the rest of the race unfold and make better plans for next year.
At that moment Craig and Hayley appeared up the hill wondering what all the commotion was about – shame they were not a few minutes earlier as they would have been able to record an interesting video! No sooner had I closed the gate than the first runner appeared and the race progressed without any of them knowing what had been happening whilst they were on the hill. With all runners through it appeared that I had one too many but I’m sure I only counted those with two legs which went past me…………
I informed the race organiser by radio that all was well and that the horses were not heading back with the runners – he suggested that perhaps I might like to ride one of the horses bareback to the finish; maybe next year, a new version of the man v horse race?! Actually next year I’m really hoping to run the race again, it will be much easier than marshalling!
Steve Jones (SPJ)
The final muddy event in the North Wales Cross Country League was held at Oswestry on Feb 6th.
The women`s team were again led home by Becky Taylor, followed by Tammy, Megan and Helen packing closely, then the ever reliable Ellie Salisbury and Maggie. This sealed the first Ladies and Ladies masters team shield and cup, as well as individual awards for Becky Taylor (5th lady), Tammy (1st W45), Helen (2nd W45) and Maggie (3rd W65). Don Williams did not have to run in Oswestry to be awarded the 1st m70, as he won the previous 4 races! (In order to be eligible for an individual award the athlete must run in at least 4 of the 5 events).
Undoubtedly Rob Samuel and Richard Roberts, who won so comfortably at Oswestry, would have had an individual award had they been able to do four rather than three events. Richard was backed by Owen Roberts who finished a superb 8th, then the ever faithful Arwel Lewis and Steve Ll Jones. Even though the men were penalised again for not having a full team, they managed to hold on to the 3rd team award!
Well done to all who competed for the club this year in the league and the North Wales Champs! Congratulations and good luck to Rob Samuel and Bronwen Jenkinson (u20) who have been selected for the UK Inter Counties in Birmingham on March 12th.
The event takes place at Lodge Dinorwic (the old school building in Dinorwic at the top of the Fachwen road)on the 26th February 7pm.
Tickets will be £10 for adults and £5 for under 14s and includes a delicious two course meal. Bring your own beer etc as no licence for alcohol.
Tickets will be available from stuart Macdonald and other committee members, also will be available at Moel y Ci and the Oswestry Cross Country.