Darrens Dash     Sat 18th June     Results

There was a record entry for the 11th Darrens Dash Hill Race

Race day dawned with a light covering of cloud and a cooling breeze on the summits. The recent rain had left the track a little sticky in places, but most runners enjoyed the extra ‘give’ this provided when descending. The event’s move to a Saturday continued to be popular - runner numbers were the highest ever at 134. We were very pleased to welcome travelling runners from Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Cardiff, Newport and Northamptonshire. Strong contingents from Forest of Dean Athletics Club (FODAC) and Chepstow Harriers had also arranged an inter-club ‘mob match’ as part of the event.

9 local runners also took up the challenge and there was tight competition for the 3 local’s trophies.

The event is very much set up as an introduction to fell running with a marked course and mountain safety cover provided by Longtown Mountain Rescue Team.

After a warm up lap of the event field the Darrens Dash route took runners steeply up through Cayo Farm and to the Rhiw before entering Wales and being rewarded with magnificent views of Llanthony Abbey, Pen y Gadair Fawr and the Vale of Ewyas. There wasn’t much time for enjoying the views however as the 552m trig point on Hatterrall Ridge was soon reached and then it was all downhill, reversing the ascent route from the Rhiw. Dan Sandford of FODAC came first in the men’s event in a time of 46.09 followed by Phil Thomas and David Klotz of host club Wye Valley Runners. In the Women’s Race Anne Nixon of FODAC set a new course record of 50.06 holding off the challenge of Nikki Morgan of Chepstow Harriers and Nicola Emerson of Wye Valley Runners. Allie Gilbert and her dog Figaro won the Cani Cross event in a time of 75.03. Congratulations to Chris Jones of Pontrilas who was awarded the ‘first local’ trophy in 50:02 (a new local’s record). Junior runner Tim Sheen of Rowlestone who had recently turned 16, picked up 2nd local as well as 1st Junior in a time of 59.14. Wye Valley Runners were on great form and held off stiff competition from FODAC and Chepstow to win the mixed team prize.

Other results:


1st MV40     Karie Atkins, Chepstow Harriers
1st MV50     Dave Jonson, unattached
1st MV60     Tony Keech, Human Energy


1st FV40     Sherryl Hall, FODAC
1st FV50     Vikki Sivertsen, unattached
1st FV60     Joc Dodd, Chepstow Harriers

NB. Competitors were only awarded trophies for their highest achievement to spread them round!

Full results available on: www.wyevalleyrunners.co.uk/darrens-dash

The future of off-road running looks bright as 54 children tustled for the places in the Castle Canter children’s races. Many children from Longtown were joined by children from Chepstow, the Forest of Dean, Malvern and Cross Ash. Inspired by the Euros there was also a great all-comers football match and the Pirate Galleon bouncy castle proved to be very popular.

Great tea and cakes were provided the by Pre-School and PTFA to all runners and there was a good haul of prizes in the raffle. William Darby of Mynydd Du continued his excellent form and won one of the main prizes.

Grateful thanks to the main event sponsors:
Dorinda Watkins of Celtic Vale – who provided the race water and sponsored the event trophies.
Arlene and Richard Clare – who sponsored the children’s medals.
Hopes of Longtown who sponsored the children’s finish line treats.
A special thank you to Jason Tandy who completed the event as a sponsored challenge.

The event could not go ahead without the permission and good will of the following landowners: Jean Price, Rob and Julie Bevan, Richard and Doris Prosser and the Brecon Beacons National Park. A final but sincere thank you to Longtown Mountain Rescue Team who provide the mountain safety cover for the event and the many people from the local community who willingly gave their time as race marshals.

Many thanks to all who supported the event. We hope to have raised £1750 to be split between Longtown Mountain Rescue, Longtown PTFA and Longtown Pre-School.

Mike Fawcett     Race organiser