Race report and 2015 results.
It was a near perfect day for this inaugural 7.3 mile fell race on the eastern end of the Preseli hills, which saw 24 runners take on this new challenging route. Although the total ascent isn’t huge, the terrain and technicality of it makes for an interesting tough race, with some saying that it was harder than it’s neighbouring 11 mile cousin, the Beast Bach.
The route visits Carn Alw-which is a lovely little rocky outcrop, Foel Drygarn- the Bronze aged hill fort, Carn Menyn-Where the stonhenge bluestones came from, and Carn Sian- with it’s 1944 aircraft crash site.
With the race clashing with the Ironman longcourse big weekender, the numbers were going to be low, but I was well happy to have the runners that I did.
There are no facilities near the start/finish area, so the newish big tent that I’d recently acquired and my camper made for the admin and catering areas. Nothing like going back to basics, and totally different to the other race I organise, the Preseli Beast! After I got the runners to wish each other the best of luck with a hug, they set off more or less on time.
One runner got caught up behind the 100’s of cyclists on the longcourse race, and was late turning up. This didn’t stop me from throwing a number at him and telling him to catch up, which he did! Well done Conrad.
I had predicted around the hour for the 1st runner, and James Thomas from Cirencester did not disappoint. He was first back in a cracking time of 55mins 53sec. He said he went a bit off course, even though the course is fully marked! Maybe everything was a bit of blur to him for going so quick! 3mins behind came Simon Hall from Sarn Helen, with Alec Williams of Pembs harriers third and 1st MV40. 1st lady was Alice Harrison in 1hr 12.14.
When I turned up at 11am to set things up, there was already a vehicle parked up. It was to my huge surprise to see it was my friend and fell running legend Yiannis Tridimas who had travelled down the night before from Liverpool! He’d come down to possibly marshal so he’d already been around the course to see what it was like. So when I said I had enough marshals, he decided to enter and do it again. “Well, it’s too nice a route not to do it again”. Obviously he took 1st MV70.
Closest finish was the downhill sprint between Jason Wilkins and local lass Beth Coghlan. Beth was far too nice to him and let him cross the line barely a second in front!
By the time the latter runners came over the hill, the steep descent back to cross the line was more of a hindrance as they didn’t have the legs to run it flat out. “It didn’t look that steep from the start” one runner said!
The category winners all received either a bottle of local ale, or thermos mugs kindly donated by Cotwold Outdoors, Carmarthen. All the runners and marshals enjoyed the all important tea/coffee, and of course the finely baked cakes.
Huge thanks to all who ran, Pembs National parks, the neighbouring hill farmer who let us race around his hills, but more so to the marshals, Jacob Martin photography, the admin princess, and the catering cake fairies. Diolch I chi gyd.