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