Category Archives: Race Report

Clwydian Hills Report 2018

Clwydian Hills Fell Race 2018

21st October 2018

Race Report – 103 runners, 1 DNF

“I’m sure he’s already passed me twice…”

A little bit of rain a few days before helped soften up the hills a little but yet again the weather gods smiled on the race with the rain holding off until I got to the pub after cleaning up.

Slog up from CP4

My pre-race advice of “Remember the person in front may not be going the correct way” was ignored by the front runners and hence the race lead was dominated by navigation errors (even from the locals who should know better…) This led to some interesting chatter amongst the trailing bunch who kept seeing the leaders pass them….several times. These early errors did mean a great finish though as we had 6 runners come over the 2nd last summit of Moel Dwywll together. Rob Grantham’s (1st, 1st M40, Pensby) fearless descending earned him a small lead which he kept until the finish just holding off Jez Brown (2nd, Buckley) and Gavin Roberts (3rd, 1st M23-40, Eryri). The top 3 finished within 30 seconds and the top 6 finished well within 2 minutes of each other making this one of the closest finishes ever for the race.

A delighted Simon “I never win anything” Ellis of Chester Tri took the M50 honours, Leigh Warburton (Bowland) won the M60 category and our race’s creator John “Elbows” Morris (Buckley) took the M70 class. U23 winner was David Appleton (9th).

John ‘elbows’ Morris

The ladies race was a good battle by local Hayley Evans (18th, 1st F23-40, Buckley) and Helen Brown (19th, 1st F40) finishing 20 seconds back with Alice Swift (Chorlton) finishing a couple of minutes behind them. Sally Gilliver took the W50 category.

Loving your robot moves

Buckley Runners took home the Petzl Team Trophy for the first time with 636 points. Pensby finished closely with 595 points and Bowland with a brilliant 544 points. It was really great to see folks coming from further afield and in good numbers.

We few, we happy few…. Lois Lee & Kai Walsh

The junior races offered a great run out for Lois Lee (1st F18, Prestatyn RC) & Kai Walsh (1st M16, Wrexham AC) and meant they got all the great prizes, shiny trophies & cake for themselves. XC races in the local area the day before maybe did not help numbers but it is a shame as the courses offer a great challenge and running freedom for the youngsters who you would think would prefer it to running round a school field…? I will keep offering them… well until no one shows up maybe.

Richard Borne – Abergele Mysteruns (3rd Place – Clwydian Series)

Refreshments, presentations and the obligatory post-race debrief chats were held in village hall. Special thanks to NEWSAR members and the supporters group for marshalling the race & looking after the runners with homemade soup & cakes.

Apologies for lack of photos this year. 2 camera people were unavailable and I had to stick my other one in an un-photogenic location.

CMR Race Report 27th Aug 2018

46th Cilcain Mountain Race
27th August 2018

The unusually dry summer led to a browner than normal mountain for the 46th running of the CMR but as ever it gave good sport to the Bank Holiday Monday crowd. Leaden skies and a cool breeze made for good running conditions, though the ground was still a little firm even after the 12 hour downpour on the Sunday (my setup day….)

The runners gave a great reception to the 4 time champion & original course record holder, John Messum who took charge of the starter horn for this year’s race and was also on hand to award the trophies on the showground afterwards. Many thanks to John for giving his time up for the day.

First up and down the mountain was Gareth Wyn Hughes who had a great tussle with and just held off last year’s winner Phillip Robertson. Jez Brown finished forth on the line to win the Vet class and subsequently was promoted to 3rd place after time penalties were added for the first 3 runners who descended early off the north spur. They followed the U16 ascent markers off the mini-col on the ridge (my fault for using same colour markers…). I decided a time penalty was deemed a fair solution as any time gain was small due to the rougher ground lower down and it being partially a marking error on my part. Thankfully once the hoard arrived with a few regulars no one else took this alternate route.

Gareth Wyn Hughes, Liam Burthem & Phillip Robertson approach the top

The Browner (local gent) and Dennis Kemp (local vet) Trophies were retained by Steve Brady. Gareth Williams took home the Llys Fynydd Shield (supervet) for the first and I am sure not the last time. A delighted Iain Wood, Chester Tri (43:00) took home the O60 class and Buckley stalwart John (Running Machine) Morris won the O70 category (They say form is temporary, class is permanent but in John’s case they seem both permanent!).

David Lyth (Buckley) won best gents fancy dress – how do you run in that….?

The ladies race was won by Sarah Ridgeway (Anderson Trophy). 2nd place went to Ursula Moore and 3rd place was “Spidergirl” Hayley Evans (WI Trophy for first local lady & best ladies fancy dress prize). Susan Fourie won the vet class (Deeside College Trophy – which is still missing….If anyone fancies sponsoring a trophy or remaking one??). Karon Forster, Spectrum Striders, won the O50 class.

Bo Hughes M18 took home the restyled Julie Tullis Trophy and Lois Lee W18 retained the Hawitt Cup.

Sarah Ridgeway being presented the Anderson Trophy (first lady) by 4 time winner & record holder John Messum

The junior races had a decent turnout of 60 runners across all categories – but we still need more U16 runners folks – the trophies on offer have a good history behind them – back to 1988 for the Crittal Cup. This year’s winner of the cup was Luke Hampshire (Wallasey) (27.57) even after a detour (caused by a half asleep marshal….). Luke shared the extra distance with the winner of the W16 Snodgrass Cup Sioned Cordiner (Wrexham AC) (27.54). It was good to see a sizeable gaggle come up from the clubs such as Deeside, WESPA, Halton & Frodsham, Wirral AC. Apologies to the few who found themselves running further than they needed – learning points for marshals and signage for myself.

Winners of the other junior categories (and main race) can be found on the website www.clwydianfellrace.org

Runners descend through sun scorched heather (usually a sea of pink & purple)

The over-riding memory of the day for me will be the loving family bonds shown across all the races. The London Hughes’ now annual pilgrimage north to run the event (I think Dad needs to run next year!). The affection between granddaughter and grandmother (or nain as they call them round these parts) Nora Yvonne Jones. After winning the W16 class Sioned then ran alongside Nora who that the ripe old age of (shhhh over) 70 became the first O70 female to complete the main race (ever), winning not only the O70 but also O60 class in the process. More than winning.

The usual (and very gracious) thanks to marshals, time keepers, hangers-on helpers. It isn’t possible without you.

159 runners. I counted them all out and I counted them all back.

This is Radio Cilcain signing off (well until October and the soup run!)

hop

Gents Overall

1 Gareth Wyn Hughes 00:32:42 U40 Mercia FR
2 Philip Robertson 00:32:48 U40 Sale Harriers
3 Jez Brown 00:33:41 O40 Buckley Runners
4 Liam Burthem 00:34:05 U40 Liverpool Harriers AC
5 Nathan Williams 00:35:22 U40 Vale Royal AC
6 Scott Nixon 00:35:39 U40 Dee Striders
7 Stuart Fludger 00:35:47 O40 N
8 John Heap 00:36:43 O40 Wirral AC
9 David Appleton 00:36:57 U40 N
10 Gareth Williams 00:37:02 O50 Vale Royal AC

 

Ladies Overall

22 Sarah Ridgeway 00:39:00 U40 Run Snowdon
33 Ursula Moore 00:40:37 U40 Pensby Runners
40 Hayley Evans (FD) 00:41:35 U40 Buckley Runners
51 Susan Fourie 00:43:00 O40 Chester Tri
51 Carolyn Stamper-Clark 00:43:00 O40 N
51 Bailey Ewel 00:43:00 U40 Penny Lane Striders
61 Tammy Lewis-Jones 00:43:54 O40 Eryri
72 Rebecca Massey 00:44:54 O40 Dee Striders
73 Lois Lee 00:45:12 U18 Prestatyn
75 Jane Ashbrook 00:45:21 O40 Helsby

Gents

U40/MSEN          Gareth Wyn Hughes  Mercia                  32.42

M18                       Bo Hughes                          n/a                           45.23

O40/M40             Jez Brown                         Buckley                33.41

O50/M50             Gareth Williams           Vale Royal AC    37.02

O60/M60             Iain Wood                         Chester Tri          43.00

O70/M70             John Morris                     Buckley                49.23

Ladies

U40/WSEN          Sarah Ridgeway              Run Snowdon    39.00

W18                       Lois Lee                                  Prestatyn             45.12

O40/W40             Susan Fourie                     Chester Tri          43.00

O50/W50             Karon Forster                  Spectrum             45.24

O60&O70             Nora Yvonne Jones      n/a                          1:41.15

Sheeptracks 2018 Race Report

The inaugural Clwydian Sheeptracks was held Sunday 25th February on a bright sunny but ever-so-chilly day. 73 runners turned up to start with 69 finishing the course (though 4 missed at least 1 checkpoint). The ground was mainly frozen hard though lower down it loosened up later on in the sun.

Champion Ram – Neil Talbott (Ambleside) 2:28:50

The two clear stars of the day were Champion Ram – Neil Talbott  (Ambleside) 2:28:50 & Champion Ewe – Hayley Evans (Buckley) 3:08:53 [10th overall]. No one could get close to them.

Champion Ewe – Hayley Evans (Buckley) 3:08:53

In the mens categories Matthew Fortes (Eryri) [2nd overall 1st O40] tried to hold onto Neil the best he could, managing to hold a 3 minute gap from CP5 to CP8 before falling away finishing 10 minutes behind. Andrew Jackson (Bowland) [3rd overall 2nd O40] steadily plugged away at Michael Corrales (Unattached) [4th] from 2 minutes behind at CP5 to pass on the final section. Shout out also to Simon Ellis (Chester Tri) [7th overall 1st O50] who was the 4th fastest runner between CP5 & CP12 passing 4 runners, Jack Agnew (Mercia) [11th overall 1st U23] with a great showing (I owe you a prize) and Chris Wilcox (Buckley) [1st O60]. Oh yes next time winners when I say beer or wine – take the whole bag of beer not just one bottle (though saying that the marshals did appreciate the left overs).

Matthew Fortes 2nd (Eryri) & Michael Corrales 4th (Unattached) on Moel Dywyll Traverse

In the ladies categories we had 11 runners overall. Sarah Harley (Unattached) [2nd lady 24th overall] had a good run coming in with the first main pack. Rowena Browne (Unattached) [3rd lady 1st O50] came in with the second main pack. O40 category went to Claire Cobley (Saddleworth) [4th lady] .

Sarah Harley 2nd Lady

There was no official team award this year but we had a good spread from Mid through North Wales and Mid through North West England. Buckley nominally won with Denbigh Harriers a close second and then Saddleworth from further afield.

Andrew Jackson (Bowland) 3rd overall

One of the main elements I tried to build into the race was the route choice available between several of the checkpoints. These choices were never meant to be race winners or losers in their individual right – usually only having a couple of minutes between them. Some of these favoured the more local runners who were able to run some recce’s on them in the preceding weeks. The other great feature of a traversing race over undulating terrain is that you only need a minute or two’s gap to lose sight of the runner infront so this again meant some handy map work was required – though I noted there was some serious tactical play going on further back with several packs running together all the way up to CP12 before stretching their legs over the 2 final kickers of CP15 & CP16.

Unfamiliar terrain caused a few problems for some 😉

Next years race (can’t believe I am writing that) will NOT be over the same course – though it is likely to have a few similar legs – maybe in reverse..?

The usual teething problems with a new race to learn from: gazebo taking flight into the farmers field during registration, me being delayed getting CP6 & CP7 out onto the hill (only just made CP7 before Neil came crashing down the hill towards it), CP14 going AWOL during the previous 24 hours, frozen fingers trying to write control codes….. hopefully if you come back next year we will have tidied up a few of these 😉

Thanks as always to all the helpers, cake bakers & marshals from NEWSAR who as always did a sterling job (and managed a little actual ‘no duff’ job during the race without anyone noticing).