May 21, 2023

Ras Y Gader

Bob Foreman reports:

On Saturday, Geoff Cooper and myself went to Dolgellau for Ras Y Gader, aka Cadair Idris Fell Race 10.5 miles and 3,000feet. This year it was the 4th counter in the Welsh Fell Running Championships.
The race starts in the town centre on closed roads and is an out and back to the summit trig point. There is a great atmosphere in town as there are junior races prior to the main event.
At 1pm in scorching sunshine 284 runners set off on the on the first mile and a half of tarmac which stretches the field out before the single track forest path around Llyn Gwernan. Across a couple of fields and then it is all uphill. A combination of rough slabbed paths, grassy trods and an option to use a couple of zig zags or go straight up steeply through heather to the ridge. A left turn and then a long slog with the last 1,000 yards being very rugged and hands are required for the final scramble to the top.
No time to admire the view as it is back down the same way trying to avoid others still ascending and the hundreds of walkers on the hill.
The last mile and a half of tarmac, on empty legs, is worse on the way down but a noisy welcome is assured for all at the finish.
The race was won by Finlay Grant of Dark Peak in 1.26.31 and the First Lady home was Sarah Willhoit of Mercia, 13th o/a in 1.36.15.
I finished 85th and 3rd M60 in 2.04.47 and Geoffrey came in 203rd in 2.29.54.
A great race and day out but some people were in a bit of a tangle at the finish due to the heat. Geoff and I rehydrated at The Ship Hotel with Citra Pale Ale 3.4% from Robinson’s.