Ras y Gader Sat 26th May        Results         Pics by Alastair

There was a record turnout this year as the race was a counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association North Wales Series (sponsored by planetFear). Weather conditions were hot and sunny. Fortunately there was a strong breeze which made it just about tolerable!

Moel Eilio Saturday 12th May        Pics by Alastair        Results


Former Welsh international Alun Vaughan signalled a glorious comeback on Saturday as his blazed around the Ras Moel Eilio Fell race to record a solo win in a super-fast time of 61:14

Dry and bright race conditions greeted the runners and the race was well attended as usual with over 80 runners taking to the start line in Llanberis.

After a few years of ticking over in his running, 2012 marks a return to serious competition for Vaughan and this run will make a number of people sit up and take note. His time is even more remarkable when taking into account the boggy conditions on the Moel Cynghorion descent and the fact that he ran virtually the entire race on his own.

Filipe Jones (66:15) from Aberystwyth was second some 5 minutes back, with Serpentine's Richard Phillips (68:47) in third.

In the ladies race there was a now familiar (certainly in 2012) winner in the form of Aberystwyth student Lauren Jeska. Her 8th overall positioning along with her very quick time of 73:41 underlined her domination of the North Wales fell running scene this year. In fact her time was less than minute behind Menna Angharad's course record of 72:44, which has stood since 1996. Katie Beecher (83:15) ran well for second place, with Laura Bestow taking third place in a time of 86:57

In addition to the event a 5k fun run was held in Llanberis on the day of the race. The event was organised by Cymdeithas Tai Eryri, a local housing association for whom Llanberis residents Kevin Edwards and Ffion Haf Hughes worked. Both sadly lost their lives last year and Ras Moel Eilio was a particular favourite for keen fell runner Kevin. The race drew an entry of over 120 runners and much needed funds were raised for the charity.

Organiser Jayne Lloyd states:

"The 5k fun run was a very poignant event, but was held in a spirit of enjoyment, which both Kevin and Ffion would have wanted. It was a great addition to the day's racing and with over 120 runners turning up, including lots of children, we were very grateful to the local community and media who came out and showed their support. Cymdeithas Tai Eryri couldn't have hoped for more and had a fantastic day".

Ras Moel Eilio Race - Leading positions
1. Alun Vaughan Eryri Harriers 61.14
2. Felipe Jones Aberystwyth AC 66.15
3. Richard Phillips Serpentine RC 68.47
First woman
1. 73.41 Lauren Jeska Aberystwyth AC

Ras y Berwyn Update. 17th June Llandrillo, Cynwyd. 12pm
Confirmation that following a meeting with CCW where concerns were raised about the routing of the race near to bird nesting sites, an amended race route has been approved. The race is the same distance and will start and finish in Llandrillo as before, but it will be run anti-clockwise. Apologies to all those who have wanted to get out and recce, but at least now we have an approved route.
Please see the events pages for updated details
Peter Agnew Clwydian.
Rasus Nos Fawrth Moel y Gest Results
The Llangynhafal Loop Saturday 5th May        Results

A deserved win for Jez Brown by over 2 minutes on home territory. I'd a feeling he was going for it as he wasn't out with our motley crew the night before! The course had been extended a little by some off colour flagging so nothing should be read into the actual times (well certainly my time!!) Helsby's Jane Joy is improving rapidly and rapidly she ran to claim the ladies prize. Second places in both categories were taken by Daddy Ashcroft and Katie Ashcroft!!

Buckley John Morris seemed to have recovered fully from his impression of a frozen mop the week before and Denbigh John Morris, 50 years his junior, ran like the wind in only his third fell race to get a top twenty place - what heroes! We were priviledged to have the current over 60's leader of the British Fell Championships visiting our gentle hills and Rob Taylor of Pennine therefore knocked 25 places out of me to take the over 60 prize (I should have stayed on the start line!). The weather was just about right for this time of year in contrast to some recent formidable experiences. Thanks to all the marshals and helpers who made it alll go like clockwork - and allowed me to have a go at my own race - I'm looking forward to Peter Douglas's photos, and who else was snapping at the top of the stony gully?
Martin Cortvriend

Red Kite Challenge Saturday 5th May        Results        Pics by Esyllt Richards

Record Falls as Runners Excel at Red Kite Challenge

Former UK Trail Running Champion Tim Davies of Maldwyn Harriers (462) battles it out with the eventual winner and new UK Champion, Richard Roberts of Eryri Harriers (505) Overall winners of the Red Kite Challenge weekend: Kate Beecher of Les Croupiers and Gareth Green of San Domenico hold their Welsh Crystal Trophies.

The 10th running of the Red Kite Challenge over the weekend of 5th-6th May was hailed as the best yet, with record numbers of participants competing on both days of what has become a well established event in the trail running calendar. Day one of the event, ‘Sialens Y Barcud Coch’, was held at Nant yr Arian Forestry Visitor Centre near Aberystwyth, and included the UK (short course) and Welsh Trail Running Championships. With the junior races having also been chosen as selection races for the Welsh team at the forthcoming World Youth Mountain Running Championships, and the senior races as a Welsh selection event for an International Mountain Running competition in Cumbria in June, a great deal was at stake for some of the more elite athletes, and a quality field was assembled.

This race is renowned for its scenic views of the Cambrian Mountains and the Ceredigion coast – but also for its tough and uncompromising 11 mile course. Saturday’s sunny but windy and very cold weather conditions served only to reinforce its steely reputation.

The Senior Men’s Race and the UK and Welsh Championship was won by Richard Roberts of Eryri Harriers, beating last year’s Champion Tim Davies of Maldwyn Harriers by an impressive 2 minutes and breaking the course record by 48 seconds. English International Aileen Fox of Durham City Harriers won the women’s race, from Welsh International Kate Beecher of Les Croupiers RC.

The Junior races were well supported, with aspiring young athletes from across Wales and the Borders competing for UK and Welsh medals, as well as for representative team selection. Some fine performances were evident over the shortened but nonetheless challenging course. In the boys races, the under 20s class was won by Joshua Griffiths of Swansea Harriers; the under 18s by Nathan Jones of Colwyn Bay and the under 15s by Ciaran Lewis of Cardiff AAC. In the girls races, Clara Evans of Hereford and County AC won the under 20s, Ffion Price of Brecon AC the under 18s and Caitlin Page of Sarn Helen, the under 15s. The Neil Lisk Memorial Shield, awarded annually to the first Under 18 runner, went to Nathan Jones from Colwyn Bay. While the second day’s race of this weekend challenge event – ‘ Ras Y Diafol’ (‘the Devil’s Race’) - was a more ‘laid back’ affair with no championships or selections at stake, the 17 mile course from Devils Bridge was every bit as demanding, and for those athletes who’d also competed the day before, it tested in no small way their stamina and endurance. The race was won this time by Dylan Lewis of Sarn Helen in just over two hours. Kate Beecher of Les Croupiers improved on her second place of the day before, to win the ladies’ race, showing impressive form over the two days. The overall Red Kite Challenge Trophies for the lowest cumulative time for the two days’ races for men and women respectively went to Gareth Green of San Dominico (3hrs: 25mins: 49secs) and Kate Beecher of Les Croupiers (3hrs: 48mins: 41secs).


Sialens Y Barcud Coch (May 5th)
Men: Open 1 Richard Roberts (Eryri Harriers); 2 Tim Davies (Maldwyn Harriers); 3 Jonathan Pugh (Builth and District). Category winners: M40 Matt Ward (Eryri Harriers); M45 Glyn Price (Sarn Helen); M50 Ifan Lloyd (Swansea Harriers); M55 Mick Ligema (Croft Ambrey RC); M60 Steve Herington (Hereford Couriers); M65 Dic Evans (Cardiff AC).

Women: Open 1 Aileen Fox (Durham City Harriers); 2 Kate Beecher (Les Croupiers); 3 Sharon Leech (Carmarthen Harriers). Category winners: F35 Louise Barker (Aberystwyth AC); F40 Sharon Leech (Carmarthen Harriers); F45 Angela Jones (Mynydd Ddu RC); F50 Jacki Jarvis (Oswestry Olympians); F55 Kim Braznell (Mercia Fell Runners); F70 Brenda Jones (Bro Dysynni AC).
Juniors: Boys under 15s 1 Ciaran Lewis (Cardiff AC); 2 Matthew Yapp (Ludlow RC); 3 Louie Bennett (Menai Track and Field). Under 18s 1 Nathan Jones (Colwyn Bay); 2 Gwynant Jones (Maldwyn Harriers); 3 Iolo Llyr Jones (Menai Track and Field). Under 20s 1 Joshua Griffiths (Swansea Harriers); 2 Ronan Llyr (Carmarthen Harriers). Girls under 15s 1 Caitlin Page (Sarn Helen); 2 Cari Harries (Aberystwth AC); 3 Ffion Quann (Sarn Helen). Under 18s 1 Ffion Price (Brecon AC); 2 Rhianwed Price (Brecon AC); 3 Lydia Sharp (Menai Track and Field). Under 20s 1 Clara Evans (Hereford and County AC); 2 Sarah Livett (Menai Track and Field); 3 Shannon Gilbert (Ludlow)

Ras Y Diafol (May 6th):
Men: Open 1 Dylan Lewis (Sarn Helen); 2 Gancho Slavov (Aberystwyth AC); 3 Gareth Green (San Dominico). Category winners: M40 Jonathan Jones (Carmarthen Harriers); M45 Paul Targett (Fellponies)M50 Arwel Lewis (Eryri Harriers); M55 Leonard Hughes (Maldwyn Harriers); M60 David Owen (Prestatyn RC); M65 Dic Evans (Cardiff AC).
Women: Open 1 Kate Beecher (Les Croupiers); 2 Sheila Barrour (Mercia Fell Runners); 3 Susan Davies (Croft Ambrey RC). Category winners: F35 Ruth Stafford (Mercia Fell Runners); F40 Sheila Barrour (Mercia Fell Runners); F45 Susan Davies (Croft Ambrey RC); F50 Christine Lloyd (Mercia Fell Runners); F55 Kim Braznell (Mercia Fell Runners). Red Kite Challenge Trophy (May 5th and 6th):
Men: Gareth Green (San Dominico). Women: Kate Beecher (Les Croupiers)

Full race results are available at: www.redkite-barcudcoch.org.uk via the link to ‘On-line Race Results’.

Ras y Diafol Sunday 5th May         Pics by Alastair

Caradoc Classic Wednesday 9th May         Pics by Alastair

Pen Dinas Tuesday 24th April Results
Dedicated Website for Ras Mynydd Troed 29th April 2012
Pics from Alastair     Results
Very strong winds, freezing rain and fallen trees caused the organisers to shorten the race by missing out the second hill, Mynydd Llangorse.

Runners, and certainly marshals, felt the benefit of the reduced exposure to the elements, although the short cut up a narrow lane was described by some runners as running against a river torrent with occasional diversions round or through fallen branches.

Chosen this year as the first race in the inov-8 WFRA Open Welsh Champs, and also as the Welsh Inter Regional Champs, 81 runners from all over the Principality made the hazardous journey to the Black Mountains.

Representing the North, Tim Davies headed the South’s Hugh Aggleton and Mark Palmer, with East’s Paul Murrin in 4th. Against very strong opposition the South Wales boys, with Gareth Green and Rhodri Evans at 10th and 11th, took the Inter Regional Title ahead of the East and North teams.

Katie Beecher took the women’s trophy and with her South Wales colleagues – Alyson Hayes, Julia Becker, Angharad Rees - collected the IR medals just one point ahead of the East team of 2nd and 3rd placers Niki Morgan and Vanessa Lawson, and Naomi Law.

Organiser’s and Runners thanks and respect go to intrepid marshals Kay and Martin Lucas, and to John Darby who also flagged the tricky first descent.

Helpers Jess Taylor, John Chidlow, Andy Creber, Paul Symons and Mark Harvey are also heavily in the event’s debt.      Dick Finch

Snowdonia Junior series - Moelwyns Results
Pen Dinas    Tuesday 24th April     Pics by Alastair

Mynydd Swtan     Sunday 22nd April    Report and Results


Photos by Terry Dutton Slideshow here

Ras y Moelwyn      Saturday 21st April    Results     Pics by Gwynfor     Descending by Esyllt Richards      Ascending by Esyllt

There was a large turnout as the race was a counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association North Wales Series (sponsored by planetFear). Weather conditions were cool, overcast, breezy on the tops. It was extremely wet and slippery underfoot (definitely no drought in Blaenau Ffestiniog). There was a close battle at the front between Ifan Richards of Meirionnydd and Andrew Davies of Mercia. Ifan won in a time of 1 hour 21 minutes and 37 seconds with Andrew one second behind. Paul Jones of Mercia was 3rd in 1.23.39 (also 1st O/40). Other category winners Over 50 Michael Belshaw (Eryri) 1.38.28, Over 60 Michael McLoughlin (Preston) 1.52.10. The ladies race was won by Lauren Jeska of Aberystwyth in a time of 1.28.31. Despite the slippery conditions this was more than 3 minutes inside the ladies record! Lauren had won the first British Championship race of 2012 a week earlier in the Lake District. Andrea Rowlands of Eryri was 2nd in 1.42.44 and Mary Gillie of Clwydian was 3rd in 1.47.25. Other category winners Over 40 Ali Thomas (Eryri) 1.52.40, Over 50 Nicola Davies (Borrowdale) 1.51.25, Over 60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri) 2.30.46.

Cribyn           Saturday 21st April       Pics from Alastair       Results

Contrast was the theme of this year’s Cribyn. It was either sunny intervals or hail showers overhead. And underfoot, 3,100 feet of climb crammed into 5 ½ miles doesn’t leave much flat ground. So Cribyners are either slogging a stiff up or trying to get their jelly legs to get up to speed on the inevitable immediate down.

Unless your name is Paul Murrin and you’re seen to actually run up those wicked slopes or swoop down the other side with your arms outstretched like a diving Spitfire. Paul headed the Race Organiser’s squeeze Ed Gamble - down from Cheshire for the weekend and observant enough on the run to spot the smallest European bird, goldcrest don’t you know, while fending off Mercia’s Tom Roo and two other Chepstow boys, Pete Ward and Matt Stott.

Alice Bedwell’s led Florence Haines up the first climb, but the U23 lass from Ilkley eventually made the finish just half a minute ahead of Alice, and four ahead of another youngster, Swansea’s Katie Reynolds .
Dick Finch

Mynydd Mawr Tuesday 17th April          Results           Pics by Gwynfor
                    Sugar Loaf Saturday 14th April           Pics from Alastair          Results

This race was a late inclusion in the South Wales Winter Series, so Winter decided to make a comeback for the day.
A snow flurry on the summit was enjoyed by some and endured by others, but made the rocky terrain a bit slippery and tended to slow race times.

At the sharp end eventual winner Mark Palmer was third to the top but his wily M40 descending skills gave him the edge over promising newcomer Eliot Taylor and Ian Gait in third.

Emma Hitchens had a fine uncontested run over three minutes ahead of Niki Morgan and Clara Evans. Shame she missed too many of the series to challenge Sally Wilder for overall series winner.
Dick Finch

Foel Lus Tuesday 10th April      Pics from Alastair            Results
Moel Tryfan Tuesday 3rd April       Results
South Wales Winter League 2011/12 Report after 6 Races            Final Results

With just the one race remaining to complete the series of seven races, a couple of the 2011/12 S Wales Winter League prizewinners are already decided. But most of the trophies are still hanging on who does what on Sugar Loaf on Saturday 14 April.
Remember that the best five scores count. So while just three points separate Senior Men leaders Rhodri Evans and Richard Johnson, a good performance from Matt Collins who has done just four races should see him steal the trophy.

No such contest in a sparsely contested Senior Women’s competition, with first seasoner Sally Wilder seemingly unbeatable.
Kevin Hagley has a 12 point lead over Neil Lewis in the M40s, with four-race Gareth Hurst lurking with four completed.
Congrats to Chepstow’s Vanessa Lawson who seems unassailable in the F40 group.
In the M50s Richard Everson leads Simon Blease by 18 points, with Richard Wall and Pete Williams not too far adrift.
Gill Stott has done three races so far but looks to be the winner of the F50s.
In the M60s Les Williams has done every race and holds a 70 point lead over Steve Herington who could catch Les if his fifth race is exceptional.
Rob West is way ahead in the M70 category and will complete his five if he runs in Abergavenny.
In the FU23s Naomi Prosser has run frequently and consistently and well deserves the trophy.

Altogether 184 have taken part so far, but the small number of younger women is worrying. Let’s hope we get a few more in the very runner-friendly Sugar Loaf run.

Fron Four Saturday 7th April        Results        Pics from Alastair
Conditions were misty and damp this year so navigational skills were required. There were also some snowdrifts to run through left from from the midweek storm.
Clwydian Junior Series Ponderosa Polka Sunday 1st April        Results

Although it was a small turnout we had a great day and the sun was shining. Some good times from the winners who I'm sure will do well in future events. Gareth Jaggard.

Llanbedr Blaenafon     Sat 31st March         Results            Pics by Alastair         Pics by Stewart Thomson

Llantysilio Fell Race     Sat 31st March     Results         Pics by Esyllt Richards
Race 2 in WFRA North Wales Series (sponsored by planetFear)

Despite a new, high-profile race being held nearby and on the same day, 81 runners set off over a still smouldering hillside for the 2012 Llantysilio Fell Race. Lauren Jeska (Todmorden Harriers) and Mel Price (Mercia) were both inside Anna Bartlett 2006 record, with Lauren taking over three minutes off the previous time to finish in 53:35.

Brothers Felipe and Andres Jones (Aberystwyth) finished joint first in 48:28. Brendon Taylor (Rossendale) was in the lead until the final descent, but lost control, only arresting his fall by planting his face in a gorse bush. He crossed the line in third with spines in his eyelids!

Pete Norman (Wrexham) enjoyed the whisky being doled out by Simon Ellis on the summit of Moel y Gamelin more than most. He not only cycled to and from the race, but also picked up the vet 70 prize. The other category winners were Amy Jones, Ellie Salisbury, Margaret Oliver, Karl Steinegger, Paul Jones, Colin Lancaster and Martin Cortvriend (who had been asked to send his birth certificate for scrutiny). No doubt some of the more unusual spot prizes will resurface at a future North Wales Series race!

Tattenhall Runners would like to thank the local community for supporting the race, in particular the two farmers, whose land the race crosses. Thanks also to the John Gambels for the use of the village hall (the Sun Inn being closed) and to the ladies of Llantysilio church for serving the runners with post-race soup.

See you all next year,       Peter Taylor (on behalf of race organiser Nick Holmes, who left the country soon after the event)

Ras yr Aran     Saturday 24th March     Pics by Alastair    Results

A little over a month since claiming respective 1st and 3rd placed finishes at the Tarren Hendre Fell Race in Abergynolwyn, brothers Andres & Felipe Jones returned to Meirionnydd recently to plunder the first two spots at the Organic Aran Lamb sponsored Ras Yr Aran Fell Race held in Llanuwchllyn.

Andres Jones of Aberystwyth A.C. on his way to victory at the Ras Yr Aran Fell Race.                                       Kevin Evans of Meirionnydd.

The Aberystwyth A.C. duo proved their liking for the 10 mile course, which included 3,100 feet of climbing, by dominating proceedings from very early on to pull away from the rest of the 100 strong field, with Andres Jones claiming a comfortable race victory in a time of 1hr 25.22mins with brother Felipe following in 1hr 27.01mins. Victory within the female category was claimed by Helen Fines of Vegan Runners in a time of 1hr 47.09mins, thus continuing her pattern of claiming category victory at the event on even years, having previously won the female race in both 2008 & 2010.

The glorious sunshine also attracted a total of nine athletes affiliated to Meirionnydd Running Club. Leading home the nine was the ever improving Glyn Griffin, on this occasion the Penrhyndeudraeth based athlete claiming an overall 10th placed finish in a time of 1hr 41.27mins. One place and 52 seconds behind was Mark Atherton, the Llan Ffestiniog based athlete claiming an 11th placed finish in a time of 1hr 42.19mins. The Dolgellau-based duo of Kevin Jones & Adam Preston followed in respective times of 1hr 50.11mins & 1hr 53.35mins with Tony Hodgson of Llanelltyd following, claiming age category victory within the Male Over-60 section in an excellent time of 2hrs 06.41mins. The remaining quartet of Meirionnydd RC athletes followed in the guise of Phil Morgan of Machynlleth, Ricky Francis of Talyllyn, Nich Bradley of Dolgellau & Kevin Evans of Brithdir in respective times of 2hrs 08.35mins, 2hrs 09.28mins, 2hrs 18.18mins & 2hrs 32.55mins.

As ever with this event, the race organisers expressed their gratitude to the local landowners over whose land the race was run, as well as to the many volunteers who helped out on the day to make Ras Yr Aran such a popular race within the local fell running fraternity.

Wrekin Fell Race     Sunday 25th March     Pics by Alastair
Tour of Torpantau     Sunday 4th March     Results

Twenty two hardy souls turned out for the inaugural running of ‘the Tour’. Weather conditions just before the start could best be described as challenging as we were treated to a series of heavy snow showers and a gusting wind but by 11am the sky was breaking and the runners set off in the dry.
On the tops visibility was good with Fan y Big and Cribyn summits clearly in view – which made navigation relatively easy. Hugh Aggleton made it to Cribyn in an extremely quick 42 minutes and returned to finish in a very good 1:09:51 closely pursued by his MDC club mate Ben Moon.
As the race progressed, the weather improved with those runners who wished to pause at Cribyn Summit being treated to stunning views over to Cardiff Bay (with the Millennium Stadium, the site of Wales’ forthcoming Grand Slam victory glistening in the sunlight). The views didn’t seem to appeal to many runners who decided to retrace their steps quickly down the hillside, using the fell runners’ classic ‘bum sliding’ technique for much of the snowy descent. In the second half of the race route choice was even more important than on the way out, with Paul Dodd of Chepstow Harriers picking up several places and finishing in an impressive third place – in his second ever fell race! His wife, Joc dominated the ladies race from start to finish, finally finishing in an excellent 11th position overall. The Race Organiser was highly amused by one unnamed competitor who, after an innovative route choice was forced to run through the finish to CP3 and then back again. Special mention to birthday boys John Sweeting (0/60 category winner) and Andy Creber (2nd 0/50) and of course the summit marshals, Steve Force and his 16 year old daughter Bethany, and Del Boy and of course my wife Louise and daughter Carys for registration duties.

Dash in the Dark Trail Race 3     Friday 2nd March        Results
Pipe Dream     Saturday 3rd March        Results      Video Clip

This year’s race was contested in changeable weather, with competitors having to endure a mixture of sun, rain, and a brief but painful hail storm on the route up and along the Dolgarrog Power Station pipe. It was a good turnout, with a total of 80 competitors, with the furthest trecking from as far afield as Bolton. The course, which takes in the shockingly steep incline and steps which ascend from Dolgarrog to top of the mountain and back through woodland, was in good condition good for racing, although the descent was tricky in a few places due to the wet rocks.
The ladies record which has stood since 2008 (Anna Frost) fell to a visitor to the area, in the form of 2010 English Fell Champion Lauren Jeska of Todmorden Harriers. The 37 year old Jeska was actually 3rd overall, comfortably thrashing several of the quality local mountain men not used to having ladies in front of them! Having moved recently to Machynlleth we may see a lot more of her in North Wales Fellraces. Previous race winner on a number of occasions, Welsh vest Andrea Rowlands was second lady over the line, although she never threatened Jeska. The men’s winner was Martin Cliffe of Eryri Harriers, with a clear lead over the 2nd placed Fred Maier of BangorUniversity. Cliffe was also the first veteran male, whilst Maier was also the first in the under 23 category.
Michael Belshaw of Eryri led the Vet 50 contest by 3 minutes, whilst Ellie Salisbury was first lady 50. The well supported and hotly contested male vet 60 prize went to Eryri Mike Blake by some distance. He was most surprised at the prizegiving as he thought he was second!
Thanks to Team Dolly for once again supporting the race with marshals. All race profits go to Dolgarrog Community Centre.
Craig Jones.

Blaenbran Blast Sat 25th February 2012          Pics by Gerry Ashton         Pics by Rob Taylor        Results

Pic by Gerry Ashton

61 lightly clad runners set off for the third running of the Blast in what is now the traditionally warm and sunny weather that this race has become blessed with. Fairwater Runner Grant Lewis stuck to the carefully flagged route and recorded his first ever race win. “I was in sixth place coming to the foot of the final steep climb” he said afterwards “but I could see the lads ahead were cutting straight up instead of following the marked route. I‘m glad I resisted the temptation to follow.” The Blast was Race 6 of the South Wales Winter Series, and the Women’s competition saw Sally Wilder move ahead in her tussle with Emma Hitchens by leading Emma Bayliss and Vanessa Lawson across the finish line. With John Sweeting having to call off the Crychan race, the final race of the series will now be Emma Bayliss’ Sugar Loaf on 14 April.
Expect this to be very keenly contested, with the destination of many trophies thereupon hanging.     Dick Finch

Ras Moel y Ci Sat 25th February      Results         Pics from Esyllt Richards         Pics from Alastair

Thats what I call a picture! Ifan Richards takes up flying.

Warm spring weather and the first race in the WFRA North Wales series (sponsored by 'planetFear') brought a record 155 senior runners to the Moelyci Environmental Centre this year. Congratulations to Richard Roberts of Eryri setting a new course record of 35.10 (-11s).

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.

Tarren Hendre Saturday 11th February         Results      Pics from Alastair      Pics from Esyllt

Weather was cold, overcast, dry with light winds. It was frosty and icy on the tops.

LONGTOWN FELL RACE 28 JAN 2012        Results

The South Wales Winter League made its regular sortie over the border into Herefordshire for another running of Hanneke van der Werf’s Longtown race. The midpoint of the race is right on the Anglo-Cymru border on the Offa’s Dyke path atop the crest of the easternmost ridge of the Black Mountains.
A small bunch contested the first mile of hilly road to the wooden staircase leading to the open mountain. From the top of the staircase Hugh Aggleton slipped the bunch’s bonds and led the charge thereafter. There was serious mud most of the way, and although the route had been copiously flagged, there were quite a few diversions off the straight and narrow on the descent, presumably caused by eyes cast down and concentrating on safe footfall.
Series leader Matt Collins tried vainly to recover Hugh’s lead, but he and third-placer Sean Taylor could make no impression. With two wins apiece in the first four races of the series, Sally Wilder and Emma Hitchens continued their rivalry. Emma led the way to the summit, but had to yield to Sally’s sharper descending skills. Vanessa Lawson eventually separated them further down the descent. “Sally usually outruns me coming down,” explained Emma, “and I didn’t help myself by missing a flag and putting in some more distance before the finish.”

Dash in the Dark Trail Race 1 Friday 20th January        Results
Tor y Foel 2012 Sat 14th January         Results         Pics from Gerry Ashton

Talybont resident Les Williams chose a sharp, bright day to introduce his new South Wales Winter League race. 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.
Gareth Hurst took out the early running along the dram road and through the foothills with Ben Moon and Ian Cait in his wake. Ben nosed in front at the start of the steep bit and stayed there despite a tumble on the iciest and boggiest stretch of the descent. “My first ever win” reported Ben over hot tea and biscuits back at HQ. “I’ve been in Norfolk the last three months, so haven’t done much mountain training lately!”
Emma Hitchens is racing sparingly so far this season, but followed up her decisive Sugar Loaf win with another good performance, and according to eye witnesses was the only combatant to run the steeper slopes. Ever reliable Vanessa Lawson took second with another reliable Alice Bedwell right on her tail.
Dick Finch 16-01-12

The Kymin 7th January 2012         Results

Two South Wales running clubs swarmed all over the Kymin Winter Race and supplied almost two thirds of the 110 starters. Les Croupiers and Chepstow Harriers came up to Monmouth eager for points in their club championships. But ironically unattached runners nabbed the first two places, though Chepstow did supply the women’s winner and three of the age category leaders.
At the front Sean Taylor had a good tussle with Huw Evans and finally passed him as they emerged from the woods a few hundred yards from the finish.
Chepstow women took the first four places: Niki Morgan pipping Jane Horler by just 11 seconds.
The men’s team prize also went to Chepstow , with age cat. trophies claimed by the club’s Steve Caldwell, Laurie Carter and Neil Grant.

Hangover Hobble 1st January 2012         Results
Llyn Llydaw Fun Run 1st January 2012         Results          Pics from Gwynfor
The Jubilee Plunge Monday 26th December         Results

On a blustery but warm day, in complete contrast to the icy cold of the last two years, a record 52 runners galloped down the slopes of Moel Famau from the Jubilee Tower. Reputations count for nothing in an event like this and various downhill fliers revealed impressive descending speed and technique as big guns fell by the wayside. Despite the double handicap of being dressed as Father Christmas and running into a gale force headwind, Adam Peers knocked over a minute off the men's record to descend to the Goldie in an astonishing time of 10.24. And despite me telling her at the prizegiving that she was just outside the ladies' record, Amy Jones was in fact inside it with a very strong new ladies' best time of 13.55. Batman and Robin (aka Rob Butler and Maxine Brockley) declined using their superpowers to any significant effect and were happy to amble down comfortably, taking in the applause of the surprising numbers of spectators en route. An assortment of Clwydian Range Runners demonstrated their local knowledge to good effect and there was quite a Merseyside feel this year with great support from Pensby Runners and Liverpool Harriers.
Martin Cortvriend

Corndon Classic Sunday 18th December         Pics from Alastair         Results.xls

A glorious, crisp and snowy sunday saw 57 runners glide around the 3 peaks course. The honours took by Tim Davies and Andrea Roberts respectively on the day, and a very jolly time was had by all. I may decide to keep the race on this weekend again next year.It was certainly bitterly cold ontop of Corndon, but it was snug and amiable in the Miners Arms for afters. All my thanks go to runners and helpers on a smashing day out. Regards Paul B.

Mortimers Forest Hill Race Sunday 11th December     Pics from Alastair          Pics from John Richards
Ras y Mast Sunday 27th November     Pics from Alastair
The Blorenge    Sat 26th November         Pics from Alastair    Results

First Lady ...Helen Bennett

Matt Collins’ annus mirabilis continued with this third consecutive win in the South Wales Winter League, though Chepstow’s Paul Murrin was neck-and-neck with him at the summit. After a fourth and two seconds in the last three years on the Blorenge, Paul is hoping that his continuing improvement will see him crossing the line at Llanfoist parish church as winner in 2012.
Perhaps Helen Bennett’s persistence will be Mr M’s inspiration. After eight years of trying, she finally came good and won the women’s race by 33 seconds from Sally Wilder, with first 40 year-old Anne-Marie Harris a further minute and a half back.
First male 40 y-o was Gareth Hurst, and other age category chocolate Santa winners included come-back girl Sharon Woods, Richard Everson, Les Williams and Rob West.
The post race refreshments get better every year, and organiser Jess Taylor is promising hot food next year!
Dick Finch 28/11/11

Wrekin Wrecker    Sun 20th November         Pics from Alastair
Penmaenmawr     Sat 19th November    Results     Pics from Alastair
Ceiriog Canter     Sat 15th October    Results

A beautiful autumn day in the Ceiriog valley brought a record number of entrants, from all over the country, to the 3rd ‘Ceiriog Canter’ fell run on 15th October 2011. Having over come initial organisational difficulties that had hampered previous years, the 2011 event ran very smoothly indeed, with everyone running the same route! Nigel and Andrea Rowlands of the Clwydian Range Runners and Eryri Harriers described the route as, “a tough and challenging course with plenty of marshals to keep us all on track!”

A new course record was set by Jon Bowie of Trefonen, Oswestry, and a member of the Trismart club. He completed the run in a very impressive 46.44m! This was approximately 2.30m ahead of second place runner Sam Roberts, who was the category winner for the under 23 males. Andrea Rowlands also established a new course record for the women, completing the course in a challenging 52.47m. For a full list of results and photographs for the 2011 ‘Ceiriog Canter’ go to www.canolfanceiriog.org

The scenic 10.7 km fell run started at the Canolfan Ceiriog Centre which is in Glyn Ceiriog, near Llangollen. The route climbed up from the village onto the moors, taking in spectacular views from the top of Y Foel (358 meters, over 1100 feet above the village). Due to a dry summer the majority of the fell was hard under foot which made for excellent running conditions. The course returned to the village, via a steep forest track, where a warm welcome awaited each runner as they triumphantly crossed the line. Other than a few reports of gorse prickles, there was only one individual injured, Naithan Keeping from Birmingham, and even he managed to walk gallantly back to the finish! Beverages and homemade cake were on sale at the centre to replace spent energy!

The event was wholly reliant upon the generosity and hard work of the sponsors and marshals respectively, to whom we owe a great deal of thanks. We worked together as an excellent team to develop an event that was both slick and enjoyable! As a result, we are looking forward to next years ‘Ceiriog Canter’, when we also hope to run a juniors event, making it a great family day out in a stunning valley, so look out for next years date for your diary!

Rhobell Fawr     Sunday 13th November     Results    Pics from Alastair

Weather conditions were warm, dry and sunny. Ifan Richards of Meirionnydd ran away from the rest of the field to finish in a time of 52 minutes and 3 seconds. Many thanks to the soup dragons Janie,Sue Nicholls and Jane! and of course the marshalls.
Race Update.........Corndon Classic has moved from Sun 27th November to 11.00am Sun 18th December
Sugar Loaf      29th October 2011         Results
Clwydian Hills Race     Sunday 6th November     Pics from Alastair     Results

It was a glorious sunny day for the race this year. However, the good visibility did not stop a number of runners going astray! Perhaps, they need to sign up for the WFRA Navigation Course on 20th November.

Snowdon Marathon 29th October 2011         Pics from Alastair
Mendip Muddle     Sunday 9th October      Results    Race Report
Ron Skilton Memorial Half Marathon Sun 16th October      Results
Black Mountains Saturday 24th September      Results
Breidden Hills Sunday 9th October     Pics from Alastair     Results

Some of the prizewinners in the inov-8/WFRA Welsh Champs and North / South Wales Series     Photo by Alastair Tye

There was an excellent turnout for the Breidden Hills race as the race was the final counter in the inov-8/WFRA Open Welsh Championships and North Wales Series (sponsored by planetFear). Weather conditions were dry, overcast and windy.

The inov-8/WFRA Welsh Champions for 2011 are Tim Davies of Mercia and Andrea Rowlands of Eryri.
Other category Champions -
Male : Under 23 Karl Steinegger (Ambleside), Over 40 Simon Roberts (Buckley), Over 50 Dave Powell (Aberystwyth), Over 60 John Morris (Buckley).
Female : Over 40 Joanne Moore (U/A), Over 50 Ellie Salisbury (Eryri), Over 60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri). The winners of the WFRA North Wales Series (sponsored by planetFear) were Ifan Richards of Meirionnydd and Andrea Rowlands of Eryri.
Other category winners -
Male : Over 40 Simon Edwards (Buckley), Over 50 Adam Haynes (Eryri), Over 60 Tony Hulme (Wilmslow).
Female : Over 40 Joanne Moore (U/A), Over 50 Ellie Salisbury (Eryri), Over 60 Maggie Oliver (Eryri).

If you enjoyed participating this year and are not already a member of WFRA please show your support by joining for 2012. If you join now your membership will last until 31st December 2012.

Source of the Severn Sunday 11th September    Results
Fan Fawr Saturday 1st October    Results
South Wales Winter Hill Series 2011-2012
Race 2: 29th October, Sugar Loaf
     Race 3: 26th November, Blorenge Remaining 4 races: should be finalised by end of October
Arenig Fawr Sun 2nd October       Pics by Alastair       Pics by Esyllt       Results

This was the 6th anniversary of the race in its present form. Participation was by far the lowest ever, just 32 runners! It would appear that not even the plentiful prizes and the masses of drinks, soup and cakes can tempt many fell runners to venture into wild Wales for a race. Perhaps the remoteness of the place and lack of facilities are strong factors. Martin Cliffe won the race closely pursued by Ed Gamble. Not far behind was Jackie Lee, who came in less than a minute from Helen Fines’ record time.
The weather was mild with high cloud cover and a pleasant breeze that made for ideal race conditions. Team Dolly, as always, were out in force manning the checkpoints. My thanks to them and all the helpers and also to Running Bear for providing prizes at a generous discount. Next year the race will take place on Sunday 7th October.
Yiannis Tridimas 03/10/2011


Stretton Skyline Sunday 11th September       Pics from Alastair
Llanfest 10th September 2011      Results

King John’s Castle 2011      Llanarmon yn Ial      Results

This was the first running of this race & not in the WFRA calendar.
We had 29 runners & the race was hotly contested with the ever improving Neil Parry getting the better of Jez Brown. The Ladies race was not so closely fought with Lisa Grantham being a comfortable winner.
The Raven Inn is now a village co-operative after being closed for some time & they were keen to host us, providing freshly made soup which we were thankful for.
Thank you to those who helped me, Yiannis, Ben, Andy, Fred, Ruth, also the evergreen Joe Beswick who always turns up to our races without being asked. We raised £30 for the South Wales mining disaster fund. I look forward to putting it on again next year & listing it in the Calendar to raise even more money for a worthy cause.       John Linley

2011 Commonwealth Mountain and Ultra distance Running Championships        Pics from Alastair     Pics from Gwynfor
2011 South Wales Summer Series Final Table

A grand total of 295 took part in this year’s championship – a reflection of the continuing popularity of the series and of the healthy state of fell-racing in South Wales.
Most age categories were keenly contested, with only single figures separating winner and second place in three men’s groups.
A special commendation to Angela Jones and Steve Herington for winning three years in succession. And thanks to all the Race Organisers for their help and co-operation.

Source of the Severn      Pics by Esyllt Richards

Llyn Brenig Sat 17th September       Results

Saturday saw 72 runners assembled in glorious autumn weather to run the 9 mile Llyn Brenig Trail Race, orgnised by Denbigh Harriers. Rob Grantham continued his winning form this year to finish in a superb 53.22, only 13 seconds outside the course record. Hot on his tail were Neil Parry and Jez Brown, both well recovered from excellent performances at The Vyrnwy last weekend. Andrea Rowlands continued her winning form by being first lady back in 1.02.40, but the star of the show was undoubtably Eddie Naisby of Prestatyn, who won the MV80 in 1.39.27.
Thanks go to all the marshals and the staff at the Brenig Centre.

Llyn y Fan Sat 17th September       Results

Some wit reckoned it was harder to find the start of this race than to get round the course itself, and there were a couple of red-faced late arrivals. Despite hail, thunder and lightning all seemed to enjoy the stunning views while negotiating one of the steepest descents in the race calendar.
The Jones brothers made a rare appearance at a fell race: Felipe prevailed but failed to threaten Mark Palmer’s 2006 record of 41.50. Paul Murrin took third and sealed first place in the South Wales Fell series.
Angela Jones came back in the second half and overhauled Vanessa Lawson and Anne-Marie Harris for first place and duly clinched the F40 category in the series.

Credit to marshals Kay, Ian and Martin for standing their ground in the electric storm to see all the runners safely through.           D Finch 19-09-11

Pedol Peris Saturday 3rd September      Results
Stretton Skyline Sunday 11th September       Pics from Alastair
Llanfest 10th September 2011      Results

Cilcain Caper      Results

6-7 years old 0.7km 30 metres climb
8-9 years old 1.3km 70 meres climb
10-11 years old 2.2 km 90 metres climb
12-13 years old 2.75 km 110 metres climb
14-15 years old 3.3km 140 meters climb

A record 47 competitors entered the Cilcain Caper on a rather blustery bank holiday Monday. First everyone 8 years and over started together. Despite setting off a little later the fastest 6 and 7 years old were catching older ones up. The sheep in the finishing field were rather startled but went back to their grass after the first few finishers arrived. Ellie Mary Kearney won the 6-7 years old race with Edward Woodhead hard on her heels. The Kearney family must have speed in their genes as Aileen won the 12-13 year old race out right, beating Daniel McCathy who was first boy and Emily Kearney was first girl in the 14-15 years' race. Despite having a longer route Matthew Blackwell ran an excellent race and over took everyone in the 12-13 years race.
In the 8-9 years old Tom Williams won and Bella Bailey was first girl in a very fast field. Kieran Forest and Martha Owen both did well finishing as first boy and girl in the 10 to 11 years old category.

Moel Famau 29th August 2011          Pics from Alastair
Ras Beca 27th August 2011           Results

There was a record turnout this year as the race was a counter in the inov-8 / WFRA Open Welsh Championships and WFRA South Wales Series.
Weather was dry, sunny intervals, breezy and the summit was clear. Underfoot conditions were a 'bit boggy' on the lower slopes after rain earlier in the week.

Photo is of race winner Felipe Jones receiving his prize.

Cnicht 28th August 2011          Pics from Alastair     Results
Ragleth Inn 24th August 2011          Pics from Alastair
Garn          Friday 19th August         Results

The Garn Race first took place, on Llanfairynghornwy Sports Day, forty years ago. Three of the men who competed were present to cheer on the runners in the first Garn Race since 2001 (Foot and Mouth year) and the first organised under WFRA guidelines. In the senior race Rhys Owen led from start to finish, with Cybi's Irfon Rowlands never far behind. Unfortunately there was no senior female competing, but in the Junior Race (1.5m/400') Nicola Berry from Stockport had a superb run, finishing only seconds behind winner Ieuan Evans.

Lletty Fell Race         Results           Pics from Alastair

In contrast to other parts of Wales (particularly where several hundred runners tried to race a train!) the rain kept away from the Clwydians and we had perfect conditions for the 44 starters. Jez Brown and Neil Parry had a real ding dong battle at the front of the field with Jez pulling clear on the final climb to take it by a minute. Neil, being the fighter that he is kept pushing right to the bell. In the V40's division southpaw Marco Calatafimi held a big early lead but Simon Roberts went the distance to haul him in towards the end. Undisputed ladies champion Andrea Rowlands slugged her way to victory to record her fastest time yet over this course with middle distance runner Karrie Hawitt four minutes behind. Nigel Crompton threw in the towel early on after a late night!

Brecon Beacons     Saturday 20th August          Results
48 participants signed up for this 19 mile long race which included 4500ft ascent. The race was run in the anticlockwise direction this year which some runners think is easier than the opposite direction. However several others disagreed after completing this years race.

Conditions at the start were cloudy but predominantly dry. However the forecasted rain and visible mist/clouds which hid the hilltops forced the organsier to add waterproof clothing to the compulsory kit list. And oh boy did they need them! The heavens opened by the time they'd got to the first checkpoint at Carn Pica and didn't stop until they got to the last checkpoint at Tor y Foel. The conditions made navigation tough even for those that had run the course several times before. This led to a few competitiors losing time when they went off course but managed to get back into the race after recognising their mistakes. This again proved how important navigation is in this race.

Congratulations to Stewart Bellamy from Mercia Fell Runners who won the male category in just over 3hr 21m and to Helen Bennett from MDC who won the ladies category in 3hr 47m. A special mention goes to the father and son team of Chris and Jack Kelsey from Wells Harriers who completed the course together in a time of just under 4hr 5mins. They were all amongst several competitors who won a commemorative race mug wich included a photograph of Tor y Foel and Talybont Reservoir.

The organiser would like to thank all 10 marshalls who made this race possible. They had to endure challenging weather conditions at the top of the hills.      Regards Gary

Gladstone 9 Sun 14th August           Pics from Alastair        Pics from Pete MacMillen       Results

After several soggy days, the weather was ideal, & rather glorious for the first running of this race under the new trio of organisers.
Many Eryri runners came in for their share of the glory, with exceptional results being achieved by first man Llyr Pierce in a new record of 1.15.24 and first lady and 11th overall Andrea Rowlands (1.26.05). Congratulations to all 84 finishers (& 2 dogs!!) and thanks to Team Dolly and all the marshals and helpers. We were very grateful for the generous sponsorship from XrayMins and Fletcher Poole estate agents which enabled excellent photo prizes, framed by Scott Butterworth of Bernards, to be presented. We also owe a huge vote of thanks to the staff of Gladstone pub for their hospitality and cooperation. We are pleased to be able to report that the Snowdonia Society & Diabetes UK will benefit from our profit!
Finally a reminder that since this was medium category race, there were full kit requirements as well as a responsibility for runners to possess navigation skills.

British Fell Relay Championships 2011
These are to be held on Saturday 15 October 2011 in Kettlewell, Yorkshire Dales. The Organisers would like to invite more team entries from Wales to help make the event a truly National Championship. The event website is www.relay.bingleyharriers.org.uk. Entries are open now (via the SPORTident website) and close on the 18 September. More information from David Weatherhead 07972 787161.
Lletty Fell Race Saturday 20th August 2011          NO DOGS AT THE RACE!
The farmer has requested that no dogs be brought to the race start which is at his farm. Much of the race itself is within the Moel Famau country park which is accessible at several other places, including Moel Arthur and Llangynhafal itself, dogs on a lead are permitted in the country park.
Ponderosa 10th August 2011       Pics from Esyllt Richards       Results

Snowdonia Junior Series Award Winners
Llanthony Show      Results

A record entry for this increasingly popular traditional-model race connected to a lovely village show in the heart of Monmouthshire’s Black Mountains. And a near-record run for Mynydd Du’s Sean Taylor who thrived in the firm and balmy conditions.

Katie Beecher running for Cardiff’s Les Croupiers club found the energy - after her recent run along the whole 104 miles of the Cotswold Way – to overhaul Chepstow’s Vanessa Lawson on the run-in.

A promising debut in the Seniors’ race for 15 year-old Charlie Sapwell, stepping up after winning the Juniors’ for the last two years.

And an astonishing run in the Juniors’ race from 8 year-old Ceri Summers ahead of first boy Ben Evans, a veteran at 9 years!

And sterling work from course markers/marshals Rob Brown and Lou & Rob Summers.

Y Garn Sat 6th August       Pics from Alastair       Pics from Pete Macmillen       Results

Weather conditions for the race were cloudy, mostly dry and with light winds. Fortunately, the torrential rain came after the race had finished!
Thanks to the following : Cotswold Outdoor, Team Dolly, Al Tye, everyone who helped on the day and the farmer Mr Hughes.

The Junior race was the final counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association Snowdonia Series. Award Winners as follows - Male : U/12 1. Ryan Cain (Menai), 2. Kieran Forrest (Menai) 3 Carl O'Hara (u/a). U/14 1. Ross Kirby (Shrewsbury) Female : U/12 1. Erin Roberts (Menai), 2. Sasha Galvin (u/a). U/14 1. Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri), U/16 1. Nicola Berry (Stockport).

Guto Nyth Bran       Results
Push up the Pincyn        Pics from Alastair        Results

This year’s race was blessed once again by fantastic weather and a field of 50 runners.

From the outset the pack was led by Neil Parry, Jez Brown, Mark Williams (originally of Ruthin now Kuala Lumpur) and young James Ellis, who chopped and changed the lead. Neil was hoping for a second win at the Pincyn but was beaten into third by a very strong Mark. Mark managed to get himself geographically mis-located so had to settle for 2nd to the ever fresh Jez with a new course record of 44:38. James came home some 30 seconds ahead of first vet 50 Adam Haynes of Eryri to take 4th and 5th.

Holding her position from the off, Andrea Rowlands smashed 6 minutes off the course record in 48:58. In-form Lisa Grantham finished a comfortable second, well ahead of previous course record holder Ruth Metcalf.

While first local male Steven Donnelly came in 6 seconds slower than 2010, first local lady Moyna Richey took a full 8 minutes off her previous best.

It was great to see John Morris take Vet 60 and Claire Riley Vet 40. Last year was a totally different race for them both. The 2010 race saw Claire taken to hospital with a badly cut leg having been helped by John on the course.

Alastair Tye’s pictures of ‘The Bale’ offer comedy gold in the various techniques used to negotiate the monster!

Massive thanks, as ever, to the many marshals and land owners for a great race which makes the village show special.

2011 South Wales Series         Results after 4 races

The 2011 South Wales Summer Fell Series is proving as popular as always, with 182 runners having taken part so far in the four races to date. Most of the categories are still up for grabs and with three races still to go, current leaders may well change as more points are accumulated by those who haven’t yet done the minimum four races.

Observant readers will spot that Chepstow Harriers’ members hold top position in four of the age bands: MU23 James Blore, SM Paul Murrin, F50 Joc Dodd (new to fell running), F60 Brenda Avery (a confirmed road runner but tempted on to the hills recently).

Leadership in other categories is nicely spread around: FU23 Caryl Davies (Sarn Helen), SF Katie Beecher (Les Croupiers), F40 Anne-Marie Harris (Mynydd Du), M40 Haydn Hartnell (Islwyn), M50 Pete Williams (MDC), M60 Steve Herington (Hereford Couriers), M70 Rob West (Forest of Dean).

So, all to play for. Bring on the Llanthony Show Race – that’ll sort the sheep from the boys! (Ed – something wrong with that metaphor methinks...)

Cheers, Dick