Morbegno 2019…A small but mighty crew of Eryri Harriers made the trip over to Italy to take part in the excellent Trofeo Vanoni race, which takes the runner through quaint narrow streets, up impossibly steep and slippery cobbled paths, through mud, tree roots and small streams, all bathed in beautiful Autumn colours, to then be thrown back down the hill-side, with several technical leaps of faith off walls, small cliffs and steep steps (mens course), and a jump off a grassy wall (for the ladies).
Following recceing our respective race routes, and fuelling ourselves up in the preceding days on the athletes’ staple of pizza and beer, come Sunday, we were ready to go…
First up, the ladies: Sarah Seery, Becki Law, Michelle Fildes and Miranda Grant lined up with some of the big names in European (and British!) mountain running. After much fanfare and cowbell ringing, we were off, flying along the streets, elbows out, slogging up the steep climb to the top of our route then battering a way down to the finish along narrow paths, rough roads and tarmac, with the aforementioned and much anticipated jump off the wall. I genuinely had nightmares about this last year: lots of people crowd along the wall jump, waiting for the possibility of a high drama face-plant!
First in, in 13th place was Miranda, running a minute quicker than last year. Next was Sarah in 30th, closely followed by Becki who had sped down the descent to take 33rd, and Michelle put in a cracking run to come 65th. Well done ladies!
The mens race is a big event, with teams of 3 in a relay format, making it a great spectacle to watch.
Racing in the veteran Hen Ogledd team were speedy hill and road runners Math Roberts, Karl Grey (not of Eryri) and Richard Roberts. They had an outstanding performance, with Math putting in an amazing first leg, placing the team in 5th at the handover. Solid performances from Richard and Karl led to an amazing 14th place overall, AND 1st Vet team!! Incredible!!
Gavin Roberts, Matt Fortes and Owain Williams made up Eryri Team C. Owain has written an excellent account of his experience (somewhere on this page, Mr Parttimerunner). All three men had strong legs and fast times to place 31st team overall.
John Rowley, Dylan Wynn Jones and Sion Morgan made up Team B, coming in 77th overall, despite Dylan discovering the delight of wine in a carton the night before. Excellent running there.
Brian Seery, Arwel Lewis and Adrian Woods were in the A-team, with the prize for pushing oneself beyond the recognised human limit of pain endurance going to Arwel, who wasn’t able to talk for a good while after finishing his leg. Their team finished 150th overall.
It was a fantastic weekend, a huge amount of fun and top levels of committed spectator-ship from everyone…Thanks everyone for a great weekend of laughs 🙂.
A couple photos attached but there are literally hundreds of photos of Eryri Harriers from a myriad of vantage points on the Trofeo Vanoni facebook page.