Hi all – our next race is the RACK Raid to be held on 2nd June 2019.
Please see the updated 2019 Information Booklet – but keep an eye on the page as we will be updating it regularly.
Our next race, to be hold on Sunday November 4th will be the Twmbarlwm Terror – check it out:
The 2018 RACK Raid information has been updated – please visit the page for more info.
The new 2018 Membership form can be found on the About Us page:
Preparation has begun for the 2018 version of the RACK Raid.
Keep an eye on our page for further information over the coming weeks.
Look at our Tony Jennings page for more info:
If you notice any errors please contact us.
Great tough coarse at final GLCL XC Pontypool Park. Thank you Darren for the group photo, and Jessica for the awesome cakes 🙂
We still need runners for Endure24, 10-11-12th of June. 24hr team relay. 12 midday Sat, to 12 midday Sunday. 5mile fairly easy trail loop, Taken in turn by each team member. The aim its for the team to complete as many laps as possible in 24hrs. AWESOME FUN HAD BY ALL LAST YEAR. AND A GREAT TEAM BUILDING WEEKEND
Below you will see the results of the last handicap. You may even be able to make senswe of them! I input them as a table, using the table feature in the web site add content page. It looked great in the editor, yet when I saved it was completely cocked up (technical term). If anyone fancies having a go at editing it I'd be grateful, and if you can show me how to do so even more grateful.
I'm aware that I could have attached a word or excel file, but wanted to keep it here as the rest of this season's results are already here.
|Name||Start Time||Finish Time||Run Time||Run Position|
Darran W also started but DNF with tight thigh as racing Sunday
Great effort everyone with good crop of PBs for this course
Fairwater Runners Handicap Results 28/01/2016
Finish Position Name Start Time Finish Time Run Time Run Position
1 Julie Lees 5:30 50:07 44:37 7+
2 Stella Symons 5:30 50:07 44:37 7=
3 Andrew James 9:00 50:16 41:36 6
4 Jeanette Jenkins 14:30 51:52 37:22 2
5 Heather – 51:58 51:58 9
6 Darran Wavering 12:40 52:14 39:44 5
7 Martyn Jenkins 15:00 53:00 38:00 3=
8 Adrian Gwilliam 15:00 53:00 38:00 3=
9 Richard Bowie 17:30 54:34 36:04 1
10 Jessica Kent – 56:08 56:08 10
11 Gary Adams Got Lost DNF
Fairwater Runners Handicap Results 17/12/2015
Finish Position Name Start Time Finish Time Run Time Run Position
1 Roger Mills 15:30 50:48 35:18 2
2 Martyn Jenkins 15:00 51:47 36:47 4
3 Jeanette Jenkins 14:30 51:55 37:25 5
4 Darran Wavering 14:00 52:13 38:13 6
5 Garry Woods 08:00 52:30 44:30 9
6 Rob Symons 18:00 52:38 34:38 1
7 Helen Gwilliam 04:00 52:59 48:59 10
8 Richard Bowie 17:30 53:13 35:43 3
9 Adrian Gwilliam 15:00 53:37 38:37 7
10 Julie Roche 12:00 56:21 44:21 8
11 Sue Williams Got Lost DNF
Fairwater Runners Handicap Results 26/11/2015
Finish Position Name Start Time Finish Time Run Time Run Position
1 Jessica Kent – 53:12 53:12 16
2 Guto 15:00 54:07 39:07 7
3 Darran Wavering 15:00 54:25 39:25 8
4 Julie Roche 15:00 54:52 39:52 9
5 Roger Mills 18:00 55:17 37:17 4
6 Richard Bowie 20:00 55:49 35:49 2
7 Jeanette Jenkins 17:30 56:07 38:37 6
8 Reg King 21:00 56:09 35:09 1
9 Martyn Jenkins 18:30 56:28 37:58 5
10 Jane Lewis 14:00 57:21 43:21 11
11 Liz Walsh 18:00 58:02 40:02 10
12 Garry Woods 13:30 58:16 44:46 13
13 Steve Morgan 22:40 58:28 35:58 3
14 Sue Williams 07:00 59:19 52:19 15
15 Helen Gwilliam 11:00 60:36 49:36 14
16 Andrew James 18:30 62:52 44:22 12
See race calendar for training schedule for December.
Results of time trial 17 November 2015
1st Rob Symons 27.29
2nd Ziggy 29.00
3rd Martyn 30.43
4th Jeanette 31.16
5th Vicky 34.38
6th Jennifer 37.18
7th John 39.11
8th Suzanne 40.52
Well done all on running and trying so hard on a very windy night!
Time trial results from 20 October 2015
26:35 -Garry Adams 1st
27:12- Mike Skyrme
28:17- Peter Jones
28:18 – Rob Symons
29:03 – Richard Bowie
29:24 – Becky Poole
29:53 – Sian Hobbs
30:28 – Martyn Jenkins
30:41 – Rob Lewis
30:55 – Liz Walsh
31:14 – Bev Bradbury Jones
31:30 – Adrian Gwillium
34:21 – Jane Lewis
34:23 – Hannah King
35:08 – Victoria Reynolds
35:51 – Stella Symons
Well done all excellent results.
Well what a weekend. Pontypool 100th Park run saw Martyn and Ziggy in the core team as usual undertaking their duties and accommpanied by Mike Williams. We had a fab turnout to run for Fairwater with Rob John, Angela Jones, Roger Mills, Rebecca Poole, Garry Woods and JJ all getting PB's, poor old Tim Murphy failed to get a PB but matched his PB time. In adition we saw Mike Skyrme, Natalie and Owen Skyrme who have become regular attenders, Julie Roche, Gwill, Iain Gordon our Scottish visitor, and Jessica Kent all running well and enjoying themselves. Then Sunday saw a good turn out at the Ponty Plod with Angela Jones being second lady, also runing was Rob John fifth overall, Mike Skyrme, Gwill, Rebecca Poole, JJ, Martyn Jenkins, Roger Mills, Liz Walsh and Garry Woods which was amazing as he had not done the training but managed to get home in just over 2 hours. In addition we had Ziggy marshalling and as far as we know he did not send anybody the wrong way so another good result. So all in all an excellent weekend with good reults all round. Well done everybody.
We are having a club bbq at the boating lake cwmbran on Saturday 29th August 2015. 12.00 midday.
All family members invited,please bring your own food & drink,the club will supply the charcoal etc..
Look forward to seeing you all there 🙂
Venue for the 5th and final race of the GLCL 2015 Road Race Series hosted by Chepstow Harriers on Tues. 18th August has changed.
The new venue is Undy Athletic Football Club, The Causeway, Magor, NP26 3EW.
The course is expected to be very similar to The Magor Marsh 10k.
For latest information of GLCL races, see GLCL facebook page :
Sent: Friday, 19 June 2015 20:42
This is an ideal opportunity for ungraded volunteers to start the process of becoming a graded Official
It would also help existing Officials who have not previously attended any Endurance course
The Risk Awareness course is now mandatory for all Endurance Officials and will be strictly adhered to by Uk Athletics as from 1st April 2016 when the new Rule book comes into effect.
For full details of the 2 courses apply to Derek Crowder at the WA Office to book a place and get course details.
WA Endurance Officials Secretary
Sticky post for our next race – Click —-> RACK RAID
AGM minutes are now available when you login on the meeting minutes page. If you need a log-in please speak to Roger
Hi to all committee members can we go ahead with this weeks meeting please. I have Jeanette’s proposed agenda but will need someone to take notes. Can we tailor our runs to start the meeting for 8.15 sharp as there is a lot to go through. Many thanks Garry
Hi Folks who wants to volunteer to set out running routes for a month? It is really important that new people get involved with the running club and a new runner can bring variety with new routes which avoids boredom. If you can propose routes with cut off points then this is really helpful as it allows for individuals to do the distance suitable for them. Have a look at the January calendar to see what information has been. You can choose your month there are still 10 left to choose from for this year. If you do not know how to add the detail we can assist with this.
I'd like to wish a warm welcome to our new members who have recently asked for access to the website.
When you log in you will see a new menu appear on the left hand side.
Under this menu, you should go to "Website Help" where you will find powerpoint presentations giving instructions on how you can add content to the website.
Remember this is YOUR site, and only with your participation will the website grow and become a useful resource.
Please check before you add an EVENT that it hasnt already been entered by checking the dates on the calendar first.
Thanks and again, WELCOME!
Tuesday 9th Dec 8:30 ish in the bar. Can the exec committee have a quick get together after club this week as there are a couple of things that we need to discuss before the next meeting in January.
If anyone wants any additional items added to the agenda please let me know, currently I have:
Minutes of meeting of 4th September
Matters Arising- Think these should be pretty quick as mostly successfully dealt with
Bog and Bryn
Date for Rack Raid
Email re. Rack Raid 2014
Endurance Race Organiser Training
King and Queen of the Hill
1 Mile Track Event
Thanks to all that helped to make the Bog and Bryn a great day
Many many thanks to everyone that helped put on such a well run event no matter how big or small your role whether you stood in the cold for 10 minuets or 4 hours or helped with the cake and tea or were part of the course clearing and marking team especial thanks to the members of other clubs and all the runners.
Once again Daryll has lead from the front to deliver a brilliant day for all. I think I can speak for everyone helpers and runners alike and say that when you are part of something as well executed as the Bog and Bryn it gives you such an immense feeling of pride so thank you Daryll from all of us .
We all know how much work Daryll puts in to allow us to pull this off without a hitch but for all his hard work and commitment it could not happen without all of the helpers doing exactly what he asks. If one person was to make one mistake it could all fall down, so thank you all so much for giving Fairwater Runners Cwmbran an other day to be proud of.
Link to Bog & Bryn 2014 Results
Ther next club executive meetring will take place on Thurs 4th September at the British Legion in Pontnewydd at about 8:15pm
Entries for the Bog & Bryn race are now open.
The entry form can be found on our Bog & Bryn page:
With HUGE thanks to Martyn and Jeanette (and of course the other timekeeping teams on the day), we have our FINAL RESULTS.
There will be an executive committee meeting of Fairwater Runners Cwmbran on the evening of 1st May. Apart from the usual agenda items we are looking to finalise the purchase of a club branded gazebo to provide protection for runners participating in the Gwent Leisure League, and other events
We will also be discussing club kit, new hoodies in particular, but also club vests and jackets.
The Rack Raid committee meets separately.
If you would like anything to be added to either agenda, please email, add a comment or speak to me at the club.
I would like to thank Roger for taking the time out to supply us with the step by step guide to posting an article.
If I can do it you all can
The fifth round of the x country league will be hosted by Griffithstown on 9th March.
Location – Rhiw Ffranc Farm, nr Pentwyn, Pontnewynydd, Nr Pontypool.
Take A4043 heading north from Pontypool towards Blaenavon.
After 0.4 miles turn left into Pentrepiod Rd (sign posted Pentwyn),
Travel 0,5 miles to the Bat and Ball Cricket Club – NP4 6RP
From the cricket club, marshals will direct runners to parking locations.
It will be necessary to walk 0.5 miles to the assembly / start area.
Parking for this location is extremely limited and we stress the importance of car sharing to minimise the number of vehicles.
Parking for cars will be along the road from the Cricket Club leading to the village of Pentwyn.
Ideally, the use of a minibus for clubs travelling from afar would alleviate the parking issue.
(The limited cricket club car park could accommodate six to eight mini buses)
The course is run over farm fields / rough pasture with one significant ascent / descent.
On reaching the higher level, runners will complete three laps (men) and two laps (women).
Returning down fast descent and retracing the course back to finish.
Showers and tea / coffee facilities available at the cricket club after the race.
RACK RAID – 1st JUNE 2014 – INFO BOOK NOW AVAILABLE
Details of this year's Rack Raid can be found here.
Mic Morris Torfaen 10k; Sun. 20th July 2014.
We have received much praise and appreciation for our XC event from today's participants.
Well done team Fairwater; especially Daryll Barnby & Richard Lloyd for finding and designing this course.
Great team effort from all Fairwater-Cwmbran-Runners today with marking course, marshalling and cleaning up at the end etc.
Daryll even made it onto YouTube with his dive into the water in one of the woodland sections.
At this year's Lliswerry 8 Road Race, seven runners from Fairwater Runners Cwmbran took part in a total field of approx. seven hundred runners.
|Overall Pos.||Category Pos.||Gender Pos.||Chip Time|
Full results can be found : http://www.triandenter.com/race-results/2014-race-results/
The dates for the 2014 Road Race Series have been added to the League Races page ( see menu on lefthand side of homepage)
The preliminary dates for the X-Country Series 2014/15 have also been added to the page.
Everyone at Fairwater Runners Cwmbran would like to pass on our condolences to Graham Skokes at this very hard time. Sadly Ernie his father has passed away and will be deeply missed by all who knew him. Ernie was much loved by everyone he met as he was one of life’s true gents and the best baritone this side of the Atlantic.
All our love and rest in peace Ernie and we’ll keep an I on Graham for you.
The funeral service for any one that wishes to attend is on 28th Nov at 3pm in Llanyrafon Methodist Chapel on Llanyrafon way. Then at 4pm at Gwent Crematorium followed at 5pm by drinks at the Queens Upper Cwmbran.
Please dont send flowers Ernie would like any gifts to go to St Davids Foundation many thanks
The Bog & Bryn results 2013 can be found on our Results page here:
Or just click here!
Check out the blog by Ben Black (runner no.25) here:
We'd like to extend our thanks to the 183 runners who took part in the event, a huge amount in only our second year of running the race. We welcome your feedback, please email us with your comments.
26th October – Chunder Run:
3rd November – Bog & Bryn
For those of you who are GPS'd I have now created a Fairwater Runners Cwmbran Strava club page. Roger, can we add it as a widget? Follow this link to get to the correct part of the Strava site. You will need a Strava account if you haven't already got one. Strava is pretty simple to use and a nice little way to make your training competitive even when you are running on your lonesome.
Fairwater Runners Cwmbran are delighted to unveil their newest signing. Chris "The Sparrow" White has long been a target for the Cwmbran Stadium based club, but despite their overtures in the past White had remained apprehensive. However, in recent weeks closed discussions between White, his advisors and Fairwater have been productive giving rise to todays news. Whilst White, a former international steeple chaser and track based athlete, has become available under the 'Bosman' style ruling he was keen to stress how he looked forward to a new challenge at the club and that he was sure that with the developments that Fairwater have shown in recent seasons he was sure that the club and himself could work in partnership to be mutually beneficial. White hopes to be on hand to support the club's progress and development in shorter road races and relays but making use of the recent success and improvement at the club to return him to past triumphs on the tartan surface.
Fairwater hope that the capture of White underlines their continued determination to grow, improve and open up different avenues for success. it is believed that he [White] will become available in the new season, when some fitness concerns have been resolved.
Thursday 8th August – meet at the Mountainair Car Park 6:45 to run at 7pm.
To all Fairwater members;
Friday 21st June; you & your partners are invited to meet at The Castell-y-Bwch 7:00 pm for a ‘few’ drinks & (free) buffet to celebrate another successful Rack Raid event and the outstanding success in this year’s Virgin London Marathon.
Once again we'd like to give a massive thank you for everybody taking part in this year's Rack Raid.
Results here and on our Results page:
We are happy for any constructive feedback you can give us, so that we may improve for next year – probably best to do this via our Facebook page:
We appreciate that parking at the end was difficult this year – unfortunately we were unable to secure the field due to the livestock. This is something we hope to iron out earlier next year so that at least advance warning can be given.
RACK RAID TRAINING Sunday 19th May.
Stage 8 : Usk to Tintern (affectionately known as “the long one”; but should more accurately be referred to as “the long hilly one”).
Meet at Tintern (abbey car park) for 10:15, transfer by car to Usk (Twyn Square) for 11:00 start run to Tintern.
Meet at Usk Twyn Square for 6:45 transfer by car to Raglan (small bridge on Castle Street) for 7:05 start and run back to Usk.
Probably finish off with going for a drink somewhere.
STAGE 7. RAGLAN to USK
APPROXIMATE MILEAGE: 5.53 Miles
Start near small bridge on Castle Street. Proceed down road and turn right through town. Turn left at the Crown Inn. Follow to T-junction at end and turn left towards Usk passing through Gwehelog. On entering Usk town take right hand spur just past “Ladyhill” estate identified by “No Entry” signs (support vehicles take usual route into Usk by turning right at T-junction). On reaching main road bear right and follow towards main town. Care must be taken here as you must cross to left hand side of road before taking left turn signposted “Llantrisant” for finish in Twyn Square. Usk Castle is visible on a hill directly opposite the square.
Meet at Caerleon amphitheatre 6:30; transfer by car to Penhow (laybay just past Groes Wen Inn) for 7:00 start and run back to Caerleon.
Finish off with a drink (and food if you want) at the Castell-Y-Bwch, Henllys.
STAGE 12. PENHOW to CAERLEON AMPHITHEATRE
APPROXIMATE MILEAGE: 6.6 Miles
Start on footpath on right hand side of main A48 opposite previous stage finish. Keep to footpath on
RIGHT HAND SIDE of road. In just over 1 mile turn right signposted “Tregarn Road” and right again
into “Old Roman Road”. Take right turn signposted “Usk” and left under the dual carriageway. On
entering Caerleon turn right opposite the Bell Inn identified by “No Entry” signs (support vehicles take
right turn at next T-junction). On reaching junction take a sharp right through the car park of the Ship
Inn and cross footbridge. After bridge cross to left hand side and proceed into Caerleon. Take left turn
after the Bull Inn signposted “Municipal Golf Course” and “Heritage Trail”. On reaching the car park
take left turn into Amphitheatre site. Skirt round the right hand side of the arena and enter over ramp at
the far end and finish in middle.
We will be running STAGE 3 White Castle to Abergavenny (approx 7.5 miles) on Thursday 18th April.
Meet at the bikers carpark in Abergavenny at 6pm for arranging onward transport to White Castle. Aim is to run from White Castle at 6.30pm.
RACK RAID training run for Sunday 14th April; Stage 4 Abergavenny to half way which is 8miles.Meet Abergavenny in the bikers car park at 10am . Everyone welcome.
Stefan Simms continued his rich vain of form to capture his first national title to become Welsh V40 10 mile champion at the Teifi 10 in Lampeter on Easter Sunday. Simms finished second overall behind Cardiff's Mike Kallenberg. Whilst Simms was hoping to run quicker the course and his heavy legs from London marathon training conspired against him. However, his developing talent, grit and determination was enough to see off challenges from the more experienced Nathanial Lane (Cardiff AAC) and the evergreen Martin Rees (Swansea Harriers). Simms looked even more impressive as he gave his brand new Fairwater Runners Cwmbran singlet an airing. Well done Stefan your form is impressive. #destinationVLM
I remember the day. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I remember the day because we owned it. I remember the fight. I remember the fighters. I remember my friends. I remember.
I remember each step. I remember every breath. I remember every heartbeat. I remember the field and patch of ground which we made forever ours. I remember a clan of Fairwaterians stepping forth to bang their chest and declare to all…“today and always we will give!”…and we gave. Like the warriors of old we fought and watched the blood of our enemies spill loose on battlegrounds of St Fagans. I remember that when the smoke cleared eight Fairwater souls standing proud and mighty. I remember the day when the finish line was just the start. I remember.
Saturday is that day again. We can remember, we can celebrate, we can reminisce. But come that day we need to be brothers in arms once more, transmogrify into deities and join the pantheon of legends. We can look over our shoulders at the past and remember. We can bask in yesterday’s sunshine because it was warm, or we can step forward and forge a new fiery sun to burn away even tomorrow’s shadows. Let us forge a sun so bright that we cannot be ignored, let us burn so brightly that we leave scorch marks upon the world that will bare our sweat.
What we leave behind will not be the medals and jewels that adorn our sweating aching limbs, but the memories and the echos of the days that brought us glory. We can be forever interned into the folklore of our native lands and future generation can set themselves down on the foundations that we lay and we can become the very DNA of their absolution.
Today is the day we fight. Today is the day they die.
Thank you for helping raise £140 at the Tony Jennings Memorial Run 30 Dec 2012
Update on xmas do. the british leagon in pontnewydd can accomadate us on 1st feb and 22nd feb. room free but they would like a donation. thanks to mark and alex fry for leg work. need to pick a date asap or open to other ideas. cheers Garry
Friday 18th January
Start about 7:00 pm,
Bring a plate of food for the buffet,
All Fairwater Runners Cwmbran members, partners, friends and family are welcome.
Our very own Daryll will be on DJ duty.
There are awards for Club Woman, Club Man and Chairman's Award.
This year Pontypool will be joining with us to celebrate.
Results for the Tony Jennings Memorial Race, held on Sunday 30th December can be found on our RESULTS page.
We will be running our annual Cwmcarn Forest Drive Christmas Breakfast Run on 16th December – meet at Cwmcarn Forest Drive for a 9:30 start…
YES 9:30, don't be late – we nearly missed breakfast last year!
See Bog & Bryn Challenge 2012 photos. at : http://www.timbowersphotography.ifp3.com/
The full results for the Bog & Bryn 2012 race are now published on our RESULTS page.
Thank you to all who turned up to our inaugral event – the feedback recieved so far has been very positive, which makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Another weekend with our vest spread out over a few different races. Well done to all.
Newport Park Run
18th Andrew Spencer 20.32 (5th Vet 45)
Full Results: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/newport/results/latestresults
Gloucester Autumn 5 Mile Road Race
1st Matthew Collins 26.24
4th Mark Jennings 26.51
Full Results: Not yet published
St Arvans MT10
66th Martyn Jenkins 1:21.29 (13th Vet 50)
Our very own dear Cap DB on his way to stitching up his most recent PB. Cardiff 10k 33.41.
gwill and i are running early tonight leaving at 6:40 sharp and going up the canal to pontypool for 5 miles the straight back the same way. people can join from start or meet us on the way back or do other run if so wish all welcome
New Race in Monmouth this coming Saturday I've been asked to inform our members of. Three different distances to choose from 2k Fun Fun at 14.00. 6k and 10k at 14.30. Race is based at Monmouthsire Showground, Redbrook Road, Monmouth, NP25 4LG. Entries are £10 and are available on the day
Busy weekend of action for us crows with runners spread across 4 different races. Well done to all
Results (Chip Times)
25th Matthew Collins 32.55
30th Daryll Barnby 33.41
36th Mark Jennings 33.59
Full Results: http://www.cardiff10k.com/Results%202012.html
Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon
80th Sean Taylor 1:25.29
Full Results: http://www.ukresults.net/2012/vyrnwy.html
Wye Valley Trail Marathon
11th Roger Mills 3:50.34 (3rd Vet 40)
21st Julie Roche 4:07.55 (3rd Lady, 1st Vet 40)
Wye Valley Trail Half Marathon
43rd Richard Bowie 1:53.05 (5th Vet 50)
We will be holding our 1 Mile race for the Club Championships on Thursday 20th September.
Usual 7pm meet time, with an anticipated start of 7.30pm for the race.
On Saturday the 1st September, myself and Jon Williams ran in the annual Ben Nevis Race. The aim of the race is pretty simple. Up and down Britains highest mountain as fast as you possible can, and with Ben Nevis standing at 4406 ft this is a fairly daunting task!
The Ben Nevis Race was first run by a tobacconist by the name of William Swan, from the Old Post Office, Fort William in 1895 in a time of 2 hours and 41 mins, however nowadays it is ran from Claggan Park Football ground in Fort William. The race itself has a prestigious history with the record of 1:25.34 set by Kenny Stuart still standing strong even though it was set in 1984.
Myself, Jon & Garry stayed in sheltered accomodation in Edinburgh on the Friday night, kindly arranged by Mr. Mark Fry, so we had a comfortable nights sleep the night before which we were very grateful for! We left Edinburgh early Saturday morning (thanks to Mark for driving!) for Fort William and made good time arriving there at about 10:30.
When we arrived at Fort William there was a very strange atmosphere there. It was almost sombre, the kind of thing you would expect before being led out to battle. You could tell that everyone knew this wasn't your average fun run, and the mountain was commanding a certain respect from the runners.
Upon chatting to a few guys who had run the race over 20 times each we learnt that the first 2000 ft were going to be relatively 'easy' however things drastically change after that for the next 2000 ft. We were told that we should try and enjoy the views as you're not up there for long, however in reality this wasn't really possible when it came to race time as the mist had descended upon the higher heights of the Ben.
As time approached 1pm and the start of the race, myself and Jon started to get ready by donning the legendary Fairwater vests. Being the first ever representatives from the club to run in the Ben Nevis Race we did feel a sense of honour in being able to 'fly the flag' on Britains highest mountain.
At 12:50 the runners were led behind a group of Bag-Pipers to the starting line. Garry and Mark had decided to head half way up the mountain in order to cheer us on, and give themselves time to get back down for the finish. Before we started we had a time of silence in respect of Sandy MacFarlane, a Ben Nevis Race committee member and chairman for the last 14 years.
The next sound was the sound of the starting horn, and we were all away! There was one lap of the football field for us all before heading out onto a tarmac road for 1 mile before heading over a stile and onto Ben itself.
The runners stated to string out at this point, with people forming into their respective ability groups as the mountain naturally sorted us all out. People started darting up in different diections, mostly with the white and blue local vest of Lochaber AC. I decided it was best to follow one of these guys as they probably knew where they were going better than anyone! Garry and Mark were at the stream at halfway to cheer us on which was great for morale!
The first 2000 ft were not too bad, what I would describe as a typically hard fell race, however after we passed the stream at Halfway things started to drastically change. The first change was in the form of a horrendously steep bank, which rapidly morphed into a volcanic type terrain consisting of scree, and sharp, irregular boulders. It was hands on knees time for the next 1500 ft, interspersed with periods of bouldering and scrambling over the rock. We had landed on Planet Ben!
As we ascended the wind started to pick up to what we later learned was 60 mph, and around the 3000 ft mark I really started to feel the cold as my hands went numb. We were passing walkers who were dressed in full waterproof gear and face coverings, whilst we were just wearing our vests. By the time the summit started levelling out at 4300 ft my whole upper body was numb, and the wind was violently pummeling horizontal rain against our bodies. It felt like tiny needles piercing our skin.
There were a series of pyramid shaped cairns every 200 metres or so, tempting and leading us like stone aged signposts towards the summit trig point.
Suddenly a flash of blue and white came hurtling out of the mist toward us and I realised it was the race leader Rob Jebb starting his descent. I glanced at my watch as he passed and it said 1:02 which means he must have reached the summit n around an hour. Unbelievable.
I was running with a few other guys and one said that we were making good time. I asked him if we came down the same way, and he said 'yeah we do'. I couldn't believe how that could be possible as it was so steep and rocky, but knew it was inevitable however much I tried to ignore it!
The trig point approached out of the mist and I handed in my tag to the marshall at the summit. Big respect has to go out to all the marshalls as it was very bad conditions on the top. A quick glance at my watch said I had reached the summit in 1:15, so I knew that a sub 2hr time may be on the cards if I had a decent descent.
As we started down the mountain every step was carnage as the sharp pieces of rock were all jutting out at strange angles from Planet Ben. My vision got a bit blurred but I put it down to the fact that my eyeballs had probably frozen. Making our way down we passed a man sat down on our right who didn't look in a good way. We found out later that he had to be airlifted off the mountain.
Next came the notorious grassy bank. I had read about this bank in previous race reports, and for whatever reason I had in my mind that it wasn't that steep. It is steep. In fact it should be called grassy cliff in my opinion. Going down it was agonising on the quads especially after the long climb, and all around people were skidding and falling.
It was at that point that a purple blur passed on my right hand side. All I can say is that I've never seen anyone running down a mountain that fast in my life. Not even close. I consider myself an average descender, and the people I was running with were all going about the same speed, but this guy dusted us in about 10 secs as he plummeted toward Fort William. If he would have fallen he would have either died or broken every single bone in his body, no exaggeration!
Afterwards Jon said 'You need balls of steel for that descent, and mine were like blancmange!'
I tried to let myself go a bit but my legs started going a bit wobbly and I didn't trust them at all. Eventually we reached the stream at halfway and joined the tourist track back down the mountain where Mark and Garry were there again to give support and cheer us on – legends! I pulled back a couple of places on the road back in before completing the final lap around the football field to finish in a time of 1:57 with Jon finishing in a time of 2:52.
The first thing that Jon said was 'That was dangerous'. I laughed because it was. The two words that keep coming to my mind are 'horrible' and 'dangerous', however as the pain fades the Ben is already quietly calling again. Jon gave it his all and had a nasty fall on top leaving his knees badly cut and bruised, but we both finished relatively unscathed and we got the T-Shirt!
That night we had an awesome Chinese (good call Mark) and a few drinks with a nice walk along the sea front to finish. Overall it was a great weekend!
Big respect has to go out to Garry and Mark for their support, and to Margaret & Mark for sorting out such awesome & cheap accomodation. Also everyone involved in organising and marshalling the race etc, my Wife Naomi for letting me do these mad things whilst looking after two crazy boys, and my partner in crime Jon – another good adventure done mate!
The Hay Hill Raiser road race is a challenging 11.3 miles, with great views and a fast downhill section at the end.
Race starts and finishes in Hay at the Doctor's surgery on Forest Road, a 2 minute walk from the HQ at Hay school.
A gradual incline to Fforddlas before climbing on quiet lanes to Hay Bluff.
Following the contours of the mountain the road levels out before the descent back into Hay.
Entries: Affiliated £10, Unaffiliated £12. Entries on the day £12.
Anybody up for this on Saturday?
A fun 16 mile off-road run between Merthyr and Brecon; quite tough with some good hills – goes up through "the gap" between Pen Y Fan and Fan Y Big in the Brecon Beacons….
Entry forms attached below – Merthyr Website seems to be broken!
In a summer where we have celebrated the success of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics, it is almost impossible to imagine that their glories will be so easily forgotten, especially if they are from someone’s local area. Unfortunately, this has been fate of one of Cwmbran's greatest athletes…….
Thomas John Henry "Tom" Richards (15 March 1910 – 19 January 1985) was a Welsh athlete, born in Cwmbran, who competed mainly in the Marathon. Tom competed for Great Britain in the 1948 Summer Olympics held in London where he finished 2nd and won the Olympic Silver medal (Wikipedia.org) in a time of 2:35.07, finishing just 13 seconds behind the winner (Delfro Cabrera of Argentina) and 26 seconds in fronts of 3rd place (Etienne Gailly) of Belgium.
Tom Richards was born at a 40 acre farm called Garn Wen in Upper Cwmbran, on the upper slopes of the Mynydd Maen. Tom attended the Upper Cwmbran School and was said “he could run from home and reach school before the bell stopped ringing.”
Tom’s athletic prowess led him to become a member of Pontnewydd Harriers, whose HQ was at Price’s Bakery on Commercial Street, he was coached in these early years by a gentleman named Arthur Jenkins who became the clubs trainer between 1928-1938. Pontnewydd Harrier's became the first in Wales to have a ‘women’s harrier’ section. Tom invited Arthur to watch him run in the Olympic Marathon and even offered to pay his train fare to London, but Arthur turned it down saying that ‘the excitement might be too much for him.’ Tom almost didn’t make it to the start line. Just three weeks before the olympic marathon Tom was unable to walk due to a calf problem but with the help of a specialist from the Harley Street Hospital in London he was able to toe the start line. (www.Cwmbran.info)
Tom….Fairwater Cwmbran Runners remember you, we thank you and we salute you. We hope our Crows can fly like you!
This is the "website" blue.
This is the "classic blue."
Possible idea for the reverse of the vest.
Anybody fancy a tough 10 miler?
START: 16th September 2012 – 10:30am
See details at Chepstow's website.
Download the entry form.
Hi everybody , after last nights race a few of us had a chat about cycling. It seems there is a growing number of members getting into cycling, so we thought it would be nice to go cycling as a group/peloton. If you don't have the ability of wiggins don't panic, it will be a nice easy pace and maybe a pub stop in the middle ;-). If you are interested in coming along can you please comment on here so we can get an idea of numbers and arrange a time and date. Thank you please 🙂
Inspired by London 2012? Witnessed greatest and want a slice of the action? Fairwater-Cwmbran-Runners may be able to help. We meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Cwmbran Stadium and can cater for all standards of runner from the fitness seeker; to the weekend warrior; and to national and international standard athletes. Training runs can be as friendly and relaxed or as demanding and intense as you desire. Fairwater-Cwmbran-Runners can boast former international team management, coaching, and athletes as part of its membership to try and help you towards where you want to go.
Want to be like Mo? Come fly like a Crow!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information
A group of us (Mark, Daryll, Sean, Stef & Matt) will be meeting at Pontypool Park on Sunday for a run. It won't be our normal long run due to injuries and fatigue for most of us. Meet in Pontypool car park to start running at 7.30am. Hope to see many of you there! Even if you're not a Crow but want to have a go, please feel welcome.
The Results for the Micky Morris Tour of Torfaen 10k held on Sunday 29th July
Tomorrows speed session will be 3x3000m efforts with 5 minute recovery. Meet at the stadium at 6.30pm to warm up or alternatively meet at the changing rooms by the south fields (where we did last weeks session)