Pipe Dream – report and results

Categories: Mountain Running News

Pipe Dream Race Report

5.8m / 1700′

1st March 2014

Results  Pipe Dream 2014

On a beautifully sunny and crisp St David’s Day morning, 62 runners gathered at Dolgarrog Community Centre for the 10th annual Pipe Dream Race.  This year the race was extended by nearly a mile so the runners could navigate around the ongoing engineering works up at Coedty Dam. However this didn’t put the fellrunners off as they raced down the main road in Dolgarrog and started up the zig-zag path next to the pipes, before heading out to along the iconic black pipe and then dropping to Coedty and back down the technical descent alongside Afon Porthlwyd.

Manx fellrunner Lloyd Taggart turned up, as did last year’s winner Russell Bentley, so it seemed to be shaping up for an interesting battle.  As it turned out Taggart immediately made his mark by putting distance behind him on the initial climb, a lead which was only increased for the rest of the race until a strong win was had, taking 1st overall and 1st v40 along with it in 37.25.

Behind him the battle was closer with flying local v40 John Parkinson challenging Bentley on the climb, and actually overtaking him.  Bentley pulled it back on the level, moving ahead and gradually stretching it out to keep Parkinson in his place. Bentley took the 2nd slot in 40.30, with 3rd placed Parkinson 41.07.

Lloyd’s Eryri partner Jackie Lee was also in attendance, and she quickly stamped her authority on the ladies race to easily win in 44.01, and an impressive 6th overall.  Following in 2nd, but never challenging was Eryri’s Becki Law in 50.19, and 3rd overall and 1st lady v40 Sarah Barnwell in 52.06. 

Other finishers were 3rd v40 and 4th overall Craig Jones of Eryri.  Travelling runners Debbie Rutherford of Pensby took the ladies v50 win, and Declan O’Duffy of Bowland Fellrunners taking the top male v50.

Eryri’s Don Williams was the only v70 in the race, and showed his currently improving form by finishing an impressive 40th overall.

Thanks go to the volunteers at the Dolgarrog Community Centre who looked after the refreshment needs of tired runners, plus Team Dolly and other marshals up on the mountain.  After expenses £180 will go to the Community Centre fund.


Found property – Black Nike baseball cap, and a Lowepro camera case with strap.

Following the prizegiving there were one two calls to keep the extended route in future years, and differing views on whether or not to abandon the steps in favour of the zig-zags.  Readers/runners views are welcomed by submitting a comment below here.





If only the runners had the time to stop and notice, they ran past this today!

Porthlwyd Waterfall

8 Responses to "Pipe Dream – report and results"

  1. mark davies Posted on 03/01/2014 at 8:55 pm

    well done on a great race today loved the new top section as did most others by the sounds of things at the prize giving. i also liked the ascent up the zig zags however i personally also liked the steps,although this doesnt help much the only thing i would say is, would losing the steps not take away part of the races charm/identity? whichever way thing go i will be back next year. one of my favourites and the best descent in any race in my personal opinion.

    • John Humphries Posted on 03/02/2014 at 10:41 pm

      Brilliant race once again Craig,
      I vote to keep the new route it was nice to be able to run some of the first mile 🙂 plus it was nice having the extra mile.
      Maybe you could alternate them each year, as I think the steps are more of a challenge than the zig zags.
      3rd choice do 2 races each year one of each 🙂

  2. Ralph Posted on 03/01/2014 at 11:49 pm

    I really enjoyed the new route today. I would definitely vote to keep the extension, and to be honest it was easier on the legs to do the ridge run after the zig-zags. However, I agree with Mark – the steps are part of the character of the race, so maybe they ought to stay!

  3. Linda & Neil Posted on 03/02/2014 at 3:52 pm

    Hi. Thanks for a great race to Craig and all his helpers. We prefer the original course. As Mark says – the steps by the pipeline have a quirky individuality about them. Incidentally, Linda enjoyed some old-school coaching from the marshal at the works site (“get a move on, you’re getting dropped” – none of that “you’re going really well” stuff!)

  4. chris Posted on 03/03/2014 at 1:39 pm

    Great little race, so glad i made the trip up as have fancied it since seeing in the calendar last year. Don’t know old route but this seemed a good mix. I guess the steps would add a certain charm. Good stuff. Chris (Atherton)

  5. JP Posted on 03/05/2014 at 6:59 pm

    Great race and organisation – good work Craig. Big thanks to all. I enjoyed the report too…

    The detours were excellent, particularly the leat part. However, the steps are part of the joy of the race – and unique – so I’d keep the leat but return to the steps once we’re allowed.

  6. craig Posted on 03/05/2014 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks for the comments. At the moment it seems that keeping the steps is popular as they’re seen as a quirk of the race, but with the addition of the 0.8m diversion along the leat. Must be a hidden interest in the industrial heritage of the Conwy Valley!

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