Sat 15th Oct - Sun 16th Oct, 2011

Fell Race @ Ty Powdyr

Members: Colin Maddison, Al Metelko, Trish Cranston, Bob Kelly, Michelle Harvie, Mark Garrod, Dave Wylie, Dave Dillon, Joanne Heslop, Alan L. Jones, Roger Dyke.

Guests: Mark Heslop


Does the Fell Race really put off people so much that you miss out on such a glorious day as we had on the Saturday. It was dawn-to-dusk sunshine, really clear views, and warm at times. Colin and Dave W completed a couple of classic routes on Carreg Wastad, Michelle and Mark walked over Elidir Fawr and the Glyders to Capel Curig, and bussed it back to Llanberis, and Dave D set off with camera and umbrella – some shady goings on with photos?

Sunday was better attended, and 8 keen Fell Race competitors set off in 2 waves from Dolbadarn Castle to answer a question that has nagged me for a while; what is the best way to get to the col under Snowdon (Bwlch Cwm Brwynog), that the Snowdon Ranger path drops down near to? Answer – probably straight up the valley from Helfafawr. The 2nd checkpoint was cunningly placed on the northeast side of MoelEilio so that those trying to find it from above or the side had to get close before they could spot it or Alan, who was manning it, whereas I could observe their meanderings by binoculars from Ty Powdwr, thanks to the clear visibility.

As the results show, Dave W was spot-on with his navigation, and as a result, managed 2nd place overall and first in the Handicap, the former by only 10 minutes, the latter only by 5 or 6 minutes from Bob and Colin, who were nip and tuck for 3rd overall and 2nd and 3rd in the handicap. Michelle, as the results show, ran the fastest, but also the furthest and up and down the most by a fair margin between CP’s 1 and 2, giving Al and Colin amusement by her disappearing and reappearing trick. Despite that, Michelle won the race outright for the first time. Dave D, as the results might suggest, stopped for coffee en route. Mark was consistently steady, and Trish and Al were just warming up for their cycle the length of Wales starting the next day. Some measures of the course setters success are the level of debate generated post-event about who went where (plenty of that), and the number of route options selected in the first 50m from the start – in this case 3; very satisfying, even if one was evidently wrong!

As Michelle won outright, Trish got the fastest lady trophy. Unfortunately this year we had no first time entrants, so the Concordia trophy was not awarded.

Thanks to Joanne and Alan for checkpointing, Roger for coming over from Anglesey to help stir the soup and welcome the runners back in, and all the competitors. It really isn’t that daunting you know, and actually quite fun.

Mark Garrod

Meet Promo:

Don’t miss your chance to bag a trophy, fame or infamy, in the annual club Fell Race, being held from Ty Powdwr this year. The race is being held on the Sunday Oct 16th, with the normal staggered starts from 10am to allow walkers to get away before the runners. I may produce a map of the relevant area for the event itself, for people to use, but please bring your own maps (OL17 1:25000 Snowdon) just in case, and for any Saturday jaunts. Sensible attendees will also bring compass, whistle, bad weather gear, bumbag or lightweight sac, map case, fell shoes or other suitable footwear, and even mobile phones (reception not guaranteed, and no phoning checkpoint marshals to ask where they are!). GPS assistance not allowed.

The provisional course is only around 11 kms as the crow flies, but don’t be fooled too much by that, also anyone flying gets disqualified. There is about a minimum of ~800m of ascent, and the course has the normal mix of route choices, scenic vistas and rarely-visited terrain, good paths and bottomless bogs, and a hard-to-find-in-mist checkpoint (only one of these; there is also one easy to find one!). The start is NOT from the hut, so please either make sure you are at the hut in good time to plan your route and get to the start (~20 minutes walk, just to get you warmed up), or let me know and I’ll arrange to meet you at the start (you can also get there by car). The finish is at the hut, where hot showers, soup and tea await!.

For those not yet familiar with the event, don’t worry, it’s not taken too seriously, and even if you don’t want to run, walkers and joggers are welcome. Newcomers to the club are especially welcome – you can even set off in pairs if you want. As ever, anyone interested in marshalling and manning the 2 checkpoints are, of course, even more welcome. You then get to experience the pleasures and pain of the event without too much exertion.

This is a weekend meet, with climbing, swimming, walking, or trying guess and recce potential race routes all possibilities for Saturday.

Ty Powdwr is also easily do-able in a day from Manchester (and Comberbach), so no excuses, I want to see all you walkers and runners out in the hills for an excellent days entertainment and exploration. If you are intending coming, please let me know if at all possible, so that I know numbers for soup and tea post-race.

Mark Garrod

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