The second round of the British Hill/Fell Running Championship took place in Wales this Saturday. Arriving half an hour before the start of the women’s race there was no time for a recce but the clear blue skies allowed the surrounding hills to be admired in all their glory. Nigel had seen multiple runners pointing at one hill in particular so we too looked at it, pointed at it and decided it looked like a pretty good hill to run up on a scorching afternoon. The ladies race set off at half past two and after shouting encouragement at Rachel, Tracy and Kristen (Tracy’s cousin from the USA) the Carnethy men performed a quick warm up. We then stood in a stream to cool back down and cheer through the leading women who looked extremely hot.
The race itself involved a run round a field before heading out along a farm track that zig zagged up the lower half of Tal y Mignedd. Passing through a gate the track turned into a grassy path. After rounding the obelisk at the top of the hill it was a fast descent (for some) all the way back to the start field. The leaders shot off from the gun, kicking up the dust along the track section. Nigel came past me on the track section and I tried to keep him in sight as the gradient increased. Towards the top of the hill I hung on to the coat tails of an older runner who pulled me up to Nigel and we reached the summit at the same time. Nigel then disappeared off down the hill and I followed at a more sedate pace. The final section along the track was horrid and the finish line was a most welcome sight. Simon came storming across the line shortly after followed by Will.
After standing in a different stream to cool down we joined everyone else in heading over to the barn for the prizegiving. No prizes for Carnethy this time although the small Scottish contingent in the men’s race acquitted themselves admirably with James Espie winning overall, Ross Gollan 3rd (1st U23), Ewan Brown 5th and Al Anthony 6th (1st V40). Tents were pitched, beers were purchased and the merits of going to see Elvis were discussed. The fact Elvis was performing in a barn and the midges were out in force ended any discussion and we spent a happy evening in the company of locals and visiting fell runners while Elvis performed a mammoth 3+ hour set. Sunday’s recovery run involved a circuit up and over Snowdon and was excellent.
Results can be found here https://www.racetek-live.co.uk/website/public_results/678/complete_results/