Gladstone 9 Race Report 03/09/2016
Well – what happened to the glorious weather which normally graces this race? We had rain, wind, mist, poor visibility – so it was just how I like it! Despite the inclement weather, 38 gallant runners started & finished the race (as of course did Elsi, the best Diabetic Assistance Dog in the world!). The feedback has all been excellent, with many comments about the interesting navigation across the ‘bog of doom’, the fantastic marshals, the post-race flapjacks & the amazing prizes. There was also great enthusiasm for Racetek, Fabian4’s partnership company, which provided the timing service. The results were 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. No hand writing names & times on sheets of A4 paper or even filling in spread sheets this year – long may it last!
The race was won by Calder Valley’s Math Roberts, in a time of 1:20:10, with NWRR’s Mark Davies , also first MV40, close on his heels in 1:20:26, & Mercia’s Steve Cale third in 1:21:07. There were four Eryri finishers in the top ten, with MV40 Johnny Moore finishing in sixth place in 1:24:20, second MV50 Russel Owen eighth in 1:26:29, James McQueen ninth in 1:29:29 & Gary Porter-Jones tenth in 1:29:52. Last year’s winner, Dark Peak’s John Hunt, was back on form after his injuries on the Peris to finish a in a fantastic fourth position, & first MV50 in 1:21:52. Fifth was Buckley Runners’ Simon Edwards, also second MV40, in 1:23:27. It’s interesting that like last year, there were only 6 senior men in the first twenty finishers. Where are all the ‘youngsters’?!
The first lady across the line was Pensby Runners’ Lisa Grantham, also first FV40 & sixteenth overall, in a great time of 1:36:14. The next two ladies to finish were Buckley’s Hayley Evans in 1:36:34 & Eryri Orienteers’ Delyth Darlington in 1:45:39 The first FV50 was yours truly, but there again, the race does take place in my fantastic ‘back garden’……! First local was Nic Brook of Penmaenmawr, fifteenth overall, in 1:36:03.
My sincere thanks go to my co-organisers, Maggie Oliver & Alex Fletcher, & to all the many marshals and helpers, who braved the weather & without whom we would not have been able to safely organise the race. It’s fantastic that Geoff Glegg, one of the co-founders of the original race, still turns out most years to help us. We are very grateful for the generous sponsorship & support provided by X-Ray Minerals, which enabled us to issue fantastic fossils as prizes. We also owe a huge vote of thanks to the staff of the Gladstone pub for their hospitality & cooperation, & for providing a meal voucher as a prize for the first local runner.
A small financial contribution will be given to the WFRA, & to Eryri Harriers, & I’m pleased to announce that we will be able to donate £100 to Siabod Café’s Reach out for Nepal Earthquake Appeal http://www.moelsiabodcafe.co.uk/nepal-charity-information/ .
Ok everyone spread the word. Peris 10th September. Registration in The Heights. Same course as last year. Online entry open at Fabian 4.
As always no race can happen without the volunteers/marshals so spread the word far and wide and let us know if you can help out.
The weather forecast was grim to say the least, with two rain drops predicted at 2pm, the race start time, and one drop for the rest of the day. We were pleasantly surprised to get the gazebo erected on the Rowen Carnival field in only light drizzle. It seemed that lots of people had either headed off to the British Champs in Sedburgh, or given the rain forecast, had decided to stay in to watch Serena win another Wimbledon title, as with a field of 30, we had the smallest entry for about 10 years. As is common, the forecast was wrong – maybe half a rain drop, but humid and overcast and waterproofs certainly not needed on the start line.
After a quick head count (yes we still had 30) James sounded the hooter, and we were off, with Ellie accompanied by Elsie, her medical assistance dog, at the back alongside Helen (Race organiser and sweeper in fluoresent pink). Turning right in the village, and facing the first hill, Ellie pulled ahead of Naomi from Steel City Striders, and the leaders streaked off towards the youth hostel. By Cae Coch, Naomi had come to the conclusion that for the first time in her life, she may actually be last, but undeterred, we headed over the stile and towards the summit of Tal y Fan. At the summit, the stone circle check point, at the other side of the moorland bog was pointed out, and we headed off towards the sheep pens as our mid-way marker. Half way across, however, we found two more Steel City lost runners – maybe Naomi would not be last – who at least had the sense to wait for the pink person, when they had lost touch with Ellie and realised they did not really know where they were heading. We reached the stone circle as a group of four, to find that two runners were unaccounted for, but at least the rain was holding off, and the visibilty was still good. We had not seen them coming across the bog, and left the radio operators/marshalls communicating with base to see if they had been located, or whether they had just gone to Penmaenmawr for ice-cream.
Our little group of tail enders carried on, now on the grass of the North Wales coastal path, with much easier navigation. Through all the gates, with the marshalls still two short, until we reached the Dougie’s gin and tonic (sorry all gone only water left) check point, where it was reported all 30 had been seen. Panic over, and we headed up the last hill, down through the braken and back on to the road. Resisting the G&T in the Ty Gwyn, the final gang reached the finish line safely, if a bit late for the presentation.
Thanks as always to our marshal team, and Ann and Sharon on the start & finish line.
Maybe Craig/Louise could do a view of life nearer the front of the field!
With an un-certain forecast it was great to get word from Georg from the summit a few minutes before the off that it was breezy but dry & clear, kit still required but conditions as good as we could dare hope after the downpours the day before. Sixty two runners were soon off & running with Buckley’s Jez Brown leading from Mercia’s Gareth Hughes with Eryri’s Richard Roberts & Martin Cliffe tucked in close behind. For the women Sarah Ridgeway & Eryri’s Andrea Rowlands were running side by side as they made their way into the forest towards Moel Siabod’s steeper slopes.
By the time the leading runners reached the summit Gareth had opened up a clear lead over Richard Roberts himself closely followed by Jez & Martin, the pattern was set as these placings would be un-changed by the time they reach the finish line on the Capel Curig Show ground. Gareth’s winning time was an excellent 48:32 a clear winner by almost 3 minutes over Richard. The gap back to Jez (1st O.40) was a further one minute 15 seconds with Martin, despite some classic tumbles (2nd O.40) 20 seconds further back, he in turn was followed by Brendon Taylor from Durham Fell Runners (3rd O.40) less than a minute later & well ahead of the pursuing pack of Andrew Perry (Durham) Simon Edwards (Buckley) & Adrian Williams (Eryri). Next came Sarah Ridgeway in a superb time of 56:51, 1st Female & 9th overall some 5 minutes clear of her nearest rival Andrea Rowlands.
I was delighted to see Phil Roberts (he of our 2015 Siabod Summit Challenge) come home in 58:34, 11thoverall to pick up the Mike Cousins shield for first ‘local’.
Other performances of note were Rob Downs (Wilmslow RC) 1st M. O50 in 60:55, Geoff Davis (Northumberland Fell Runners) 1st M. O60 in 68:38 & Geoffrey Fielding 1st M. O.70 in 80:38. For the women the strongest category was the O.40’s so we need some younger runners next year to pick up the gauntlet that’s been thrown down, that said Gemma Moore came home 1st U.40 (NWRRC, 3rd overall) in 67:31 closely followed by Sarah Barnwell (Eryri) 1st O.50 in an excellent 69:29.
Runners were seen taking their post race dip in the cooling waters of the Afon Llugwy before taking on the local farmers in the traditional Tug of War finale. Sadly a combination of tired legs & local pride saw them slump smilingly to a whitewash defeat.
As ever thanks to all involved including the runners & spectators but most of all to the Marshalls whose support to me was vital in helping to ensure the race was both safe & successful.
GLADSTONE 9 RACE
1 pm Saturday, 3rd September 2016
Do come again this year to support this tough, scenically superb fell race in my back garden the foothills of the Carneddau!!
Online entry preferred at http://www.fabian4.co.uk/default.aspx?EventID=1541 £6, or EOD £7
Contact Ellie Salisbury email@example.com for further details
Gladstone9 map 2016
Thursday eve 1st Sept – Elidir Fawr Fell Race – 8km/5miles 853m/2800ft
Spectacular horseshoe race round Cwm Dudodyn
Faenol Arms, Nant Peris LL55 4UF
Contact Dyfed Whiteside Thomas Dyfed@celtest.com for further details
Saturday afternoon 3rd Sept – Gladstone9 Fell Race: Gladstone Pub, Dwygyfylchi LL34 6PS
Sunday morning 4th Sept – Caernarfon 10K
A beautifully scenic and popular route following the Menai Straights
Coed Helen Recreational Grounds, Caernarfon LL54 5RP
Also taking online entry at http://www.fabian4.co.uk/default.aspx?EventID=1540
Contact Arwel Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org for further details
Points will be awarded to those runners who complete all three races, & there will be a prize for the winning male & female.
Results for the final race (Llanberis Sprint) of the Tuesday series and also the final standings for the Joe Brown’s Tuesday Night Series 2016. Math Roberts won the Llanberis race in 12:16, a new record; Sarah Ridgeway winning the ladies in 11th overall 14:50.