Ras Fawr Llanddoged – 13th September 2015 – Race report by Simon Edwards
A foray onto the road (apart from the odd Borders League race) has been quite a rare occurrence for me for several years and so in a (probably futile) approach to try and keep a bit of fitness as the mountain races wane towards the end of the year this race that Jez mentioned caught my eye.
Several aspects of the race appealed to my slightly skewed character:
- It was a non-standard distance – being 12.5km meant if I didn’t think too hard I wouldn’t need to worry how slow I’d covered 10km on tarmac.
It was described as being “challenging” – which usually means it goes up and down a lot.
The fields from previous years were quite small – this means the race would be less frenzied, friendly – and of course offers a better chance of winning something.
In keeping with the slightly off-kilter nature of the race just 40 competitors set off at 11:30 on a breezy, warmish Sunday morning. After less than 10 seconds we encountered our first climb. It was steep and took a couple of minutes before a brief section of level ground … followed by another climb, then a drop, and then another climb.
In fact the whole 12.5km mostly over small country lanes followed that meme; rise, fall, (brief flat) … and repeat for 50-odd minutes. Hence “challenging” was not an unfair word to use. However other words that could be used might include “scenic”, “breath taking” (in lots of ways) and “friendly”.
The race itself was well marshalled and well supported by the local community and whilst the field was small, it did remain competitive throughout. As for Buckley runners; just myself and Simon Roberts were present (Justin ran “unattached”) and so I was pleased with 4th – though a couple of minutes down on Simon R. Justin continued to improve his road running too – coming home 4 minutes behind me in around 55 minutes finishing in 10th spot.
Prize giving in the school followed and Simon won a small shield for his 3rd position and I bagged £15 for 1st v40 – the most I’ve ever managed to win!
So whilst there was no chip timing, no fancy banners and fast and level roads to thrash down it was full of character and was a fun morning out in Snowdonia. If you are looking beyond the bog-standard road races then you should have this on your list of considerations for next year.