Results may be seen here

Photos may be seen here

This year’s edition of the Fan y Big Horseshoe fell race was held under sunny skies with firm soil underfoot, somewhat taking the fun and jeopardy out of the peat hag jumping section near the top of the climb, but allowing clear views of the formidable 600 metres of vertical climb and long taxing descent. Highlights of the race included the loose cobbly lane section part way up the climb (worth ten places and much glee to the author), and a descent that goes on for miles and miles (destroying the tiring author’s soul and several runners’ soles).

For the first time, the fell race was held alongside the Llanfrynach Village Fete, meaning a slightly different start and finish location to previous years. This was welcomed by the majority of runners as it shortened the formerly hideous road section at the end of the race, and provided ready access to burgers, hot dogs, bacon baps, and splendid cakes.

The race attracted an international field (i.e. runners from both England and Wales). The men’s prize was won by Jim Webb of Team Bath AC with a commanding lead of nearly six minutes. The battle for second place was a much closer-run thing with home club favourite Richie Johnson of Mynydd Du coming in just 15 seconds ahead of a fast descending Sam Ryall of Pontypridd Roadents.

Meanwhile, Helen Marshall of Aberystwyth AC maintained a lead of around 90 seconds over Dee Jolly of Sarn Helen from the summit to the finish to claim the lady’s prize, with Hayley Evans of Buckley Runners just another 27 seconds back.

A new M60 category record was set by David Vaudin of Team Bath AC in a time of 1:31:36, taking over two and a half minutes off the previous best.

After the race those competitors with energy still left to burn were able to participate in a variety of exciting agricultural games. The Mynydd Du team were sadly lacking their 600 kg Welsh Champion (Ian Whistance of Grosmont) and performed poorly in the tug-of-war. However, a special mention should be made of Evan Ryan, who despite losing nearly a pint of blood from his nipples during the race managed to win the gate hanging contest in some style.

A superb race again, but the author hopes for a great deal more rain, mist and mud in future editions.

James Woodier

Senior prize winners

Category Name Club Time
1st Open Male Jim Webb Team Bath AC 01:14:39
2nd Open Male Richard Johnson Mynydd Du 01:20:37
3rd Open Male Sam Ryall Pontypridd Roadents 01:20:52
1st Open Female Helen Marshall Aberystwyth AC 01:33:20
2nd Open Female Dee Jolly Sarn Helen 01:35:18
3rd Open Female Hayley Evans Buckley Runners 01:35:45
1st Male V40 Andrew Reeves Serpentine Running Club 01:21:16
1st Male V50 Christian Poulton Cambridge Harriers 01:22:18
1st Male V60 David Vaudin Team Bath AC 01:31:36
1st Male V70 -- -- --
1st Female V40 Julie Cashell Mynydd Du 01:36:53
1st Female V50 Sharon Woods Mynydd Du 01:55:20
1st Female V60 -- -- --
1st Female V70 -- -- --
1st Local Ged Murphy (Llanfihangel Talyllyn)   01:40:27
Fastest to the summit Jim Webb Team Bath AC 00:38:--
Fastest descent Jim Webb Team Bath AC 00:36:--
M Team Andrew Reeves (4), James Gillanders (9), Jonathan Moscrop (11) Serpentine Running Club  
F Team Julie Cashell (46), Rhian Probert (49), Sharon Woods (92) Mynydd Du