MOUNTAIN RUNNING NEWS       THE BLORENGE RACE 29/11/08              Results in excel format

46 runners contested the Blorenge race this year in cold, dry conditions. This unique race was almost lost from the calendar, until new organisers the Taylors stepped in. The use of the warm village hall for registration, with free tea and biscuits and real, actual toilets, was an unexpected and welcome luxury. For £2 entry free you get all this, and the lunacy of a relentless 1 in 3 climb for 1400ft, a treacherous descent, and surely in no other race in Britain do you get to run under a canal. Twice.

A close men's race was won by Hugh Aggleton of MDC by just 4 seconds, from Rob Gordon of Mynydd Du. The latter was racing off a period of hard training, and despite a better descent than the winner, could not quite catch him. Hugh, a cyclist, comes from a family of fell runners- father John was 16th overall and 2nd MV50- and reports that he may have seen the light and converted to fell running. A good climb brought him to the bunker in 2nd place, behind eventual 3rd placer Paul Murrin from Chepstow Harriers. Both the first MV40 Mike Duxbury (Stroud) and MV45 Max Suff (Hereford) are consistent top 10 placers in the South Wales Series.

Helen Fines was first woman home for the 3rd year running, although a pitifully poor line of descent put paid to chances of breaking the record. After a bad ankle injury in this race last year, Helen Bennett was relieved to come home safely in 2nd, and another Mynydd Du's Sharon Woods was 3rd (1st FV40). Chepstow's consistent stalwart Sue Ashton (FV50) was close behind.

The wooden spoon award has to go to Dick Finch. After selflessly leading his clubmates up the Blorenge for a recce the previous week, he proceeded to take possibly the most convoluted route in the history of the race. Returning over an hour later, he reported having visited the old railway sidings and the village of Garn Dyrys. Sightings of him enjoying a cream tea are unconfirmed, but he certainly failed to challenge John Sweeting for the MV60 win.        Helen Fines