News Report 24th June 2007
The ever-popular Sialens Y Barcud Coch & Ras Y Diafol Trail Races attracted strong local interest recently, even more so than usual, as the events based at Ponterwyd, near Aberystwyth, had been chosen to host the UK Short Course Trail Running Championships as well as the Welsh Seniors & Welsh Masters Trail Running Championships.
As ever, the races were split over two days. Saturday hosted Sialens Y Barcud Coch / Red Kite Challenge, an 11 mile trail running challenge held within the Nant Yr Arian Forest. The race attracted four local athletes, the first of whom to finish, in 7th position overall, was Steve Gilliland of Tywyn, whose time of 1hr 20.19mins also claimed victory in the male over-45 category. Claiming a top-40 spot was Meirionnydd Running Club athlete Tony Hodgson of Llanelltyd, finishing in a time of 1hr 35.51mins, claiming a 3rd placed finish in the male over-55 section in the process. Brenda Jones of Llanelltyd was the sole finisher in the female over-65 section in a tremendous time of 2hrs 06.50mins, whilst Bro Dysynni A.C. team-mate, Marit Evans of Dolgellau finished in 2hrs 21.06mins enjoying her first ever trail running foray.
The following day saw the 18-mile Ras Y Diafol / The Devil's Race, so named due to the close proximity of Devil's Bridge. The tough and challenging course was made even harder due to the prevailing warm weather conditions. The conditions inspired Blaenau Ffestiniog strong-man Dewi Roberts to a superb 2nd place finish in a time of 2hrs 15.51mins, some 3 and a half minutes behind the overall race winner, Ian Houston of the Wrexham Tri Club. Having run the 11 mile race the previous day, Tony Hodgson returned on the Sunday to be one of the very few athletes to compete in both races. Showing immense stamina, the Llanelltyd veteran completed the 18 mile challenge in 2hrs 49.19mins, this time claiming victory in the male over-55 category. A trio of local athletes also joined ranks to complete the event in relay formation, with each athlete completing a leg of 5, 6 or 7 miles. The trio consisiting of Barrie Jackson of Bala and Dolgellau pairing of Andrea Goode and Frankie Vaughan completed the challenge in a pleasing time of 2hrs 49.29mins.
Prior to competing in Ponterwyd, two Dysynni athletes ventured to Scandinavia to take part in the Haugesund Half Marathon in Norway. Treating the event as a training run for the Red Kite Challenge, Brenda Jones of Llanelltyd finished ahead of Marit Evans of Dolgellau who, in turn, crossed the finishing line in her home town half-marathon in a time of 2hrs 10.15mins.
This coming Saturday (30th June), Ganllwyd, near Dolgellau will play host to the Tyn Y Groes Hill Race. The event which is steeped in history, having first been run prior to 1925, measures 2.1 miles in distance and has an ascent of 700 feet. The race, which is open to all over 14 years of age, is due to start from nearby the race H.Q., the Tyn Y Groes Hotel at 12.00 Noon. Further details relating to the event can be found on www.brodysynniac.co.uk.