Sunday, 30 May 2010

Cader Race. Saturday 29th May

The weather forecast was about right. They said it would rain in Dolgellau. That is not very hard to get right but I was told that it is unusual for the annual Cader Mountain Race to be so wet.

It wasn’t raining much when we got to there. The marshal at the start warned that on the summit it was windy, raining and visibility was down to 30 metres. We left Eldon Square at 1 o’clock and within a few minutes the sun was shining as we climbed out of the town on the tarmac. I began to think that he was wrong. After 2 km we leave the tarmac and run along the side of a lake, through woods, bogs and fields. Weather still OK. At 4 km we start to climb the Pony Path, zigzagging up towards the ridge. We can see the ridge but soon a fine, misty rain is falling, I put a waterproof top on. At 6 km we reach the checkpoint and turn left along the ridge towards the summit. The summit is 2 km away and visibility down to 100 metres. Raining much harder now! It’s a good run to the top, a mixture of soggy paths, well laid stone track, some stony bits and towards the summit, scrambling up rocks. He was right about the weather. It was very wet, windy and the magnificent views from the summit consisted of 360o clouds, I didn’t measure it but 30 metres was about right. Then all we had to do was to turn round and run back down. Eldon Square looked very attractive when we got there.

Five Buckley Runners ran the race. Paul Stinton was 54th in 1.53.47, Chris Higgins was 109th in 2.05.51, John Morris was 120th in 2.08.32, Fen Higgins was 186th in 2.30.47 and Rob Mackey was 203rd in 2.44.52

From my point of view I was quite pleased. I had been worried about the “cut-off”; they turn you round if you have not made it to the ridge in 1 hr 15. I made it with 13 minutes to spare. I enjoyed the run, and would have done better if my trainer had not suffered a severe malfunction. I heard it rip in the first couple of miles, by the finish the sole had parted from the upper and I flapped down the last quarter of the race like a one-legged Gollum. But it was my first ever “big” mountain race, so I was happy with day.

Posted by Rob Mackey


  1. What a brilliant race! As Rob said we had tarmac, fields, mud, hills, rocks and scrambles, also the weather changes from sunny at the start to rain lashing sideways at the top in the mist with low visibility. It was hard work and I felt like I had been beaten up afterwards, but I really enjoyed it! And my knee held up, so extra pleased about that.

  2. BTW. The results are on
    Photos on (gwynfor jones website)
    Alistair was there taking pics but hasn't posted them yet


  3. Al's pictures are there now. Rob
    4pm Sunday.

  4. Sorry colleagues but have to chip in. Brilliant weekend despite the weather, shame you couldn't see a lot at the top, not even the top!
    Don't know if people fancy it but we stayed at the Royal Ship hotel the owner of which sponsered the race.I was thinking if we had enough of us next year who fancied going down and 'taking rooms'if we couldn't do some sort of deal. Have a think any way.
    Finally please see link to photo below. 'El Goat'and A another. (Looking at that picture, don't you think Pete has put a bit of weight on??
    Chris H

    Link to Photo -

  5. Well done all, the photos are good

  6. By strange coincidence, I was enjoying a mini-break in a hotel on the other (Tal y llyn) side of Cader that weekend. Dining on roast duck and sinking a pint of real ale looking up at the clouds and rain sweeping the summit and feeling I maybe, just maybe, should be up there. The feeling soon passed...
    Must have been hard going in that weather so well done all, esp the debutants at this tough race.