Barry Island 10k - 5th August 2018

Didn’t we have a lovely day, the day we went to Barry!  A beautiful day, we had sun all the way and all for £20 you know.

This was the inaugural running of the Barry Island 10k and it didn’t disappoint.  The organisation from start to finish was spot on.  Car parking was plentiful, the bag drop and collect experience was faultless, the start pens were easy to access and not over-crowded and the whole event was managed extremely well by an army of organisers, marshals and volunteers.

The route started and finished on the road above the promenade and along the way took in views around the docks , the grand building of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Romilly Park, the Marine Lake and old Knap Swimming Pool and the harbour .  The course was ‘lumpy’ to say the least - incorporating short, sharp climbs and some longer steady ones; but with every up there was a down (as well as some welcome flatter sections too).  

Once over the finish line, runners received a finishers t-shirt and medal (and quite possibly a touch of sun burn) for their efforts.  Then after reuniting with families, friends and fellow club runners, many participants took to the sea for a paddle or a swim to soothe those tired muscles.  Whilst Wye Valley Runners were happy to paddle, there were only two who actually braved the swim!!

Well done to Brian, Lynne, Becky, Rob and Amy who represented Wye Valley Runners on a very hot, sunny day in Barry.  Thank you to Jan (who didn’t run, due to a calf niggle) who was there to support and shout encouragement.

 

Report courtesy of Lynn Compton

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Ludlow 10K

Saturday evening when most people are knocking back a few cold beverages 3 of us put our evening to a more productive use with a little trip out Ludlow Castle where we ended up participating in a 10k race which can only be described as not flat.

This is the 2nd year this race has taken place and the first time it was a 10k race after last years slight mix up which meant we got an extra 2k free of charge, they definitely got closer to the money this time round.

Many of you who have taken part in the Storm the Castle duathlon will be familiar with this route. This is a 2 lap course on closed roads starting at Ludlow Castle, you head off at a gallop through the high street as the locals come staggering out of there local watering holes to see what all the fuss is about before joining in the vigorous cheering, you then head out on the quickest part of the course thinking you could be on for a pb here before you remember you are in Ludlow. After a rolling climbs about 1.5 miles you are met with an off road section aptly called the lactic ladder, which are like mini croc 8 steps to take you up around the woods with a few technical to test the road runners who switch off and don't look where there going, you end up coming out at about the same place to then head straight into yet another climb called "the wall" which is one of the steep hills back into Ludlow town where you finish your first lap just in time for the locals to have replenished there refreshments and cheer you on your way for the second lap to repeat it all over again.

The race picked up a bad reputation last year for getting the distance wrong, but this is still a great race. There is a fantastic atmosphere around the town with brilliant local support. You are never going to set  a quick time here but that doesn't detract away from the enjoyment of the occasion.

I was delighted to have picked up 3rd place in a time of 36:54, Peter Nugent made it into the top 10 finishing 9th in a time of 39:42 and James Vidler was 62nd in a time of 47:43

Bath Two tunnels race - 8th July 2018

Cath Watkins Siân & Tony Champken ran the Bath Two Tunnels Races.


On a very hot day Cath ran the 10K in 48 mins & Siân & Tony ran the Half Marathon ( 2-08 & 1-51 ) completing the medal set and both collecting the engraved glass challenge Trophy.


It was lovely and Cool in the Tunnels but it was like going into an Oven when you came out.
This is a very well organised & friendly event.


We highly recommend it for next year.

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Abbeydore cross country - Wednesday 27th June 2018

The second race in the Herefordshire Summer Cross Country, hosted by WVR, took place on a glorious but very hot evening. 123 runners, including 25 Wye Valley Runners, found their way to Mervs farm,  where the race started. After the initial stampede across the fields, the competitors were soon into their running and beginning the descent towards the brook. This is a tough course with many hills along the way, after the fairly gentle start and a couple of stings in the tail after re-entering the field towards the finish.

John Pugh from Builth was the first to appear at the end of the 5.1 mile route, with Matt James from the Couriers a little way behind. A close race for third was won by our own Sam Mayglothling - the first back for WVR. Ably backed up by Steven Flowers (9th), Dan Lewis (11th) and Jeremy Jehan (13th), it was looking like Ludlow would not repeat their performance at High Vinnals. Three more WVR men, recent recruit Richard Williams, Peter Nugent and Lea Wood were also in the first 20 finishers. We needed another good performance from our ladies and they did not fail to deliver. Laura Tootell was third lady overall, continuing her fine run of form and first WVR lady in 37th. Not far behind Becky Davies just held off Becki Ansfield to record 55th and 56th respectively. Lucy Mason had a good run to finish not far behind in 67th and we are beginning to get some real depth in our ladies team again. In the end it was a comfortable win for WVR on the night, form Monross Trailblazers and Croft Ambrey with Ludlow relegated to 4th this time. We are also leading overall after 2 races, 4 points ahead of Ludlow. Our B team is also lying joint 5th, so fantastic performances all round.

All to play for at Westhope on Wednesday 11th July. If I'm not there to cheer you on, it will be because I am watching England get to the World Cup Final!

 

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Swansea Half Marathon

A new race on my calendar this year was the Swansea Half Marathon. Having participated in the Swansea 10k the last few years I had high hopes for a fast well organised course.

Well the organisers didn't disappoint, this was a very fast course. A well stacked field that in its 5th year has now attracted over 6000 runners and with only 112 feet of climbing you wont need to be doing hill reps. In fact there are barely even any corners to contend so you can hit your stride you have trained and just grind that out for 13.1 miles.

The route does a small little loop around the city, you then get on the main road and stay on it till the mumbles, you then turn and come back in along the footpath nothing could be simpler. You are even encouraged almost every step of the way by enthusiastic supporters. Literally the only thing that wasn't accounted for was the heat. There was plenty of water stops  but with very little shade and only a moderate sea breeze the heat became unbearable, I know mile 8 was where it really started to hit me and I could feel the pb slipping through my fingers. I was happy to keep struggling on though and still manage my quickest time of the year of 1:19:29 and finishing 34th.

We were also represent by Juliet Moxon who confessed to taking it easy ran a 1:41:58 and finishing and finishing 65th lady, I have my suspicions that she took her time to get some peace and quiet from Andy's bellyaching about his beloved kiwis losing to England in the Rugby League.

All in all a brilliant race I just wish the weather could have held off for another hour or so.

Offas Dyke 15 - Saturday June 16th 2018

If there is such a thing as ideal conditions for an event like this , then today was those . 🤔
Three sets of club colours took on a tough course along the border .
The Marshall problems have been sorted , there are plenty of markers and jelly babies en route .
Jo Ellis was sub 2.30 , yours truly , sub 2.40 and Sian sub 3.00 so we all had a good day .
Two others with club connections took part . Well done lads .
Runners had come from all over the country for this one and the signs are it could grow .
With a super medal at the finish , I can recommend it for any off road types .
Oh , and one more thing for the second year running , in the same race I was first Wye Valley male home so come all you racing snake young ‘uns don’t let the old fart make it a hat trick

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Malvern Joggers 10k - Wednesday 13th June 2018

THE VIEW FROM THE BACK

It could have been the largest gathering of people in Castlemorton Common since the infamous rave of May ‘92.

Two Wye Valley (me and Bill), two Couriers and almost 40 Pershore Plum Plodders were among the 278 runners who toed the start line of the annual Malvern Joggers 10km race in Welland on Wednesday evening June 13th.

I started near the back, to give former Wye Valley Jon Barnes a head start. After half a mile we were off the common and heading across a wheat field towards Little Malvern Priory, a stunning sight in the early evening sunlight. Soon we were back on boggy ground on the hills above the common, before a half-way cup of water and a jelly baby or two. Past Gullet quarry, where signs warned us there is danger of death in its dark seductive water.

In the last two miles I found myself surrounded by Pershore purple vests  ….. Felt like I was in a Cadburys advert. Thanks to their company, I found an extra gear, and almost sprinted across the line, for a free banana.

It’s a long walk back to the carpark. By the time I got there, Bill Griffiths had had his free curry and was on his way home.

So, a great race. Well organised and marshalled, beautiful course with great views, some goodies at the finish, plus the free vegetable curry in a chapatti wrap. Chip timing, although the chip was more like an electronic tag.  Shame the race clashed with the summer off-road race in High Vinnals.

Results

Men:

1st : Neil Laurenson (Black Pear Joggers) in a new course record of 36:23

2nd: Jon Barnes (Cheltenham) 37:40

3rd: Chris Grubb (unattached) 38:20

Women:

1st: Shona Crombie-Hicks (Tewksbury) 42:24

2nd: Karen Lewing (unattached) 45:31

3rd: Sally Dring (Black Pear Joggers) 45:59

 

Wye Valley

Bill Griffiths: 207th in 63:26

Peter Smith: 240th in 69:35

Report courtesy of Peter Smith

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Magic Roundabout 6 - Sunday 10th June 2018

Last Sunday a small but select group of Wye Valley Runners ventured into Wales to tackle the brilliant Magic Roundabout race, organised by Hay Hotfooters. Conditions were perfect and competitors were able to admire the views before the start of the race, which is at the top of a hill - The Begwns. The race is on tracks and grassland and after the recent dry spell, conditions were good for running. After a fairly hectic downhill dash, the runners settle into a series of climbs and descents before the final climb and then short sprint to the finish, which is considerably lower than the start. 

At the front, John Pugh from Builth came home first in an impressive 37.36 just over a minute ahead of Matt James from Hereford Couriers 38.45 and Andrew Salt from Croft Ambrey 39.47. In the ladies race Ashleigh Bailey from Wye Valley Canicross was first over the line (just behind her dog) in a very fast 44.27. Next and first over 50 lady was veteran fell runner Niki Morgan from Mynydd Du in 45.23 followed by her club mate Fay Johnson in 46.01.

First home for Wye Valley was Becky Davies, making a welcome return to racing, finishing 44th overall and 8th lady, closely followed by Jane Hayde in 52.48. Next was our first man Tony Champken in 53.31. Full Wye Valley results are below. Special mention to Category winners Jan and Brian (who actually beat the first M70!)

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Man V Horse

Saturday saw the return of one of the craziest races on any calendar. 9 Wye Valley Runners competed in Llanwrtyd Wells against a Horse over 22 miles of tough Welsh terrain.

As always the race starts in the streets on Britain's smallest town. After a small horse procession relay runners and those doing the full distance set off down the road together, experienced runners shaking there head at those who going charging off with the relay knowing they will regret that later on as this course takes no prisoners with nearly 4000 feet of climbing your legs will suffer, the first major climb coming after just a mile, the laughing and joking soon stops as you spend the next mile climbing over 1200 feet and you want to save every breathe.

You may have heard the age old saying what goes up must come down, well unfortunately you start to look at that negatively and you dread the downhills because what goes down must come up.

This race is not without its rewards you get to run on some of the best trails I have ever seen, apart from the huffing and puffing over fellow runners and the odd galloping horse you truly feel like you are in the middle of nowhere surrounded rolling green (let call them mountains because that's what they felt like) and great big forests. Also despite the toughness of this races all runners are in great spirits conversing which other wanting to know what the latter stages are like and when will they see a horse. You don't have to wait long though, they are like buses you wait ages for one then 3 great big stinking beasts come galloping past with a few words of encouragement from the riders. Its difficult not to look smug when later on in the race you shout warning to the rider in front that a runner is about to overtake them on the right. You know the smugness is going to be short lived but you take the small victories where you can.

There was some great performances from Wye Valley yesterday, showing there colours proudly. Most coming off different training plans. Laura Tootel putting her marathon injuries behind her and finishing 3rd in her age category. Jeremy Jehan who walks like he needs a hip replacement finished just behind in one of his best times yet. Ian Whistance who hasn't ran in the 5 weeks since his superb marathon effort wasn't far behind. Just behind was Ward given his heroics in the ultras these last few months finished nearly 30 minutes quicker than last year continuing his vein of good form in which probably felt like a fun run. Simon Oliver ran part of the relay and put in a great relay time. Just ahead of the 3 stooges, Paul Davies, Shaun Hoyes and Paul Kemp who ran Newport marathon not long ago and confessed to not being ready for the hills still put in a great performance and overcame some serious mental battles.

This is one of the best and most unique races in the calendar, the beautiful sunshine bought about some other obstacles to overcome with the sunshine beating down on you. I am proud of every runner who completed this immensely challenging but rewarding race. You are all Strong like the Bull

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The Fountain Five

Unfortunately only 2 Wye Valley runners ventured out to the Forest of Dean on Thursday which marked the last day of summer to participate in a beautiful course hosted by our friends at Forest of Dean AC.

The course is about 5 miles around the woodlands of Parkend. There are plenty of hills but all of which are runnable with some nice long flowing downhills with a few technical areas to practise your fancy footwork. The race is on hard pack fire trails and single patch footpaths but with a few patches of mud thrown in for good measure.

Very well organised event and better yet for your 8 pounds you get to start and finish at a pub and get a free beer token for your troubles. Unfortunately I was driving so had to pass up on a pint of Legless Cow to wash down the BBQ food, but hopefully next year we can persuade the chairman to drive out the new Wye Valley minibus so that we can take in the whole experience.

I managed to finish 5th in a time of 33:31, Peter Smith ran incredibly well who not only ran a great time of 57:28 but also won his age category.

Hereford Half Marathon

On Sunday was Hereford Half Marathon, this year it returned a different course and what a treat that was. This is still not a fast course but snakes through some of herefordshires beautiful villages all of which somehow seem to end up on top of a hill, but thoroughly enjoyed the road flying past Brinsop with Merry Hill woods and credenhill woods either side. We were also rewarded with beautiful summer this time. After our winter you wont catch me complaining too often about the heat.

I'm sure many agree with me especially as a few managed to post some fantastic times, Brent Lowson, Alec Hoskins, Laura Tootell and Sam Mayglothling all setting new PBs.

Some great performances as well with Laura, Lynne and Jan all winning their age category and Laura picking up 3rd female overall as well. To cap off the rewards Wye Valley Runners even managed to pick up the team prize in a field dominated by Cheltenham, Consisting of Sam, Myself, Peter and Laura.

Overall I think everyone really enjoyed the event and hopefully see you all there next year waving the Wye Valley flag high.

Heres all the Wye Valley results. Well Done

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Gords 6 - Sunday April 15th

90 runners gathered on a drab but dry Sunday morning to tackle this challenging annual event, starting in Fownhope and taking in the ancient hill fort at Caplor. The race is run in memory of Gordon Clements, a former Wye Valley stalwart and all proceeds this year go to Hope Support Services for bereaved children, our local charity.

After a fairly strenuous 10 minute walk to the start, the runners faced an initial 3 miles along the bank of the Wye, before starting the climb up to Caplor Hill. The route is almost entirely off road and offers stunning views (on a clear day!) across the Wye Valley. After descending from the fort, the final 2 miles of the 6.5 mile race are undulating, with several fairly stiff climbs to catch out those who thought that the start was easy. Conditions were a little sticky underfoot in places, but some impressive times were recorded in the various age categories.

With last years winner, Hereford Courier Matt James unable to defend his title due to illness, there was always likely to be a new winner in this years race. At the front there was a battle royal between Andrew Salt from Croft Ambrey and over 45 Barry Reynolds, one of Hereford Couriers newer recruits. In the end Andrew Salt prevailed in a superfast time of 42.32, only half a minute ahead of Barry Reynolds. These two were well clear of Luke Gray from Monross in 46.10, although Wye Valleys Greg Wood had been lying 3rd before taking a wrong turn near the end of the race. Ross Cameron from Hereford Couriers was first junior in 4th (46.45) closely followed by Mark Thomas from Croft Ambrey in 47.00, who finished carrying one shoe! Next in and first over 50 was Mike Fawcett from Wye Valley Runners, showing that age is no barrier, with a superb time of 47.13. The first 6 finished inside last years winning time, showing the quality of the field at the sharp end.

The ladies race, although not quite as competitive as the mens, still yielded some outstanding performances with Fern Cotterill from Ludlow Runners making the top 10 in the overall race, finishing 9th in an excellent 49.22. Laura Tootell, from host club Wye Valley Runners, was next and first over 40 lady in 54.05. Kelly Bowen from Croft Ambrey, last years runner up, was 3rd this time in 55.42.

In the age groups, particular mention should be made of Dave Williams and Steve Herington, both of Hereford Couriers, who finished first over 55 and first over 65 respectively, in 14th and 34th place overall. Wye Valleys own super vet Bryan Symonds also beat many of his much younger rivals, coming in 71st place overall and first over 75. As did Jan Edwards, also from Wye Valley, who finished first over 60 lady in 56th.

In the team races, there were clear wins for Hereford Couriers in the mens race and Ludlow Runners in the ladies. 88 runners finished, significantly up on the 2017 race where we had 55 finishers. This local race continues to go from strength to strength and is likely to move to a summer evening slot in 2019, when we hope to attract an even bigger entry to take on this challenging course in the beautiful Wye Valley.

Before the main event, there were two races for children around the Fownhope recreation ground, attracting a small number of enthusiastic future Gords 6 runners.

Thanks to the army of marshalls and helpers who made the race possible and to our sponsors and suppliers :

                Patrick and Bernie Elson, Kath Bouston, Ralph Lloyd, Sarah Evan

                Swan Brewery, Leominster                         Post race beer

                Firepower Graphics                                    Race T-shirts

Full results and category winners here

 

 

 

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Muddy Woody 6 - Sunday 11th February 2018

Pugh takes control to Seal Victory in Woodland Race

Jonathan Pugh of Builth & District Running Club held off a strong challenge from Matthew James of Hereford Couriers to secure the win in the 22nd running of the Muddy Woody 6.
Brecon Athletic Club’s Mike Pfeiffer, a very consistent podium position finisher secured third place.
Jessica Bennett of Lordshill Runners was a very convincing winners of the Ladies Race with former winner Laura Tootell of Wye Valley Runners second and fellow club member Clare Sims third..
Wye Valley Runners secured victory in both the men’s and ladies team events. Wye Valley’s winning men’s team were Christian Jones, Mike Fawcett and Andy Moxon . The winning ladies were Laura Tootell, Clare Sims and Juliet Moxon.
The Wye Valley Runners Shield was awarded to Christian Jones with the Jim Gray trophy going to Juliet Moxon.
The race organized by Wye Valley Runners was run over a challenging woodland trail course with the 283 finishers contending with exceptionally cold and muddy conditions.
Wye Valley Runners donated £2 of each entry to Hope Support Services and collected additional donations at the refreshments stall.
Wye Valley Runners would like to thank all the runners, marshals and race sponsors for making this a successful event. A presentation was also made to John & Merle Hancock in appreciation of their continued support and use of facilities.


Men’s Results: 1. Jonathan Pugh (Builth & District Running Club) 41.13 ; 2. Matthew James (Hereford Couriers) 41.46 3. Mike Pfeiffer (Brecon Athletic Club) 43.37
Junior Jasper Robinson ( Croft Ambrey) 55.31 ; V/40 Danny Axford (Headington RR) 44.55; V/45 Christian Jones (Wye Valley Runners) 44.46; V/50 Mike Pfeiffer (Brecon Athletic Club) 43.37; V/55 Tim Taylor (Hereford Couriers) 48.10; V/60 Steve Bedford (Wye Valley Runners) 62.49; V/65 Ashley Robinson (Croft Ambrey AC) 56.45; V/70 David Hibbert (Worcester AC) 65.43; V/75 Brian Symonds ( Wye Valley Runners) 70.10
Ladies Results: 1.Jessica Bennett (Lordshill Road Runners) 48.28; 2. Laura Tootell (Wye Valley Runners) 52.14; 3.Clare Sims (Wye Valley Runners) 54.01
Junior Aderyn Carter (Hay Hotfooters) 61.33; V/35 Holly Gourley ( Ledbury & District Harriers) 54.36; V/40 Laura Tootell (Wye Valley Runners) 52.14; V/45 Victoria Jones (Cock Moors Ladies) 57.51; V/50 Lorraine Bunn (Unattached) 55.42; V/55 Liz Davies-Ward (Hereford Triathlon Club) 69.43; V/60 Jan Edwards (Wye Valley Runners) 67.19

Race report courtesy of Mike Shaw

Full results here:

More pictures here:

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Midlands Cross Country Championships - Saturday January 27th 2018

On a wet and miserable Saturday morning, 5 Wye Valley Runners (4 actual runners and 1 chauffeur), gathered to make the long trip up to Nottingham for the Midlands XC Championships. After 1 false start (Chairman forgot his phone) we were on the way. Only 1 brief coffee stop (making sure that we didn't lose Peter Nugent) and we arrived at Wollaton Park in good time. Grudgingly paying the £3 to park in a muddy field resembling the Battle of the Somme, it was then off to pick up numbers and chips etc, As the new club marquees hadn't yet been commissioned, the Chairman blagged some space in the tent of one of his former clubs (thanks to Burton AC), although the weather had improved since we left Hereford.

The course was testing as usual at Wollaton, with one particularly boggy section, but great for spectators. Clare Sims was our only lady runner and put in a good performance in probably her first cross country race of this standard, finishing an excellent 69th (out of 250) in 38.02. The men also performed well with Sam Mayglothling first home just sneaking into the first 100 in 99th place and a time of 49.01. Steven Flowers was next in 126th place and a time of 50.54. Gallantly chasing down Steven all the way in 138th came Peter Nugent in 51.33. The men just avoided the indignity of being lapped by the leaders, despite finishing well up the field of 473 finishers. For comparison the winners time was 40.09 for the 12k distance. So a bit of a rude awakening to real competition, but I'm sure they will all be back for more after this taster. It was disappointing that we couldn't field full teams in the mens or ladies races, but maybe next year?

Next up (after the last league race) Parliament Hill Fields for the Nationals.

 

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Reservoir Roundabout - Elan Valley

The Fell section off the Club ended up in Elan Valley this morning before it even got light!!! (Hard as nails them Fell boys!!??) to do a long distance walking event (not so hard as nails!!).

Having never heard of this event two days ago - the reservoir roundabout has been going since 1967 and is either a 13 mile or 20 mile trail around the dams.

Mike “feeling a bit soft before the spine” Fawcett did the 13 miler - unfortunately never saw him after the start so can not comment on how his last run before next weeks spine race went.

The rest, Dan Lewis, Jim Masters and myself where on the twenty mile route and had managed to take a wrong turn on the extremely well marked course within the first mile. This meant following “pole man” for the next five miles - as we guessed he was local and knew where to go..

The course round around the outside of various dams before rising sharply up and over the top to a stretch of open moorland. At this point the bitting cold wind picked up and the snow come Hail started to fall..

Luckily we dropped down before frost bite to the first aid station- a cup of tea and a hot dog - which was very welcome.

At this stage we had caught Pole man and used his superior nav to get us round the next couple of miles. All the dams where full and the water falling was a wonderful sight.

After a another tea stop - this walking thing is very social!!

The hard work then started as a long grind up hill to the top and seven miles on top across moorland to follow..

Soon the three of us where descending after each one had fallen in a bog at some point.

The welcome return of the visitors centre with lunch and hot drink awaited so after 20.3 miles and 3 hours 37 we where back - the first of the twenty milers !!

Mention also to Sue Sherwood who was walking the 20.

A lovely event well marked and organised made for a great training long run (will keep Coach Flowers happy!!??)

Report courtesy of Jeremy Jehan

Website

New Years Day 10k

Dominant Performance by Cheltenham Harriers at New Years 10k
Rhys Park of Cheltenham and County Harriers recorded a new course record time of 31.50 for the New Years 10k course starting on the Great Western Way. Clara Evans of Cardiff AC secured a convincing victory in the ladies race for the third year running with a finishing time of 38.29.
Cheltenham and County Harriers dominated the race securing 5 of the top 6 places with Dan Owen second in 33.21 closely followed by third place Daniel King finishing in 33.38.
Roxanne Jones of Hereford Couriers was second in the ladies race in 41.27 finishing just 3 seconds ahead of former winner Myshola Kirkham of Coventry Godiva Harriers.
The men’s team award went to Rhys Park, Dan Owen and Daniel King of Cheltenham & County Harriers with the ladies team award carried off by Hereford Couriers trio Roxanne Jones, Naomi Prosser and Sheryl Evans.
This was the 34th running of the event organized by Wye Valley Runners. Fortunately the heavy morning rain subsided in just enough time for the race to be run in dry and near perfect conditions. There was a good turnout with 196 race finishers.
Wye Valley Runners wish to thank all the runners and the many marshals and helpers whose hard work makes this race possible. Special thanks is also extended to Hereford Rowing Club for use of their facilities.
Men’s Awards: 1. Rhys Park Cheltenham and County Harriers) 31.50; 2. Dan Owen (Cheltenham and County Harriers) 33.21, 3. Daniel King (Cheltenham and County Harriers) 33.38
V/40 Jamie Shingler (Ludlow Runners) 37.00; V/45 Barry Reynolds (Hereford Couriers) 33.51; V/50 Richie Richards (Hereford Couriers) 40.07; V/55 Berry Clifford (Ledbury & District Harriers) 38.45; V/60 Paul Millsom (Vegan Runners) 44.00; V/65 Mike Shaw (Wye Valley Runners) 48.24; V/70 Andy Houghton (Madsat Raft Team) 48.23.
Ladies Awards: 1.Clara Evans (Cardiff AC) 38.29; 2. Roxanne Jones (Hereford Couriers) 41.27; 3.Myshola Kirkham (Coventry Godiva Harriers) 41.30;
V/35 Myshola Kirkham ( Coventry Godiva Harriers) 41.30; V/40 Claire Sims (Wye Valley Runners) 41.52; V/45 Ruth Johnston (Madsat Raft Team) 46.40; V/50 Ann Pritchard (Wye Valley Runners) 49.28; V/55 Nicola Turvey (Croft Ambrey AC)49.07; V/60 Jan Edwards (Wye Valley Runners) 51.16; V/65 Liz Bowers ( Croft Ambrey AC) 47.24;

Courtesy of Mike Shaw

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7 Sins

The 7 Sins is fast becoming a bit of a annual tradition as some Wye Valley Runners try and work off 1 particular sin, that being Gluttony of course. This year however only myself and Jeremy Jehan decided to burn off the extra mince pies and chocolate from the Christmas festivities.

For those of you who haven't partaken in this event. The 7 sins is set in the darkest depths of the Forest of Dean where you can be greeted with a friendly high 6. It consists of 7 miles and 7 hills adding up to over 1300 feet of climbing. This year we had the added benefit of thawing snow which turned it into a mud bath which put even the likes of Muddy Woody to shame. Time to raise the bar in February I think. 

As a bonus if you manage to complete this course in under 60 minutes you get a Sub 60 t shirt as a reward. Such was our confidence at achieving this, neither of relied on this as a change of warm clothing.

There is very little time to get into stride here, After running 400 metres on the trail you get to hit Hill 1 which will keep going until you pretty much hit the first mile pointer. There was no taking it easy here as after the embarrassment of getting beaten by Jeremy at Monkhall I wasn't going to finish the year on that particular low, but after reaching the top of Hill 1 I risked a glance back and the old goat was right behind me. At the top of Hill 2 I new there was a technical descent but rest assured that if I fell there was plenty of mud around to cushion ones ass, so I threw caution to the wind and Mr Glass ankles himself managed to get a bit of breathing room, this was the particular over the next miles and climb, run hard over the top and gamble on the descent to try and get out of sight and out of mind.

After a while it was strung out enough that you relax and enjoy the race apart from the fact that in the back of your mind was wanting to make sure you were under 60 minutes and banking enough for the dreaded water tunnel which this year was particularly cold. I cant tell you how high the water was because everything went numb and blue, but it left my trainers sparklingly clean ready for the next race.

In the end I was comfortably under the 60 minute barrier with 57:15 and picking up Andy Moxons favourite position of 4th. The old goat then came in just over a minute behind in 5th and bagging himself a trophy as first old git.

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Skirrid Fell Race

Seven Wye Valley Runners took part in the Skirrid Fell Race in a very wet underfoot, but otherwise clear crisp day. Ian Whistance set the pace at the start, with Mike Fawcett and Peter Nugent hot on his heels. On the main ascent Peter Nugent, (with expert navigational skills) took the lead with Mike Fawcett following closely behind making up ground on the tricky technical boulder field like a mountain goat. Jeremy Jehan powered up the final brutal ascent to the summit behind Dan Lewis, who used his impressive downhill form with a quick descent through heather. Steve Flowers, who despite the man flu he had a month ago , picked up a lot of pace through fields towards the finish. Peter Nugent maintained his impressive fell running form, coming home as the first WVR in 9th followed closely behind Mike Fawcett in 11th, with Ian Whistance 18th. Mike and Ian picking up the V48 and V45 prizes. Peter Nugent robbed of the SM prize by the winner. A good afternoon had by all. Well done WVR! Peter Nugent 9th Mike Fawcett 11th Ian Whistance 18th Dan Lewis 46th Steve Flowers 55th Jeremy Jehan 57th Steve Bedford 102nd

Courtesy of Peter Nugent

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Howling Bull

Cakes !

Jan and Brian “persuaded “ me to enter this one , and they were quiet right to .

A proper trail race with all the mud , rocks and other things to put you on your bum if not watching your step .

After watching the canix race start which involves a lot of noise and much laughter ( don’t worry if you are not keen on dogs , they go 15 mins before us ) we began a couple of miles of slog , on and off road . Cake !

Once into the woods it was standard fair for such a race with twists and turns , roots and holes on a well planned and marshalled course.

Runners from some of the Welsh clubs which you might not normally meet in out league races make for new targets to chase .

On a couple of occasions, there is a view of where you have climbed which on a clear day like today was super . Cakes !

The choice of two routes in the last couple of miles adds a twist in the tail  .

The wooden medal will stand out on my rack .

They was 9 WVR out today with Jan and Brian collecting their age group prizes .  What DID that cider taste like Jan ?

Well done all .

Did I mention the cakes ?

Race Report by Simon Oliver

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Conwy Half Marathon

The race starts and finishes at Conwy castle, and goes up a bloody big hill with fantastic views from the top of the Great Orme across the sea towards Anglesey and snowdonia. It is billed as the 3 Nations Championships, and you run under your countries flag (England, Wales, Scotland). The results are sorted according to overall position, age categories and gender, but also according to nationality as well. It’s a nice, friendly and well run race, organised by Run Wales.

Siân getting a course PB 2hrs 03 53
Tony 2 sec off his 1hr 43 36

Race Report by Tony Champken

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