Ras yr Aran       Sat 22nd March       Results

Strong winds and snow once again returned to create a challenging race for both organisers and runners. The morning was spent considering the options. The race organiser Nich Bradley, Marshals, National park wardens and mountain rescue looked at the conditions on the hill and deliberated on the options available. As a consequence of the severe wind and snow conditions the race was curtailed slightly to take out the flat section between Aran Benllyn and Mawddwy. The decision maintained the altitude gain and gave runners a taste of the conditions on the plateau between the two peaks.
81 runners took part in the challenging conditions. The lower section was snow free where runners contended with freezing pools and deep peat bog. On the higher ground the snow gradually increased to 8 inches at the turn around at LLyn Aran Benllyn.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Charlwood

Report by Arfon Hughes

Llantysilio       Sat 15th March 2014       Results

There was a record turnout as the race was the first counter in the 2014 Cotswold Outdoor North Wales Series.
It was a glorious Spring day – sunny and breezy. The course had been extended slightly with a new descent to the finish.
The race was won by Felipe Jones of Aberystwyth in a time of 51 minutes and 18 seconds, with Tim Davies 2nd and Paul Jones 3rd (both Mercia). Other category winners M40 Jez Brown (Buckley), M50 Ed Davies (Mercia), M60 Alan French (Wrexham), M70 John Morris (Buckley) 65th overall!

The ladies race was won by Andrea Rowlands in 57.53. Caitlin Rice of Glossop was 2nd and Jackie Lee of Eryri 3rd. Other category winners : F40 Val Swingler (Shropshire Shufflers), F50 Emma Collins (Denbigh), F60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri).

Pipe Dream       Sat 1st March 2014       Film of the Event
Dare Valley        Saturday 8th March      Results        Pics from Gerry Ashton

Moel Tryfan.        Saturday 8th March       Results

The race took place in very windy conditions

Tour of Torpantau        Sunday 2nd March        Results         Pics from Mark Saunders

The weatherman got the low temperature, the strong winds and the rain more or less correct – we expect those at the Tour – but he forgot to mention the mist that made navigation rather tricky and some faces rather red when their owners arrived back rather late.

Mark Palmer’s radical route to the first summit of Craig y Fan Ddu gained him a good lead over chasers Matt Stott and Pete Ryder, but they began to hunt him down on the return journey. But it wasn’t until they were in sight of the finish that Matt finally drew level and outsprinted Mark in a dramatic finish, with Pete just behind in third. Then a gap of four minutes to Ben Gibbison, and five minutes after came first M40 Rich Johnson who had finally escaped the close attentions of rival Matthew Lawson.

Sasha Habgood led the women by a comfortable 15 minutes with Joc Dodd and Karen Elvers in second and third. Race Organiser Andy Blackmore was fulsome in his praise for checkpoint marshals Del Thornley and Paul Dodd whose lonely sojourns on Cribyn and Fan y Big in such cold, wet and windy conditions were so appreciated by the runners, who were also indebted to sweeper Rob Brown, entry/finish maestro Jess Taylor and timekeeper John Chidlow.
Dick Finch

THE HATTERALL HAMMER         22/2/14       Results

The inaugural Hatterall Hammer, promoted by Hereford Couriers but held on the Welsh side of the border along a stretch of the formerly fiercely contested Offa's Dyke, saw further combat of a less bloody kind between runners from the neighbouring countries. Numbers were swelled by a strong contingent from Croft Ambrey in North Herefordshire, dragooned into action by manager Mike Blenkinsop.

The straight up and down course of about 4 miles with over 1000 feet of climb consisted of a flat start over yielding grassland with the steep ascent beginning on tarmac, funnelling in due course into a stony gully which in turn gave way to deliciously springy turf up to the trig point from where the headlong descent began.

We were blessed with an unfamiliarly dry if windy day though the road section still bore witness to the recent persistent heavy rain which only a fortnight before had turned this part of the course into a lethal skidpan.

78 runners were set on their way by the farmer whose land we were traversing and who took an enthusiastic interest in proceedings.

There was some fine racing with many places being lost and gained on the long speedy descent. Chris Jones of MDC set a challenging inaugural male record of 27.22, 23 seconds clear of the second man, while the women's record time was claimed by Katie Beecher in 34.29 after a superb descent leaving a clutch of men floundering in her wake.

Second man home was Jon Barnes of Mynnyd Du [and Hereford!], another who gained places on the way down with Matt Stott of Chepstow just 11 seconds back from him. Charlie Jenkins, who arrived just before the start, having been caught in traffic, took the under 23 prize in 32.02. Simon Norwood from Croft had a storming run for 1st v40 in 30.58 but was closely followed by top V50, Peter Sowerby [31.12] who in turn had had to work hard to overhaul fellow V50, Max Suff [31.46] venturing out of his Forest of Dean hibernation at the first scent of spring.

It is a sign of the times that there were 12 over sixties in the field and once again, as in every race in the Series so far, Steve Littlewood of the illustrious Couriers, came out on top in 35.06 but it was not without a tough battle with Mynydd Du's Dai Smout [35.24] who had climbed superbly and was 50 metres clear at the summit. In the V70's, the indefatigable Robert West of MDC had some competition in the form of Wye Valley's 79 year old Harry Franklin but took the category win by some two and a half minutes in 47.33.

Second woman and 1st V40 home was the prolific racer, Niki Morgan of Chepstow [35.41] who had led to the top and was also in a hurry to leave the venue having a night race to run a bit later. In third was Sarah Adams of Taff Ely Triathlon in 40.31, with Rona Davies of Mynnyd Du first V50 in 41.29.

The men's Team Prize went to MDC with Chepstow Harriers carrying off the women's award.

The Old Pandy Inn offered fine hospitality to the unwonted Saturday afternoon invasion and, as the crowds dispersed, a couple of us remained to watch a convincing England win over Ireland at Twickenham on the big screen. Strange how quiet this pub in Wales became!
Steve Herington

Moel y Ci Tregarth Gwynedd BS / 8km / 290m 22.02.2014       Sat 22nd February       Results        Pics from Gwynfor James

After what seemed like weeks of rain a sunny morning enthused 124 runners to visit the Moelyci Environmental Centre this year. A keen wind, mud and standing water greeted the 9 juniors and 115 seniors at Tregarth on Saturday. Run in cool but ideal conditions the win went to previous Eryri winner Math Roberts in 37.24 exactly 2½ minutes ahead of last year’s winner Martin Cliffe, 2nd (1st MV40) at 39.54. Cliffetop led a charge of MV40s taking the next 5 places overall: John Parkinson 3rd at 40.02, John Hunt (Dark Peak) 4th at 40.56, Dylan Wynn Jones 5th at 41.02 and Craig Jones 6th at 41.11. The second and third senior men followed with Dyfed Whiteside-Thomas at 42.03 and Ben Lightowler (Abergele) at 42.20.

Storming back to form Andrea Rowlands was 1st senior woman in 45.40 at 21st overall. Wendy Trimbel is romping up the leaderboard finishing 2nd at 48.57, closely followed by Helen Teasdale, 3rd woman (1st FV40) at 49.16. Visiting uphill ski champion Gabriel Lees finished next at 50.05.

After a good race with Vic Belshaw, Steve P Jones took the MV50 prize at 44.41. Dafydd Whiteside-Thomas was 1st MV60/70 to the summit, but a knee problem allowed three MV70s to pass him on the descent. Dafydd finished 1st MV60 in 57.42. Three remarkable MV70s finished in 65th, 73rd and 77th /115 ! Pete Roberts (Buckley) at 54.21, John Morris (Buckley) at 55.33 and Eryri’s Don Williams at 56.00.

1st FV50 was Juliet Edwards (Meirionydd) at 55.11, with local legend Maggie Oliver taking the FV60 prize at 65.23.

Ryan Cain set a new record in the second year on the modified Junior route to win in 9.27, followed by Deian Williams at 10.34 and Connor Roberts at 10.48. Ryan’s sister Jody Cain finished first girl at 5th in 11.41 with brother Jack Cain at 13.42. Tilly Craine, aged 4, won the hearts of spectators finishing in 24.34. Nine juniors ran.

Many thanks go to the Centre staff, marshals, ‘Team Dolly’ radio network, the registration and finish team, friends and families. Projects at the Moelyci Environmental Centre focus on sustainability, local produce, local employment and crafts www.moelyci.org.

The race results are on the Eryri website.

Race photos at www.sportpicturescymru.co.uk

Tarren Hendre        Saturday 1st February        Results        Pics from Esyllt

The Second Race of the Meirionnydd Running Club's Winter Race series Tarran hendre, due to strong winds, was shortened on Safety advice from Mountain Rescue and ran on an alternative route which cut out the very top ridge section of the race.
This alternative route was slightly shorter but made up in being a slightly faster race. We still had most of the really muddy section on the way down to contend with and luckily, as we were in the lee of the hill, the wind didn't hinder and the rain/sleet/hail held off for most of the race............Arfon Hughes

                                                                    Craig yr Allt Fell Race    Sat January 25th    Results

This was a new race in the WFRA calendar conceived by Gary Davies following a request by the WFRA Committee for more winter fell running races in South Wales. Gary trains regularly on the hills of Cardiff and started exploring potential new races on The Garth, Craig yr Allt or Caerphilly Common. Following successful discussions with the landowners of Craig yr Allt, Gary decided to organise a race there.

The weather forecast promised a dry race but the hills north of Cardiff seemed to experience a freak weather system during the race. The 83 starters were forced to endure heavy rain, intermittent sleet and a bitingly cold wind during the 6.2km 370m ascent race which summitted the hill twice. It was dry immediately before and after the race!

The race started at the foot of the access road to Rockwood Riding Centre (from Blackbrook Road) and took the most direct route to the summit before traversing off the path towards the north. The runners then had to run a long muddy flat section, then make another ascent to the ridge before descending towards the Taff Trail via the technical descent near the zig zags by the mast. The subsequent Taff Trail section enabled the road runners to stretch their legs however this was followed by a long ascent to the summit before a short descent to the finish near the northern edge of the Common Land boundary.

Chris Jones (MDC) and Peter Ryder (Brycheiniog) had a great duel at the front of the pack with Chris pipping Peter to the finish line by 5 seconds in a time of 29m 30s. Thomas Burden (Ind) finished in third in a time of 32m 58s. In the ladies category, Alice Bedwell (MDC) ran a fantastic race to finish in 1st place closely followed by Evita Gonzalez Szamocki (Westbury Harriers) in a time of 38m 42s. Niki Morgan (Chepstow Harriers) finished in 3rd.

MV40 Winner - Richard Johnson (Mynydd Du)
FV40 Winner - Niki Morgan (Chepstow Harriers)

MV50 - Peter Sowerby (Brecon AC)
FV50 - Alice Bedwell (MDC)

MV60 - Steve Littlewood (Hereford Couriers)

Gary would like to thank all the volunteers and marshalls who endured the cold and wet conditions, particularly the Lucas', Dallimores, Dick Finch, John Chidlow, Mike Richards and my wife Dawn. Apparently, it was the worst conditions they'd endured since Mynydd Troed in April 2012!

Runners and volunteers subsequently warmed up in the new canteen and coffee shop at Mountain View Ranch who kindly let us use their parking facilities for the large field of competitors. Gary would also like to thank the landowners Tony and Alison Dascombe who granted permission for using their land for the race.
Thanks      Gary Davies

Tor y Foel    Sat 11th January    Results     Photos from Jane Aggleton


Kymin Winter Race        Results
Corndon Classic     Sun 21st December          Results

A very jolly field of 73 turned up on the last Saturday of the year to support our cracking 5 miler over Corndon Hill. The weather matched the occasion with light winds and wonderful views across the marches in all directions. A mixed field saw some great running and many happy smiling faces at the finish.Special mention must go to the 2 U 20 runners taking the honours on the day ,Billy(the wizz.) Starling & Bethan Jenkinson on their efforts. Many thanks to all who helped on the day and all runners for bothering.

The Jubilee Plunge      29th December, Llangynhafal     Pics by Esyllt     Results

Ifan Richards - Pic from Martin

Pic from Martin

Wonderful day for a gallop downhill. Meiryonnyd's Ifan Richards was around a minute quicker than last year but still fell short of the men's record - however he obviously thoroughly enjoys this race. Helen Fines came over from Yorkshire and knocked over a minute off the ladies record with a fabulous exhibition of gallopment. Very pleased to see good support from local clubs Denbigh Harriers and Prestatyn RC plus the incredible emergent team of Femmes Fatales from Ruthin (with one honorary Hommes Fatale!) Rich Davies and Rob Butler posed as Biggles and Robin Hood and a good time was had by all - thanks to my sturdy team of timekeepers!

        Skirrid     Saturday 14th December     Results

The BBC weather forecast for Abergavenny was showing clement conditions until 2 pm, where two blobs of rain suddenly appeared indicating monsoonal downpours, gale-force winds and a plague of frogs, for the rest of the afternoon. Fortunately their timing was wrong and although it was a little bracing out there and a moderate to strong risk of losing an ill-fitting hat on exposed sections of the course, the 53 competitors all returned to the finish safe, dry and pumped full of endorphins ready to return to spouses with tales of derring-do. It certainly beat a circuit of the local shopping mall. Race Venue The Skirrid Inn, with its special spooky ambience, lends a fitting feel to this short but sparky fell race. With a new, swanky computer system one new requirement was a need to ask competitors their ages, Only a handful of competitors could remember how old they were. Unsurprisingly most of the ones who could remember their ages were under 40 - notwithstanding the winner U23 Duncan Birtwhistle, who had a self-debate for a couple of minutes to decide whether he was 22 or 21 and in the end plumped for the latter.

Fortunately Duncan’s running skills are vastly superior to his counting skills, and he smashed the race to win in a time of 30.50 – beating his own course record set last year by nearly a minute. He is also, almost certainly the winner of the coveted fastest descent perpetual trophy (again). The scores for fastest descents will be worked out at some point and winners notified of their £2000 all expenses paid trip to the Bahamas (or a chocolate santa).

Conditions underfoot were not as muddy as last year, so times were generally quicker, even though everyone was a year older and more world-weary. Out of 53 runners, only 11 were under 40. There were some impressive performances from these vintage runners though, showing that even though they’ve forgotten how old they are, they can still usefully get up and down a hill, especially if it means getting out of the Christmas shopping. It must have been the lure of the Tescos value chocolate santas as prizes that was spurring them on.

There was a very marked dearth of female runners in the race – just 4. Still, it’s quality not quantity that counts, and besides winner Niki Morgan, there was the orienteering world champion goddess/legend Alice Bedwell taking 2nd place and 1st FV50, fell runner and orienteer extraordinaire Sasha Habgood in 3rd place, and Chepstow Harriers fell racing stalwart Karen Elvers.

Given the dearth of women in the race, the organisers gave more vet prizes for the men, so first and second in each category were rewarded for their supreme physical challenge with, er, a Tescos value chocolate santa…

Huge congratulations to all who took part in the event, and enormous, heart-felt thanks to all the helpers, who were rewarded for their onerous, challenging and responsible duties by er. a Tescos value chocolate santa… Helpers were stoical summit beacon Rob Brown, super-smiley photographer and road marshal Lou Summers, results/finish dream team Paul & Joc Dodd, suave sweeper Gareth Jones, Registration (and racer) guru Karen Elvers.

Well done to the prize winners:

1st Male – Duncan Birtwistle (aged 20 something) 30.50
2nd Male – Ben Moon (confidently 34) 33.21 – smashed his time from last year
3rd Male – Grant Lewis (34 – clearly a winning age) 33.49

1st Female – Niki Morgan, 39.34
2nd Female – Alice Bedwell, 1st FV50 40.27 – too damn close for comfort
3rd Female – Sasha Habgood 40.37 - too close for Alice’s comfort

1st Male Vet 40 – Stuart Moore 34.53 – running out of things to say now
2nd Male Vet 40 – Mark Matthews 35.32

1st Male Vet 50 – Kevin Hagley 36.04
2nd Male Vet 50 – Gary Jones 37.23

1st Male Vet 60 – Steve Littlewood 39.46 (not running Mortimers Forest last week clearly worked)
2nd Male Vet 60 – Neil Grant 40.17 (bitter & twisted not to be first but still won a beer due to generosity of prize giver

1st FV40 not to have been in the top 3 – Karen Elvers proud winner of more chocolate santas than she ever wanted!

Niki Morgan

The Blorenge     Sat 30 Nov 2013    Results     Pics from Gill Stott    Stews Welsh Pics

Photos from Jane Aggleton

Photo from Gill Stott

Photos from Jane Aggleton

Brilliant late Autumn sun and a crystal blue sky dazzled the 68 runners as they crested the Blorenge’s sharp edge after the 1,400 foot dark slog.

First-time fell racer Kit Grierson from down Devon way was first to the blockhouse turn- round, with past winner Paul Murrin of Chepstow leading club colleague Matt Stott and the rest of the chasing pack.

In a furious descent, places changed behind Kit but he stayed at the front with a final 10 second marshal over training partner Duncan Birtwistle, and another half-minute over Matt.

Paul Murrin took the M40 prize in 4th place, while Mark Palmer claimed the M50 in 5th.

Katie Beecher took the lead very early and built up a fair margin over 2nd placer Niki Morgan (F40 winner) and Rona Davies (F50 winner).

Steve Littlewood in 24th place had to work hard for the M60 award ahead of Neil Grant, while ever reliable Rob West took the M70 category.
Dick Finch

Penmaenmawr Fell Race     Sat 16th November     Results

Successful race 190 out , 190 in ! Weather great which always helps . Usual characters here , great to see Dylan Jones back to good form . One name to watch ( if he puts his mind to running properly ) is first local Sam Roberts – son of the super talented and legendary Emlyn Roberts ( old-course record holder )

inov-8 / WFRA Open Welsh Championships 2013

Some of the inov-8 / WFRA Open Welsh Championship prizewinners

The overall winners are Tim Davies and Mel Price both of Mercia. The WFRA Welsh Champions for 2013 are Tim Davies of Mercia and Louise Barker of Aberystwyth.
Category prizewinners -
Male : U/23 1. Huw Davies (Mercia), U/40 1. Tim Davies (Mercia), 2. Peter Ryder (Brycheiniog), 3. Karl Steinegger (Ambleside) O/40 1. John Hunt (Dark Peak) 2. Martin Cliffe (Eryri), 3. Jez Brown (Buckley), O/50 1. Paul Jeggo (Springfield), 2. Steve Toogood (U/A), 3. Glyn Fletcher (Maldwyn), O/60 Alan Duncan (Bowland) 2. Martin Cortvriend (Denbigh), 3. Rod Sutcliffe (Calder Valley).
Female : U/40 1.Louise Barker (Aberystwyth), O/40 1. Mel Price (Mercia), 2. Sandra Rowlands (Eryri) 3. Joanne Moore (Eryri), O/50 1. Sue Howarth (Mercia) 2. Juliet Edwards (Meirionnydd), 3. Ellie Salisbury (Eryri), O/60 1. Maggie Oliver (Eryri).

Llyn y Fan     Sunday 10th November 2013     Results

Llyn y Fan Winners

In this final race in the Inov8 Open Welsh Fell Race Championships, Tim Davies and Felipe Jones slugged it out for all of the 8.8km and 600m of climb. On a lovely, sunny if rather cold day, Tim edged ahead towards the top of the first climb, but Felipe came back hard on the steep descent off the last checkpoint and chased Tim all the way to finish. “I think the hard chase must have taken the edge off Felipe’s finishing kick, and I just managed to put a couple of seconds into him by the line” said Tim who consolidated his Open Welsh Champs award.

The winning time of 42.30 was 40 seconds behind the 2006 record set by this year’s fourth-placer and first M50 Mark Palmer.

First woman Mel Price was over three minutes ahead of Under23 Megan Carter Davies, with Emma Bayliss another two minutes adrift. Mel also confirmed herself as F40 Welsh Champion.

Ben Mitchell, Martin Cliffe, Martin Cortvriend, Rob West, Susan Howarth (Welsh F50 Champion) and Maggie Oliver (Welsh F60 Champion) took the other age category awards.

Dick Finch

Rhobell Fawr     Saturday 9th November       Runners ascending by Ifs Richards        Runners descending by Ifs Richards     Results

Ladies Team Results       Mens Team Results       Prize List

While Al is indisposed I would be grateful for any pictures of any recent fell races or links to their sources.
The WFRA site is nowhere near as colourful as it used to be!
Clwydian Hills         Sunday 3rd November                Results

Vic Belshaw                                                    Vic Belshaw                                                   Tony Benton

Martin Cortvriend                                                                                                  Joe Cooper-Anne Marie Jones
Photos by Vicky Cortvriend

There was a large turnout as the race was the final counter in the Cotswold Outdoor North Wales Series. The weather was cool with showers and sunny intervals.
The overall winners of the Cotswold Outdoor North Wales Series were Martin Cliffe of Eryri and Lauren Jeska of Aberystwyth. Other category prizewinners -
Male : U/23 1. Huw Davies (Mercia), U/40 1. Karl Steinegger (Ambleside), 2. Adair Broughton (Helsby), O/40 1. Martin Cliffe (Eryri), 2. Jez Brown (Buckley), 3. John Hunt (Dark Peak), O/50 1. Paul Jeggo (Springfield), 2. Ian Lancaster (Tattenhall), 3. Glen Davies (Mercia), O/60 1. Martin Cortvriend (Denbigh), 2. Alan Duncan (Bowland), 3. John Morris (Buckley).
Female : U/40 1.Lauren Jeska (Aberystwyth), 2. Jayne Joy (Helsby), 3. Louise Barker (Aberystwyth), O/40 Mel Price (Mercia), 2. Joanne Moore (Eryri), O/50 1.Juliet Edwards (Meirionnydd), 2. Ellie Salisbury (Eryri), O/60 1. Maggie Oliver (Eryri).
The inov-8 / WFRA Open Welsh Championship concludes with the Llyn y Fan race in south Wales on Sunday 10th November.

Sugar Loaf Winter Race 2013       Results       

30 years and 8 seconds separated the first two in this year’s warm and windy Winter League counter. Mark Palmer chased Jon Barnes to the summit, round the hairpin at the north corner, and eventually overhauled the youngster on the gradual climb back to the Deri ridge before building up an eight second lead down to the finish. On the comeback trail, Katie Beecher finished 13th overall, three minutes ahead of second woman, the flying Finn Sari Nurmelo, and first F40 Niki Morgan. Other age category winners were Warren Miles, Steve Littlewood, Rob West, Rona Davies and Jane Bayliss.
Dick Finch

3 Peaks Yacht Race Runners Required
The Captain of the Mistral of St Helier is looking for two good Welsh runners to compete in 2014 Race. Details here
Please contact Keith to express an interest in participating, Keith.Mander@avanti-conveyors.co.uk.
Race Cancellation

'Please note the cancellation of the Gyhirych Grind Race on 17 November. It will hopefully be re-scheduled for next year'.

Breidden Hills         Sunday 13th October        Results

There was a large turnout as the race was a counter in the WFRA North Wales Series (sponsored by Cotswold Outdoor). Weather conditions were cool and drizzly.

Alastair Tye 10th October 2013


Alastair Tye (photographer) has been moved to the Eryri Hospital in Caernarfon and would welcome visitors.

Fan Fawr     Sat 5th October    Results

The gods of South Walian fell running were manifold in their generosity for this regular Winter League opener; the monsoons of late September giving way to a bright and breezy morning for the 25th anniversary running of this short and painful classic. Even the sun was out as Wheeze and I fortified ourselves with a cup of tea and bacon roll from the burger van in preparation for a gentle Wheeze type jog to the top to check if it was still there. Underfoot, conditions were drying just enough to suggest a fast time was possible. Naturally the mid-section bog remained a bog, just enough sog to seep subtlely between the toes and turn the socks an irredeemable rancid brown.

We were blessed, not only with dry weather but also Mr. and Mrs. Lucas, freshly released from statistical and overall responsibility for the entire winter league season, but from whom we are always grateful for assistance; Martin, displaying energetic Tigger-like bouncing around on the less bad, of his (very) bad knees, intent on enjoying himself simply not racing and more pertinently, witnessing the suffering of others, and Kay ready to pop up like some hardy perennial at the turn-around point on the summit.

A solid field of 47, ranging in age from a couple of callow under 23s to the 78 years young John B were let loose at precisely 2pm. Viewed from the safety of Wheeze’s engagingly ersatz finishing funnel the painful progress up the oxygen-debt-ridden pull to the bog and the noxiously awful final drag onto the plateau seemed terribly slow and there appeared to be plenty of time for idle chatter about how impossible the 16 odd minute record seemed these days. But in fact, seconds count as the racing snakes rapidly reappeared to converge on the finish in unseemly haste, their rasping respiration revealing just how hard 2 miles can be.

Peter Ryder, these days a shoe-in for pretty much any winter league race and Brycheiniog’s finest, cruised in with a sub-18 minute time to take the spoils from Spanish invader Luis Gonzalez, with Ben Moon of MDC completing the podium. Richard Johnson put many younger the he to shame with an excellent 4th placing as first V40, with that regular traveller from the south west, Kevin Hagley securing the V50 prize. Only 3 women took part in this year’s race with Janet Richards prevailing in 30th place overall, though two thirds (of the three) annexed some wine with Holly Ryder co-recipient of the “First family” surprise prize, together with father Chas and winner Peter. All participants were able to take away a not only a small memento on this anniversary day in the form of a Penderyn whiskey miniature but also the arresting thought that the bog-land water that had seeped through the irredeemably rancid brown socks of the racers 10 years ago almost certainly had drained into the stream that supplied the water to the distillery for the unique tasting Welsh whiskey they were now taking home.

Love and kisses
Toffer and Wheeze (The Steam Bunnies)

Ceiriog Canter race - Sunday 6th October, 2.00 pm Please note - no junior race this year www.canolfanceiriog.org

Arenig Fawr    Sunday 29th September 2013     Results and Report

From 2006 the Arenig Fawr race was run as a medium 6.7 mile race. During that time I have always wanted to extend the route to include Arenig’s neighbour Moel Llyfnant and was never happy with the start being one mile away from the race headquarters.

This year the race was changed. It started and finished at the Arenig quarry. Moel Llyfnant was included, the distance was increased to 13km (8.1 miles) and the overall climb was almost doubled. It became a very tough medium race not suitable for inexperienced runners and this must have been one of the reasons for a modest field of 33 runners. Weather conditions were almost perfect: dry, clear and breezy.

The leading positions were closely contested and Richard Mellon of Bowland, map in hand, was the winner, setting a record for the new course of 1:34:06. Mary Gillie was first female home in 1:55:07

There was the usual congenial post race get together with refreshments, food, homemade cakes and prizes for everyone. Runners’ comments about the new route were very favourable.

Sincere thanks to the many helpers, in particular Kath, Wynn and Pat, the marshals, Team Dolly who turned out again to man checkpoints and provide radio communications and to Running Bear for supplying prizes at a generous discount.
Yiannis Tridimas

Black Mountains     Saturday 28th September    Results

A warm early Autumn day with the occasional short flurry of wind and rain caused many of the 53 starters to pull out their cagoule more than once, only to replace it in their bag when the sun returned.

At the front Hugh Aggleton had Ben Gibbison, Paul Murrin, Chris Jones, Mark Palmer and Matt Stott for company in the initial stages, but steadily eased free, until a bad line down from the Bal Mawr checkpoint gave Mark Palmer the opportunity to come back alongside as they entered the plantation. They shared the lead down to Cadwgan Bridge, but on the steady pull up the forest drive to the base of Crug Mawr Hugh started to draw clear and build up the eventual three and a half minute winning margin.

Recently-turned 40 Paul Murrin took the third podium place over seven minutes later, and that finishing order of MDC, Mynydd Du and Chepstow Harriers was echoed in the team prize category, with Matt Stott and Chris Jones sharing MDC’s team prizes with Hugh.

Chepstow however dominated the women’s race with the first two places taken by Judith Austerberry and Vanessa Lawson.and third going to MDC’s Meinir Jones.

At opposite ends of the age spectrum, James Blore and Gary Gunner were presented with the Under 23 and Over 60 awards by race organiser John Darby.
Dick Finch

Brenig Trail Race     Saturday 28th September 2013     Results

The sun shone and the breeze ruffled the normally pelucid Llyn Brenig today, as the 49 runners got away on the 2013 edition of the Brenig trail race. Matt Ward soon established a convincing lead and stormed home to win in 56:37, knocking some 10 seconds off his 2012 time. Matthew Fortes was not far behind in 56:47, to clinch a 1:2 for the Eryri boys and leaving local man John Morris to scoop third for Denbigh Harriers. The ladies race fell once again to Andrea Rowlands, finishing in 1:03 over the 9+ mile course and only 20 seconds adrift of her 2011 time. Second in the ladies was Becki Law of Eryri ( 1:08:49) followed closely by Julie Harnden of Wrexham AC in 1:11:33. Thanks to all the marshals and as always, the good folk of Dwr Cymru, for the use of the Brenig Centre.
Peter Agnew Denbigh Harriers

King John's Castle     Results
Pedol Peris    Sat 14th September    Peris Results     Half Peris Results     Pics from Alastair

There was a record turnout as the race was a counter in the British Championships and also the inov-8/WFRA Open Welsh Championships and North Wales Series (sponsored by Cotwswold Outdoor).

Peter Douglas

We are sad to announce that Peter Douglas (photographer) has died after a short illness. The WFRA would like to pass on their condolences to all his family and friends.

At Peter’s request there will not be a public funeral.

Four Fans    Sunday 1st September    Results     Pics by Gill Stott


A new race touring the quieter hills to the west of Storey Arms deserved a larger field than the 31 runners that came to pit their navigational skills against Andy Blackmore’s challenging 18km/1,200m.

A fresh clear sunny morning made the navigation that much easier, and it was interesting to discover which route would be favoured to bridge the long stretch between the first summit, Fan Frynach, and checkpoint 2 on Fan Nedd. A goodly number did go for the radical Beacons Way route which involved retracing steps back south-east for half a mile before striking westward.

At the sharp end MDC’s Hugh Aggleton opened out a 95-second lead by the Nedd trigpoint over Mynydd Du’s Mark Palmer who on the eve of his 50th birthday continues to be the man to beat. The consensus was that Hugh’s finish time of 1.48 – just four minutes faster than Mark’s – will take some beating in future runnings.

Pete Gardner took third place and the M50 prize, while Gary Gunner had a good run for the M60 category.

Chepstow’s Judith Austerberry in her first ‘serious’ fell race was a creditable 8th overall to win the Women’s prize nine minutes ahead of Katie Beecher (Les Croupiers) who was a further 10 ahead of Mynydd Du’s Natalie Taylor, also a relative newcomer to mountain races. Jan Richards of Mynydd Du scooped the F40 prize.

Dick Finch

Source of the Severn     Sun 1st September 2013      Pics from Alastair

Ragleth Inn     Wed 28th August      Pics from Alistair

Moel Famau     Monday 26th August     Pics from Alastair    Results

Ras Y Cnicht    Sunday 25th August      Pics from Esyllt     Pics from Alastair    Results

A total of 50 runners competed on a glorious sunny day. There was a disappointing turnout of local runners. No record times but the winner, Lloyd Taggart, just managed to beat the ladies record! An enjoyable swim in the pool and a nice (free) cold beer in the local pub finished off a great day for all.
Dei Jones.

Tryfan Downhill Dash     Sat 24th August 2013     Pics from Alastair

Ras Y Mynydd     Wed 21st August    Results     Pics from Alastair

Nant y Moch Skyline Race      Sat 17th August      Pics from Alastair    Results
Route Map and Hints

There was a good turnout as the race was a counter in the inov-8 / WFRA Open Welsh Championships, North Wales Series (sponsored by Cotswold Outdoor) and South Wales Series

Well, what fun we had in the mid-wales murk for the first running of this forgotten classic ,since 2006. I always thought this route too good to lose,and so finally with so much help from my fellow organisers(thats right, the runners can't simply blame me this time!), Dave powell & Louise Barker from Aber A/C, the day finaly dawned.

The forecast was bad ,but as the race started off both the wind and the rain got progressively worse, until the last half of the course sounded a complete nightmare. As a race organiser this is your worst-case scenario, but thankfully all runners got back in good shape on the whole. Much talk about the raging gale battering Pumlumon, disco-dancing over tussock grass; some going in the rivers instead of through them and many & varied race lines, rang around the finish area. No one seened too upset by what had gone before, all full of the joys we've all experienced from the sport we love.

Pete Ryder got the win, pounding round in a creditable 208.52. the real race came behind him with the next 4 dashing home with barely a minute seperating them. It was great to watch through the mist as all 4 took a differant line over the last tump to scramble home. The same could be said about the leadind ladies Louise Barker edging it from Mel price by just 40 odd seconds. Fantastic running given the conditions. Throughout the field of 66 hardy souls, some good runs from the Mercia, Helsby and my own Maldwyn boys & girls. Well done all.

I simply cannot say a big enough thank you to all the Marshalls and Raynet radio boys for their endeavour, they were magnificent,enduring a truly foul day. Great thanks to Al Tye for turning out , the WFRA for putting this untested new-comer in their champs and once more to Dave & Lou for their enormous contribution.
We can't promise this one will be a yearly thing , but it will return once more.       Keep it Muddy        Paul Beeson.

Two Hill Forts Race Multi Terrain Race Sun 18th August 2013    Results     Details Race Map

The first running of 2 Hill Forts from the Kinmel Arms, Llandyrnog took place in good running conditions and the clouds were well clear of the 2 hills in question – Penycloddiau and Moel Arthur.
Mark extended his lead on the tough climb up the first hillfort and got even stronger on the short but very sharp pull up onto Moel Arthur. Mark came home in 65.44, 3 minutes ahead of of second placed Gary House (68:52) who was in 2nd place for the latter half of the race. Then came a strong finishing Ciaran Allen of Dee Orienteers (1st u/23), John Morris of Denbigh and, in 5th, 1st v/50 Vic Belshaw of Denbigh.

First (and only!) lady, continuing her comeback was Eryri's Andrea Rowlands, who took 7th in an impressive 77:34.
Further back, taking 1st v/60 was Buckley's John Morris in 90:34 and 1st v/70 Peter Chittenden (124:21).
Special mention to first international runner – Willem v Prooijen (Clwydian Runners) who came home in 91:35.
Thanks to all runners and marshals for being part of this new race.
Best Regards, Joe Cooper. OutFit Personal Fitness Ltd.

Brecon Beacons     Sat 10th August    Results

The race is well established in the Welsh Fell Running calendar and entails running to seven mandatory checkpoints (including Tor y foel, Corn Ddu, Pen y Fan and Cribyn) from near the foot of the Talybont Reservoir dam. The race is approximately 30.6km long with 1372m ascent and qualifies as a long race. It changes direction every year and was run anticlockwise this year with a run to the Carn Pica cairn to start.

The Brecon Beacons were blessed with sunshine and a cool refreshing breeze (on the summits) to greet 36 runners. The dry and pleasant 18-22 deg C conditions were similar to those encountered last year. That’s two years of dry weather on the trot! Hugh Aggleton (MDC) took an early lead in the race and distanced himself by over two minutes from Mark Palmer (Mynydd Du) and Sean Taylor (Mynydd Du) by the first manned checkpoint at Carn Pica. The gap gradually increased as the race progressed and he finished 10 minutes ahead of his rivals with a time of 2hr 43m 30s. Mark Palmer and Sean Taylor maintained their second and third positions in the male category however an impressive Jackie Lee (Eryri) managed to finish in third place overall with a time of 3hr 11m 21s. It was the fastest time set by a female in at least 7 years; Helen Fines set a time of 3hrs 12m 58s in 2008. Jackie’s pace at the start of the race started whispers of a potential new female record but Lydia Gould’s record of under 3hrs is to be maintained for at least another year!

Riina Kuuselo (Club tbc) finished in a very impressive seventh place overall and 2nd female with a time of under 3hr 30m.

She informed the race organiser that it was her first ever fell running race. Even more impressive! Emma Bayliss (Mynydd Du) secured third place in the ladies category with a time of under 4 hrs.

Dave Powell (Aberystwyth AC) comfortably won the male over 50 category with a time of 3hr 17m 05s and secured fifth place overall. Gary Gunner (Croft Ambrey) continues to put in strong performances and finished with a win in the MO60 category in a time of under 4hr 30m. Lou Summers (Mynydd Du) and Natalie Taylor (Team Endurancelife) both came into together with big smiles in 4hr 7m to secure the female O40 category and the coveted “Nearest 4hr” prizes respectively.

The podium finishers and the winners in each age category were awarded with a souvenir photo mug and a selection of wines and ales/

The race organisers, Gary and Dawn Davies would like to thank each of the ten volunteers. Without them, the race would fail to exist.

Ponderosa Hill Race     Wed 7th August    Results
Gladstone 9     Sun 11th August    Results     Pics from Alastair

Mixed weather conditions, but good visibility prevailed for this year’s Gladstone 9 race, which had 59 finishers (& Ellie’s Diabetic Assistance Dog, Elsi) all of whom seemed to have enjoyed the route, the views & the post-race flapjacks -including Elsi who raided supplies when she thought no-one was watching!

Five Eryri men finished in the top ten, with Matt Fortes winning in a new record time of 1.15.17, Ambleside’s Hugh O’Donnell second in 1.17.39 & Chris Near third/first local/first M40 in 1.17.56. Buckley’s Simon Edwards was fourth/second MV40, John Parkinson fifth /third MV40 with Eryri’s Chairman Craig Jones finishing sixth in 1.19.25. Pete Gardner was first M50, Wilmslow’s Tony Hulme first M60, & Eryri’s Emyr Davies first M70.

There were also four Eryri ladies in the top six female positions, but Shropshire Shufflers’ Val Swingler finished first/first O40/ninth overall in a time of 1.28.59, 6 seconds faster than last year. Andrea Rowlands was second - we’ll forgive her for being a few minutes outside her record, which still stands, since she gave birth to her first baby only 6 weeks ago! Becky Law was third, Altrincham’s Anne-Marie Jones fourth/first F60 in a splendid time of 1.40.58, Wilmslow’s Jane Saunders fifth/second F40, Megan Hughes sixth & Ellie Salisbury first F50.

Our sincere thanks go to Team Dolly, who provided invaluable radio communication between checkpoints, and all the many marshals and helpers, without whom we would not have been able to safely organise the race. We were particularly pleased that James McQueen felt fit enough to marshal at probably the most remote part of the course – we decided to make the most of him while we could – no doubt he’ll be back racing next year! We also appreciate the fact that Al Tye of www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk & Pete Douglas provide their invaluable photographic services every year.

We were very grateful for the generous sponsorship from Fletcher & Poole Estate Agents, & support from Bernards Gallery Craig y Don, enabling us to present framed photos of local mountain views as prizes for the winning male & female, & to Tony Hulme at Running Bear, who, as always, provided us with a good deal on kit for the remaining prizes. We also owe a huge vote of thanks to the staff of the Gladstone pub for their hospitality & cooperation, & for providing a meal voucher for the first local’s prize.

We are pleased to be able to report that Diabetes UK & the RSPCA will benefit from our profit.
Ellie Salisbury, Alex Fletcher & Maggie Oliver

Ras Glyndwr    Sat 10th August    Results     Pics from Alastair

Jones pips Ryder at Ras Glyndwr

Ras Glyndwr, the short and sharp fell running blast on the hills of Llynlloedd which overlook the town of Machynlleth, took place on Saturday and saw a great battle between a couple of top fell runners...

Paul Jones (Mercia Fell Runners) and Brycheiniog runner Peter Ryder set the scene from early on in the race as 50 runners left the Parc Llynlloedd fields.

The 3.2 mile race takes in some of the finest views in the Dyfi Valley as runners embark on the hills above Machynlleth, with the terrain changing from trail to open fell and fast grassy descents, as over 700ft of ascent and descent was tackled.

The historic mid-Wales market town is town steeped in the history of the legend that is Owain Glyndwr, described as the ‘last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales'. His story is told the world over, defeating the raiding English armies in the late 1300s and early 1400s and upholding the independence of the Welsh nation.

As the race started to ascend Ryder and Jones, followed by Meirionnydd athlete Ifan Richards, really put the hammer down, blasting up the path that leads to the Glyndwr Way above the town, with Ryder just ahead at the top checkpoint some 1.5 miles into the race.

What followed was a galloping, grassy descent, via Bryn Glas Farm (part of the Llynlloedd estate) and the steep final descent via the Ffridd to Parc Llynlloedd, with Jones leading out on the descent and Ryder fighting back.

However, the Mercia man was just a little too strong in the end and won in 21:12, from Ryder's 21:23. Richards (coming back from injury) ran valiantly for third, in 21:51.

In the women's race it was a deja vu performance from Aberystwyth runner Louise Barker, winning the race for the second year in 27:09, with young Gwen Jones (28:51) in second and local triathlete Anwen Jones (29:43) in third.

With over £200 being raised for local causes from the event, and highly favourable feedback on the organisation and course, Ras Glyndwr looks set to be a permanent fixture on the annual Welsh fell running scene.

Bridges or Bust    Sun 4th August
Pics from Alastair

Llanthony Show Hill Race     Sat 3rd August 2013    Results     Video         Pictures

A record turn-out of 57 runners enjoyed a cool showery start between rounds of the gymkhana in the show’s arena. There were wet spots at points on the course following heavy overnight electrical storms, but otherwise the going was firm and fast. The event had been nominated by Chepstow Harriers as its club championship and members and families travelled up to the Vale of Ewyas in numbers. Their runners made up over a third of the field and duly provided the winners Paul Murrin and Samantha Harris, as well as two of the age category winners Teresa Tranter and Niki Morgan.

At the sharp end Paul had an initial tussle with Jon Barnes but gradually drew away on the long climb to the Offa’s Dyke ridge and the English border, finishing just 15 seconds outside the record. Sam Harris beat hubby Steve to the ridge and completed a rare outing on the fells with a time just 17 seconds short of the record. Less than a minute behind, two other Chepstowites tussled for second: Judith Austerberry, also not a regular on the hills, finally prevailing over fell specialist Niki Morgan.

Stuart Moore, Pete Gardner, Dai Smout and Sharon Woods completed the age group winners’ roster, while C J Jones and Aderyn Carter took the Junior race honours.
Dick Finch

Elidir Fawr     Sun 28th July 2013    Results     Pics from Alastair

Thankfully the rain held off, and conditions were perfect with good visibility, dry rock, and not too hot.
The junior races were first, seeing Tilly Craine storm home to win the under 8's, and in the under 12's Gethin Davies and Siwan Williams won the boys and girls categories, both coming in just under the 10 minute barrier.
Eryri's Chris Near was the overall and male vet 40 winner in 1h02m48s, followed by Hugh O'Donnell and Matt Fortes, with 1st male vet 50 going to Gwynfor Owen, and 1st male vet 60 to Dafydd Whiteside-Thomas.
Andrea Rowlands was first woman home in 1h20m13s, with 1st female vet 40 going to Ali Thomas, 1st female vet 50 to Stell Farrar, and Maggie Oliver added another 1st female vet 60 to her formidable collection.
Many thanks to the landowners, marshals, Mike Blake, and the Vaynol Arms pub in Nant Peris.

Pen y Fan Horseshoe     Sat 13th July 2013     Results

48 entrants found their way to Race HQ by the Neuadd Dam in time (4 more finally arrived rather later) for the start of this inaugural 7 miler taking in the traditional Brecon Beacons peaks.
The July heatwave had abated for the day and it was comparatively cool with light rain towards the end.
Young Jon Barnes was so keen to get to the finish that he missed out the first summit Fan y Big, freeing Mark Palmer to cruise round in 64 minutes, six minutes ahead of Dave Williams and Rich Johnson.
First woman Niki Morgan finished in 79.25, three minutes ahead of Helen Marshall, with first F50 Alice Bedwell a further five minutes back.
Other age winners were Crispin Flower, Dimitri Vorres and Chas Ryder.
First three in the competition for the fastest descent from Corn Du were Mark Palmer, Crispin Flower and Dave Williams.
A successful first running but organiser Andy Creber is mulling over whether the event may be modified in future years.
Dick Finch

Push up the Pincyn     Sat 27th July    Results     Pics from Alastair

The Pincyn race returned to its original start point after last year’s washout and what a difference: 25C and not a whisper of a breeze was going to make the 6 miles a toughie.

47 runners assembled at the ever popular showground and from the off last year’s winner Mark Williams took the lead followed by Clwydian runner Ed Lofill and Adair Broughton from Helsby. The big bail wasn’t as big as last year, that didn’t slow runners but the deeply rutted and rock hard fields did.

There was no relief from the heat in the forest section so the actual push up to The Pincyn was torturous. The energy sapping heat clearly took its toll as stalwarts Jez Brown and Ed Lofill fell by the wayside.

Mark won by a country mile to Adair, third place was a battle between Llanferres' Steve Toogood and Neil Coppack, Clwydian. Steve found an extra gear 300 meters from the finish to claim 3rd.

Another great performance from Denbigh's Vic Belshaw saw him take the V50 and 5th place to first local Steve Donnelly. A sterling performance took its toll on Chester Tri’s Lisa Grantham for first lady only two places infront of Eryri's Tammy Jones for Vet40 ladies. Senior statesman of fell running in the area Martin Cortvriend took the V60 title in style again.

A review of the 2011 times when the race last ran from the same location shows how the heat significantly affected nearly everyone’s times including the winner who lives in Kuala Lumpar!

Big thanks to marshals, landowners and sponsors Jackson Fire & Security, Mold.

Fan y Big    Sun 14th July     Results

Record high temperatures of 28’C were reached in the Brecon Beacons as 117 runners headed out of Llanfrynach attempting to set there own personal race records. Yesterdays Pen-y-Fan winner, Hugh Aggleton of MDC, and runner up, Harold Wyber, reached the summit of Fan-y-Big together with Sean Taylor of Mynydd Du in hot pursuit. Working hard on the descent the MDC runner managed to maintain his lead to finish in 1.16.21 closely followed by Springfield Strider, Harold Wyber only 64 seconds behind.

Mercia FR Emma Gould brought home the woman’s field in a time of 1.31.05 followed by Chepstow Harrier, Niki Morgan. Special mention must go to Meinir Jones competing in her first fell race and taking first LV40 for her efforts.

Thank you to all helpers and runners who make this race a success. See you all next year.
Mark Palmer.

The Green Green Grass of Home     Wed 24th July     Results      Pics from Alastair

Record field of just under a hundred. Rain threatened through the day but it kept dry for the race - a couple of hours later it was torrential!

Karl Steinegger (Ambleside) won another race - he's won two local races this year and he'll win plenty more!
Paul Smith (Clwydian) out of nowhere for a brilliant second, never run on the fells before!!!
Derek Boothby (Wrecsam Tri) third and improving all the time

Sandra Rowlands (Clwydian) first lady - a consistently sound performer.
Victoria Whitehead (Denbigh Harriers) first local lady and getting better race by race.
Ali Lewis (Pensby) smiling over the finish line for 3rd lady!

Thanks for all the help from marshalls, sweepers, etc and thanks for all who've made this a great race over the years.

Waun Fach     Sat 20th July 2013     Results

The July heat wave chose to relent on race morning, making conditions more bearable for the 40 entrants in the first running of this shortened version of the classic event.
Now based at the Cwmfforest Riding Centre, the race still has its sting-in-the-tail uphill finish on the Castle hill after the spectacular descent of the picturesque dragon’s back of Y Grib.
Young Duncan Birtwistle of Harrogate Harriers and Swansea’s M40 Eamonn Kirk (in his first-ever fell race) ran neck-and-neck up to the Waun Fach summit, but Eamonn had to yield to Duncan’s descending skills in the return half.
Two Chepstow men contested third place with James Bloor prevailing over Dave Williams.
The first two women were only separated by 46 seconds: Mynydd Du’s Hannah Jarvis followed by Helen Marshall of Swansea, with Chepstow’s Vanessa Lawson in third and first 40 year-old.
Other category winners were Alice Bedwell, Steve Lancaster, Steve Herington and Rob West.
D Finch

Stiperstones     Wed 17th July 2013     Pics from Alastair


The Druid    Results
NEW RACE     Four Fans Race

The above race is new and part of the S Wales series. Details on www.fellrace.com

Pen Y Fan     Saturday 13th July    Results

Hugh Aggleton

The hottest day of the year attracted 111 runners to Pen y Fan, the first half of the Brecon Fans Races. Morgan Barnes won the junior race with Lois Flower not far behind, and curlie wurlies were enjoyed by all.

In the main race, Harold Wyber from Springfield Striders (Chelmsford!) was first to the summit in 24:32, with Hugh Aggleton a few paces behind, but expert negotiation of the tricky section from the summit onto the steep slope saw Hugh nick the lead, holding on to finish 23 seconds ahead in 34:13.

Felipe Jones set the fastest decent of the day with 08:32, but this was not quite enough to catch Harold and he had to settle for third. A wobbly finish from Martin Shaw, suffering badly in the heat, secured 4th overall and 1st V40. Paul Jeggo from Springfield Striders improved on last year’s time to win the V50 category, and newcomer Mike Warrick from Rhayader AC was 1st V60 with the third fastest ever time for the category.

Niki Morgan

In the ladies race Niki Morgan of Chepstow secured a clear win with club mate Vanessa Lawson in second, Andrea Frost from Macclesfield Harriers taking 1st V40. Teresa Butchers from Tiverton won the v60 category, just failing to get under the hour as she had hoped, but still finishing halfway up the ladies field.

With many strong teams in the race, we initially awarded the men’s team prize to Springfield Striders… but once we’d hooked Rich Johnson up to the right club we found the winners were actually Mynydd Du, with Martin Shaw (4th), Rich Johnson (7th) and Sam Rhyall (15th). The ladies team was never in any doubt, Chepstow Harriers taking the honours with Niki Morgan (24th), Vanessa Lawson (40th), Helen Duffield (90th).

Thanks to the marshals who had a hot time on the hills, plus all those who helped and baked to make the day a success.
Thanks also to the race sponsors: Brecon Brewing, Pete Bland Sports, and Likeys. Crispin and Naomi

Moel Siabod Saturday 6th July

There was a good turnout this year for the new Race Organiser Paul Hodges of Siabod Cafe. The weather was warm, dry and sunny.
Those present will be aware that Ross Powell collapsed in the race and was taken to hospital.
He was kept in overnight for observation but released the following day as all tests were OK.
Ross would like to thank the many runners who stopped to help, Team Dolly, Ogwen Mountain Rescue and the NHS.

The website for the UKA British Fell Relay 2013 (hosted by Eryri Harriers in Llanberis) has gone live.
Entries are now open to all running clubs. www.britishfellrelay.org.uk
Callow    Sunday 30th June     Pics from Alastair, Dianne and Jim
Joe Brown Midweek Series - final round Llanberis, and overall results

How about those midges? little buggers, 4 days on and my lumps still haven't gone down. Well done to the record breakers, JP V40, Bronwen U16 and especially Steve Toogood in the V50 who slipped in under my radar 35 sec ahead of Arwel, sorry Steve, I owe you an egg!

Overall Series winners and prizes went mostly to plan with the exception of Aled E and Tracey Ll who took 4th and 3rd respectively while a good run by Sarah B on the night gave her the F40 title. Although Math always had control in the senior men, the ladies had always looked a close run thing, Bronwen taking the early victories, Lisa not taking her first win till Aber, but victories in the last two races ensuring that the Simon Forster perpetual trophy went back to scally land for the second consecutive year. Thanks to all those who have helped on the series: marshals, race organisers who spend their time marking the mountains, and Ellie and Lou who coped with the juniors registration, and parents who don't know their own child's ages. All were rewarded with a bottle of wine.

Record turn out at the races, over 280 taking part and almost 100 doing the 4 counters. Thanks to marvellous support by Joe Brown Shops we were able to donate nearly £300 on the race nights to the local worthy causes, provide prizes in each category at every race, give some financial assistance to Al Tye and Pete Douglas for their web photos and also donate £100 to the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Service. For the overall Series, 25 prizes were awarded whilst all those who had done all 10 races but hadn't received a prize were also awarded £10 JB vouchers - it pays to stay the distance.

Caernarfon Tyres Junior Championship - A massive 40+ turnout on the night and over the series there were more than 40 doing at least 4 races. In the U8s Twm Owen and Megan Roberts scored a maximum 4 points. In the U10s Connor Roberts and Beth McEachern did likewise. Ollie Wilde and Ceri Vaughan ruled the roost in the U12s, likewise Sion Jones and Catrin Donnelly in the U14s. The Alun Vaughan perpetual trophy from commitment were awarded to Ollie Wilde, and for the second time Mared Evans. Alun williams graciously took time out from his time trialling to award the trophies and finishers medals, and the full results table will be on display soon.

The series seems to get bigger attendance and more records broken each year! But I will cherish the framed picture of Emily chasing me down on the Welsh 1000ms race just to remind me to "must try harder", now for Race the Train.

Foel Fras     Sat 29th June 2013    Results     Pics by Alastair    Race Report

Moel Y Gamelin     Sunday 23rd June     Results

There was a large turnout as the race was a counter in both the inov-8 / WFRA Open Welsh Championships and North Wales Series (sponsored by Cotswold Outdoor). The runners had to contend with gale force winds and driving rain on the outward leg along the ridge. Fortunately, the rain relented on the return (although the wind remained strong).

Llanberis     Tue 25th June    Results     Pics by Alastair
Pontesbury Fell Race     Pics by Alastair
Longtown, Herefordshire. Sunday 16th June 2013 - The 8th 'Darrens Dash' Hill Race. Results

The day dawned bright and breezy, but my mid-morning the clouds were building and light rain started an hour before the race began. This did not deter the record field of 85 (including 8 Cani-X runners and their dogs) or the 58 children taking part in the children's races.

A revised course this year used a different start section. A crossing of the Olchon Brook ford avoided early congestion at a stile. (Canix-X runners had a delayed start and an amended course to open country where they rejoined the main route). From the brook steep climbing though fields led to open country and the relentless climb to the top of the Darrens crags. Longtown Mountain Rescue Team marshals awaited the hardy runners as they charged towards the Offa's Dyke ridge - the borderline between England and Wales. Patchy cloud deprived some runners of the magnificent views from Hatterrall Ridge. A turn to the south and undulating running eventually led to a fast runnable descent through Cayo farm. A sting in the tail awaited the runner in the shape of a short, sharp uphill run to the finish. Runners then sprawled in the meadow grass savouring their achievement before walking back to the school for their delicious tea and cake.

Strong running from John Pullen of Wye Valley Runners ensured that he held off the challenge from local rival Matt James in the men’s race. Nicola Gething from Parc Bryn Bach was victorious in the Women’s race ahead of an impressive finish by Heather Walker.

1st  44.48  John Pullen, Wye Valley Runners
2nd 45.54   Matt James, Hereford Couriers
3rd 46.00    Robin Smoult, Lliswerry Runners
1st 54.21    Nicola Gething, Parc Bryn Bach
2nd 55.07   Heather Walker, Asylum Functional training
3rd  55.34   Rebecca Davies, Wye Valley Runners
A special mention to Rob and Carol Sharratt of Ilkeston RC who’d made the trip south specially to commemorate Darren Holloway a fellow fell runner.
Full results available on: www.wyevalleyrunners.co.uk Thank you to all marshals, volunteers, competitors and supporters. The event raised over £900.00 for Longtown School, Longtown Pre School and the Mountain Rescue Team Why not join us in June next year?      Mike Fawcett    Race organiser

Hot Foot Up Famau      Wed 19th June      Results

An astonishing run from Liam Burthem, who has just turned 16, saw him lead the race in the early stages. He slipped up slightly to let Karl Steinegger take the lead to win in the end. This was especially pleasing for Karl as he'd run the race for the last four years progressively improving his times - will he break the record next year? not if young Liam gets his skates on! Lisa Morley finished with a great big smile on her face as winner of the ladies race.

A record turnout included 15 from Pensby Runners who clearly enjoyed themselves and wished they'd brought their club dog and a batch of sandwiches. Thanks for all the help on the day from lots of volunteers who helped the event to go without a hitch apart from Peter Agnew's ankle which went before the top of the first climb - Sandra Rowlands nobly gave up her race to accompany him back to base demonstrating the true camaraderie of fell racing where looking out for each other is more important than beating each other.

Tal Y Mignedd      Tue 18th June      Results       Pics from Alastair

"For those of you who ran the Pedol Pennant on Saturday and didn't feel you spent suffice time on the Nantlle Ridge, then Tuesday's inaugural running of Ras Tal y Mignedd will once again allow you to reach the summit's giant obelisk. Another classic race in the making, the route is a simple out and back and considerably longer than most Tuesday evening races of recent years. Starting at the farm at Tal y Mignedd Isaf the route will follow the farm track for 0.8 miles before violently ascending a goliath 1600ft in just over a mile. On tapping Queen Victoria's obelisk the the route returns along the same kamikaze descent before arriving back at the farm. Estimate winning time is 37 minutes 45 seconds. There will also be under 8 / 10 / 12 and 14 junior races.  (Course map in Events Section)

Once again the farmers of the Nantlle Valley are being extremely welcoming and the farmer's wife will be serving a collection of hot drinks, refreshments and cakes before and after the race. All proceeds will go to the local Ysgol Baladeulyn."

Up The Beast     Tuesday 11th June   Results

The race was a success with a record number of ninety entries. The first four runners beat their personal best.
Rob Grantham, the winner beat his own course record by 1 minute 3 seconds.
Jayne Joy beat the ladies course record by one minute fifty three seconds and her own personal time by three minute twelve seconds.
At the presentation, there was a lot of prizes some being of some use and others being rather bizarre. Everyone there seemed to enjoy the evening.

Pedol Cwm Pennant Saturday 15th June 17 Results    Pics from Alastair


The weather remained calm for the inaugural running of the Ras Pedol Cwm Pennant. This 17 mile monster is destined to be a classic and rival the likes of Jura and Borrowdale for best long race in the UK status.

44 runners from all corners of England and Wales managed to finish the race. It was down to long race specialist - Simon Harding of Macclesfield AC who took the honours. Simon held off the early challenge of John Rowley to build a decent lead and managed to set a strong course record of 2 hours 41 minutes and 4 seconds. First Eryri finisher and 2nd overall was Matt Fortes, Matt moved steadily through the field, taking some good lines along the second half to finish in 2.48.30. Chris Near ran well to finish in 3rd and 1st male vet 40 in 2.51.48 with Martin Cliffe close behind in 2.52.11. Todmorden's Lauren Jeska - benefiting from a course recce on the previous weekend reigned supreme in the ladies to take the win and course record in 3.07.29 and finish in 10th overall. Gavin Williams of Dark Peak ensured the travelling party left Cwm Pennant with enough ale by taking the vet 50's in 3.11.31 and 13th overall, a mere minute ahead of next vet 50 Mark Liptrot of Lostock AC. Bowland's Alan Duncan ran excellently to take the vet 60's in 3.29.05 and 19th overall. Chester Tri's Lisa Grantham took 2nd lady on the day in 3.54.12, soon followed by Eryri's Ali Thomas, 3rd lady and 1st vet 40 in 3.55.21. Ellie Salisbury managed to take the ladies vet 50's by finishing in 4.37 in 40th overall.

Round 8 Joe Brown Midweek Series - Y Garn    Tuesday 11th June    Pics from Alastair   Results

The threatened rain held off and thanks to John Parkinson who offered to organise so I could run one of my favourite races, and subsequently spent 1/2 the afternoon marking the mountain. It was only on the way down to the start that I disclosed to John that following Hebog I had a blister the size of an egg cup on my heel (the lengths I go to to beat Hayley and Ellie) so he could run (much to Craig and Jenks dismay).

A second win in the series for John Rowley ahead of Gwyn, whilst JP took the V40 record, third overall. A stunning run by Iolo H, 1st to the summit, walked down and still 5th overall and a new u/18 record in the process. A first V50 win in the series for Jeremy, 1st 60 to DWT and 1st 70 Emyr. Bronwen is still unstoppable, a new u/18 record and 1st lady 14th overall. Megs, Ali T, Ellie and Maggie all taking their respective classes.

Caernarfon tyres juniors, Twm and Megan 1st u/8, Conner and Beth 1st u/10, Ollie and Ceri 1st u/12 with Mike and Catrin 1st u/14.

Next race Tal y Mignedd, half way between Rhyd Ddu and Nantlle, follow the direction runner/arrows.   Mike

Crychan Brynffo race 30th June is CANCELLED    

This race which was a counter in the South Wales Series will be replaced by the Guto Nyth Bran race on 6th July

Gelert Moel Hebog Race Saturday 8th June    Results    Photos by Zoë Brunning   Pics from Alastair

There was a large turnout as the race was a counter in the Cotswold Outdoor North Wales Series. The weather was dry and warm with sunny intervals. Thanks to the following : Gelert (main prizes), Glaslyn Ices (free ice cream to all senior runners and helpers), Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue and everyone who provided assistance on the day.
Ross Powell

3 Hills    Tuesday 4th June    Pics from Alastair    Results

Hottest race to date, not a midge in sight and strategic recruiting of marshals by organiser Paul Jenks meant that John P ended up on a top instead of breaking his V40 record. In the race, 1st win in the series for John Rowley ahead of Matt Fortes (4th in the long 1000m race on Saturday), 1st 40 for Craig while Jake G produced another amazing run taking the U/18 in 4th ahead of Menai's Cai Hinton 1st U/16 in 5th.

In the ladies, defending champion Lisa G took the win in 16th, Sarah B taking 2nd and 1st F40 in 29th. Ellie and Maggie taking 50 and 60. Quick mention about Gary "a glutton for punishment" Porter-Jones, 3 races in four days, no TV in your house Gary?

Donation from this race goes to the same as Orme, the Chrysallis Trust. And thanks to those who helped out again. A couple of marshals needed for y Garn next Tuesday evening, let JP (drjohn@backofbeyond.co.uk) or Mike know if you can help................ Mike.

Welsh 1000m Peaks Race    Results       Pics from Alastair

The Welsh 1000m Peaks Race, now in its 42nd year, is not only unique but ranks as one of the toughest fell races in the country. It starts at the sea and finishes at the summit of Snowdon, visiting Carnedd Llewellyn, Carnedd Daffydd, Glyder Fawr and Carnedd Ugain en-route.

The Race which includes categories for mountaineers as well as fell runners attracted over 300 entries. In contrast to last year, the weather was perfect for the competitors: dry, cool and mostly clear. With the cooperation of the land owners we now have new routes across the Ogwen Valley...no more punishing descent of the tarmacced Water Board Road.

In the A class, Colin Donelly of Lochaber AC, returning after injury, posted a record time of 4:04:32 for the long course which now includes a newly- promoted Glyder Fawr. This is Colin’s 11th win...impressive at 53. First Women was Lizzie Wraith of Bath AC in the excellent time of 5.13.26 Many time winner of the mountaineer’s class, Bob Hind, took on the challenge of the elite 5 peaks mountaineers class winning in 5.58.11.

Here is what one competitor said...

“Thanks for all efforts of the organising team, last weekend. I really enjoyed the race and will definitely be back in future years, it's a great route and I'm sure there's a minute or 2 to take off with a slightly better line off the Glyders.
Still not quite recovered yet, but basking in a glow of satisfaction.”

The short fell race which starts at Ogwen and goes over Glyder Fawr and Ugain before finishing at the summit of Snowdon was won by Edward Harmer of Eryri Harriers in 2.00.48. The first female was Clare Miller of London Heathside runners in 2.14.18

Put next year’s date, June 7th 2014, in your diary. Visit our website www.welsh1000m.org

Great Orme     Tue 21st May    Results

Cwmdu     Sat 25th May    Results

On the first warm sunny for a long time, the two leading South Wales mountain running teams – Mynyddwyr de Cymru and Mynydd Du – vied for the top places in the first running of this transformation of the old Mynydd Troed race.

MDC’s Hugh Aggleton and Matt Stott, and MD’s Mark Palmer set the pace and eventually built an eight-minute lead by the finish. Though Hugh stayed out in front from two thirds up the first climb, second place wasn’t settled until Matt pulled away on the tricky final descent to the finishing 400 metres of lane.

Aberystwyth’s Lauren Jeska made a rare journey South to take control of the women’s contest but Chepstow’s Niki Morgan kept the gap to a minute and a half at the end. Sian Roberts from TROTS was a further minute and a half back in third. Age group winners were Mark Palmer, Niki Morgan, Ade Woods, Sharon Woods, Gary Gunner and Rob West.
Dick Finch

Ras y Gader     18th May 2013    Pics from Alastair

Ifan Richards on his way to race victory at the 2013 Ras Y Gader.

2013 WFRA South Wales Series Table
To be eligible for a prize / award competitors need to be paid up members of WFRA by the end of May. The latest Table (after 3 races) is here.
WFRA Championships and Series.
The latest WFRA Welsh Championships and North Wales Series Tables are available to view on the results page. Prizes will be awarded to the first 3 in most age categories at the end of the Champs / Series. To be eligible for a prize / award you must be a paid up member of WFRA by 31st May.
North Wales Series - Ras Yr Aran in March was cancelled due to heavy snowfall. This race will be replaced by Clwydian Hills on Sunday 3rd November. This will now be the final race in the Series. Presentations for NWS will follow the Clwydian Hills race.
Steam Bunny Stomp     Sat 11th May    Results

The weatherman was right about the short sharp showers and gusting winds, but none of the promised sunny intervals were experienced by the 46 starters. It was also pretty wet underfoot after recent rain, but both the records set last year were well beaten by the Chepstow winners.

Matt Stott led all the way, but Niki Morgan had quite a tussle with Les Croupiers’ Katie Beecher before drawing away on the halfway climb ‘up the gully’.

M40 Richard Johnson of Mynydd Du and Cardiff Ajax’s Krzystof Chrosieh followed Matt, while another Chepstonian Lou Summers was third woman.

Mr and Mrs Woods (Ade & Sharon) took the age 50 trophies while other category winners were Steve Littlewood, Rob West and Jane Bayliss.
Dick Finch

Moel Eilio     Sat 11th May     Pics from Alastair

Moel y Gest    Tue 7th June     Pics from Esyllt    Results

"It's not all about the winning"

A record 71 adults arrived at Moel y Gest on tuesday on a balmy evening following a hot day. The epitome of the sport was underlined when Tring AC's John Millen and Keith "Tan" Williams came across Ashley "Marathon Des Sables" Wager with a badly sprained ankle. Forfeiting their own chances, they proceeded to carry Ashley off to a waiting vehicle before continuing on to arrive back at the finish to a round of applause and an Easter egg each.

In the race, Math made it five Moel y Gest wins in successive years in 33:39 from Ifan Richards and John Rowley, while John Parkinson broke the M40 record in 5th place, Steve P Jones taking the 50s in 8th. First u/18 was Mabon Llyr (13th) and first M60 was Mike Blake (37th) and first 70th Emyr Davies (44th) - all of us setting new records. Sam Hughes won the u/16 (49th) - sorry I missed you out at the prize giving, present it iou at the Great Orme. In the ladies, Bronwen Jenks continues to rule the roost setting an outright record overall 22nd in 44:16 ahead of Kath Broach 1st 40 in 33rd, Ellie Salisbury 1st 50 in 45th, Nicky Maysmore 1st senior lady 47th and Maggie oliver 1st 60 in 66th.

Three runners missing from the results list: Glyn Griffiths, Barney Broatch, Richard Bourne - let me (01286 831115) or JP (drjohn@backofbeyond.co.uk) know where you finished.

In the Caernarfon Tires Junior Series, Sion Jones and Catrin Donnelly won the U/14s, Oliver wild and Non Hughes won the u/12s, Jack Cain and Beth McEahern won the u/10s and Kyla Cain was the winner of the u/8s. Well done to all.
Report by Mike Blake

Caradoc Classic     Wed 8th May     Pics from Alastair

THE LLANGYNHAFAL LOOP     Saturday 4th April 2013    Results    Pics by Dave Pinno
Pics by Peter Douglas

A counter in the inov-8/WFRA Open Welsh Champs and the WFRA North Wales Series (sponsored by Cotswold Outdoor)

7.6km / 4.7m; 533m / 1749ft

Pics by Dave Pinnington

38 runners contested the 1st Llangynhafal Loop organised by Brian Evans in January 2000; among them were Graham Spencer, Mike Blake, Danny Jenkins, Ross Powell, Peter Norman and Tim Cahill, all of whom turned up to competed in the 14th Loop. Brian organised the race for seven years and I have been doing it for another seven so it's time to hand over to someone else!

This time round there were 140 starters led by Mercia's Tim Davies, hotly pursued by Shaun Godsman of Calder Valley over from Lancashire for the weekend.The lead changed hands but Tim's speed eventually brought him in over half a minute ahead. the fact that this year the race was a championship counter (Welsh Athletics as well as the WFRA!) brought runners from all over Wales including third placed Pete Ryder from Brychieniog, lady's winner (and new record holder) Lauren Jeska from Aberystwyth plus 15 competitors from local club Denbigh Harriers.

Many thanks for Mary on entries, Duncan telling people where to go, Yiannis who swept everybody the right way, Sue, Dave, Rob, Gareth, Karen, Jenny and Huw who marshalled and Tony, Bob, Jon, Kay and Vicky at the finish plus Rod who helped with the results board. Hope I've not left anyone out!

Martin Cortvriend

Red Kite Challenge     Saturday 4th May     Pics by Alastair
Offas Orror    Sun 21st April    Results
Mynydd Mawr Sat 27th April    Results    Pics by Peter Douglas

Weather conditions were dry and sunny, but there was a cold wind.

Cribyn     Sat 27th April    Results     Report by Ed Dickson

A fresh clear day on the Brecon Beacons, a bottle of Cribyn beer for every runner courtesy of the Breconshire Brewery, and two course records added up to a successful event. Organiser Helen Fines, who found time to compete and break her own record from four years back, regretted afterwards that she would have to hand over ownership of this rugged 5.5 miles/3,100 feet race due to the difficulties of managing it at long range from her Yorkshire home.

The men’s race developed into a two-hander with Simon Barnby finally getting away from Matt Stott on the tricky descent from Pen y Fan, with young Jon Barnes a couple of minutes behind. Simon said later that it was his first attempt at the event and wasn’t aware that he’d edged inside Colin Donnelly’s time set in 1999.

Fourth-placer Martin Shaw was the M40 winner, while Kevin Hagley, Steve Littlewood and Rob West took the other age group prizes.

An impressive sixth overall, Organiser Helen was followed in the women’s race by Niki Morgan and Vanessa Lawson, with Sharon Woods again claiming the F50 bottle of wine.

Thanks to Kay and Martin Lucas for marshalling the peaks of Cribyn and Pen y Fan, to Gill Stott and Andy Creber for guiding on the lower slopes, and to John Chidlow and Sue Ashton on start and finish duties.
Dick Finch

Dave Husband
We are sad to announce that Dave Husband died recently while sea kayaking off Anglesey. Dave was a former fell runner who regularly marshalled at WFRA (and other) races in North West Wales. We would like to pass on our condolences to his family and friends. The Funeral will be at 2.00 pm in Betws Garmon church on Friday 3rd May followed by a cremation in Bangor at 3.00 pm.
Aber     Tue 23rd April    Results
Wrekin Streak     Wed 24th April     Pics from Alastair
Ras y Moelwyn      Sat 20th April     Results      Pics from Alastair     Pics from Esyllt

The sun shone on the runners - beautiful race          Report One

I have been looking forward to this race for a long time, literally, looking forward to it. Every time I walk out of my house the course is right there infront of me. The race traverses from Moelwyn Mawr to Moelwyn Bach and the ridge can be seen so clearly that I could almost plan my route between the rock formations whilst having breakfast. For more click here

Sugarloaf      13th April 2013    Results

Drizzle, poor visibility and a snow-melt surface made this year’s Sugarloaf a more ‘interesting’ contest. Keeping your feet was a major challenge in places as was staying on route for more than a few.

Young Tom Burden and the more experienced Martin Shaw took up the early running, with Martin edging away along the Deri ridge run hoping to build a big enough lead to keep off the expected threat from last year’s winner Mark Palmer. Martin reported:

“ I reached the summit about 15 seconds clear but knew what was going to happen soon after - Mark came flying past on the treacherous early part of the descent with a 'Hiya Martin, long-time-no-see, are you keeping well?' “

Martin put Mark under pressure on the lower slopes and the run-in through the Abergavenny lanes but Mark had paced it well enough to keep a six second cushion at the finish. Rich Johnson had a solid run to take third, while Tom Burden went a bit off-course among the criss-cross paths on the grassy part of the descent.

The women’s race was also a cracker with the first three well up in the finishing order. Liza Barry finally got back ahead of Helen Marshall and Sharon Leech with less than a minute between them. Helen described her descending experience:

“Once up on the top it was a hop, skip and a slip down the hillside. The snow had all gone leaving a very muddy path. I went with my guts, and kept running following the path I was on, roughly heading in the same direction from the summit.

Upon entering the woods it became apparent that I was being chased down by a runner…Liza Barry came charging past having got lost on the descent from the summit.” Naomi Law, Caroline Dallimore, Jonathon Gledson, Steve Davies and Steve Littlewood took the age category honours.

The race incorporated the East Wales Championships whose gold medallists were Martin Shaw, Rich Johnson, Steve Davies, Dai Smout, Samantha Toop and Naomi Law.

Thanks to Emma Bayliss and team for a fine race and to the sponsors, Abergavenny’s Tudor Brewery, for the bottle of ale handed to each runner as they crossed the finish line!
Dick Finch

Pen Dinas     Tuesday 16th April     Pics from Alastair

The Preseli Beast Sat 27th April
Entries close on 17th April (if you want a T shirt) or on the day Details Here
Foel Lus

There was a record turn out on a calm spring evening, and it was great to see so many junior races taking place as well. Over 100 seniors gathered round for the race briefing while the mountain of Foel Lus towered ominously above us.


The organiser explained soberly that there was a very dangerous 'snow slope' up near the top, where a slip could be very, very serious. Read more here

Llanbedr to Blaenafon Race      6th April 2013    Results    Pics from Alastair

Clear blue skies greeted the 71 runners who turned up for the 33rd running of the (in)famous South Wales 3 Peaks fell race, which this year was the second counter in the W.F.R.A South Wales Race Series. Despite the relatively benign weather conditions, there was still plenty of compacted snow on the higher slopes, especially on the never ending climb up the face of the Blorenge and past the masts – this accounted for the generally slower times.

Whilst crampons would have been helpful on the climb up the Blorenge, a number of runners would also have benefited from use of a wet suit, as there were tales of deceptively deep pools of water on the tracks immediately above Blaenafon, resulting in a few competitors taking an unexpected and unwelcome ice bath.

Once the race started ‘proper’ – on the bridleway before the open fell below Crug Mawr, Hugh Aggleton, MDC took the lead and held it consistently throughout the race to finish in a commendable 2:15, somewhat 7 minutes slower than his previous PB. Hugh was using this race as his last serious effort before the London Marathon later this month.

In second place, with a time of 2:20 was race stalwart and first M40, Mark Palmer, Mynydd Du (who along with Ben Gibbison and Sean Taylor won the men’s team prize), closely followed by Simon Barnby in third, a newbie to this race, but certainly a name to look out for in future.

Turning to the ladies, the race was won by Liza Barry of CLC Striders in a time of 2.52 with Louise Barker, Aberystwyth and Katy Roby, MDC close behind. Mynydd Du’s Emma Bayliss, Sam Toop and Sharon Woods won the female team prize.

Age cat. prizes went to Adrian Woods, Gary Gunner, Lou Summers and Sharon Woods.

Thanks as always to Chris and Dimitri for organising this wonderful ‘daddy’ of all South Walian fell races and of course to the marshals, helpers and supporters and the ever trustworthy John Chidlow.
Andy Blackmore.

Moel Tryfan Tuesday    April 2nd         Pics from Alastair
Fron Four Fell Race    Sat 30th March          Pics from Alastair    Pics from Gwynfor

OH NOOo0o0o0ooo I didn't go and get lost again! Oh yes I did. And worse than that, I got half the race lost along with me! Ridiculous behaviour considering, the day before, race organiser Mike Blake had agreed to meet me at the race venue specifically to talk me through the course and ensure that I could...not...get...lost. Read More here

South Wales Winter Hill Series 2012-2013: Review and Final Result

It’s been a long and cold winter in the allegedly sunny south, and to make things even
 more challenging for the intrepid Winter Leaguers the series was increased to eight 
races for the first time. The soft-hearted organisers relented though by allowing ‘best
 five from eight’ to count towards the championship, but those who sought the coveted 
Walter Winterleague mugs for completing the series had to complete all eight races. 
Only four did so. Weather conditions varied from bearable (Fan Fawr) to knee-deep snow
 (Cwmnantygroes) via varying degrees of mud and wind (Tor y Foel, Skirrid, etc). As well
 as thanking all the race organisers for putting on events in often challenging 
conditions, a special mention must go to the marshals for standing –generally with good 
humour- on freezing hillsides so that we can have our fun.

232 runners took part in the series, although of those 137 ran only once and thought 
better of doing another one. The series winners were:

Men: Peter Ryder 		Brycheiniog			509 pts
M40: Richard Johnson 	Mynydd Du			497 (2nd overall)
M50: Max Suff		Hereford			480 (3rd overall)
M60: Steve Littlewood	Hereford			413
M70: Robert West		Mynyddwyr De Cymru	223
Mu23: Rhys Williams		Newcastle Emlyn		395

Ladies: Niki Morgan (F40)	Chepstow			418 (12th overall)
2nd:	Katie Beecher		Les Croupiers			354
3rd:	Naomi Prosser	(u23)	Cardiff University		330
4th:	Anna Auchterlonie	Eryri				264

Unfortunately due to a financial shortfall we were unable to award prizes for the minor 
places this year, except for the largest age group (M50) where Kevin Hagley (SWRR) got 
second place and fourth overall. As far as I can tell, Peter Ryder is the first person 
to win the league three times.

For various reasons, after 20 seasons John Sweeting and I have decided it is time for new 
blood in the admin side of the winter league, and it seems several parties are keen to 
take the league into its third decade. Perhaps they can attract a major corporate sponsor?
 Anyway, to summarise 20 years in a few statistics:

•	There have been 132 winter league races since 1992
•	1230 people have run at least once
•	695 (over 50%) have run only once (!)
•	only 148 have run 10 or more races…

•	…but 21 people have run 50 or more and have qualified for the coveted green sweatshirt.

Only three (John Darby, Sharon Woods and I) have competed in every season, and in 132 races 
of slipping and sliding only two people have ended up in hospital. Unfortunately I’m on that 
list as well!

The full results will doubtless be available on the WFRA and/or MDC websites once cleverer 
people than I have wrought their digital sorcery. 

Remember- as they say about the Arctic Fell Race Series – you have to be Inuit to Winuit. 
Hope to see you all on a hill soon and thanks for your support over the last 20 years.

Martin Lucas.

Bwlch Maesgwm Sunday 17th March        Pics from Alastair       Pics from Gwynfor

Picture by Gwynfor

The race organiser explained the course with the reassuring statement ‘if you get lost, there’s something wrong with you’! A request was made for a minute’s silence for the English rugby team, denied, countdown from 5…and we were off. We started up very steep tarmac road for about 1km, this is actually the steepest part of the whole course. I have often run up to Snowdon this way and found it the hardest part of the mountain, so I thought if I could create a gap here it would be hard to bridge when we took to rough ground… Read more

Llanthony Winter Race 16 March 2013       Results

Pete Ryder was three minutes slower than his record-setting run in 2010, but on a very wet course he finished a minute ahead of Tom Burden to nail first prize on the day and first prize in the eight-race South Wales Winter Series – his third and thus record-breaking Series win.

Katie Beecher who had run to the start from Abergavenny was first woman ahead of Series winner Niki Morgan.

Other age category winners were Paul Chester, Max Suff, Neil Grant, Rob West and Jane Bayliss who we believe is only the second F60 to take part in the whole 22 years of the Winter Series.

Martin Lucas, retiring Winter League co-organiser and co-founder (along with the absent John Sweeting), performed his usual mathematical wizardry to present the Series prizes straight after the race, and will be posting the final table and report when he and partner (and ever-present marshal) Kay return from a welcome break down at Lands End. The Brycheiniog team presented Martin with a thank-you gift and the thanks of all the thousand+ runners who’ve taken part in the Series over the years.

Today’s organiser was grateful to Kay for today’s marshalling on the Offa’s Dyke ridge in rain, sleet and snow, to Rob Brown for course-marking, and to the accurate and efficient finish team of Sue Ashton, Denise Evans, Andy Blackmore and Andy Creber (who also performed miracles in parking a quart of cars into a pint-sized car park).             Dick Finch

Llantysilio Race Sat 16th March       Pics from Alastair       Results

The Llantysilio Race maintained its form with the weather, allowing 86 runners to complete the run in a rare period of sunshine, with a dusting of snow over the tops. The first two finishers Richard Roberts (Eryri) and Brendon Taylor, while swapping positions around the final Moel y Gamelin ascent, were comfortably ahead of the rest of the field, with Jez Brown from Buckley Runners third. Helsby gained success with Jayne Joy winning the Ladies race, ahead of Mary Gilllie and Lisa Morley.

The V70 was taken by Philip Jones (Prestatyn). This is normally reserved for Pete Norman, who finished 84th, but was spotted by the RO competing at the Bolesworth Mountain Duathlon, the following day!

Many thanks to everyone for coping with the limited car parking, next year we should have a surplus of facilities with access again to the community centre plus the Sun Inn is reopening very soon. And thanks to all Tattenhall Runners marshalling on the day.

Carding Mill Canter       Sat 9th March       Pics from Alastair

Moel Tryfan       Sat 9th March 2013       Pics by Matthew Roberts      Results

Report from Russell Bentley

So I must start by saying that I come from a track background, where the only directions you need are ‘left, straight on, left again, and repeat’. I am not good at bearings at all, Nina and I have literally spent HOURS trying to find our car in carparks, I am not at all proud about it!

I went up to the organisers and told them I’m a city boy who is not very used to finding his way on mountains, and to ask if there is there anywhere I could get lost. They were pretty sure the course was fool-proof (ha! I’d soon see about that) more…

Tour of Torpantau       Sunday 3rd March       Pics from Alastair      Results

Following the success of last year’s first running of this 8 mile/2,500 feet-of-climb unmarked race, the 2013 Inov8 WFRA Open Welsh Championship began here in the cold and misty Brecon Beacons. Organiser Andy Blackmore was delighted with the increase in entrants from 22 last year to 82.

The Tour lived up to its designation of “Navigational Skills Required” as illustrated by the dozen or so who DNFd plus a few others who put in some extra mileage!

But the leading trio of Tim Davies, Huw Aggleton and Pete Ryder navigated their route to the Cribyn and back in a skilful manner, with only descending and sprinting skills in the final stages determining the podium places in a thrilling finish.

Martin Cliffe took the M40 prize in fourth place with the next finisher 15 minutes behind - a gap that presumably would have been filled by some of the less navigationally-skilled front runners. In the women’s race Louise Barker pipped Katie Beecher in another close finish with Sandra Rowlands less than a minute back in third.

Susan Howarth, Maggie Oliver, Andy Stott (6th overall), Martin Cortvriend (9th overall) and Rob West completed the age cat winners.

The Inov8 WFRA Open Champs continues with the Llangynhafal Loop on 4 May. That it’s “Partly Marked” will be a relief to some!
Dick Finch

Pipe Dream       Sat 2nd March       Results       Pics from Alastair

Still and sunny conditions greeted the fifty-nine competitors as they lined up for the 9th running of the Pipe Dream Race with plenty of new faces on the start line. with lots of unattached runners.

Amongst the line up was a newcomer to North Wales representing Kent AC, in the form of Russell Bentley who led from the start. He was so fast over the course which he had never visited before the timekeepers questioned whether he had actually completed the proper route. He finished in 35.07, a mere 4 seconds off the record! One to watch perhaps.
Second place and first V40 in 37.10 John Parkinson (Eryri) confirmed that he had stayed with Russell as long as he could towards the summit but lost sight of him soon after. Aled Edwards (u/a) followed up in third.

Adam Haynes finished 5th overall and 1st V50, in a fantastic time of 37.46, only 10 seconds off his own V50 record.

Becky Tayler (u/23) of Bangor Uni finished on top in 44.49. Rebakah Newstead second, and Eryri's Jenny Williamson in third.
Lesley Goodsun won the V40, whilst the Ladies V50 was hotly contested, with Ellie Salisbury (Eryri) pipping Brenda Tiedtke (Prestatyn) by 5 seconds in a gripping battle to the bitter end.

Moel y Ci      Saturday 23rd February      Pics from Alastair        Results

 Ras Moel y Ci,Tregarth, Gwynedd    BS / 8km / 290m 23.02.2013

The cold snap and hard, frosted ground didn’t deter 145 runners from visiting the Moelyci Environmental Centre this year. All 11 juniors finished their race, and all but 3 seniors finished the main race at Tregarth on Saturday. Run in cold but ideal conditions the win went once again to Martin Cliffe – his 3rd win so far this year. Cliffetop ran home in 38.53 – it looks like his climb won the race as 2nd finisher, the ever-improving, Dylan Wynn Jones was only 36 seconds behind. If it wasn’t for Daniel Kashi running well to finish in 3rd in 40.01, the vet 40s would have taken the first 3 positions as John Parkinson came home 4th in 40.05. Aled Edwards, Jim Bacon and Adrian Williams ensured the first 7 finishers were all Eryri runners !

Dragons Back conqueror Steve P Jones reigned supreme in the vet 50s to win in 43.23 – no mean feat considering Michael Belshaw, Iwan Edgar and Arwel Lewis were also running. Such was the quality of the race that the first 34 runners were separated by only 5 minutes – a cracking advertisement for North Walian fell running ! Local legend Phil Tân Jones stormed to victory in the male 60s finishing in 49.35 with Peter Roberts of Buckley winning the male vet 70s. Heddwyn Bye was first junior male home in 49.07.

In the ladies, Chester Tri’s Lisa Grantham had a speedy descent to win in 49.00, a mere 13 seconds ahead of Bangor Uni’s Beckie Taylor. 3rd lady home, and 1st FV50 in 49.38, was a true legend – Angela Brand-Barker, one of the most prolific female fell runners in history. Clwydian’s Sandra Rowlands won the ladies 40s in 51.32 with Ellie Salisbury taking 2nd in the FV50s in 55.02. Maggie Oliver strode to victory in the FV60s in 64.14.

The junior race winner was Julius Muyombya of St David’s College in 10.06 with Eleanor Jones first girl at 2nd in 10.16. Eleven juniors ran.

Many thanks go to the Centre staff, marshals, ‘Team Dolly’ radio network, the registration and finish team, friends and families. Projects at the Moelyci Environmental Centre focus on sustainability, local produce, local employment and crafts www.moelyci.org.

Pen Tir Drop       Saturday 16th February      Results       Pics by Gill Stott

Eventual winner Ben Moon was pressured by young Chris Jones until the turn at Pen Tir cairn, but thereafter steadily pulled away to establish a half-minute finishing lead. His time of just over 31 ½ minutes seems a good target for future runnings of this new race considering that the published length of 5k was found to be over a mile short of the true distance!

M40 and M50 winners Rich Johnson and Max Suff were just two and three minutes abaft in third and fourth, Max having fought an epic tussle with rival age category man Kevin Hagley. Dai Smout and Rob West secured the remaining age group places.

Katie Beecher continued her winning streak in eighth place overall, with Niki Morgan and Erin Ballard atop the other podium platforms. Sharon Woods, F50 winner, was only one place behind.

The organiser was pleasantly surprised to hear that many runners had found a moment to enjoy the fine all-round views in the mild, clear conditions.

Thanks are due to marshals Kay Lucas, John Battersby and Gill Stott, as well as HQ workers Sue Ashton, Jess Taylor and Paula.
Dick Finch.

Long Mynd Valleys      Sunday 10th February       Pics from Alastair

Tarren Hendre       Saturday 9th February      Results

Ascending Pics from Esyllt       Descending Pics from Esyllt

There was a good turnout as the race was the first counter in the 2013 WFRA North Wales Series (sponsored by Cotswold Outdoor). Weather conditions were damp and misty, resulting in a number of runners going astray. It was very wet and muddy underfoot.


Titterstone Clee       Saturday 9th February       Pics from Alastair

Cwm Nant Y Groes   Sat 26th January   Results

Snow drifting to waist height and the near impossibility of laying a clear route - let alone following it - made this shortened first running of this South Wales Winter League race a great leveller with less than two minutes covering the first 14 runners.

Full body cover was prescribed, and those hardy souls who chose to carry theirs suffered painful nicks on their legs when ploughing through the ice-coated drifts in the highest regions.

Stressed organiser Rich Johnson’s plans to arrive early enough to do a thorough job of flagging the white wastes of the Abertillery mountain were thwarted by his car getting stuck fast in the compacted snow in the steep streets of Six Bells. He did his best in the time available and then joined the race from the back in time to catch and show the main bunch the way!

Chris Atherton in just vest and shorts finally prevailed on the slushy run-in just nine seconds before M50 Max Suff and M40 Peter Sowerby.

Katie Beecher followed up her come-back win atTor-y-Foel by pipping Niki Morgan by less than half a minute, with Anne Auchterlonie taking third.

Steve Littlewood finally won the tight battle of the 60 year-olds over close rivals Les Williams and Steve Herington.

Before distributing the prizes, Organiser Johnson rightly paid due homage to the intrepid marshals for their reassuring and encouraging work in the frozen wastes.

Dick Finch

   Mercia Hill Trial   Sunday 20th January Pics from Alastair

The Mercia Hill Trial is a new navigation and fell running challenge based on the successful Kinder Trial. Competitors start at intervals and have to visit a number of checkpoints in any order and return to the event centre. We launched the event to encourage runners to learn better navigation skills and show how much fun this kind of event can be. Competitors either run solo (with previous experience of similar events) or in pairs.

The days before the event had seen some heavy snowfall over Shropshire and those placing the checkpoints had a chilly couple of hours work late on Saturday afternoon. Sunday dawned without further snow and it seems that everyone who tried to travel successfully reached us including Robert Taylor (Pennine FR), a welcome visitor from up north.

The early starters definitely had the best of the conditions as heavy snowfall from 10:30am made both the navigation and the underfoot conditions progressively more difficult. Kristof Nowicki was one of the first to go out, setting a time which proved impossible to beat. SLMM veteran Brian Crowther navigated superbly to claim second overall paired with Chris Atherton, a local runner who has improved greatly in the last year. The remaining prizes were taken by Mark Bollom and Anna Bartlett (first mixed pair), Susan Howarth and Lucy Aphramor (first lady pair) and Joanne Dodd of Wrexham Tri (first solo lady). It was great to see Emma Clarke, one of Mercia’s promising juniors, navigating the course with her dad Phil, and also local farmer Roger Lloyd combining a bit of fell running with a check on his sheep!

In view of the conditions we’d asked all the runners to take special care and look after each other and were pleased to see the event was very much run in a competitive but friendly spirit. Thanks to Zoe Owen, Mark Agnew and Ian Vann for helping place and remove checkpoints, the event centre team of Charlie Leventon and Keith and Pauline Richards, Wrekin Orienteers for their mapping, Al Tye for his excellent photos, and most of all to John Taylor for sitting through a snowstorm for four hours in a tent at 1,600’ to provide safety cover on the hill. The event was a great success which we hope to repeat next year with a 2014 Mercia Hill Trial.

Jim Tinnion Coaching and Development, Mercia Fell Runners

Tor Y Foel    Sat 12th January    Results

Another Day on the Bare Mountain

Just one runner short of the century for the second running of this South Wales Winter League race, despite Met Office warnings of thick fog, blizzards and strong winds. There was a snow flurry on the 550 metre top, but visibility was crystal and the wind barely noticeable.

Race Organiser Les Williams was delighted with the extra 40 runners that last year’s initial running had attracted. Starting and finishing on Talybont dam wall, Tor y Foel offers plenty of flat running along the ancient dram road as well as the steep climb and descent to and from the bare mountain’s summit.

Last year’s winner Ben Moon was eventually squeezed into second place by Mynydd Du’s Sean Taylor with Jason Rowley over from Somerset just four seconds back.

After a few months’ absence from the fells, Katie Beecher returned to head Katie Roby by just 24 seconds with Sharon Leech a further 3 6 seconds away and first F40.

Other age group winners were Alice Bedwell, Patrick Wooddisse, Paul Jeggo, Steve Littlewood and Rob West. Thanks to all marshals and the supplier of the tasty post-race refreshments.
Dick Finch

                KYMIN FELL RACE 5 JAN 2013    Results

Local schoolmaster Huw Evans led Cardiff’s Les Croupiers club in their race-within-a-race mob match against Chepstow Harriers in this now well established early year opener to the fell season.
Huw said after that he was pleasantly surprised to get to the finish line ahead of Chepstow’s Paul Murrin after a neck-and-neck contest that saw Huw inch away as he reached family support at the top of the final climb to the Kymin Naval Temple and Round House. Chepstow’s Matt Stott took third place setting the stage for a ding-dong inter-club battle, 70 of the 121 entrants belonging to either club.
Jane Horler led the women’s race from start to finish with Chepstow colleague Niki Morgan and Les Croupier’s Claire Beatty and Marcia Smith following.
Pete Ward, Max Suff, Steve Herington and Alice Bedwell left the Mayhill pub with age category prizes after helping to demolish the sausage and chips post-race spread.
And the mob match? Well Chepstow outnumbered and outpointed Les Croupiers on this occasion. But next year ...?
Dick Finch 6 Jan 2013.

The Morning After      Tuesday 1st January         Pics from Alastair