6 Miles with 1900’Ascent. Race Grade: AM & LK/PM/NS
The first race in the Meirionnydd - Winter Race Series.
The lower reaches of the race are run on a mixture of well marked tracks and footpaths, but the open fells above are unmarked. The high mountain terrain can be featureless and is susceptible to varied and often adverse weather conditions. Navigational skills may be necessary.
Minimum age 16 years.
Entry limit 250.
All competitors must carry wind/waterproof full body cover, map, compass and whistle.
Sorry, no Dogs.
Start 12.00. Registration in village hall, Llanfachreth, Nr Dolgellau (SH 756225)
NOTE: Website under construction.
10/9/17 Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon.
Three Meirionnydd runners travelled to Llanwddyn to race in the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon. First home was Richard Hankinson in 1:48:52; followed by Naomi Parry in 1:49:22 a New Club Record and claiming 1st F80 Sheila Symonds in 3:30:18.
Naomi said "Very soggy day today at lake Vyrnwy half! Managed to get cramp in the last few miles so not thrilled with my time. Was so lovely to see a few other Meirionnydd runners though well done to all who took part." And Richard said "Same happened to me, quads seized up around 8-9 miles because of the wet, that slowed me down a bit."
Photos by : Mick Hall.
10/9/17 Cyrn y Brain.
Tristan Evans ran in the Cyrn Y brain fell race finishing in a time of 49:33.
3/9/17 Caernarfon 10k incorporating North Wales 10k Championship.
Eight Meirionnydd runners ran in the North Wales 10k Championship. Tom Roberts convincingly won the race and claimed the Championship.
3/9/17 Trail 10k Wales, Coed y Brenin.
12 Meirionnydd runners took part in the Trail 10k Wales at Coed y brenin.
Most photos by Steph Owen.
2/9/17 Ben Nevis.
Tristan Evans travelled to Scotland to race in the Ben Nevis race. Tristan finished in 2:02:33.
Tristan was the sole Meirionnydd runner in the Cnicht fell race. Tristan finished 3rd in a time of 42:07.
23/8/17 caernarfon 5k.
Team Meirionnydd at Caernarfon 5K. Well done all. Tom Roberts won the race in 15:51; Graeme Stringer claimed 1st M50 in 23:17; Nich Bradley claimed 1st M60 in 22:16; Gwion Bobo Roberts finished in 18:13 and Arfon Hughes in 20:35.
Photos by Cader Sports Photos.
20/8/17 Borth beach 10k.
Andrew Ellis and Afon Hughes ran in the Borth 10k along with 114 finishers. Andrew finished in 43.54 and Arfon in 47.25
19/8/17 Race the train, Tywyn.
Rotary Challenge 14 miles:
Steve Loveluck 1:57:54
Annelise Loveluck 1:57:54
Dylan Evans 2:10:18
Ben wells 2:13:18.
Olly Downing 2:35:23.
Ben said "Thanks for all the support today at Tywyn. Brilliant event and I was going well until around mile 8 where I imploded with cramps in both legs , calfs , quads managed to get to the finish line with a limp , walk run style in 2hr 13 having to walk the up on the way back to Tywyn. Totally different ground for me soft mud over fields and at race pace I'm just not used to it. So my Strava head line is "Derailed at Race the Train" I'll be back next year hopefully and will train specific. All in all it's a great 14 miles.
When the organisers know your fire and rescue 999." (Ben's race number was 999.)
Olly said "Loved Race the Train today, that bog was horrific this year...."
Photos by: Mick Hall Photograpy
15/8/17 Club run.
Ty Nant up Cader Idris.
10/8/17 Murton Pike fell race.
Tom Roberts came 1st at the Murton pike fell race at the Appleby show up in the Lake District. Tom said "A nice low-key race but with a very challenging course. What was meant to be a 10k ended up being a 7.5mile race after getting slightly lost at one point! Nice finish to our camping holiday."
3/8/17 Hendre Wallog, Abergynolwyn.
Tom Roberts Won the race in a new course record of 15:05 and Gwion Roberts finished in 18:48.
1/8/17 Club Run.
LLanfachreth Presepice walk time trial.
31/7/17 Lakeland 50 miles.
Ellie Dee said "I've spent the last few weeks swaying between being really excited about this race and absolute panic! Actually, who am I kidding? I've been like this since I entered last September - it's just got more intense the closer it got. I barely slept on Thursday night, trying to make camping plans (why do I always leave everything to the last minute and just hope things work out?) and mentally packing my running vest with compulsory kit and things to make it as comfortable as possible.
Friday morning was set over for last minute preparations...the important task of having special sparkly Dapper nails to remind me to be myself and who is supporting me (and kicking my backside if required). I also needed a few bits of compulsory kit...my compass has gone awol so had to get a replacement, and I needed cup for checkpoint drinks...never needed one for a race before so never got around to getting one.
We got to Coniston in good time to see the start of the Lakeland 100. Legends in the making. I managed to see a couple of friends doing the 100 before they started, and yell at some others as they ran past.
Back on the camping field, more hugs and chatting to friends who were running the 50 too, or off to marshal at various points. Then it was time for registration. I grabbed my vest and joined the back of a very long queue. Up and down the marquee even before getting to the queuing barriers. Almost like waiting for a ride at a theme park - but with lots of lovely running kit on sale to keep us amused on the way (in case we failed the kit check!!).
Everyone I spoke to was lovely, chatting in the queue with people...always something along the lines of 'have you done this before? How many times? Anything like it?' etc. The four different marshals I engaged with in the registration/kit check were lovely, which really helped settle my nerves down. On the registration table was Debra (who I just met last week) and her girls, so that was a nice, easy and friendly start. For compulsory kit check, I met Jonathan, and laughed when he asked me if I was doing the 100 or 50 (bless him, he'd been doing registration for both all day). I said I'd be a bit late if I was doing the 100, as they'd already started! Thankfully, I passed the kit check. All that last minute running around was worth it, and whilst I was queuing I'd seen a couple of people fail this part of the check. Getting my 'dibber' for tracking and then getting weighed didn't take long, so we finally managed to get out to the pub and eat! I didn't sleep too well. It was windy and raining. I was thinking a lot about those running the 100 out in the night, and hoping it wouldn't be the same for us.
In the morning, we crammed into the marquee for the race briefing and got on the coach to the start. I wasn't nervous at all through any of this, just excited to get started. Of course, it was raining. I had put my waterproofs on to start with because I did not want to be wet to start with. These did come off again before the end of the first four mile loop around Dalemain, as the clouds had cleared and the sun made a more confident appearance. It was great to get hugs from both Sian and Dave coming back through the start area, hear how Michael and Gary were doing in the 100, and even see some of the 100 runners starting to pass through.
Soon we were through the fields and villages and up onto the first climb. A nice, leisurely pace, chatting to different people of the way...gleaning tips and information that may be of use, practically or mentally, along the way. I was running on my own at this point, but conscious that I would prefer to find people to run with for the latter part of the race, when I would be tired and hurty and it would be dark. I knew this would be a tough time for me mentally, it always is, but the dark would make it much worse. After appreciating the amazing views of Ullswater below, I toddled steadily down to Checkpoint 10 (our first checkpoint...as the 50 is the last half of the 100, the first 9 checkpoints are only used by the 100 runners.
I didn't spend long here, and soon started on the big long climb of the next section, following Fusedale Beck up to High Kop. It was lovely to see a big long line of runners (although there wasn't a whole lot of running going on during this bit) snaking up the hill. I ran most of this section with the lovely Joanne, Donald and Paul who had run it a few times before, and knew what they were doing. We talked loads about all parts of the race, this was so helpful. We also had a good laugh too. The climb was long, with at least two false summits, and once on the top, it was still difficult to run much as it was so boggy.
Once we got down, the path along Haweswater was fun and runable. Along here I got separated from Joanne etc, as there was a bit of a bottleneck. I soon met the lovely Fiona, who also knew the race well. We stuck together almost all the way to Ambleside, and I learnt a lot from her. Although I felt strong on the uphills, I was starting to struggle on the downhills, whereas Fiona was totally the opposite. I was just starting to feel a little low when we got to checkpoint 12 at Kentmere. I had forgotten that I had friends marshalling here, and nearly cried when I saw Denise's smiling face (in her sheep hat!) outside the door. Hugs ensued, and even more when I spotted Lou inside. That (and the pasta that was thrust into my hand) really lifted my spirits.
Fiona and I made it to the top of Garburn Pass whilst it was still light, this gave us some amazing views. On the way down to Ambleside, after a small climb up from Troutbeck, I started to really struggle. Coming down through the woods, I was concerned about the terrain in the dark on tired legs, that I was holding Fiona back, but I didn't want to be on my own. By the time I got to Ambleside, I was a mess. Fiona had carried on ahead, but my saviours, Sarah and Chris, when I explained why I was crying like a baby, offered to stick with me through the night. I still wasn't convinced, though. I think I'd pretty much made up my mind that I couldn't do it. However, a cup of tea, really supportive marshalls, kind and encouraging words from Fiona, Chris, Sarah, Sian and a few other random participants, as well as a 'you can do it' text from Sandra (I'd taken advantage of a rare bit of 3G to get a much-needed kick up the backside) encouraged me to pull up my big girl pants, have a word with myself and get the heck on with it. So I did.
The next section was awesome. Chris and Sarah were wonderful company, and we had a good time. I put on my flashing #RMR band to remind me of the support I had, and when I ran, I could hear the little bell from the 'You can do it' Angel that Sandra got me jingling in my vest pocket. I was also reminded that the next checkpoint was the one I was most looking forward to...MEAT STEW!
After this checkpoint (number 13 at Chapel Stile), it started to rain. This continued for longer than I care to remember, throughout what was possibly the hardest part of the whole race. Bog after bog, my headtorch running out (must have been on in my bag, need to find Lloyd's newly-learnt method of avoiding this) so nervously on to back-up headtorch so early on...I had visions of that one going too and not being able to continue. I got the feeling that this section would be beautiful...in daylight and drier conditions, but it was flippin' horrible climbing up Side Pike, down past Blea Tarmac and then climbing (or wading) up to the unmanned (which was manned...so nice to see a friendly face here) checkpoint at Wrynose. Struggling through the bog really wore me down, and I had visions of climbing into the car right there.
However, I was so pleasantly surprised to be at the checkpoint, and seeing there was a cheeky bit of tarmac, that I was instantly buoyed. We actually ran down the hill and although the climb up to High Tilberthwaite was like a river, it was actually pretty awesome. Still dark at this point, I passed really close to what I thought was a huge rock at the side of the path. It wasn't until I was within touching distance that I realised it had massive great horns...it was a cow! Nearly had a heart attack! The laughing added to the positive attitude I was feeling at the time. I was now back to believing I was actually going to finish this thing!!
As we came down the lane to the final checkpoint, it was light enough to turn off my headtorch. I was pretty pleased about this, as I'd had visions of having to stop at this point if it had still been dark. I was so pleased that it was light for the last section. Beautiful mists rising from the ravine on our right as we climbed. It was a tough climb, but I loved it. Pretty boggy on top and although the steep downhill was challenging, it wasn't quite as bad as I thought. I also got to meet the amazing Sarah as she sped past me like a gazelle, well on her way to finishing the 100!
Once on the tarmac, there was only one thing to do...run!!! I even managed a (very little) jump for the photographer at the bottom. Once I hit the village and saw supporters, the tears started to flow again. I felt like I was flying down the lane to the finish. I crossed the line smiling, of course, and promptly burst into tears when I saw Olly waiting just inside the marquee.
I only went and did it! The toughest race I've ever done. Challenged me to the absolute limit and taught me that I can bring myself back from being the closest to quitting I've ever come. Absolutely epic. An experience I will never forget and an achievement I am so proud of. To think I only entered because I thought there was no way I'd get in...that'll teach meAgain? Yes please.
29/7/17 Magor 10k.
The Magor 10k is probably the flattest and fastest road 10k in Wales. If you're looking for a 10k PB this is the place to get it! The course is all on scenic country lanes and suits both experienced and beginner runners alike. Jeff Davies ran it in 46:18 claiming 1st M65.
29/7/17 Dolgellau 5 miles sponsored by Guthrie Jones and Jones.
What a relief yesterdays appalling weather had blown through during the night and on race day the sun came out for the 113 runners who entered this years Dolgellau 5 mile road race.
The race was won by Dean Longley from Prestatyn Running club in a time of 27:21, second and third places went to Aberystwyth AC's Aled Hughes in 27:31 and Rob Johnson in 27:43. Fist woman to finish was Amanda Wright-Smith from Birchfield Harriers who finished in 31:54, second place went to Janet Owens from Knowsley Harriers with a time of 35:52 and third place to Rhian Griffiths-Jones from Denbigh Harriers who finished in 36:10.
In the junior race the first boy was Aron Jones from Hebog in 31:30 and first girl was Jenna Bagnall Prestatyn RC in 37:38.
Record times for each age category:
Thank you to all the runners for turning out. And a special thank you to Prestatyn Running Club, Maldwyn Harriers and Aberystwyth AC for bringing so many competitors to the race.
Thank you to Guthrie Jones and Jones. for sponsering the race and to Dolgellau rugby club for allowing us to use their facilities.
Thank you to Tom Roberts for organising a fantastic race.
Thank you to Sarah and Gareth Roberts for sorting out the BBQ the profit went to the Dementia Unit at Dolgellau Hospital, £120.00 was donated to Wyn Roberts to boost his sponsorship for Dementia. Well done Wyn for taking on the Dolgellau 5 and finishing in a great time.
Thank you to Sue Barnes from Dipsy Dragon for making the medals and winner's awards.
Thank you for all supporting the BBQ and buying cakes at the Dolgellau 5 yesterday. Thanks to Hillary and Chris for their help serving the food. The profit was going to the Dementia Unit at Dolgellau Hospital. Myself and some very close Friends have had and have Relatives suffering with this awful illness. I'm pleased to say £120.00 was donated to Wyn Roberts to boost his sponsorship for Dementia. Well done Wyn for taking on the Dolgellau 5 and finishing in a great time.
And last but by no means least a massive thank you to all the volunteers who helped to make the race possible, it wouldn't happen without you.
Meirionnydd team getting ready at the start line:
Some of the runners en-route:
23/7/17 Snowdonia Trail Half Marathon.
Three Meirionnydd runners took part in the SCOTT Snowdonia Trail Half Marathon. First home was Analise Loveluck in 2:28:58, followed by Steve Loveluck in 2:32:19 and Mpho Bogatsu in 3:32:02.
15/7/17 Methyr Mawr Trail running festival: Rabbit Run.
Two Meirionnydd runners ran in the Merthyr Mawr Trail Running festival Rabbit run. The Rabbit Run is over 7.3 mile of hills, valleys, sand dunes and a river crossing to get your feet wet before crossing the finish line. Steve loveluck finished in 1:02:40 to claim 2nd M45 and Annelise Loveluck 1:05:15 to claim 1st F45.
Race details on
15/7/17 Race To The Stones Ultra.
Jude Evans said "I AM AN ULTRA MARATHON RUNNER! I've blistered bleeding toes and painful knees but it was worth it! Finish time of 7:17:56.
Andrew Ellis said "Got to 50k in 5:58:46 hrs, next 50 will take me at least 10 hrs as I'm bloody knackered, got to decide whether to carry on or not"
15/7/17 Snowdon International.
Five Meirionnydd runners ran in the Snowdon race from LLanberis up to the summit and back. First home was Tom Roberts 1:16:18 Welsh cap. Following him were Tristan Evans in 1:25:04; Gwion Roberts 1:32:26; Kevin Evans 2:18:30 and Elly Downing 2:30:31.
Snowdon International cont…
Elly said "To be honest, I thought I'd bitten off more than I could chew with this one. My thinking, back in deepest, darkest winter, was that if I could do this, it would help me believe I might actually have a chance at completing Lakeland 50 at the end of the month.
As they have both drawn closer, I have started to doubt myself. I've done some short fell races over in Shropshire, some longer training runs and of course, the wonderful Trail Marathon Wales. These have really helped boost my confidence, as has the amazing support from my running (and non-running) friends, club, RMR and DDMT (my online, and often real life, support network).
Family in tow, I made it to Llanberis this morning, becoming more and more excited about this amazing and special place I was about to have the pleasure of running in again (even though we couldn't really see a lot through the rainy mist at that point...but I know what's there well enough!) As soon as we parked there were familiar faces at every turn. My nerves practically disappeared chatting to everyone, it was brilliant! Before I knew it, we were off. My family didn't see me pass them along the start funnel, so are convinced I sneaked off to get the train up I did not!
I found the first bit tough (maybe I should warm up....) especially the tarmac climb...so steep so early! Soon the juniors were passing us, so that distracted me nicely whilst I cheered them, in total awe.
I was happy to see the trail begin, a few nice words from familiar faces on the way up and I found a comfortable rhythm...mostly marching but running where I could. It felt good. Tough but good.
Just before halfway up, I found Ruth. She knows the mountain better than me, and we worked well together, keeping each other company and willing each other on. We got each other through the tough bits, laughing and swearing in equal measure. The weather was s..t, to be fair. We were soaked to the skin and could hardly see ahead of us for a large part of the top half (not necessarily a bad thing!)
We were pretty chuffed that we'd got further than we thought before the leaders started coming back down. Once they did, it was awesome. Soooo good. It was great to spot people I knew and support them as they threw themselves down the mountain crazy fast!! The higher we got, the more we could 'chat' in passing to friends coming down. It was fantastic to see friendly faces supporting and marshalling (particularly San and Rhys, Lorraine, Mark, the club crew, Graeme, Nia, Sarah, Llio, Tracey, and seeing the Maldwyn crew at the top).
The top took a long time coming, but we were getting more excited the closer we got, we were both so pleased to make it up those steps! This is where we felt like we had done it...just to get down safely!
I was doubtful about the descent, it was wet and I was tired, and downhill isn't my strong point...I'm a chicken! However, I totally surprised myself on the downhill, got into a good rhythm and smiled all the way. I absolutely loved it! I felt like I danced all the way down (although I'm well aware this was probably not the case).
Running back through Llanberis was awesome, lots of shouts and cheers and high fives from my boys on the run in. It doesn't get much better than that. Another 'every year' race.I am ready for Lakeland 50.
Thank you so much to everyone who made this what it was organisers, marshals, supporters, those that kicked my arse when it needed it, friends and family (but particularly Ruth and San). Awesome."
12/7/17 Stiperstones Fell Race.
Elly Dee said "My second Shropshire Summer Series Fell Race. These races are tough little buggers, but I have enjoyed both of them sooo much. Very near the back, but just happy to be there at all.
The first climb was a tough one, but loved the steps, and the steady climb along the top. The beginning of the final downhill was a bit out of my league (such a chicken...need to work on those steep, technical downhills) but as soon as I got back on the track it was full pelt to the finish. Awesome!
Love these hills.
Elly finished in 54:55.
11/7/17 Tuesday Night club run, Barmouth.
Four club runners above Barmouth on a lovelly evening.
9/7/17 Penbedw 10k.
Steffan Owen ran in the Up Hill Down Dale Penbedw 10k race claiming 3rd in a time of 51:33.
7/7/17 Newtown 5k.
A fantastic night for all the runners and supporters!
Tom Roberts Won the race in 16.15. Next in was Adam Preston in 21.09 followed by Justin Pilckington 21.30; Graeme Stringer 23.36; Peter Nicholes 25.38 claiming 1st M65; Mpho Bogatsu 26.09 claiming 1st F45; Sioned Jones 27.14; Kevin Evans 27.45; Chloe Evans 29.26; Cara Evans 29.48 and Janet Preston in 30.00.
Well done Sarah Roberts for organising it all and Tracey Evans ( 3 wines my limit ) for the on coach entertainment.
1/7/17 Moel Siabod.
Three Meirionnydd runners ran, first home was Tristan Evans in 56:35; next Dylan Evans in 1:10:13 and Nich Bradley in 1:13:32 claiming 2nd M60.
25/6/17 Moel y Gamelin.
Tristan Evans finished to claim 3rd place in 1:17:28.
Nich Bradley was the Lone goat spotted on Moel Hebog. Nich said "Pretty good conditions if not for finding your way cos the cloud was pretty dense. However the marking and marshalling were excellent. Nice to see Ross Powell out again. I clearly demonstrated a lack of hill practice up and down - so rectifying that should be fun!" Nich finished in 1:19:18.
20/6/17 Tuesday Night series
Tom Roberts ran in the last race in the 2017 Tuesday night series. A roasting hot 1.8mile race! He finished 2nd and 2nd overall in the series, after completing 5 races. One 3rd, three 2nds, and one 1st. A nice £50 voucher to spend at joe brown.
18/6/17 Shrewsbury Half Marathon.
Gwion Roberts ran in the Shrewsbury Half Marathon finishing in a time of 1:32:44.
17/6/17 Trail Marathon Wales.
Ten Meirionnydd runners participated in races at Coed Y Brenin's Trail Marathon Wales. In the Marathon Four MRC runners were led home by Anneliese Loveluck claiming 1st F40 in 4:26:33. Following her home were Steve Loveluck in 4:48:11, Sandra Williams 7:35:00 and Elly Downing in 7:35:01.
A further six runners ran the half marathon. First home was Steffan Owen in 1:55:55 who was followed by Dylan Evans 1:59:32, Mpho Bogatsu 2:37:30, Jacqueline Fowler 3:06:00, Jude Evans 3:07:20 and Haydn Fowler 3:09:22.
14/6/17 Deiniolen 10k.
Three meirionnydd runners ran in the Deiniolen 10k. Tom Roberts claimed 2nd in 35:08 and was followed home by Gwion Roberts in 42:01 and Justin Pilkington in 46:47.
14/6/17 Park Hall 5K.
Nia Davies ran her first race in club colours at the Park Hall 5k. Nia finished in 23:23 claiming 3rd.
10-11/6/17 Welsh Castles relay.
Our Captain Tom Roberts' Race report: "Last week I was really stressed out with it all and was slightly worried about things possibly going wrong or runners dropping out last minute. But it just couldn't have gone any better.I'll start by thanking all the 20 runners who turned and smashed every stage. Not one dropped out and everyone crossed that finish line with a big smile. The conditions on Saturday were pretty horrendous, especially for Glyn Rowlands on stage 2, 10mile run into that strong wind and rain did not look like much fun! The dedication was amazing, new member Mark Davies travelled from work in Somerset to take part as we were a bit short on numbers. Jeremy travelled from Mold to run stage 10, Jeff Davies travelled from Swindon and Adam had started down to Newtown 5:30 Sunday morning for a 7:00 start.
Jimmy and Dave both had injuries before the weekend and weren't sure if they were going to be able to take part. That would of given us big problems then to try and replace but they turned up and both ran extremely well.
But this weekend wasn't all about the runners, we just couldn't have done it without the support we had. Mary Bradley had driven over 400miles, in the 2 days, making sure everyone was at their start in good time. Elinor Jones and my Dad put in long shifts on the Saturday and Sunday picking people up as they finished. Huge thanks to all the Marshals that turned up to Barmouth, again in awful weather, this took a lot of pressure of us in the minibus as we could just carry on traveling through and give support. Thanks also to Juliet, my Mum, Elly and Llio who weren't even running but turned up to give support.
The support I had on my stage was unreal! I've never been so excited to start a race before, everyone shouting at me on the start line then along the route, it deffo helped me to get over that bwlch!
Pretty much every member of the club had taken some part in this weekend, either running, marshling or supporting. Which proves this was a club effort not just done by individuals. We have proven we can compete in team events, we finished 43rd overall and in the mountain stages we finished in an impressive 23rd (above Eryri)!
Ive had 2 messages today from members from Prestatyn, saying thanks for the support we also gave them over the weekend. Our barmy army fans are the best! And my last thanks goes to Arfon, Nich, and Greame who in the last couple of weeks have just kept me calm! It really is a pleasure to be the captain to such a great club. I'm sorry if I've missed anyone out. Dates for next years race 9/10 of June 2018! Diolch yn fawr iawn."
Results are up on les croups website:
Overall Team result for Meirionnydd: 43rd in 25:25:41.
Mountain Kings 23rd in 7:39:18.
Stage:1 Caernarfon Castle to Penygroes 9.1 miles Steffan Owen in 01:10:08.
2 Penygroes to Criccieth Castle 10.7 miles Glyn Rowlands in 1:23:31.
3 Criccieth Castle to Maentwrog 12.3 miles Gwion Roberts in 1:19:39.
My experience of the castles relay was simply one to remember! The atmosphere and energy from the club was the same from being soaked watching Steffan start in caernarfon to watching Arfon finish it all off in the sun in Cardiff. My ears were ringing Sunday night from the noise of cow bells and horns but I can only see that as a positive because we were the loudest and best supporting/supported team!
As a runner it was one of the more difficult races I have done. It wasn't easy on the main road with so much water on one side of the road and a mansel Davies squeezing past on the other side, so there was no option but to get wet feet! The stage itself was fairly straight forward and fast until the last 5 miles and it became steep, slippery and slow. Luckily local knowledge and a recce the week before helped me to gain a few places on the hills. The finish was tough even though it was downhill it was nearly 20% combined with jelly legs and slippery roads meant you let the brakes off and just let momentum carry you down. The support going through Tremadog was what I needed at that time so thank you!
The good thing about running on Saturday is you could have the Sunday to be a supporter and follow the race hanging out of the 'rust bus' window blowing my horn as loud as possible!!!!!!! It wasn't just the meirionnydd runners that benefited from our support because a good number of other teams thanked us for the support through the event. I think next year the club should arrange for some louder horns and more bells and real life goat (or maybe a fancy dress)!
Thank you everyone who worked hard to arrange a perfect weekend."
4 Maentwrog to Harlech Castle 9.5 miles Pete Nicholls in 1:20:51.
5 Harlech Castle to Barmouth 9.6 miles Mark Davies in 1:05:06.
6 Barmouth to Dolgellau 10.7 miles Dylan Evans in 1:16:36.
6 Barmouth to Dolgellau 10.7 miles Nia Davies in 1:31:26, Running for Natural Resources Wales.
Nia said "A very wet and windy start at Barmouth running into the weather along the promenade and sideways wind coming over the bridge, I was not impressed that a young Denbigh Harrier was trying to use me as her wind shield on the bridge! Haha.
Once I was over the bridge the wind was behind me and the rain started to ease off. After Morfa Mawddach I could see the other runners in the distance in front and then the run became lonely. For 5 miles I was running alone with no marshals, no support to be seen. To be honest this was really hard to take in. At one point I was ready to give up.
On the approach to Penmaen Pool I started to hear the cheers and bells and as soon as I saw Owain and Will from NRW team cheering me on this gave me the energy and the determination that I needed to finish the race. I had no idea what my time was like and if I was going to make the cut off point of 1hr42min or not.
I was unbelievably happy to hear that not only did I make the cut off point, but I had 10 minute to spare. I would do the castle to castle relay again but maybe choose a stage that has more support on the way."
7 Dolgellau to Dinas Mawddwy 9.5 Tom Roberts 2nd in 55:47.
8 Dinas Mawddwy to Foel 10.8 miles Nich Bradley in 1:25:33.
Nich said "My first contribution to the Castles Relay was to introduce Rusty to the team. Lots of the big teams had their coaches with them during the relay but I think we are all agreed without Rusty, our instantly recognisable team coach, we we would never have got to Cardiff!
Hat off to Tom and Arfon, I was happy driving but to be honest I rarely had a clue where I was going or when I was supposed to be there or why. The boys did a great job getting their heads round the complexities of the logistics of 2 runners racing in different races all day with 3 end points all 10 miles or more apart. Especially on day 2 with tiredness following a brief kip in Newtown and the enthusiastic klaxon blowing by little brother at apparently every runner we saw, Tom did a great job keeping us en route.
In someways it was odd, here was a great "event" with lots of the club involved, and then your own time to shine on a stage, but afterwards you can't share your experiences of the stage with other team members because you are the only one to do that bit! There is a great pressure to do your best for the team, which was matched by fantastic support from the others whether the noisy herd of Goats on the bus, or the loads of goats and families driving past as they put in their individual bits.
The stages confirm that Wales is a hilly country with only Dave Whittey getting an easy downhill run throughout. My jog from the Red Lion in Dinas to Foel didn't even count as a mountain section, and indeed once warmed up and turning at the Brigands' the hill settled down to a very runnable if barely unrelenting slope. Topping out unfortunately wasn't converted to an increase in speed and the gains on the two runners in front at the top of the hill failed to develop into overtakes. I wish I'd been faster but I'm happy I gave it my best on the day and it was great to be welcomed in by Elinor and whisked on in comfort after all those hours in the bus. Super just to be in time to see Kevin finish the last flat bit of his race, sorry I didn't follow you up that hill to cheer you at the finish but my legs said I didn't have to!
All the stages had their challenges, huge respect for everyone running in the vile weather in the morning. No one wanted to let the side down, and cos each race is individual everyone had something to go for.
Thanks to Arfon for sharing the driving and Elinor Gareth and Mary for dashing round picking folk up and to the wives and sweethearts who delivered and collected all the Goats who turned up for single stages, It would be really hard if the top to bottom team didn't get those breaks in the schedule.
Last look at Rusty at head office behind the fire engine, note the Auto Glym advert! and his twin with the side door mods; Actually an ideal hire for the event- When I took it back the chap just wanted to know how we had got on - no inspection no checking for "dings", come to think he didn't actually ask where I'd left it! Incidentally this morning they dis have a scattering of posh 12 seaters in good nick is I wouldn't discount them if you wanted something posh!"
9 Foel to Llanfair Caereinion 8.5 miles Kevin Evans in 1:14:37.
Kevin Evans said "What a great event we must do it again and thanks Tom for giving me a stage, enjoyed the hole experience as did everyone else from the comments. We might not have won the relay, but the club has definitely won in been the best to be a member of as shown with the fantastic support and fun all weekend. Thanks for sorting Tom you've done the club proud."
10 Llanfair Caereinion to Newtown 13.1 miles Jeremy Randell in 1:28:39.
11 Newtown to Llanbadarn Fynydd 12.3 miles Adam Preston in 1:29:53.
12 Llanbadarn Fynydd to Crossgates 11.2 miles Jimmy Carter in 1:16:54.
Jimmy Said "This was never going to be a fast run for me as I had torn the cartilage behind my left kneecap a fortnight previously and had not run since. My biggest worry was not being able to complete the section and letting the team down; however as soon as I started running I was borne along by the tremendous atmosphere of the event. The camaraderie and support was fantastic, particularly from the Goats who I could hear from about half a mile away (Best supported team by far!)
This was a humbling race for me (I was passed by a lot of people) but I made it to the end and I am happy with that. I am also extremely proud to belong to a club with as much heart as this one.
Thank you for making me so welcome, you guys are amazing!"
13 Crossgates to Builth Wells 10.6 miles Andrew Ellis in 1:11:18.
Andrew Ellis said "Thank you to Tom and everyone else who helped organise the team and logistics for this weekend's Welsh Castles Relay, it was a blast, thanks for allowing me to be a new goat in your first appearance in the race, looking forward to next year and working on my 5 minute mileing."
14 Builth Wells to Drovers Arms 10.8 miles Tristan Evans in 1:13:22.
15 Epynt Visitor Centre to Brecon 12.8 miles Dave Whittey in 1:33:47.
16 Brecon to Beacons Reservoir 8.8 miles Justin Pilkington in 1:11:58.
17 Beacons Reservoir to Cyfarthfa Castle 9.2 miles Jeff Davies in 1:10:03.
Jeff Davies said "Storey Arms was like Piccadilly Circus on a bad Friday. Mix of huge bike race and an unbelievable number going up Pen y Fan. Ah well. I think, taking it all in all, it was an awesome experience. I followed Day 1 on Twitter and felt a great feeling coming through despite the dreadful conditions.
And yes, when I got to start of Stage 17, the people! Parking at a premium and despite the wind and rain, terrific atmosphere. And as the start approached so in came typical Welsh low cloud and a heavy shower. And then this rather grumpy bloke did the roll call to which you heard the standard 'Yeah' or 'Here' until he got to Eryri and a female voice called 'Yma' to which he answered 'What?' and she replied even louder and more forcefully, 'Yma!'. And so, when he called Meirionnydd, you can be sure what I replied. Bloody cheek! What country does he think he's in?!
And so we went off and yours truly was about third from last. Don't panic! Sure enough, many went off too fast and eventually I was able to pick some off. Largely a downhill stage, apart from a nasty tweak at around 8.5 but running downhill isn't as easy as many seem to think and brings its own strain on the legs. Vans went past shouting, bells clanging, horns blowing – sorry if one of them was you and I took no notice. In the zone! I really didn't like the lack of mile markers, I wasn't expecting that and it meant you couldn't pace yourself properly. And it didn't help [for me] not having raced beyond 10K for a few years but going past Aberystwyth and then Eryri bucked me up a bit!
And then, oh boy, the finish. Hard to express my feelings here. Knowing that Stage 18 started about a mile away, I expected my wife and the dog to be the only ones waiting, but no! There was Tom and Gwion and [I think] Nick and Ellie and I found that really touching, especially later, reflecting on it. They didn’t have to be there but they were and it shows that feeling of companionship, of solidarity and, for me, of belonging that is, as they say, priceless. I know I live a long way away these days but I'm really glad I joined you guys. Bachgen o'r Bala hyd y diwedd.
Diolch o galon i chi gyd.
18 Merthyr Tydfil (Rhyd-y-Car Centre) to Abercynon (Navigation Park) 9.1 miles Sandra Williams in 1:19:47.
19 Abercynon (Navigation Park) to Nantgarw 7.7 miles Mpho Bogatsu in 1:08:29.
Mpho Said "My eighty year old neighbour Dafydd often tells me that the only thing that runs about him is his nose. He repeats this every time he sees me coming back from my runs. I know he is proud of me though, because I can see it in his eyes.I tell him joining Meirionydd running club was one of the best things I did for myself.
Castles Relay is an event that brings the running family together. It is one of the running events that somehow answers the question 'why do we run?' Why do we put our bodies through such pain? Why are we not cuddled up in bed on a Sunday morning reading a newspaper? Instead running up mountains in awful weather conditions? I was truly happy to be part of this event. The support from the club members was incredible; from providing home baked cakes, dropping and picking up runners, sharing 5 star tents and camper vans.
My stage 19 Abercynon to Nantgarw was one of the shortest stretch just under 8 miles. I got to the start line just in time to hear our club name called out. Five mins later the race started and I quickly realised that I was racing against 65+ good runners who probably were not just randomly selected by their clubs. Abercynon is a lovely stretch that takes one away from busy roads, rather through a beautiful woodland park. The first few miles takes you through the built up area with a bit of traffic but soon drops into lovely green wood land.
At mile 6 or so, I smiled and beamed with pride when I heard my very loud team in our rusty old minibus behind me, blowing away vuvuzelas and shouting my name. I ran fast, so fast my chest could explode with exhaustion and pride to finish in about 68mins. Would I take part again?
20 Caerphilly Castle to Cardiff Castle 10.1 miles Arfon Hughes in 1:09:43.
What a fantastic weekend!
A big thank you to the Support team:
Juliet Edwards; Juliet said "How did I experience the relay? From the delux rust bucket minibus scampering to the best support spots on the route.
Great to support our club and anyone faster than our runners. Interesting to see the range of the competition and the lead runners slightly bemused expressions when they encountered our enthusiastic noisy supporters.
I would love to be involved somehow again."
Elly Dee, Elli said "It was a fantastic experience, I loved being involved and seeing everyone have such a great time together. I wasn't fast enough to run this year, and not being a big fan of training or racing fast or on roads, I'm not sure I'll ever be (you never know...) but just being there has really inspired me to shout about how great it is to be part of a great running club like ours."Go to top
Thank you Drivers
Elinor Jones, Mary Bradley and Gareth Roberts
Thank you for the Cakes.
Sarah Roberts and Sandra Williams
10/6/17 Dysynni 15k.
Jacqueline Fowler ran in the Dysynni 15k. Jacqueline said "A muddy affair today. Eli (the dog) loved the boggy sections and succeeded in tangling me face first in the warning tape/signage in the boggiest bit whilst he continued to prance about smiling! As well as his mischievousness on the trail, he's developed a desire to swim and I was constantly being dragged to the estuary water. At 1hr 26mins, we skipped over the finish line, very wet, very muddy, very smiley.
10/6/17 Market Harborough Half Marathon.
Ben Wells ran in the Market Harborough finishing in 1:50:14.
9/6/17 Blaydon Race.
Description of the Race.
The 1862 Blaydon Races Song is the National Anthem of Tyneside. The words of the song are used as a basis for everything in the race where possible. For example the event takes place every “Ninth of June” in accord with the song’s first line:- “Aa went to Blaydon Races t’was on the Ninth of June”
The runners assemble at the public house “Balmbras” in central Newcastle (just as the travellers to see the Blaydon Horse races did in 1862) and are started on their run with the actual handbell mentioned in the song, which is brought out specially, under guard, from The Discovery Museum, Newcastle and “away they gan alang Collingwood Street” on their way to Scotswood Road and Scotswood Bridge to finish in Blaydon itself . The race itself has been instrumental in maintaining interest in local traditions in general and in the Blaydon Races song in particular. The large crowd in Blaydon Shopping Precinct car park welcomes the runners who receive local food and beer and the all important tee-shirt along with their goody bags and certificate. Not all of the tired finishers are tempted by the black pudding, tripe and pickled onions always on offer! The race welcomes all over 16 years and even provides the Kiddars’ Fun Run at Blaydon before the senior race for 9 to 16 year-old local schoolchildren.
The Road Race has been organised annually by Blaydon H & AC since 9th June 1981 and seeks to incorporate much local tradition in an annual run for all, to include top-rank athletes and humble joggers all “Gannin Alang the Scotswood Road”. From just 212 competitors in the inaugural Race the field has grown to 4400 runners who tackle the 5.6 mile course between Newcastle and Blaydon.
After one month the news will be transferred into Archive 2017 here.