BRECON BEACONS RACE 16TH AUG 2008
The in-form Mark Palmer won the 2nd long race in the Welsh Open Championships in the Brecon Beacons (19m/4500ft). After being pushed hard by 3rd-placed Rob Gordon he caught Mercia's Pete Vale, who was having some navigational problems in the mist, and put his descending skills to good use, finishing 1 min 4 secs ahead. He also took the first MV40 prize. Women's winner Helen Fines took advantage of local knowledge to just edge out Kate Bailey of Meirionydd in a cat-and-mouse battle of the veterinary surgeons! Mary Gillie was 3rd.
Conditions meant for fairly slow times and tricky route-finding in places, and some interesting lines were taken by the runners. An anonymous 'Welsh Harrier' clearly thought the route would be improved by inclusion of several local villages in addition to the compulsory summit checkpoints! But the real heroes of the day were the marshalls, who spent up to 3 hours on the summits in driving hail and rain.