News Report 27th July 2008


Race organisers had plenty to smile about at the 7th running of the Nigel Evans (Plasterer of Distinction) sponsored Dolgellau 5 Mile Race which was held last Saturday afternoon.


Firstly, the weather on the day was ideal for both competing, as well as spectating, and secondly, the field of 105 finishers was the second highest total in the 7 year history of the event.


Having won the Penmaenpool 10 Mile Race in both 2006 and 2007, it was Mark Garratt (Road Runners Club) who covered the 5 mile course quickest this year as a finishing time of 26.12mins claimed overall victory by a clear 36 seconds from race runner-up, Luke Northall (Tipton Harriers), who followed in 26.48mins. The first female finisher was Louise Barker (Aberystwyth A.C.), who, having finished 3rd female at the event in 2007, claimed overall victory in her section in 2008 by finishing in 31.33mins.


The first of the many local finishers affiliated to either host club, Meirionnydd R.C., or Bro Dysynni A.C. was Dewi Roberts of Blaenau Ffestiniog, as a time of 27.43mins claimed an overall 5th place finish, as well as age category success in the Male Over-35 section, for the Bro Dysynni athlete.


There then followed a gaggle of Meirionnydd Running Club finishers, the 1st of whom was Frankie Vaughan of Corris, home in 33.06mins. He, in turn, was followed by Pete Nicholls of Llanfachreth in 34.24mins, John Smith in 34.40mins and Kevin Evans of Bithdir in 34.59mins. Iori Jones of Dolgellau followed in an all-to-rare racing appearance, finishing in 36.40mins whilst Amanda Wilde of Dyffryn Ardudwy made her Meirionnydd Running Club debut, finishing in 36.52mins. Another Meirionnydd debutant followed as David Raybone completed the event in 37.13mins, before the next Dysynni finisher, namely Malcolm Taylor of Criccieth, came home in 37.31mins.


Continuing her remarkable record of being one of only three athletes to have completed every Dolgellau 5 Mile Race was Sheila Jones of Pwllheli, who had the added bonus of victory in the Female Over-45 section as the Dysynni athlete crossed the finishing line in an excellent time of 38.12mins.


Next home was Dysynni's Bob Chilton of Hermon in a time of 40.04mins whilst Meirionnydd Running Club competitor, Margaret Roberts of Dolgellau, followed in 40.48mins. A delighted Hugh Harrison of Fairbourne in the green and red of Dysynni was next home in a time of 42.56mins whilst three Meirionnydd competitors, namely Sioned Jones of Dolgellau, Ann Styles of Penmaenpool and Rob Thomas of Llanelltyd followed in respective times of 44.20mins, 44.47mins & 44.53mins.


The third Bro Dysynni athlete to claim age category success followed as Marj Griffiths of Aberystwyth claimed victory in the Female Over-60 category in a time of 45.57mins whilst Nia Ellis-Brown of Dolgellau finished strongly in a time of 52.20mins to complete a fine team turn out for the host club, Meirionnydd R.C.


The loudest cheers of the day were however, reserved for the final 9 competitors to finish, representing Dolgellau fire station, with all 9 completing the event held in sweltering conditions by wearing their full fire-fighting gear. After the event, all 9 were spotted at the Dolgellau Rugby Club, replenishing lost fluids.


Prior to the Dolgellau event, a quartet of local athletes were in action at the Race The Train 5k event held in Caernarfon. Once again, it was Dewi Roberts leading home the local contingent as a time of 16.26mins achieved a fine 16th place finish out of the 263 competitors. Completing his 1st ever 5k race was the sole Meirionnydd R.C. athlete in action, as Tony Hodgson of Llanelltyd came home in 19.47mins, to be followed by the Dysynni duo of Malcolm Taylor, home in 22.51mins and a beaming Andy Unwin of Harlech completing the event in a below-par time of 28.13mins.


There is local action tonight (Thursday) as Abergynolwyn will play host to the ever-popular Ras Hendre-Wallog. The three mile event is held mainly off-road and is open to all. Registration will be at the village hall opposite the Railway Inn, with the race due off at 6.00pm.