Hottest day yet for the twelfth and last Darrens Dash Hill Race, Longtown, Saturday 17 th June
Temperatures in Longtown village were pushing 26 degrees celsius by the start time of 2 pm.
Undeterred, 72 adults, 53 children and one dog (with its owner) turned up to tackle a range of race
distances. For the adults the ridge promised a gentle cooling breeze but you had to get up there
first, the Olchon brook provided a great cooling dip for canine and human alike before and after
As ever the race could only happen with the generosity and good will of local farmers and
sponsors. A particular thank you to Jean Price, Rob and Julie Bevan, Richard and Doris Prosser
and Gerald and Mary Morris who allowed us to have access to their land for the event, moved
stock and opened gates to let the event run smoothly. Our main event sponsors were Dorinda
Watkins from Celtic Vale (who provided water bottles for all the runners and sponsored the event
trophies) and Richard and Arlene Clare from Lower Turnant Farm who generously sponsored the
event t-shirts. Lots of other individuals and companies sponsored raffle or event prizes including
Hopes of Longtown, Mailes the Butchers, Bartonsham Farm Dairies and Yeomans Coaches. A
highlight for many runners are the superb tea and cakes made by members of the school and pre-
school community and their families. This year was no exception. Once again Longtown
Mountain Rescue Team provided their invaluable Mountain Safety cover for the event.
Prior to the start we used the ‘hook’ of National Togetherness day to remember Joe Cox and all
the other people whose lives had been torn apart by the acts of the extremists. We also
remembered running colleagues who has passed away.
After a warm up lap of the event field the Darrens Dash route took runners steeply up through
Cayo Farm and to the Rhiw before entering Wales and being rewarded with magnificent views of
Llanthony Abbey, Pen y Gadair Fawr and the Vale of Ewyas. There wasn’t much time for enjoying
the views however as the 552m trig point on Hatterrall Ridge was soon reached and then it was all
downhill, reversing the ascent route from the Rhiw. Newcomer to the race Sam Mayglothling of
Wye Valley Runners ran a confident race from the start and crossed the finish line in a time of 46
mins 20s, just over a minute clear of last year’s winner Dan Sandford of FODAC (47:48). Third in
was Leyton Fleet (also of FODAC) who crossed the line in 48.31. In the ladies event Rona Davies
(Mynydd Ddu) won in a time of 62:04. She was chased in by Debbie Stenner of FODAC (62:31)
and Julie Caseley of Malvern Joggers (64:23). Congratulations to Toby Pearson of Walterstone
who came 4 th in 49:47 and won the first local’s prize.
In the Castle Canter children’s races, 53 children took part. Many children from Longtown were
joined by children from the Forest of Dean, Malvern and Cross Ash. All were awarded medals and
were given ice lollies as they crossed the line.
Rona Davies from Mynydd Ddu club won the Ladies Race in a time of 62:04 echoed the view of
many runners when she said:
“Thanks so much for putting on an excellent race. First time for me. Really enjoyed the whole event. Tea
and cake very much appreciated. Oh and that ice lolly at the end was amazing and revived me after a
somewhat hot race. …….. Big thanks to all the marshals and helpers.”
Upwards of £1000 was raised to split three ways between Longtown Mountain Rescue Team,
Longtown PTFA and Longtown Pre-School.
Thank you to all those of you who have supported the event over the years – much appreciated.