Race Report by Simon Edwards
Tuesday 12th May – Moel-y-Gest
Another Tuesday evening race, another long drive – this the longest of them all – Porthmadog! However the traffic was light and the weather cooperated for a change. One and half hours later the outline of Moel-y-Gest presented itself to us, perched on the edge of the small town.
To be blunt we were disappointed – all the way for that small bump! However the mood soon lifted when we arrived at the destination. This time a quiet, well maintained caravan park, yet another idyllic setting. But still that small hill! Little did we know even after a small jog over some of the course to check out the terrain, which in a word could be described as gnarly.
Shortly after we lined up with the rest and set off twisting our way through some gentle climbs in some woodland to string out the field ready for the hill proper. It soon became evident that we had completely maligned Moel-y-Gest. The initial climb was run-able (almost) though very rocky.
On arrival at the summit we spent a goodly time traversing a rocky ridgeline that merged heather, grass and rocks requiring constant clambering and jumping – exhausting! Then a fast grassy descent and back to the finish – or so I thought! Instead we crossed fields and moorland and had to climb the first summit again – hard going with tired legs getting constantly caught by brambles, heather and sprouting ferns.
Then a mad dash down to the start using the same rocky trails. The result was a tricky technical dash – where loss of concentration would result in a fall – on to unforgiving rock! We all returned humbled and exhilarated. Such a seemly small hill offered a huge range of features and such was the difficultly that even the winner took around 35 minutes to do less than 4 miles!
We milled around at the finish (with the usual splashes of blood, bruises and cuts that any worthwhile fell race generates) for a while and after a warm down moved inside the onsite pub.
Refreshments capped off the evening with the prize giving following the familiar pattern
- John Morris – 1st V70
- Steve Toogood – 1st V50
- Simon Edwards – nout!