Arenig Fawr    Sunday 31st August    Results     Pictures

A small field of 39 runners from a number of Welsh and English clubs turned up and enjoyed almost perfect weather conditions. Race attendance has never been particularly high but this year’s number was surprisingly low since the race was included in the North Wales championship series. Race winner by a clear margin was Karl Steinegger, who on the previous Wednesday set a new course record in the Green Green Grass of Home race in North Wales. Second man was Jez Brown. First female runner and seventh overall was Miranda Grant, who finished 5 minutes ahead of second place Mary Gillie. Although a change in the position of the last checkpoint has added around half a minute to the time, no records were broken but Miranda Grant came close to taking Jacky Lee’s female record. The course is not marked apart from short sections after the start and before the finish. Runners can choose the best line between checkpoints. Route choice is particularly important between checkpoints 1 and 2 and the descent from 5 to 6. It is interesting to see that some runners have difficulty finding the ‘obvious’ route to CP1, some even missing out the checkpoint altogether and heading to CP2.

The low attendance of the race, although not uncommon in Welsh races, is probably partly due to the severity of the course with 77 metres climb per kilometre and mostly pathless terrain, features that attract comments such as ‘real hard running country’ and ‘a beltin race … proper fell race’.

Next year’s race will be held on Sunday 6th August. Refreshments and cakes will be provided as usual. The entry fee will be reduced from £4 to £3. My thanks to the runners, the marshals and all the friends who helped organize the event and to the WFRA and Geoff Clegg our time keeper.

Yiannis Tridimas