News Report 30th October 2009
Distance races have been very much to the fore for local athletes recently, these events also producing a national champion for the area.
The athlete in question was Sheila Symonds of Dolgellau, victorious in the 'Female Over-70' category at the Welsh National Half Marathon Championships, which were affiliated as part of the Cardiff Half Marathon recently. The Bro Dysynni athlete completed the course in an excellent time of 3hrs 01.38mins, a performance which was also captured by the TV cameras covering the event. Also in action at the Cardiff race were three other Bro Dysynni athletes; They were led home by Tom Jones of Aberdyfi in a time of 1hr 29.35mins, in turn followed by Gavin Griffiths of Tywyn, home in 1hr 46.42mins, with the trio being completed by Rhian Jones of Aberdyfi who completed the 13.1 mile event in a time of 1hr 56.55mins.
Doubling the distance of those who ran in Cardiff were a group of eight local athletes who took on the challenge of the Snowdon Marathon, a 26.2 mile event encircling the highest peak within the Principality. Leading home the local contingent was Andrea Vaughan of Ganllwyd, 4th in the 'Female Over-40' category in an excellent time of 3hrs 50.24mins. Her husband and Meirionnydd Running Club team-mate, Frankie Vaughan, followed in a time of 4hrs 04.18mins whilst Iori Jones of Dolgellau was the 3rd Meirionnydd Running Club finisher, crossing the line in a sprint finish captured by the TV cameras in a time of 4hrs 17.10mins.
Leaving behind his mayoral robes for the day was the current mayor of Barmouth, Jamie Brooks, who completed the challenge in a time of 4hrs 25.06mins, whilst Juliet Edwards of Dolgellau and Kevin Evans of Brithdir were the 4th and 5th Meirionnydd Running Club finishers home, in respective times of 4hrs 36.50mins & 4hrs 40.22mins. The sole Bro Dysynni athlete in action on the day, and racing in a new age group category for the first time, was Barrie Jackson of Bala who announced his arrival in the 'Male Over-70' category by claiming runners-up in the section in a time of 4hrs 50.13mins. Completing a fine local turnout on the day was Pete Nicholls of Llanfachreth who covered the course in a time of 5hrs 12.05mins.
A group of 5 locally affiliated athletes also formed part of a field of over 130 competitors who gathered at Coed Y Brenin recently for the 4th annual 'Coed Y Brenin Off-Road Duathlon', an event comprising of a 5k off-road run, a 20k off-road bike course before another final 5k off-road run. Ifan Richards of Ganllwyd led home the local contingent, his time of 1hrs 40.18mins claiming a fine overall runners-up spot for the Meirionnydd Running Club athlete. Also claiming a 'Top 20' spot was team-mate, Mark Atherton of Llan Ffestiniog, 18th overall in a time of 1hr 59.24mins. Dylan Jones of Aberdyfi was the sole Bro Dysynni competitor in action, as he finished in 2hrs 06.25mins, whilst the Meirionnydd Running Club duo of Tom Roberts (Dolgellau) and Tony Hodgson (Llanelltyd ) also completed the event in respective times of 2hrs 15.17mins & 2hrs 16.58mins.
There is local action this coming Saturday (7th) as Llanfachreth will play host to the Rhobell Fawr Fell Race, the 6 mile event which includes 1,900 feet of climbing forming the 1st event of the Meirionnydd Winter Race Series. The main event is due off at 12.00 Noon, further details relating the event can be found at www.run-meirionnydd.co.uk