Sunday 28th October
Ascot Under Wychwood 10km
Saturday 27th October
|Gareth Petts||2.51.04||7th & 2nd Men,s Team|
|Matthew Lock||3.11.26||1st Marathon & 2nd Men’s Team|
|Graham Ferris||3.34.46||2nd Men’a Team|
YES IT WAS ! I hear you all say………
If ever there was a great display of Club togetherness, then this was it. WRR on Tour now gets to every corner of the world ( Amazon Marathon, anyone? ), and the Snowdonia Marathon weekend just seems to go from strength to strength. This was the 36th running of this magnificent race, and it was the 32nd year that WRR has been represented. 17 runners this year, which I think is the second highest club entry after Eryri Harriers, the local club. I think we had 23 entries one year, and we have won the Mens team prize on more than one occasion.
As a weekend away, it is now embedded in the Clubs DNA, and something that I hope continues for many years as it shows the Club in a very good light. The only other local club to be represented was White Horse Harriers with one lady competitor…..who recognised my Club T-Shirt as we climbed out of Beddgelert at about 14 miles! Otherwise all our local clubs give respect to the fact this is Witney’s Race! How cool is that?
Snowdonia weather at this time of year is notoriously fickle, and this year, the weather forecast seemed to change every 5 minutes as we drove up on the Friday. For runners though the dawning Saturday was OK, Cold, Dry, a bit breezy, but you could see the hail/snow on the upper reaches of the mountains. Crib Goch looked magnificent, menacing, impossible. It always helps, I feel, to be able to see the splendour of the Llanberis Pass as it winds its way into the distance. That first glimpse of the Youth Hostel at Pen y Pass is a joy, but then the realisation that it is another 2 miles away, due to the bends in the road! Crossing Pen y Pass, just short of 5 miles is such a great feeling, as you then see the runners streaming all the way down the valley ahead of you for about another 2 miles. Quite a sight.
The route turns downhill by the Pen-Y- Gwrd hotel. If you weren’t aware, this hotel is where the 1953 Mt Everest expedition held their planning meetings, as they did a lot of their training in The Llanberis Pass. Pop in for a coffee and you can see lots of memorabilia like boots, oxygen tanks, pitons, ropes etc, that were used on that historic expedition. Lots of signatures on the ceilings and walls of famous members of the group, Tenzing, Hillary, Hunt, Bourdillon etc. Worth a visit.
Now, back to the race.
I can’t really single out names, as someones magnificent achievement will be overlooked, but…..
Some facts first…
Last 8.08.03 ( in the dark! Full Respect!)
First lady 3.05.33
First Vet 75 4.58.07…can you believe it! John Swift! Brilliant.
First lady V75 6.22.15
Current course record 2.33.38
Gareth Petts in his third Snowdonia coming a fabulous 7th in 2.51. He is going to win it one day, but as you can see he’s got to shave another 13 minutes or so off his time, not easy!!
Matt Locks first ever Marathon (3.11), joining the hallowed ranks of other first time marathoners at Snowdonia….Me! Lyn, Victoria, Sarah, and probably others too. What a way to start. This young man has got talent oozing from his paws ( sic ), and we will be in for a treat when he starts trying.
Sarah Appleby (4.33) who only joined WRR a few weeks ago, but took the plunge, and came along. Welcome to the world of WRR, Sarah!
Jim Whelan who finished his trio of Marathons this year with a magnificent 4.30, raising £750 for two charities along the way. Great effort Jim, well done!
Graham Ferris who ran quicker than 9 years ago (3.34)…brilliant,
Callum Hodnett (3.51) and James Clark (3.43)…I know Callum was a bit nervous but James just looked as cool as a ciwcymbr (yes it is!)
Fraser (Camper Van) Howard 3.52…great run…
Bob Green who just keeps churning them out…Metro Gnome 3.54
Adam Leary, who only in the last couple of weeks, completed the Yorkshire Marathon, 3.58.
The lovely Lindsey Smith, who hates running (!!!!), wasn’t going to start but set off alongside Jade Hewlett (4.02)(also lovely!!!), and finished in 4.22. Fantopulous…sorry, I’m running out of superlatives now!
Helen Clarke ( with an E ), who hadn’t trained for 10 weeks due to injury, but started, ran with Hubby Graham and finished together in 5:49. Absolutely top effort, you two!!
The ever present Jim Pearce, came 18th out of 26 in his category(V100+) in 5:06.
And of course Lyn….shattered and disappointed that she had to pull out at 22…the plan was for the two of us to cross the line hand in hand in memory of Alison, but it was not to be. Big thanks to Regina for sticking with her until the decision had to be made just before the Big Hill. We’re very proud of you, Lyn, and Alison would be chuffed that you soldiered on as long as you did…
All the rest of you supporters…just a brilliant effort. Thanks from all of us!
It just makes me so proud to see so many Witney colours out there. 17 of us all together, and only Eryri Harriers, the Local Yokels had more!
The Social Side was just awesome with 41 of us gathering at the Gwynedd Hotel for dinner on the Friday, and 48 on Saturday at the Royal Victoria. John McCormac took over the MC duties and said a few words, thanks for doing that John. After dinner on Saturday we all moved back down to the Gwynedd, where we had a private room, and Tony Lock bamboozled us with his Welsh Quiz, which was great fun. Jim Pearce then cheered us all up with a song about a Rodeo Rider and his Horse that expired together…Aaaaaah!, and then John Mac surprised us all with something he’s never done before….his banjo routine…total chaos as we had to do it in a line, not a circle. Bloody Funny!
Most people made their weary way home on the Sunday, but not us! Me and my magnificent Daughters, Victoria and Elizabeth decided to climb Snowdon! This was a personal challenge for Elizabeth, and we went up via the PYG track and came down the Llanberis path. Bitterly cold, but the views were just stupendous. You could see Holyhead Mountain, 35 miles away across Anglesey. As it was such a great day weatherwise, there was probably half the population of Wales up there, and getting to touch the Trig Point on the Summit was a challenge in itself.
Sunday night, 15 of us went to a great restaurant in Caernarfon for dinner after a drink in The Black Boy, a legendary Pirate type Pub. You half expect Long John Silver to walk in….why are Pirates called Pirates? Because they Aaaaarrrrgghhh! Sorry! Just slipped out.
All in all the whole weekend is just a great experience. Everyone played their part to the full, thank you all for being such magnificent company.
SM 2019 entries open at 9am on December 1st, and the race WILL BE FULL within an hour….so if you have even the slightest inkling that you may fancy competing, then enter. You can always change your mind later.
With the talent we have in our ranks we will be able to win the Mens Team event. So LETS DO IT!! Gareth Petts, Sam Upton, Matt Lock, Tegs Jones….The Mountain is calling!!!
What real Kudos that would be if we could beat the Welsh in their own back yard!!
This is a potential trip hazard, as everywhere appears to be full already, even the Royal Victoria Hotel which has got 106 rooms! The Gwynedd is also full.
I’m afraid that I cant help this time, as our usual B & B may not be open over this weekend next year due to a holiday commitment, and although I have booked some rooms next door there is not enough to supply our needs. At this point in time this is a Hopkins only booking, I’m afraid. Sorry.
So….my advice at this point is, by all means have a go at booking in Llanberis. If you are singles, you may get in at The Heights, as that is bunkhouse accommodation. The Padarn Hotel may also be able to help. Really, your best bet is the Celtic Royal in Caernarfon, or there is a Travel Lodge and a Premier Inn there as well. Its only about 5 miles and is quite cheap by Taxi back into Llanberis. There are other B and B’s in Llanrug which is about 3 miles up the road towards Caernarfon.
Get cracking and book it now! I am even considering booking our B&B’s and the Gwynedd for 2020.
Northala Fields Parkrun
Pomphrey Hill Parkrun
|Graham Le Good||23.19|
|Anne Rouget||26.49||PB 1st WV50|
|Judith Le Good||28.39|
|Nick Smith||53.02||Tail Walker|
Wednesday 24th October
2018 Ibiza ETU Aquathlon European Championships – VM65 AG
1km Swim: 5km Run
|Graham Le Good||44.10||Gold Medal|
Sunday 21st October
Blenheim Rotary 10K
|Lisa Butler||43.45||2nd Lady|
|Jim Whelan||45.57||2nd VM60|
Stroud Half Maraton
Saturday 20th October
Cannon Hill Parkrun
Harcourt Hill Parkrun
2018 Ibiza ETU Duathlon European Championships – VM65 AG
5km Run: 20km Bike: 2.5km Run
|Graham Le Good||1.08.14||6th & 3rd GBR|
Sunday 14th October
Lakeland Trails: Ullswater 10K
|Graham Le Good||36.05|
Saturday 13th October
Chiltern Cross Country – Shotover Hill
|Tegs Jones||30.56||1st MV40|
Maverick Inov-8 Oxfordshire 21K
|Graham Le Good||23.15||200th Parkrun|
Hackney Marshes Parkrun
|Judith Le Good||26.51|
Harcourt Hill Parkrun
|Nick Smith||55.14||Tail walker|
Sunday 7th October
Barcelona Ironman 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42:2km run
|Frankie Snare||10.37.15||Swim 1:02:47, Bike 5:23:47, Run 3:59:15|
Oxford Half Marathon
|Nick Key||1.22.18||First Half Marathon|
Frieth Hilly 10K
|Lisa Butler||46.47||2nd LV40|
|Chris Colbeck||36.40||2nd VM|
|Rachel Stanley-Evans||43.38||3rd VL & 3 Lady|
|Graham Le Good||44.19||2nd VM60|
|Judith Le Good||53.44||3rd LV60|
Cricklade Half Marathon
|Tony Lock||1.23.32||2nd VM50|
|Thomas Grantham||1.29.34||First Half Marathon|
Saturday 6th October
|Graham Le Good||22.44|
Bognor Regis Parkrun
|Kirsty Lockwood||21.20||1st Lady|
|Judith Le Good||29.35|
Lochore Meadows Parkrun
|Victoria Munday||23.30||1st Lady|