Monday, 25 March 2013

Race Report - Round 1, The Welsh Ultra Running and Trail Marathon Series

Was that for real? For those that braved the extreme conditions on Saturday words cannot fully describe the conditions, mental, awesome, incredible and shell shocked were amongst them.

Conditions were already deteriorated whilst the team were laying the full course on Thursday, Plan B quickly became a consideration. Friday as the temperatures plummeted further and the snow and gale forced winds came in, we knew we had to seriously consider Plan C! We’d be lying if we said that ice fields and mud slides were all part of the original plan.

Plan C incorporated a single loop for the trail marathon and a second for the ultra competitors. We were delighted by how many people made it to the start line with 128 mad folk signing on at registration.

Many were concerned at registration that the heavily revised route was not going to provide a sufficient enough challenge, many asking whether 3 laps would be more appropriate. However the team having experienced the extreme conditions on the hill first hand a few hours earlier were pretty confident 2 would be sufficient.

The field contained some quality runners which ensured that the sharp end was going to get spicy. Experienced fell runners Mark Palmer and Hugh Aggleton eked out a lead in the early stages hotly pursued by a following group including Andrew James and 2012 series winner Piers Stockwell.

A dropped water bottle from Hugh and relentless pace from Mark meant Mark led the field home in an awesome 3 hours 39 mins and 27 seconds claiming the veteran’s prize in the process proving that age is no barrier! Hugh followed approx. 8 minutes later, whilst Andrew James rounded out the top three with a time of 4 hours ish.

Katy Roby battled the snow, ice and wind to win the ladies title in a time of 4 hours 43 mins and 38 seconds from Lou Summers and Rosemary Lobley in times of 4hrs 54mins 16 secs and 5hrs 23mins 35secs respectively.

The Trail Marathon competitors braved the same course for one lap. The male category was won by Mark Wilkins in 2 hours 47 mins 53 secs and Angela Price brought the women home in 3 hours 4 mins and 57 secs.

A full list of results are available here

Our photographer Jon at MUEN photography is frantically working away to get some fantastic images which capture the spirit of the event, the first batch are available here to purchase, more to follow.

We would also like to say a massive thank you to sponsors GU Energy for providing gels at the checkpoints which proved more popular than ever. If you would like to purchase any of the diverse flavors for other events then please take a look here and we’ll get them sent straight out to you.

We would also like to thanks Vivobarefoot for sponsoring the event and supplying shoes for prizes. In case you did not already know Vivobarefoot are a pioneer of the barefoot movement. It may also interest you to know that the 2013 range is due in shortly, keep half an eye on here.

Lastly we would like to say a huge Thank You to all those that braved the extreme elements and supported the event making it a truly unforgettable experience for all concerned!

See you at the next one :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for not cancelling this race - when I saw the revised route I was a little disappointed having loved the look of the original - but once up on the first hill with the wind, blizzard and ice field anyone could see why - the Plan C route was great - and in NO WAY EASY! I was just glad to have made it to the other side of the first climb and at that stage thought there was no way I would do it again but was glad I did the two laps - just made that - couldn't have done three! The marshals were amazing esp the one out there on that first climb - superhuman?? Asking if we were ok and did we have food - how did he survive so long there?? Anyway thanks it must have been a worrying to have a race in those conditions so great respect for not cancelling :)