Fri 27th Sep - Sun 29th Sep, 2019
Fell Race Weekender
Members present: Heather Driscol, Jared Kitchen, Emily Thompson, Colin Maddison, Alan (Liv) Jones, Dave Dillon, Craig Marsden, Emily Pitts and Duncan Lee.
Guests present: Max Driscol and Iain Bell.
The weekend was pretty much a wash out with the long forecast deluge duly arriving on both days. Saturday saw Max and Heather doing a warm up 15km run from Capel Curig whilst Colin walked over to the delightful Cwm Cywion to see if there was a spot where checkpoint 2 might not sink on the following day. Having found a suitable location he couldn’t resist taking a direct scramble back up to the ridge on his way back to the hut, a peaceful wander that was interrupted when he bumped into me out for a run in the quarries. Alan meanwhile went for a wet walk in the woods heading out towards Fachwen. Later we were all regaled with tales of how many times Heather had ended up on her backside as they slithered around the hills.
Sundays weather was absolutely awful and caused my phone to start buzzing as Mark, Michelle and Joe all called to give their apologises for suffering from common sense. As horizontal heavy drizzle lashed across the mist obscured landscape I thought long and hard about cancelling the race but the select band of hardy souls seemed up for giving it a go and all had the experience and nous to know when enough was enough. Thus the marshals all set off to their respective checkpoints with the dogs questioning Heather’s “lifestyle choices” as she dragged them up to the top of Elidir Fach aka checkpoint 1.
Emily P, the solitary walker sallied forth at 10.30am and quickly disappeared into the mist as she headed towards the quarries for a slog up the incline. 5 hardy souls followed half an hour later and again all choose to head into the quarries to either flog up the incline or the track to the left. I then left Alan manning the finishing line and headed out for a run myself. As I was being blown around and soaked text messages began to come in from the marshals. Heb was freezing and wanted them to hurry up, Colin hoped they were all well prepared with suitable kit whilst Dave said “think i’m at checkpoint 3. Cairn is 1ft tall. Shelter holds 4 cosy.” Maybe he was planning a party!
Somewhere near the top of the quarries Jared and Emily T decided enough was enough thus getting back to the hut before me in time for hot tea and soup. Emily P saw sense at checkpoint 1 and walked back to the hut with Heather and the dogs. The remaining 3 competitors battled on through the mist and rain to find Colin sat in a waterlogged bivi bag at Checkpoint 2 and then having toiled back over Foel Goch and Carnedd y Filiast they eventually all passed Dave who cheerfully reported that the “umbrella still good.” To get a feel of the fun Dave was having with his umbrella check out....... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nIMQT9rCD4
The 1st runner to appear out of the mirk back at Ty Powdwr was Max who looked pleased that it was all over. A great run that earned him the Concordia Trophy for the best first time effort , despite not actually being a member of the club yet. The first and only KMC member to complete the course was Craig who also appeared delighted that he could finally get out of the rain and into dry clothes. Thus Iain was the last saturated competitor off the hill followed closely by Colin, Dave and the umbrella.
Thanks to everyone who came along to help keep the tradition of the club Fell Race alive despite the dreadful weather. A great effort by all 6 competitors and the marshals, and thanks to Alan for helping back at the hut. Also thanks to the generosity of those involved I was able to send a £50 cheque to Pendleside Hospice. Cheers.
Ps. I later found out that a 10km road race in Preston was cancelled that day due to the weather!
This years festival for the directionally challenged will be based at Ty Powdwr for the first time in a few years. Who knows there may actually be a few bits of mountainside in the area that participants have not accidentally wandered over in previous years. Maybe there should be a special prize for anyone who finds somewhere that Colin or Michelle have not already strayed to.
The race as always is on the Sunday thus leaving Saturday free to explore the area on foot or to go climbing if the Snowdonian weather permits.
On the Sunday the race will follow the usual format with the walkers setting forth at 10.30am and the runners at 11am.(I promise to try and remember that this year.) The route will be approximately 12 miles and will require the ability to navigate or to follow someone who can. As always there will be a little bit of up and down and 2 or 3 checkpoints to find along the way. Hopefully we will be blessed with mistier weather than last year to make things a bit more interesting.
As always trophies are awarded for 4 categories. Those being, the fastest person, the fastest lady, the lottery that is the handicap and the Concordia trophy for the best first time effort by a club member.
Hot soup is also guaranteed for those that run, walk or help and I might even try to bake a cake but it’ll probably be flapjack as always. Volunteers for checkpoint duty would be most appreciated.
Hope to see you on the day but a bit of advance notice would help on the catering front.