Category Archives: Race Report

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).

2017 Clwydian Hills Race Report

Numbers were down for the race as the unpleasant weather the day before seemed to keep a few people in bed. After a few showers first thing, the skies cleared nicely for the race start and it remained dry all day. I expected a soggy slow race but shows what I know with new course records for male & female being set. The strong wind helped to dry the course and the gusts across the tops kept the runners cool and usually tucked in behind someone else!

Neil Northrop leads them out

The men’s race saw an early lead pack of 4 runners develop of 2015 winner Stephen Skates (Prestatyn), Neil Northop (Dark Peak), Lawrence Eccles (Penny Lane Striders) & Michael Corrales (North Wales Road Runners). Stephen & Neil stretched out a small gap and a two-horsed race developed. Neil led into the bottom of Stony Gully (CP7), over the top of Moel Famau (CP8) and down the north spur (CP9) and looked odds on for the win. Either Stephen was holding something back or his local knowledge paid off down the last descent onto the track where he finished in a new record time of 76m35 (20 seconds ahead of Neil who also broke the old record). Lawrence had pushed out a gap on the chasing pack to finish 3rd in 78m57. Behind the leaders, Michael was battling with the Mercia runners Huw Davies & Ollie Parry just pipping Huw on the line for 4th place with Ollie finishing 6th.

Winner Stephen Skates continues his love of the Clwydian Hills with a new course record.

Buckley Runners came home winning the O40, O50 & O70 categories with Jez Brown (7th), Steve Toogood (23rd) & John Morris respectively.  Stephen Morran (Bolton AC) won the O60 category. U23 winner was Alex Staniforth (West Cheshire AC).

Rachel Chambers on way to victory and new course record.

The ladies race was more straightforward with the top order set from the first climb. Rachel Chambers (U/A) outstanding run came home to win in a new record time of 87m31 (12th overall) followed by Zanthe Wray (Dark Peak) and Zoe Barber (Mercia).

Kate Whitfield (Mercia) won the O40 category and Julia Dala (Pensby) took the O50 category.

David Green & Richard Matthias helping Pensby to the Petzl Team Trophy

Great showing from the Pensby Runners who managed to get 19 runners to the race which helped them take the Petzl Team Trophy to the Wirral for the first time.

Christopher Larkin U18 Winner

The new U18 & U16 junior races saw a low turnout but this did not stop some excellent performances. Christopher Larkin (Halton & Frodsham) set an excellent time of 49m08 on the M18 course. Lois Lee won the ladies U18 though not content with the new course added a little extra distance to it. Logan Hargreaves-Madhas (Wharfdale Harriers) made the long trip worth it by winning the U16 race though helped in part by 2nd placed Edward Woodhead (West Cheshire AC) going slightly astray on the descent. Eden O’Dea (Wrexham AC) won the ladies W16.

Logan Hargreaves-Madhas M16 Winner

Refreshments, presentations and the obligatory post-race debrief chats were held in Village Hall. A special presentation of a bottle of fizz  & flowers were made to the original race organiser John Morris on this the 30th Anniversary of the race.

Special thanks to NEWSAR members and the supporters group for marshalling the race & looking after the runners (and marshals) with homemade soup & cakes. You are all stars and there was a great deal of love from the runners to you folks.

Eden O’Dea W16 Winner

Full results can be found on the website. Click the result tab above or else click here.

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

 

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 😉

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