Y Moelwyn – 18th April 2015 – 10.5 miles/2,799ft
British Fell Running Championship – Race 1 of 4
From the name you will guess that this was the Welsh leg of the championship, and in fact the race headquarters was in a village that was even more of a tongue twister, Blaenau Ffestiniog.
This is just down the road from the more familiar Betws y Coed, but with all the same characteristics i.e. if its slate of any description you are after, you are in the right place.
Blaenau made us all very welcome with a festival set up on the village square, including a pig roast and my first (& hopefully last) encounter with very loud heavy metal sung in the native tongue. Think of Lordi on Eurovision & you are about there. Winners in 2006 for all you aficionados.
Although it was a fair way to travel for some there was a large throng on the start line, with men & women all starting together.
The race makes good use of the local mines, and after a tight pinch over a railway footbridge, and a grassy trot around the base of the hills, we were treated to a long grind up through the workings before we hit the mountains proper.
We then hit a couple of peaks in quick succession followed by a riotous sprint across the concrete damn of the Llyn Stwian reservoir. Then up & over the last peak of Moel Y Hada before retracing our steps to the finish field. The last run in being up a very slight tarmac camber, where I’m sure I came to a dead stop, it certainly felt that way anyway.
As usual Rob put in an epic performance and was first back for P & B, outsprinting Matt Roberts & Morgan Donnelly for what he thought was the win. Unfortunately, in a Top Gear type of a way, Finlay Wild of Lochaber had sneaked around the last top via an alternative route & was lurking just out of sight by the finish line sipping a cold beer, having arrived nearly 3 minutes earlier.
Back in the pack Neil Crampton was next in for us, followed by John Heneghan, Joe Baxter & myself to make up the scoring team. Niall Bourke & Graham Pilling not far behind as able back up.
For the ladies, despite an early very close inspection of the local slate, involving knees, shins & thighs, Clare Green put in a strong run to finish 23rd with Rachel Pilling & Caroline Harding making up the team.
Men: Rob Hope 2nd (1st MV40) 1:16:20. Neal Crampton 39th 1:24:45. John Heneghan 42nd 1:25:29. Joe Baxter 47th 1:26:06. Charlie McIntosh 98th 1:33:11. Niall Bourke 111st 1:35:03. Graham Pilling 157th 1:41:01
Ladies: Clare Green 23rd 1:45:15. Rachel Pilling 32nd 1:50:04. Caroline Harding 73rd 2:21:22.
PS don’t forget the rest of the series, get your entries in now!
- Race 2 – Durisdeer, Scotland – 13.6.2015
- Race 3 – Lingmell Dash, England – 25.7.2015
- Race 4 – Seven Sevens, Ireland – 15.8.2015