Race the Train

Race Report by Rob Mackey

Race the Train – Saturday 15th August


For the 32nd running of this amazing event the camping group from Buckley Runners was nearly 20, made up of runners, friends and family in tents and caravans.  By Friday evening everyone was on the site, enjoying the weather and resisting the temptation to drink, except for the friends and family, and it would be rude not to join them.


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Saturday morning was fine and bright, gentle breeze and getting warmer.  The morning anticipation is palpable. All over the campsite people are getting ready to run. Stretching, pinning on numbers, carb loading and chatting.  A steady stream of cars leaves to get to Dolgoch for the morning races. The train whistle clearly audible as it heads up the valley ready for the start. Three of our group, Amanda, Mike and Sonia,  are running in the morning. For all of them it is a new experience.  Plus Paul and Connor joining the fun.  They all get back clasping their medals and sporting their new t-shirts.


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Main race is at 2.05.  It’s getting warmer as nearly 1000 runners wait for the train whistle and set off. The High Street is crowded as we head out of town, past the famous ice cream shop and off into the countryside. After a mile (even if I have never found the 1 mile marker) Over the railway bridge and for the next 6 miles we make our way up the valley running first to the right and then on the left of the railway track. It’s good running to there, followed by 4 miles of technical stuff, hillside tracks, tree roots, slippery banks, and the bog of doom. The last 3 miles are back along the fields and into town.  After a slight deviation up a side street the finish by the school is a welcome sight.  Another one done, another medal and another tshirt. Paul and Dan beat the train, Jane didn’t but had an excellent run.  I finished in time for the BBQ.


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