Bro Dysynni athlete Tom Jones seen in action at the recent Sialens Y Barcud Coch at Nant Yr Arian. Photo by Graham Spencer

A total of 9 locally affiliated athletes made the journey to Nant Yr Arian & Devil's Bridge recently, the two locations situated east of Aberystwyth being the venues for the two events which make up the Red Kite Challenge.

The first race of the weekend was 'Sialens Y Barcud Coch' an 11 mile multi-terrained event which also incorporated the 2011 UK & Welsh Trail Running Championships. Leading home the local contingent, finishing in an overall 10th spot out of the 130 who completed the event, was Dylan Jones of Aberdyfi, the Bro Dysynni AC athlete home in a time of 1hr 24.59mins. Adam Preston of Dolgellau was the next of the local contingent home, the Meirionnydd Running Club athlete home in 21st spot in a time of 1hr 30.47mins. Tom Jones of Aberdyfi was the 2nd of the three Bro Dysynni finishers in a time of 1hr 36.06mins with a trio of Meirionnydd athletes following, namely Dylan Evans of Bryncrug in 1hr 43.06mins, John Smith of Dolgellau, claiming age category success in the Welsh Championship Over-60 Category, in a time of 1hr 47.00mins & Janet Preston, also of Dolgellau, 3rd home in the Female Over-35 Category of the Welsh Championships in a time of 2hrs 07.14mins, before Brenda Jones of Llanelltyd came home victorious in the Female Over-65 category, the Bro Dysynni athlete crossing the finishing line in a time of 2hrs 12.32mins.

In the Junior Race affiliated to Sialens Y Barcud Coch, there were 4th & 6th placed finishes within their respective age categories for Alex Lanz of Dolgellau & Jamie Evans of Bryncrug, the Meirionnydd Running Club athletes home in times of 25.34mins & 29.33mins.

One of those competing on the Saturday, also returned on Sunday to take part in Ras Y Diafol, the 18 mile event being the 2nd part of the Red Kite Challenge. That athlete was Adam Preston, claiming a 15th placed finish in a time of 2hrs 23.27mins. A total of 24 athletes completed both events within the Red Kite Challenge, the Meirionnydd runner claiming 7th placed amongst these in a cumulative time of 3hrs 54.14mins.

Another local athlete taking on a massive challenge recently has been Ifan Richards of Brithdir, the Meirionnydd RC athlete heading to the Yorkshire Dales National Park to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, an arduous off-road mountain race which took in the peaks of Pen-Y-Ghent (691 metres), Whernside (728 metres) & Ingleborough (723 metres). Competing against many of the best mountain runners from within the UK, the Meirionnydd runner performed admirably as a finishing time of 3hrs 25.04mins claimed a pleasing 28th placed finish as well as being the 3rd Welsh finisher. As a result of the above, the Brithdir based athlete has now been selected to run for Wales at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships which are being held in Slovenia on June 18th.

Elsewhere, during a particularly busy racing schedule for local athletes, the effervescent Sheila Symonds of Dolgellau claimed North Wales Championship Gold recently within the Female Over-75 category at the North Wales 10 Mile Road Running Championships which were affiliated within the Grand Prix Express Wrexham 10 Mile Road Race, the Bro Dysynni athlete home in a marvellous time of 2hrs 00.26mins.

The 3rd & 4th races within the 10 race Joe Brown 18th Midweek Race Series have also been held recently with two athletes highlighted above stamping their authority within the series. The 3rd race was held at Mynydd Mawr at Y Fron, Ifan Richards claiming race victory in 32.30mins with Dylan Jones following in 3rd spot in 34.26mins. The 4th event was held at Pen Dinas at Nant Peris with Ifan Richards once again victorious in 25.36mins, with Dylan Jones following in 29.23mins and Victor Gretton home in 50.12mins, the Meirionnydd RC athlete victorious within the Male Over-70 category at the event.

At the inaugural running of the Fron Four Fell Race, there was an excellent finishing time of 1hr 19.00mins for Mark Atherton of Llan Ffestiniog who completed the 13.5k event which included an overall ascent of 828 metres over the peaks of Moel Tryfan & Mynydd Mawr in an overall 7th position.

Finally, new Meirionnydd Running Club member Jeff Davies set a club record within the Male Over-60 category as he recently completed the Chalgrove 10k in a time of 43.10mins.