News Report 2nd February 2008


With the potential bad weather forecast occupying the minds of the race organisers, there was relief all round as ideal conditions greeted the athletes who gathered in Abergynolwyn last Saturday afternoon to take part in the 5th annual Tarren Hendre Fell Race.


A total of 65 athletes lined up outside the Railway Inn at 12.00Noon to take on the tough 6 mile challenge which included a total 2,000 feet of climbing. As ever, a fair percentage of those taking part were affiliated to either the host club, Meirionnydd R.C., or Bro Dysynni A.C., and indeed it was the latter who had the satisfaction of providing the overall race winner. This came in the guise of Steve Gilliland of Tywyn, who claimed a long overdue victory in a race in which he has achieved previous finishing positions of 3rd, 3rd, 5th & 7th. It was a case of 5th time lucky as the Dysynni veteran claimed a relatively comfortable victory, finishing 54 seconds in front of his nearest competitor in a time of 52.35mins. Indeed, the time achieved also broke the existing Male Over-40 age category record for the race. Victory in the ladies race was also relatively comfortable, as Sarah Ridgway of Eryri Harriers claimed an 11th place overall finish in a time of 58.30mins, a whole minute and a half ahead of the next female finisher.


The local finishers then followed thick and fast with Frankie Vaughan of the host Meirionnydd club leading home the charge, just pipping Hugo Iffla of Tywyn in respective times of 1hr 09.39mins and 1hr 09.47mins. Llanelltyd athlete, Dave Whittey, followed in 1hr 11.32mins with Bro Dysynni veteran, Richard Griffiths of Tywyn, next home in 1hr 12.04mins. A trio of Meirionnydd Running Club athletes followed as Nich Bradley & Juliet Edwards, both of Dolgellau, and Kevin Evans of Brithdir came home in respective times of 1hr 14.47mins, 1hr 16.07mins & 1hr 16.35mins whilst they in turn were followed by the Bro Dysynni pairing of Bob Chilton of Hermon and Debbie Evans of Tywyn, who crossed the finishing line in times of 1hr 24.48mins & 1hr 30.11mins. The local contingent were completed by Meirionnydd Running Club stalwart, Victor Gretton, home in a pleasing time of 1hr 34.53mins.


In addition to the Male Over-40 age category being felled by Steve Gilliland, two other age records were broken on the day as Chris Taylor (Mercia A.C.) claimed the Male Over-50 title in 57.13mins and Maggie Oliver (Eryri Harriers) obliterated the Female Over-60 record as she came home in a fantastic time of 1hr 16.52mins.


There was double success for Brithdir in the junior event as Danny and Cara Evans were 1st boy and 1st girl home in respective times of 15.58mins and 16.22mins.


As ever, the race organisers were extremely grateful to those who had given of their freetime on the day to help make the race an ongoing success story, as well as to the kind support of the Railway Inn in Abergynolwyn, who proved to be fantastic hosts on the day.


~ Arrangements are currently ongoing in relation to the 9th consecutive annual visit for local athletes to take part in the 20th International Club La Santa Running Challenge, held on the island of Lanzarote between 23rd - 26th November, 2008. As ever, places will be scarce and local athletes keen to take on the challenge are invited to contact Graeme Stringer (07917001173) for further information.