News Report 27th July 2009
Ideal running conditions greeted the 112 competitors who lined up on the Llanfachreth road last Saturday afternoon for the start of the 8th running of the W. D. Pugh & Sons sponsored Dolgellau 5 Mile Road Race.
In conjunction with the Dolgellau 'Hwyl Yr Haf' committee, it was also agreed that the race this year would finish on the Marian and form part of the 'Hwyl Yr Haf' festivities.
The race itself was a procession for Rob Samuels of Eryri Harriers as the Bangor University student completed the event in a time of 26.16mins, over a minute and a half clear of the nearest competitor. That competitor was Luke Northall of Tipton Harriers who repeated his runners-up spot of 2008, by finishing the 2009 event in a time of 27.49mins
There was an outstanding performance in the ladies race as Chelmsford-based Tracey Ranson (Springfield Striders) came home victorious in a time of 29.34mins, which also claimed an outstanding 5th place finish overall. Runner up in the female section was Phoebe Webster of Aberystwyth AC in a time of 33.17mins.
What pleased the race organisers more than anything on the day was the growing number of local competitors within the event. This years race attracted 21 athletes affiliated to host organisation, Meirionnydd Running Club, 8 from Bro Dysynni AC as well as numerous other unattached local runners. Amongst the 'stand-out' performances from the local contingent were the following; Ifan Richards of Brithdir claimed an overall 4th placed finish, the Meirionnydd Running Club athlete home in 29.31mins, with Bro Dysynni counter-part, Dewi Roberts of Blaenau Ffestiniog, claiming 7th overall as well as victory in the Male Over-40 category in a time 30.22mins. Mark Atherton of Llan Ffestiniog & Adam Preston of Dolgellau had a race long battle, the Meirionnydd Running Club team-mates eventually finishing in respective times of 31.36mins & 32.12mins. Further Meirionnydd Running Club finishers in the top 30 were, Tom Roberts of Dolgellau in 33.42mins, Frankie Vaughan of Ganllwyd in 35.22mins and Pete Nicholls of Llanfachreth in 35.58mins.
Strong performances by the local female competitors were provided by Sandra Williams, the Meirionnydd Running Club member home in 41.16mins followed by team-mate Alison Price of Fairbourne in a time of 42.04mins. A group of local ladies followed in within 12 seconds of each other as Emma Davies (Dolgellau), Jaspa Wynne Williams (Dolgellau), Janet Preston (Dolgellau) & Sioned Jones (Brithdir) came home in respective times of 43.31mins, 43.33mins, 43.39mins & 43.43mins. One runner keeping up her record of competing in each of the 8 Dolgellau 5 Mile events was Sheila Jones of Pwllheli, the Bro Dysynni athlete home on this occasion in a time 44.36mins, whilst Sheila Symonds of Dolgellau once again turned back the clock the Dysynni athlete claiming victory in the Female Over-70 category in a time of 65.10mins.
Special mention must also be made to aa the competitors who completed the event in various dress-codes in order to raise money for charity. Amongst these were the Dolgellau Fire Service quartet of Lesley Harris, Rachel Jones, Ernie Hughes & John Paul Williams who completed the course in full fire-fighting gear.
There is futher local action tonight (Thursday) as Abergynolwyn will play host to Ras Hendre Wallog. The three mile off-road race is due to start at 6.30pm from the communtiy centre in Abergynolwyn. Entries will be accepted only on the evening.