2016 Race Report

Apologies for the late posting here.

175 runners from far & wide took part in the annual Clwydian Hills Fell Race. The race had added emphasis this year, being the final counter in both the North Wales and Open Welsh Series competitions.

Initial clag on the hill tops cleared to leave fresh and clear conditions for the race. Ground conditions were good due to the recent dry spell we have had.

A superb turn out from quite a few clubs but Mercia frankly owned the race this year. They duly claimed the Petzl Team trophy with great performances from across the team. Mercia’s Paul Jones & Emma Gould took home the main titles with new record times of 77m26s and 89m13s respectively as well as picking up the Ladies O40 (Anna Bartlett) and Mens O60 (Glen Davies) plus notable placings elsewhere.

Traditional soup & roll in the village hall was despatched with haste and followed by the various donated cakes from the team & supporters group members.

Apologies for the prize raffle – my instructions were not as clear as they should have been. Hence prizes went to the placings (again). This will be remedied next year.

Special thanks to Cotswold & Keela for the prize vouchers, gear from the various team members, that cracking greta veg box from Gill plus the vouchers from Denton & Hyde Hair & Beauty, Maria Roberts Holistic Therapist. You are all fantastic and great supporters of the team. Special thanks to Stuart at Cotswold Chester for donating 2 helpers for the day 😉

Full results can be found and downloaded on the results page.

Results for the North Wales & Open Welsh Series can be found on the WFRA website www.wfra.me.uk


2016 Post Race Grievance Report

Reported on the public FRA Facebook forum 25th October by Mike Bate.

Please find attached incident report into the grievance.

Post-Race Grievance 25-10-16

Personal Message

It helps the Race Organiser out tremendously by reporting issues such as these either on the day or as soon thereafter and much preferable if any grievance is directed firstly to myself rather than posted on a public forum where any learning points are likely to be quickly lost in the noise.

As it is, the method chosen for delivery of this grievance has delayed the official results, race report and added an extra 2 days work into a week I didn’t have. It has caused stress to my wife, disrupted the half term break for my children (you know the ones I didn’t see last weekend).

I sometimes wonder if the term volunteer means much to the some people these days. My brilliant team of marshals & helpers are some of finest volunteers you could ever wish to meet. They come from all walks and stages of life. You pass them on the street without realising. Yet a simple text message is all that is needed to get these folks out of bed in the middle of the night to go look for someones mum or dad, husband, wife, partner or child.  They don’t get paid. They don’t get rewarded. They just do.

Some of my marshals & helpers are runners, most are not. They are all volunteers. They are all willing to donate time to your sport. So the question is… are you?

I would like to know if any of you runners out there are willing to take up my 10% Challenge? The challenge is simple. Say you run 10 races a year. Next year run 9. The 10th…. well you simply volunteer to help don’t you.

Choose your most local race as that’s likely where you can contribute the most. Parkruns are great as they always need help throughout the year. Fellruns are better because your pain and suffering in freezing your bits off stood by a cairn for a few hours envigorates your life (if not your toes). Commercial events are best avoided like the plague. Ask the RO if you can put markers out, marshal, record finish times, make the tea, bake a cake. Pop your coat on for a change.  Or maybe help out with your own Club’s admin, maybe volunteer to be on your club committee, even the national committee….. Give 10% of your time as a volunteer so you can fully enjoy and appreciate the other 90%.

Don’t plan your year around running. Plan it from volunteering and work backwards. As soon as that calendar hits your doorstep/inbox get your pen out and circle the race or races you will volunteer for – email the RO straightaway. Don’t miss the moment. You can then begin to bask in some of that 10% feeling. Feels good yes? Flick through the rest of calendar. Are there are any races left you haven’t circled?…..Why yes! There are plenty left to occupy your remaining 90%.

Wonderfully simple isn’t it.

John Heppenstall 28th October 2016

Race Day Parking

Parking: Where possible please car share as we are expecting a good turnout this year and parking around the village is not great. Please see the below map for parking areas:


The main area to avoid is around the registration (Village Hall) and areas around both the Chapel & Churches as both have services that morning. Please park respectful of the residents – don’t block gates, driveways, junctions, etc. There is good parking down the main road (Ffordd-Y-Llan) beyond the school, down past Pentre on the road into the village and up Lon Cilan in the village. There is some room on the verges down towards the fishery but be mindful to not block the road (large tractors use this road frequently!)

2015 Race Report

Race Report – Sunday 1st November

Variety was certainly the order of the day as 159 runners from more than 30 clubs set off on a perfect autumn day. Clear, bright and warm conditions meant the navigation should not have been a problem on the revamped mid-section of the course but a few runners still managed some interesting variations between checkpoints.

The new mid-section breaks the original older single climb into two shorter but steeper rougher ascents over spurs on the ridge with a good bit of high level traversing thrown in the mix. Route choice is now more open with variations possible between most of the checkpoints before the final summit. The feeling is the course is circa 5-8 minutes longer than the original but the hot weather made this difficult to assess.

Stephen Skates from Prestatyn RC (M23-40 winner & overall) lead the field home followed by Jez Brown from Buckley Runners (M40 winner) and Christopher Leigh (M40 2nd). Anne-Marie Jones (F60 1st & overall) brought the ladies home followed by Mary Gillie (M23-40 1st) and Hayley Evans (M23-40 2nd). Tattenhall Runners scoped the Petzl Team Trophy in a close contest between themselves, Pensby (2nd) and Buckley Runners (3rd).

The heat of the day gave the runners a few problems but a quick dunk in the multiple mountain streams gave some relief. The race passed without major incident, with our main concern being getting a few waylaid runners home who had made “unusual” route choices.

Soup & roll, hot drinks & cake for all runners back at the village hall seemed a little out of place in the sunshine but were polished off in the traditional fell runner style nevertheless. Anything left was hoovered up by the returning marshals in the traditional Mountain Rescue style of course ☺

Gripes: Parking – we will sort something out for next year. Results prep & presentation – we will look at ways to speed this up next year as you folks were kept hanging around for too long. Sorry.

Thanks to: All the prize sponsors – Cotswold, Keela, Allcord, Mokoko, Soul Hair, O’Brien Sports Massage, 9bar, Wenlock Spring. Some really great prizes this year from you folks – don’t worry I will be badgering you again in a year’s time. Village Hall – great facility in the heart of the community. Massive thanks to Babs Boardwell for sitting in the glorious sunshine and snapping some fantastic photos all day long – bring a brolly next year 😉

2014 Race Report

2014 Race Report

A near record number of runners ventured onto the hills in generally bright but windy conditions with only the last few runners getting a couple of rain showers late on. Ground conditions were assessed as good with some quick times being run in both the men’s & ladies categories. Female Champion Jackie Lee (Eryri) clocking 82.28 only 1.37 away from her own course record. Male Champion Hugh Aggleton (MDC) recorded a great time of 73.42.

Local lad Matthew Blackwell (Deeside) finished 20th overall and clocked a very decent time of 84.36 to collect the U23 title.

Rob Grantham (Pensby), Stephen Watts (Macclesfield), Alan Duncan (Bowland) & Peter Roberts (Buckley) took the M40, M50, M60 & M70 titles respectively.

Janine Roberts (Hart – yep that’s in Fleet – Hampshire!) & Kath Brierley (Todmorden) took the F40 & F50 titiles respectively.

A mention to our Team Doctor Dave George who managed to get around the course in one piece – much to the disgruntlement of several marshals who couldn’t wait to give him some ‘special’ medical treatment. Well done Dave.

It was great to see so many runners from near and far taking part and we would love to see you come back next year. If you enjoyed it – spread the word, if you didn’t – well you should still come back with some friends next year just to check.


Apologies CP6 was in the wrong place (too high up the gully). This will be clearly marked next year for both marshals and runners.

CP4 was repositioned, after the first 6 runners had passed the correct point, to one further along the track. The reason being that after the first 6 runners the next batch cut the corner off the field coming over/through the gate above. So it was a case of moving the checkpoint or DSQ of 134 runners. I believe the right decision was made by the marshals on the checkpoint. This cut-through will be prevented in future.


Race results can be found at 2014 results

2007 Race Report

2007 Race Report

As forecasted a cold front moved over the Clwydians on Saturday, bringing drizzle and clag just as I was putting out markers. But Sunday dawn brought a clear, sunny sky, which remained throughout the day giving a good day in the hills for both runners and NEWSAR members who were marshalling the event.

Rich Roberts (Eryri) was never troubled to take the men’s prize while Sally Newman (Calder Valley) was first lady home. Roger Lamb (Mercia) and Graham McAra (Cheshire Hill Racers) were the first vet 40 and vet 50 men respectively to finish. The originator of the race John Morris (Buckley) was the first M60 home, with local runners taking 2nd. and 3rd. M60 places.

A few runners would be advised to take either the WFRA or FRA navigation courses.

A special word of thanks is due to the NEWSAR members who forgo a fine day in the hills to provide both runners and team members with refreshments after the race.
Peter Taylor.

Race results can be found at 2007 Results.

2009 Race Report

2009 Race Report

Horrendous weather forecasts on Saturday meant many hours planning a foul weather route. On race morning the rain was heavy, and the weather forecasts mixed, and as late as possible, bearing in mind that the marshals have to be deployed onto the hill, the decision was taken, in conjunction with the NEWSAR team leaders, to go with the foul weather route. Of course the weather then started to improve; at least it was not so wet.

So 89 brave souls embarked on a course that was designed to minimise navigation challenges, to be shorter and to avoid exposed locations. Within these limitations I hope the course provided an interesting and still challenging run.

My apologies to all the athletes, and especial the Tattenhall runners, for making an incorrect announcement of the team positions. I had developed software to calculate the positions, and on checking when I got home, I realised my mistake. All I can say is that the system required manual intervention and I was not driving the computer!
Pete Taylor

Results can be found 2009 Result