Gyhirych Grind       Sunday 16th November      Results

So why's this competitor staring so intently at the ground?

A hardy, some would say foolhardy group of 11 runners turned up for the inaugural running of this race, on what turned out to be a very misty day in the Beacons. I can only assume that the precipitously steep climbs, the fact that checkpoint 2 was on the ‘summit’ of Fan Fraith, a hill which few had visited previously, coupled with the necessity for good navigational skills put off other runners.

The race started at the fence above the layby and the runners soon disappeared into the mists with the finish on the now long disused tramway. I was informed by the bemused marshals on CP1 that runners appeared from ‘all directions’ and on leaving the checkpoint were somewhat ‘uncertain’ as to where CP2 may actually be. This was evident as 3 runners did not find CP2, but navigation was not an issue for Jim Masters and Pete Gardner who were 1st and 2nd respectively – with only seven seconds separating them.

Andy Creber was next in, some two and a half minutes later with the first lady, Sasha Habgood – following a further two and half minutes later. Standing at the finish, I shared the marshals’ bemusement over the very disparate directions from which runners emerged from the mist.

Everyone told me, they had a good time (even those who DNF), but am not sure I believe them. The races I organise tend to epitomise ‘grass roots’ fell running and seem to attract those who relish a navigational challenge alongside a test of their athletic prowess, but this does seem to be very much a niche attraction. I would really appreciate any feedback from those who did the race and comments from those who may have been put off from participating.

I am immensely grateful to the indefatigable Martin and Kay Lucas who jumped at the chance to marshal – many races would simply not happen without their enthusiastic support, and Dave Austin who, after some rather unseemly begging, agreed to act as my replacement marshal.