July 21, 2023

Gwastedyn Hill Race

Bob Foreman reports:

This little race in Mid-Wales is part of Rhayader Carnival week celebrations and goes up to the large cairn at the summit of Gwastedyn Hill just south of the town centre. A distance of 3.8 miles and 950 feet of ascent.
It was a very busy Tuesday evening for the 89 senior and 82 junior runners starting from the cattle market in the town centre. The juniors, under 16, start 10 minutes before the main race.

A fast tarmac start down the A470 for around half a mile to the sewage works where a farmer was blocking the road with his Land Rover!

From here it was all uphill to the summit, firstly on a muddy woodland path, where the first of the juniors were reeled in, and then on lovely grassy open hillside. I also managed to reel in some seniors who had set off far too fast and were running out of steam on the ascent. Up to the cairn and then a loop around a bog on the summit plateau before a great fast grassy descent to the top of the woodland path where my X Talon Ultra 260’s were perfect allowing me to pick off a couple more seniors who were sliding all over the place. Back into town on the A470 and the finish.

A really enjoyable race and it was great to see so many youngsters taking part. The winner was Jonathan Pugh of Builth and District RC in 28.39. The first lady was Zoe Zembrzuski, 11th overall in 35.59. I was 6th and 2nd V40 (only senior and V40 categories) in 32.22.

Back to The Angel in Llanidloes where a very good Jemima’s Pitchfork 4.5% from Glamorgan Brewing Co provided the much needed rehydration!