August 10, 2023

Maesgwm Detour Fell Race

Bob Foreman reports:

Last Saturday’s Maesgwm Detour Fell Race, AM 11 miles, 3,500 feet, was the last race in this years British Championships and the penultimate one in the Welsh. It has been a champs race previously but with a slightly different route as the Maesgwm Muddle!

Setting off to Llanberis at 0700 in what was monsoon like rain, with the forecast for it to get worse, I wondered what the day was to bring.

The rain eased and the skies looked less threatening shortly before the start which enabled many of us to remove a layer of clothing. The first 3 miles and 1,500 feet was a bit of a drag, on varying terrain, up to Bwlch Cwm Brwynog. From here it was steeply up in a westerly direction to the first hill, Moel Cynghorion, aided by an easterly, but cold, tailwind. I was so glad I had a long sleeve HH base layer on under my vest!

From the summit it was a blustery but lovely ridge run along to Foel Gron, Foel Goch and over to Moel Elio. There were some great views when gaps in the clag allowed. At the end of the long descent from Moel Elio to Bwlch y Groes my legs didn’t want to play any more but spirits were buoyed on seeing runners ahead returning from the out and back section to the TP at Cefn Du. On the wind I could hear the voices of runners I had past going in the opposite direction encouraging others behind me so I pushed on as best I could to the TP. From here I gave it full gas, there wasn’t much in the tank though, downhill and kept those behind at bay and even managed to gain a few places in the short section of bracken before the steep, grassy uphill finish which I just about managed to run.

The race was won by Joe Steward of Salford AC who just about managed to keep MAC’s Billy Cartwright at bay, both of them being over 3 mins ahead of the third place. The first lady was Nichola Jackson of Keswick AC

Mick Moorhouse wrapped up his British Champs M70 victory with another 1st M70 win, 127th o/a in 2:19:07.
I was 6th M60, 88th o/a in 1:56:53 but 1st M60 of those in contention of the Welsh Champs with what looks like an unassailable lead with one race to go.

The 1st M60 was fell running legend Colin Donnelly who finished 44th o/a! A pleasure to run in the same race. He still holds the record for the Welsh 3’000ers set in 1983. There is a video on you Tube of the attempt

Thanks to Mike Blake and his troops for putting the event on in those conditions and especially the summit marshals.