News Report 8th November 2009
Last Saturday saw the 7th annual running of the Rhobell Fawr Fell Race, with conditions amongst the most inclement seen in the race's history.
Horizontal rain, stinging hail, mist and even a little snow on the summit greeted the 62 brave souls who took part in the race held in Llanfachreth. Amongst the 62 were our own Dylan Jones of Aberdyfi & Richard Griffiths (who should be old enough to know better!) of Tywyn. Fantastic effort by the two as Dylan finished in 1hr 02.36mins with Richard following in 1hr 16.58mins.
Dylan Jones Richard Griffiths Pics by Alastair Tye
However, undaunted by the adverse conditions, a healthy turnout of athletes gathered in Llanfachreth in preparation for the 6 mile event which included the 1,900 feet ascent of Rhobell Fawr which was held in driving rain, resulting in treacherous conditions underfoot.
One athlete taking on the challenge for the first time was Ifan Richards of Brithdir and it was he who prevailed in an exciting finish, the Meirionnydd Running Club athlete victorious in a time of 52.56mins, a mere 3 seconds ahead of race runner-up, Roland Stafford of Mercia Fell Runners. Two other Meirionnydd Running Club athletes were also placed in the top 15 finishers, Adam Preston of Dolgellau knocking a staggering 15 minutes off his time set for the race in 2008, finishing 10th overall in 59.50mins, with club colleague, Mark Atherton of Llan Ffestiniog, claiming a 14th placed finish in a time of 1hr 00.58mins.
The first of the Bro Dysynni contingent home was Dylan Jones of Aberdyfi in a time of 1hr 02.36mins, closely followed by the Meirionnydd Running Club Dolgellau based duo of Kevin Jones & Tom Roberts, home in respective times of 1hr 02.56mins & 1hr 03.52mins. The first female finisher followed, as Jemmy Hemmings of Eryri Harriers crossed the finishing line in a time of 1hr 05.46mins before a further quartet of an impressive Meirionnydd Running Club turnout followed. Leading home the quartet was a resurgent Tony Hodgson of Llanelltyd, home in 1hr 09.05mins, he was followed by John D. Smith of Dolgellau in 1hr 12.37mins, Pete Nicholls of Llanfachreth in 1hr 13.26mins & Kevin Evans of Brithdir in 1hr 15.18mins. The 2nd Bro Dysynni finisher on the day was Richard Griffiths of Tywyn in a time of 1hr 16.58mins who, in turn, was followed by the remaining 6 Meirionnydd Running Club athletes in action on the day.
The six were led home by the Dolgellau based duo of Nich Bradley & Juliet Edwards, home in times of 1hr 17.16mins & 1hr 18.25mins, they were followed by Alison Price of Fairbourne in 1hr 21.39mins, Janet Preston & Margaret Roberts of Dolgellau in respective times of 1hr 30.42mins & 1hr 32.39mins with Sioned Jones of Brithdir completing an excellent local turnout as she came home in a creditable time of 1hr 34.44mins.
As ever, the race organisers expressed their deep gratitude to the local landowners over whose land the race was run, as well as to the many volunteers in action of the day who helped make the 1st race of the 2009 Meirionnydd Winter Race Series such a success despite the adverse weather conditions.