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!!
Saturday 19th December
Once again the Eryri Harriers club committee will be organising the 5.5 mile Xmas Fun Run around Llyn Padarn, starting from the Royal Victoria Hotel. Non-club members welcome.
£5 entry on the day, includes soup and mince pie. Fancy dress positively encouraged, with a prize for the best one and the usual guess the Secret Santa.
Registration from 9.30am, recommended that you arrive early. Run starts at 11 sharp.
Contact Ellie Salisbury for more details firstname.lastname@example.org
Stuart needs marshalls for this Saturday’s Pedal Peris.
He can be contacted on 07921 920468
Following on from the success of Jackie Lee in last year’s British Fell Champs becoming overall ladies winner, this year we have another. Steve Jones, better known to some as SPJ, has become the new V60 British Champion after his win at yesterday’s Lingmell Dash at Wasdale.
This win has allowed Steve to take the Championship with a race still to go, meaning he doesn’t need to travel to the final fixture in Northern Ireland. This is a fantastic effort, in a very competitive field.
In his first year in the v60 category Steve showed right from his birthday in November’s Pen fell race that he meant business, and many members starting suggesting he was quick enough for the British. And so he has proved to be, leaving many a younger runner in his wake.
Congratulations to Steve for his win and representing the club at such a high level.
SPJ pictured below, the moment he became British Champion –
Having entered the event many months ago, Eryri’s Hayley Turner was getting ready to travel when on the Thursday she was informed by her running partner that he had to cancel. Disaster!
Despite speaking to loads of people she failed to find a replacement, and so, with a heavy heart she set off for Cumbria expecting not to find a partner and planned to console herself with a solitary walking trip around Coniston.
She put notices up at the event centre to no avail and it all looked to have been a wasted trip. But who would have believed that with literally 5 minutes before the start she met with a v50 chap from London who agreed to run (and share a tent) with her. Brave man indeed.
Not knowing anything about each other they set off, and over the next 4 hours 55 minutes they ran and chatted. And it transpired that he was a very good navigator indeed, and no slouch on his feet either. So much so that they finished the first day in a very good position and made the chasing start for the following day.
After the usual MM bad night’s sleep in a small tent, they cracked on the next day. Hayley was pretty much run to her limit, holding off a challenge from a keenly chasing team, for a total of 9 hours and 12 seconds.
They eventually finished 8th overall, and won the Mixed Category outright! No one was more surprised than them.
An outstanding result for Hayley. Well done.
A new style club vest was left tied to the fence at the Llanberis midweek series race. Size Large.
Contact Craig if it’s yours.
We have had very few takers for the free first aid course, therefore, we are offering it to all members on a first come first served basis, whether or not they are race organisers or regular marshals. Any takers would be required to marshal at at least 1 club race in return for being able to go on a FOC course.
There are still many members who haven’t collected their new, FOC vests. We said they needed to be collected at the TES races, of which there’s only 1 remaining, so next Tues is intended to be the mega dealing out of vests session at the Heights after the race! Any members who haven’t collected their vests by then will have to make arrangements to meet Ellie at another race. We won’t post these vests unless members live away.