Morbegno report

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.



British Fell Relay Championships, Peak District National Park

British Fell Relay Championships, Peak District National Park
The above race, organised by Dark Peak fell runners, really was quite the most impressive bit of logistical planning I’ve seen at any race, ever. The race centre was right in the shadow of the Derwent Reservoir dam (literally), an area of great sensitivity and within the National Park, so to have been granted permission to use this area, which is notoriously busy for one thing, is really very impressive!
Getting to the race start requiring a multi-pronged approach. For all of us, it was an unreasonably early start (before 4am for some!) involving one false start (cars not starting), and several re-arrangements of people and vehicles to make the journey, as per the race organisers strict parking restrictions!
This event is one of the most anticipated competitions of the year, and it did not disappoint: it had everything we love about the sport. There was great camaraderie, amazingly competitive but-still-friendly competition, fantastic weather (always makes these outdoor events better!), beautiful running routes which were a joy to run but really testing, and good natured humour all around.
We had 3 teams: Vet40 Men, Open Male and Open Female teams, with 3 U18 runners taking part which was fab (thank you so much for getting involved!) And oh my word, everyone ran their socks off!
For the Vet40s, Richard Roberts was out the blocks first on leg one, having a storming race to arrive not only in 14th place overall but 1st in the V40 competition, a really fantastic run in a very competitive field. Johnny Moore and Ali Chant (our last minute signing, completing the Mens V40 Team in style, thanks Ali!) ran really well together and arrived back as 20th Vet 40 team to handover to Emlyn Owen and Matt Fortes. Running a solid, fast race on a leg which was far longer than anyone anticipated, the pair arrived back at the start in 2nd place for the Vet 40’s, having ticked off the route at great speed with Matts ninja nav skills. Craig Jones had a fantastic run, completing the 5 mile final leg to round off the competition, and coming in 10th V40 overall, which placed the Eryri Vet 40 men in 8th place overall out of 34 teams. This is an amazing result, well done guys!!
There was slightly more drama in the Eryri Men’s Open race:
Eden Potter was on the first leg, coming in an excellent 39th place in the Open Male category (the results don’t split down into placings for the U18s so I’m not sure where Eden, Callum or Lleucu placed in that category). Next up was Ross Roberts and Luke Earnshaw, in what transpired to be Luke’s first fell race, so jumping straight in at the deep-end there. The pair had a good solid race to coming in 77th in their category. Taking up the baton next was nav-ace Owain Williams paired with Fred Maier. Things were looking good until Fred appeared to want to check-out some of the famous limestone caverns in the area by falling into a deep hole which unfortunately meant they had to retired from the race (Fred is OK, for those asking!) and the team weren’t given an overall placing. Callum O’Donnell still got to run his leg in the mass start, and ran excellently to finish in 40th place.
In the Open Womens competition, Lleucu Lane stepped up to run a solid first leg, coming in 31st and handing over to Sarah Seery and newly-joined Faye Johnson, who ran really well together to place 12th overall in our category. Next out was Jenny Hemming and Becki Law who put in a superb nav leg, beating some very stiff competition to come in 7th. Last out was Miranda Grant who thoroughly enjoyed her leg to come in 2nd place. Overall, we also placed 8th out of the 49 Open Female teams competing.
Really well done to everyone who committed to coming and running on Saturday, it was a fantastic day with a really great bunch of people!! I’m sure none of us will forget that in a hurry. Huge thank you to Dark Peak Fell Runners! And all those who drive us there, and to Craig Jones for his tent 🙂
Full results here:
And a vast selection of photos available on the Fellrunners UK facebook page: there are some cracking ones of our Eryri runners!


British Athletics Junior and Senior Home International

British Athletics Junior and Senior Home International
The above race took place on the 21st Sept (back when we still had hot sunny weather, remember that!) The competition was split into the Junior and Senior Mountain running trial, with selected teams traveling from across the UK and Ireland to take part.
The route for the juniors was up and down the very runnable Moel Eilio, with the Seniors taking in the whole of the ridge (with a strong hot headwind), and a blistering, airless run down Maesgwm. Conditions were perfect for squeezing in some end of summer tanning, but not quite so comfortable for fast running.
In the Junior race, there were some excellent performances from the young runners selected from the ranks of Eryri Harriers to run for Wales.

Jody Cain was 6th FU20, with Lleucu Lane coming in 18th FU20, helping the Welsh U20 women to Team Bronze in the competition. This was matched by the U20 Men with Louis Guest and Tom Wood coming in 12th and 16th respectively, leading them to a Bronze in the MU20 mens competition.


In the Senior competition, the standard was VERY high. With the chance of a GB vest, the Open women and mens races had some very talented runners in the mix, some of which had run for Great Britain before.

First in from Eryri in the women’s race was Miranda Grant in 5th Int (10thF overall) running for Scotland, followed by Elliw Haf in 8th (13th), and newly joined Faye Johnson one place behind in 9th (14th), both running for Wales. In the team standings this was a Bronze for the Senior Welsh Women, and Silver for the Scotland Women.

In the Men, Russell Bentley was 6th International, one place behind local Math Roberts. Owain Williams pulled on his Welsh vest for the 2nd time this year to place 17th Int. For the men, this was a team Bronze in the competition.

Well done to everyone on some hard running in hard conditions but great results!

Race results attached in British Athletics article, and a link to some photos of us all looking a bit hot and a bit tired and sweaty (I’m speaking for myself here) but secretly loving it on the inside 😉.

Gladstone 9 Race Report 31/08/2019

Gladstone 9 Race Report 31/08/2019
Weather conditions were mixed for this cracking race in the Northern Carneddau, which this year was an
Eryri Club Champs race, but thanks to the good visibility, the views were stunning throughout. 77 runners
& 1 sweeper started the race, & everyone finished. The feedback, as always, has all been excellent, with
many comments about our wonderful marshals, the post-race homemade flapjacks, the amazing homemade soup, & the foodie prizes. There was also great enthusiasm for Racetek, Fabian4’s partner company,
which provided the timing/tracking service, with the results on the computer screen at HQ as soon as the
runners had passed over the line, as well as on the web for all to see.
The race was won by Calder Valley’s Math Roberts, in a time of 1:12:01, with Eryri’s Gavin Roberts, newly back from
injury, hot on his heels in 1:12:39, 3 minutes faster than last year. Eryri’s Fred Maier was 3
, & his club mates Owain
Williams 4th, & Matt Fortes 5th & 1st MV40. Buckley Runners won the one two in the MV40 category with Jez Brown
st in 1:21:55 & Simon Edwards 2nd. Very close behind them was Dark Peak’s John Hunt, 1st MV 50 in 1:23:39 with
Eryri’s Jonny Moore 2nd. Eryri won the one two again in the MV60 category, with Iwan Edgar 1st in 1:36:06, & Terry
Coleman 2nd
, while the MV70s were led home by Eryri’s Brian Robbins 1
st in 2:07:06, followed by Thames Hare &
Hounds (runners come a long way to take part in our race!) Paul Newby.
The first local’s prize (very local – we pass within a few yards of his cottage on the race route) was awarded to Chris
Near, who was 10st overall in 1:24:46, having driven home from the Alps the day before! It’s interesting that once
again, were only 8 senior men in the first 20 finishers. Where are all the ‘youngsters’?!
As in the male category, 4 of the 1st 5 ladies across the line were from Eryri Harriers. 1st was Andrea Rowlands in
1:28:09, also 1st FV40 & a brilliant 18th position overall, 2nd was last year’s winner, NWRR’s Gemma Moore, & just
behind her, 25th overall & 2nd FV40 was Jenny Heming. Next to finish was Sarah Seery, then Sarah Barnwell, 1st
FV50 in 1:42:47 (new record) in the amazing position of 5
th lady & 32nd place overall. Next to finish was Eryri’s Megan
Hughes then Helsby RC’s Laura Baynham-Hughes who were awarded the 1st & 2nd FV40 prizes. Yours truly was
awarded the 1st FV50 prize, with Rachel Arnold in 2nd place, & the amazing Maggie Oliver of Eryri Harriers was the 1st
FV70 home in 2:20:52. Again, only 8 of the 21 female runners were aged less than 40…….
My sincere thanks go to my co-organisers, Maggie Oliver & Alex Fletcher, & to all the many marshals and helpers,
who as always gave their time willingly, & without whom we would not have been able to safely organise the race.
Particular mention needs to be made of little Rhiannon, who, at about 12 weeks of age, is the youngest marshal
we’ve ever had on the summit of Moel Lus! We are very grateful for the grant provided by Penmaenmawr Town
Council, which, as well contributing to the prize fund, enabled us to provide the runners & marshals with soup & a
roll after the race. The very-well received prizes compromised a FOC hamper for the first prize, generously provided
FOC by Spar Penmaenmawr, & fresh produce bags for the age category prizes with the items having been purchased
at a reduced rate from Spar, with extras donated by friends. We were also grateful to have been given a ‘Breakfast
for Two’ voucher by Eryri’s Paul Hodges, owner of Siabod Café, which was presented to the first lady home. Lastly,
we owe a huge vote of thanks, as always, to the staff of the Gladstone pub for their hospitality & cooperation, & for
providing a meal voucher as the first local’s prize.
A small financial contribution will be given to Eryri Harriers, who provided all the kit, to the WFRA, with whom the
race is insured & whose committee members do such a huge amount to support fell running in Wales, & to the
Carneddau Pony Society, whose members do so much to care for this unique herd which has graced our mountains
for so many centuries. I’m pleased to announce that we will be able to donate £280 to the Snowdonia Society, which does such valuable work, for which those of us who enjoy the mountains on
a regular basis are most grateful.
Ellie Salisbury (Race Organiser)

Tryfan Downhill Dash

Tryfan Downhill Dash

8 hardy souls took part in the annual event from Tryfan’s summit to the A5 roadside.

Mike’s race report on Eryri webpage says:

In a field of only 8 runners despite being 3rd and 4th at the top of the gully Mynydd Du’s Jenny Yate and Eryri’s Ali Thomas soon made short work of the 2 men ahead of them Jenny coming in to win in 14.11, Ali 2nd in 14.25 while Gary Porter-Jones took 3rd and 1st 50 in 14.42. Ali’s time not only took 6 minutes off the F50 record but was only 1 minute off her own 2008 F40 record, da iawn Ali.

Photos can be seen here: