Four Harriers win North Wales Championship Trail medals as Harriers spend the weekend on the hills
Denbigh Harriers hosted their annual trail race, The Fairy Freckled Cow at Alwen Reservoir on Sunday on a glorious sunny day. The 12th running of this popular event saw its highest turnout with many on the day entries as in spite of the heat as 137 runners took to the route.
This is an 11k race with 177 metres of ascent. The race is run starting from the path to the right hand side of the dam, and this year was back to its official length with the gate 20m from the start line having been opened. The route consists of one lap of the reservoir crossing the bridge at the far end halfway through the race before the fabled hill.
After the safety briefing, the field were led out by many North Wales Elite runners as the route also served as a North Wales Trail Championship race. Given the heat, priority for the race was to ensure everyone got round safely with PB’s and course records not expected. The heat was an obvious tell with many more walking the hill than in previous years and all the lead runners taking water at the midway water station.
Last year’s winner Tom Roberts, Meirionydd, certainly didn’t appear to be affected by the heat. 38 mins and 22 seconds after he started Tom crossed the finish line 56 seconds ahead of Owen Roberts, Hebog in 39:18. Tom was a mere 6 seconds behind his record from last year and some would argue that the extra 20m would account for those seconds. Incredible running in these conditions from this talented young runner. Third place was taken Shaun Hughes of Denbigh Harriers beating his time last year by 16 seconds and finishing in a personal best of 41:32.
In the ladies race, Amie Bagnall, Prestatyn, was first lady and 13th overall in 47:27 taking 6 seconds off her previous best in 2016, followed in by Elliw Haf, Eryri in 48:12, taking an incredible 2 mins 11 off her time last year. Third place was Jen Adams, Buckley in 50:34.
A further 11 Harriers took part in the race with Glen Price finishing strongly in the top 20 in 17th 48:42. Breaking the hour mark Huw Williams 26th 52:54 led in Mat Jones 29th 53:54, closely followed by Fred Jones 36th and 2nd VM60 55:20. First lady home for Denbigh was Melina Morris well under the hour mark 45th and 3rd VF40 in 58:30. Mari Williams came in next completing the course 74th in 66:00 followed by Sali Powell 82nd 68:10 and Alaw Medi Evans 95th in 72:20. Ed Brown in his first race in 4 years was a little off his PB but happy with 104th and 77:16. Llyr Jones was not far behind in 116th 81:41. Dawn Marshall brought up the rear in 120th 84:22.
In the North Wales Trail Championships, eligibility is required by birth or residence meaning 4 Harriers took medals home. Shaun Hughes was promoted to second taking home a silver medal and was joined by Melina Morris also promoted to silver for VF40. Fred Jones collected his silver for VM60 and Glen Price was awarded bronze for VM40.
Thanks to Harriers and friends David Baugh, Katy Baugh, Menai Baugh, Tony Benton, Anwen Brown, Seren & Gwil Brown, Owen Conry, Ted Conry, Jacky Cox, Helen Davies, Rob Gotts, Duncan Jones, Ian Jones, Llyr Jones, Caroline Parry, Rob Parry, Glen Price, Hywel Roberts, Roger Snaith, Claire Spencer, David Spencer, Victoria Whitehead, Kate Wilson, Kellie Wynne Jones for giving up their time to stage the race and to Peak Marquee for the donation of the tents, Denbigh Army Cadets, St John Ambulance and Dwr Cymru for their support.
Many of the volunteers for the Fairy Freckled Cow clearly didn’t believe a weekend off racing was in order so on Saturday Denbigh Harriers had a fantastic turnout out on the Carneddau – it was another incredible hot day.
Six Harriers ran the Vegan 3000 ‘s Half race. This is a 13.8 mile race with 3,804 foot of ascent which runs over 6 of the mountains over 3000ft in the Carneddau . It is held at the same time as the Vegan 3000’s Ultra Race which visits all 15 summits over 3000ft. Victoria Whitehead had an excellent run, finishing 10th out of 39 runners and second lady overall. She was followed by Katy Baugh who just missed out on a podium position, finishing fourth lady.
Next Harrier to finish was Sioned Griffiths who despite having taken a wrong turning on this difficult -to- navigate terrain, finished 5th lady. 6th and 7th ladies to finish were Anwen Brown and Menai Baugh both having thoroughly enjoyed the ascents and the long 5 mile descent. Jon Whitehead found the heat on the last 3 miles whilst descending into the valley, intolerable.
The official results and positions (which differ slightly from the runners actual times and positions recorded on their watches) are as follows Victoria Whitehead 10th & 2nd Lady 3 hr 09m, Katy Baugh 16th 3hr 33m, Sioned Lloyd Griffiths 21st 3hr 44min, Anwen Brown 23rd 3 hr 47 min, Menai Baugh 24th 3 hr 47 min, Jon Whitehead 26th 3 hr 55 min.
In the full Ultra race David Baugh had 5am start for this race over 36 miles and 13,000ft of ascent. In the early morning cool, the runners ran up Snowdon and then tackled the remaining fourteen 3,000ft peaks as temperatures soared. There were a high number of runners forced to retire as the day warmed up and the technical terrain took its toll. David completed the course in 13hr 58 min in 47th=.
Just 2 Harriers at Parkrun this week. Tony Benton was 23rd in 24:11 at hilly Wepre with Philip Hayes 84th at faster Conwy in 24:32.
Fairy Freckled Cow Trail Race 11k Shaun Hughes 3rd 41:32 PB, Glen Price 17th 48:42, Huw Williams 26th 52:54, Mat Jones 29th 53:54, Fred Jones 36th & 2nd VM60 55:20, Melina Morris 45th & 3rd VF40 58:30, Mari Williams 74th 66:00, Sali Powell 82nd 68:10, Alaw Medi Evans 95th 72:20, Ed Brown 104th 77:16, Llyr Jones 116th 81:41, Dawn Marshall 120th 84:22
Vegan 3000s Full 36m David Baugh 47th= 13hr 58 Half 13.8m Victoria Whitehead 10th & 2nd Lady 3 hr 09m, Katy Baugh 16th 3hr 33m, Sioned Lloyd Griffiths 21st 3hr 44min, Anwen Brown 23rd 3 hr 47 min, Menai Baugh 24th 3 hr 47 min, Jon Whitehead 26th 3 hr 55 min
Parkrun Conwy Philip Hayes 84th 24:32 Wepre Tony Benton 23rd 24:11