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.