Rhinog Horseshoe 4th July 2009


Llanbedr played host last Saturday lunchtime to the 3rd fixture out of 6 which constitute the 2009 Welsh Fell Running Open Championships. The race chosen was the Rhinog Horseshoe Fell Race, a gruelling 15.5 mile event which took in the peaks of Rhinog Fawr, Rhinog Fach, Y Llethr & Moelfre, providing an overall total of 5,200 feet of climbing.


As such, the race attracted the elite long distance fell runners from within the Principality and beyond and this, in turn, was reflected within the race results.


Having finished 3rd at the event in 2008, Martin Shaw from the Mynydd Du Club based in the Black Mountains around Swansea, returned north again this year and achieved his aim of race victory as he completed the challenge in a time of 2hrs 41.37mins, more than 5 minutes ahead of his nearest challenger, Matthew Roberts (Eryri Harriers), home in a time of 2hrs 47.05mins. The podium was completed by North Derbyshire based athlete, Alan Ward (Dark Peak Fell Runners), who completed the event in a time of 2hrs 52.05mins.


 The female section of the race was dominated by Andrea Roberts (Eryri Harriers), finishing in a time of 3.42.26, well ahead of the Aberystwyth A.C. runner Phoebe Webster who finished 2nd in a time of 3.50.28. Ali Thomas of Eryri was 3rd in 3.57.01 (also 1st over 40). 



John Marsh                                                     Photo by Peter Douglas


Two locally affiliated athletes also took on the challenge, as Tywyn-based John Marsh (Tarren Hendre) won the Male Over-60 section in a time of 3hrs 49.58mins and Juliet Edwards (Meirionnydd Running Club) finished in a time of 4hrs 13.51mins.


On the same day, an enthusiastic field also gathered in Bryncrug to take on the Foel Gocyn Hill Race, a 4 mile event which formed part of the Bryncrug carnival festivities. Having being placed 3rd in 2007, 2nd in 2008, Dewi Roberts of Blaenau Ffestiniog went one better this year, the Bro Dysynni A.C. athlete claiming victory in a time of 31.37mins. In a race dominated by athletes from Bro Dysynni, 2nd place was claimed by Dylan Jones, the Aberdyfi athlete home in a time of 32.30mins, whilst 11 year old Aron Roberts of Blaenau Ffestiniog claimed an outstanding 3rd placed finish in a time of 36.25mins, less than 5 minutes behind his victorious father. Two other Dysynni affiliated youngsters followed as George Richards of Tywyn came home in 36.43mins, whilst Dion Roberts was the 3rd of the Roberts clan from Blaenau Ffestiniog to finish in the top 5, on this occasion in a time of 37.10mins.


The female section of the race was won by Debbie Wood of Llanegryn in a time of 51.53mins, whilst the ever-green Sheila Symonds of Dolgellau continues to impress, her time of 70.41mins claiming runners-up spot within the category.


Three locally affiliated athletes were also in action at the Sialens Y Barcud Coch event recently, the challenge being an 11 mile multi-terrain race starting and finishing at the Nant Yr Arian Centre near Ponterwyd, Aberystwyth. Using the race as preparation for the Moelfre Challenge was John Marsh, on this occasion home in a time 1hr 44.27mins, whilst the Bro Dysynni duo of Brenda Jones of Llanellted and Marj Griffiths of Aberystwyth followed in respective times of 2hrs 04.17mins & 2hrs 47.52mins, the former claiming age category success within the Female Over-65 section.


To round off a recent busy schedule, two Meirionnydd Running Club athletes headed to the Lake District to take on the PUMA Garburn Trail Race, held within the Kentmere Valley, near Staveley. The 18k event provided a tough challenge, met with flying colours as the Ganllwyd-based duo of Frankie & Andrea Vaughan came home in respective times of 1hr 38.05mins & 1hr 47.49mins.