News Report 24th May 2008


Bright, blustery conditions greeted the 276 competitors who descended upon Dolgellau last Saturday to take part in the various races which formed part of  the 17th running of Ras Y Gader.

 As has now become the traditional, Saturday morning saw the running of the various junior races whilst the afternoon saw the senior racers take on the 10.5 mile challenge to the peak of Cader Idris and back into Dolgellau, a course containing just under 3,000 feet of climbing.

 The various junior races, sponsored by Bwyd Y Brenin of Dolgellau & Coed Y Brenin, attracted an excellent entry of 85 budding athletes, and amongst whom were 2 local winners. They were Gus Illiff of Llangower, near Bala, and Cara Evans of Brithdir who were respective boy and girl winners in the fun run in times of 3.00minutes and 3.31minutes.

 The senior race, sponsored by the Royal Ship Hotel of Dolgellau, attracted 191 race finishers, as ever, amongst whom were a large sprinkling of local competitors. Having won the race in 2007, Eryri Harriers athlete Richard Roberts returned to Dolgellau to defend his title and this he did successfully, beating his 2007 time by over a minute, to complete the event in 1hr 25.19mins, 45 seconds ahead of 2nd place athlete, Andi Davies (Mercia Fell Runners). Perhaps the performance of the day came in the female race as Janet McIver (Dark Peak Fell Runners) of Sheffield came home in a terrific 5th place overall, in a time of 1hr 35.39mins, over 16 minutes ahead of the next female competitor.

 The 1st of the local competitors to finish was Steve Gilliland of Tywyn, 6th place overall in a time of 1hr 35.43mins, a time good enough to earn victory within the Male Over-40 category for the Bro Dysynni athlete. He was followed by Dave Whittey of Llanelltyd, the Meirionnydd Running Club athlete finishing in a time of 1hr 50.21mins, a time good enough to win the 'First Local' category. Next home were two more athletes from Meirionnydd Running Club as Tony Hodgson of Porthmadog crossed the finishing line in Eldon Square in a time of 1hr 59.37mins, with team-mate, John D. Smith following in 2hrs 08.22mins. Richard Griffiths of Tywyn was the 2nd Bro Dysynni finisher in a time of 2hrs 13.36mins and he was followed by a further six athletes from Meirionnydd Running Club. The first of the six was Nich Bradley of Dolgellau, home in 2hrs 15.19mins, he, in turn was followed by Juliet Edwards, also of Dolgellau, finishing in 2hrs 19.31mins with Victor Gretton following in 2hrs 34.36mins. The stage was then set for the 3 remaining athletes from Meirionnydd Running Club, namely Ann Styles of Penamenpool, Tracey Evans of Brithdir and Margaret Roberts of Dolgellau to complete their challenge. The first of the trio mentioned, namely Ann Styles, came home in a time of 2hrs 48.05mins, a time which claimed worthy victory within the Female Over-50 category much to her surprise! Also finishing in 2hrs 48.05mins was Tracey Evans with Margaret Roberts following shortly afterwards in a time of 2hrs 52.26mins.

 There was also a local victor in the Under-18 race which followed the same course as the senior event, albeit turning around half way up Cader Idris. That local was Oliver Gallop of Dolgellau, who, after winning the under-16 event in 2007, followed suit in 2008 as he completed the 5 mile Under -18 event, victorious in a time of 1hr 00.54mins