Trail up the Beat – Wednesday 10th June, 2015.
Last year a torrential downpour literally minutes before starting the race resulted in some miserable faces as runners stood around dithering in soggy shorts waiting to get under way. This year was very different; dry and reasonably warm. Two of the previous winners (Buckley’s Jez and Pensby’s Rob) were both present and appeared eager to commence despite both completing the Welsh 1000’s just days earlier.
Around 100 runners soon started their mad dash through Big Coppice Wood towards the twin climbs of Bryn Alyn. Approximately the first mile offers the faster runners an opportunity to move through the field; the shadow-dappled stone path is reasonably wide and undulating rather than genuinely steep.
Almost momentarily though the first climb was on us and following encouragement from a still-injured Steve (Toogood) we dragged ourselves up the steep incline. Initially a narrow gravel track the competitors anon clambered over a stile and were presented with grassy hill side offering further short steep climbs which culminated in a clamber up a couple of limestone escarpments.
Tired limbs traversed the summit for a while and plunged down a grassy hillside and before long the second climb offered itself. Steep, narrow, occasionally slippy – with additional hazards of thorny bushes – this climb was shorter than the first to the relief of many.
The route then travelled back along the original outward track and finished back in Maeshafn. Whilst occasionally some runners deviated from the optimum line (confusing orange mark poles with the tape and arrows used to mark the race route), all made it back successfully to the finish – much to John’s relief.
Buckley were well represented indicating the popularity of the race with the club. Jez of course led home the blue contingent finishing 2nd, Simon E and Simon R followed in shortly later. A fantastic performance over the weekend in the Welsh 1000’s didn’t appear to impinge on Andy P’s legs either – whizzing to the finish just a little while afterwards. Justin, Dave, Hayley, Alice, Andy W, Hazel and Phil completed the course in range of respectable times.
John had a novel take on prize giving later; essentially a lottery. This made for good supplemental entertainment with some wildly inappropriate prizes. Justin – shortbread (doesn’t like shortbread), Hayley – potatoes (doesn’t really eat many) and Jez – olive oil (doesn’t strike me a cook). That said at least they steered clear of the giant tub of Vaseline;possibly one of the most bizarre prizes seen for some time!