Monday, 12 April 2010

"Silence is Golden as the Trojan calls in Mourne Massacre"

British Championships Round 1, Silent Valley, Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland

Once again this weekend an army of Eryri marchers made their way over to the Mourne's in Northern Ireland for the kick-off in this year's British Championships. The race stats were set as 10 miles with 4500ft of climb - the description stated "a substantial amount of running", anyone who had "run" in the Mournes in the past knew this was "true"!

This classic new route started with a shockingly steep climb up Slieve Binnian, at this stage within the Eryri runners Rich Roberts was leading the way with Sam Smith, Math Roberts and Iain Ridgeway a little way behind. In the ladies Sarah Ridgway was stamping her authority on matters by leading Jackie Lee from the off. The descent down to the dam was a classic Mourne descent which was followed after apprx an hour of running another vertical-like ascent of Doan mountain. As this climb got steeper and steeper Rich was still leading the way whilst Sam and Iain had now passed Math - but suddenly as this group of 3 glanced back there was stair climbing king Paul Jenks rolling back the years! Thankfully at the summit of Doan the running part of the race kicked and the Trojan like Jenks inevitably slipped back a little whilst Ridgway and Smith also felt the initiation of running a little too herculean. With the final descent off Slieve Muck approaching Math Roberts was now closing on Rich who had delivered one of his classic race blow-up's, this allowed Math to take Rich just prior to arriving at the 400metre dam wall and final slope descent. 3rd home for Eryri was Iain Ridgway who got his first victory over kayaker Sam Smith who soon followed. The dam wall was the staging point for the next Eryri drama as the titan Jenks led home the duo of mighty Scot James McQueen and Noel Craine (just back from his Manx training camp), McQueen having passed Craine on the final snaking descent. Sarah followed Pete O'Brien to take the 1st lady for the club, she was followed 3 minutes later by Matt Fortes, Jackie Lee and Craig Jones. A shocked Saul Lovatt was next Eryri runner back some 15 minutes later followed by Paul Jones, Mike Blake and Ruth Metcalfe and Becky Law. Ali Thomas was next home to take an early lead in the Dali series by annihilating Dils Rowlands who was next home but who amazingly did manage the fastest split time of all runner's across the dam wall! Alwyn Oliver closely followed Rowlands home with 2nd vet 60 Maggie Oliver next home followed by Alexandra Fletcher. Thanks to Sioned Rowlands for supplying the club runners with drinks on the middle dam wall.

In the team results the men finished 6th the ladies 4th and vet men's 4th.

So once again a legendary route has been created by the Northern Irish - next year is another very runnable long in the inconceivable Mourne Peaks long race.

Eryri finishers:

30th Math Roberts 2.03.03
34th Rich Roberts 2.03.38
38th Iain Ridgway 2.05.00
43rd Sam Smith 2.07.07
59th Paul Jenks 2.11.06
60th James McQueen 2.11.25
61st Noel Craine 2.11.35
71st Pete O'Brien 2.15.44
75th Sarah Ridgway 2.16.34
81st Matthew Fortes 2.19.16
82nd Jackie Lee 2.19.24
84th Craig Jones 2.19.58
121st Saul Lovatt 2.34.53
126th Paul Jones 2.34.44
137th Mike Blake 2.37.35
142nd Ruth Metcalfe 2.41.06
152nd Becky Law 2.46.17
154th Ali Thomas 2.47.58
166th Dils Rowlands 3.00.57
170th Alwyn Oliver 3.04.18
180th Maggie Oliver 3.18.14
186th Alex Fletcher 3.48.28

Official results:

Thanks to Newcastle AC for photos.

Next round in British champs will be the 4 mile Sedbergh 3 peaks on Saturday 26th June so get entries in asap.

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