Garth Uphill race 16th January 2010         1.5 miles/915 ft uphill only         Results

‘Fell races may go down as well as up’ says the entry form for one of the other Winter League races. Well not this one. No way. Up, up and up again from the foaming waters of the glorious Taff to the summit of Cardiff’s only mountain. Flat out effort and heavy breathing all the way but all over in a shorter time than it takes to write this report and the rest of the afternoon in the pub to discuss wild schemes for the summer. What’s not to like?

Despite minimal publicity for the first running of the race 41 runners nevertheless parked their sanity in Gwaelod y garth and lined up on the footbridge over the Taff. I dismissed the fleeting thought that this was probably the heaviest load the bridge had supported in the last hundred years.

Whilst the upper part of the course was entirely under snow 24 hours before the start, a rapid overnight thaw gave clear but very (very) muddy paths. The mud didn’t stop Matt Collins and Peter Ryder putting on a masterclass in uphill running – it’s just a shame the rest of us didn’t see it! Full results are attached but it’s interesting to note that most people scored higher league points than they have on up and down courses. This seems to demonstrate that not only are the top boys and girls better than the rest of us on the way up but that they are better again on the way down. Personally I’d vote for more uphill-onlys please…

Thanks as ever to our long suffering marshals (particularly those who rang to volunteer and who didn’t have to be press-ganged), to John the timekeeper who at last reached the top of a mountain and to the Village Hall people for use of the car park. We might even do it again!

Martin Lucas