Race Date: Saturday 9th July 2016
Below are 2 race reports for the Tal Y Fan fell race, the first from our very own Naomi Rabin and the second one from the official Tal Y fan race website:
A group of six Striders on tour tried out the Tal y Fan fell race in North Wales. Tired of the same old Derbyshire and Yorkshire races, it seemed apt to try something new. Despite a worrying lack of information available about the race, (save for time and place) 7 or so miles seemed like a manageable distance for all. This was an over-estimation. Due to a miserable forecast that turned out to be wrong, and plethora of other events, our group found ourselves adding 6 people to a field of a mere 24 runners. And the 24 were not your average fun runner either – rather the seasoned pros with a great knowledge of the course. Within the first 200m of the race I for one knew I was in trouble – I’d lost sight of most of the other competitors and was at the bottom of what can only be described as a 2km long Cobnar. Despite this being somewhat disheartening, I ploughed on remembering how small the field was. As maps had been unavailable and the route was marshalled, being map-less didn’t seem like a bit deal setting off. Until a quarter of the way, at the top of the mountain faced with a never-ending moor, with knee-high grass, no visible path and no visible target to get to the next marshals. On this moor I caught up with Trevor and Amy who’d lost their way unable to see the next checkpoint and we were guided by the sweeper to the next checkpoint. Resigned to coming last, we decided in true team spirit to relax, enjoy in the amazing views over the sea and to come in at the end holding hands. The rest of the climb down from the summit was varied – technical, often through bog, knee high grass or bracken.
Amazingly Gold Star kept up with the leaders coming in 4th (as 3rd male) and at least meant that someone from the club came in in a good position. Two other striders managed to miss the checkpoints, and so were not awarded a race time. Most importantly though, we all completed the race safely and we got to enjoy some spectacular scenery.
A race I’d definitely recommend for enjoyment – not recommended however, without either having done a recce or a map. And as a mid to end field racer, a definite commitment to coming nearly last in this one!
Race report from Eryri Harriers
The weather forecast was grim to say the least, with two rain drops predicted at 2pm, the race start time, and one drop for the rest of the day. We were pleasantly surprised to get the gazebo erected on the Rowen Carnival field in only light drizzle. It seemed that lots of people had either headed off to the British Champs in Sedburgh, or given the rain forecast, had decided to stay in to watch Serena win another Wimbledon title, as with a field of 30, we had the smallest entry for about 10 years. As is common, the forecast was wrong – maybe half a rain drop, but humid and overcast and waterproofs certainly not needed on the start line.
After a quick head count (yes we still had 30) James sounded the hooter, and we were off, with Ellie accompanied by Elsie, her medical assistance dog, at the back alongside Helen (Race organiser and sweeper in fluoresent pink). Turning right in the village, and facing the first hill, Ellie pulled ahead of Naomi from Steel City Striders, and the leaders streaked off towards the youth hostel. By Cae Coch, Naomi had come to the conclusion that for the first time in her life, she may actually be last, but undeterred, we headed over the stile and towards the summit of Tal y Fan. At the summit, the stone circle check point, at the other side of the moorland bog was pointed out, and we headed off towards the sheep pens as our mid-way marker. Half way across, however, we found two more Steel City lost runners – maybe Naomi would not be last – who at least had the sense to wait for the pink person, when they had lost touch with Ellie and realised they did not really know where they were heading. We reached the stone circle as a group of four, to find that two runners were unaccounted for, but at least the rain was holding off, and the visibilty was still good. We had not seen them coming across the bog, and left the radio operators/marshalls communicating with base to see if they had been located, or whether they had just gone to Penmaenmawr for ice-cream.
Our little group of tail enders carried on, now on the grass of the North Wales coastal path, with much easier navigation. Through all the gates, with the marshalls still two short, until we reached the Dougie’s gin and tonic (sorry all gone only water left) check point, where it was reported all 30 had been seen. Panic over, and we headed up the last hill, down through the braken and back on to the road. Resisting the G&T in the Ty Gwyn, the final gang reached the finish line safely, if a bit late for the presentation.
Thanks as always to our marshal team, and Ann and Sharon on the start & finish line.
Maybe Craig/Louise could do a view of life nearer the front of the field!
|4||Andy Davies||MV 40||01:20:23|
|26||Amy Housley||F Sen||02:14:34|
|27||Trevor Burton||MV 50||02:14:34|
|28||Naomi Rabin||F Sen||02:14:34|
|29||Rio Cooper||F Sen||DisQ Missed 3 & 4|
|30||Richard Pegg||MV50||DisQ Missed 3 & 4|