Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Pedol y Rhinogydd 2009
One of Wales' classic long fell races took place on Saturday down in the village of Llanbedr near Harlech. The Rhinog Horseshoe is a boisterous 15.5 miles with 5200feet of climbing and takes in the gnarly Rhinog Fawr, the relatively tame Rhinog Fawr, the soft Llethr and the deceivingly dodgy Moelfre. If any route needs reccying then this is the one and even though I'd reccied it 47 times over the last year I still managed to lose 5 minutes 28 seconds by taking an awful line off Rhinog Fawr down to Bwlch Drws Ardudwy.
The severity of the course was once again reflected in entry numbers - only the "true" mountain runners of Wales turned up for this one. There were only 39 finishers with two non-finishers, unfortunately one of those being Eryri's Maggie Oliver who pulled out due to a hand injury en-route. Moelfre took a scalp by leaving 12 stitches required on the head and a number on the leg of a Dark Peak runner. Another Dark Peak runner - Matt Hulley managed to finish the race in reverse as he ended up near Barmouth. The photos are a classic reflection of the race as 3 Eryri runners approach the last checkpoint coming off Moelfre from completely different directions! Other incidents were the 'marshalls' on Rhinog Fach directing runners straight off and down the most inaccessible scree slope in history and in the meantime losing 30 minutes whilst Frances Uhlman was lucky to come out with shoulders intact following a 15 foot slip on dodgy Moelfre.
Race winner was Martin Shaw of Mynydd Du breaking Lloyd Taggarts 2006 record of 2.50 with 2.41.
Eryri finishers were:
Math Roberts 2nd, 2.47
Scott Butterworth, 4th, 3.14
Paul Jenks, 6th, 3.16
Arwel Lewis, 8th, 3.20
Rory O'Donnell, 11th, 3.27
Ed Harmer, 12th, 3.28
Andrea Roberts - 1st lady and 16th overall, 3.42
Don W 25TH, 3.51
Ali Thomas - 1st vet 40 lady, 26th, 3.57
Alwyn Oliver, 28th, 3.57
Mike Blake, 29th, 4hrs
Emyr Davies, 33rd, 4.25
John Harold, 36th, 4.36
Definitely a race that everyone has to do once!
Photos: www.prdouglas.co.uk and www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk