This was the 27th time for this classic event. And it threw up its usual mixture of rain and mud, slips and trips.
As usual Buckley Runners camped at Ynysymaengwyn near Bryncrug; the campsite packed with runners and their friends and families by Friday evening. There is a real buzz about the place. Saturday morning was bright and sunny. Tracy and Connor set off early to catch the train for the 3.5 mile “fun-run”. Then Jane and Rup took Amanda and Jess up for the start of the 5.5 miles at Dolgoch then dropped David off a mile further up the valley for the start of the 10 km race. Each of the races starts as the train comes down the valley. All finished safely in good times. David won the 10 km by a wide margin, breaking the course record.
We had 6 runners in the main race (14 miles and bit extra this year). By 2 pm it was grey and damp. 30 minutes later a steady drizzle started to turn the surface of the paths into slippery mud. By 3.30 it was coming down in sheets. Choice of shoe became critical as the ground became very slippery, however the rain was very refreshing over the last few miles.
Approximate finish times (taken off the clock on Steph’s camera); Paul Stinton 1 hr 44; Dan Hollingsworth 1 hr 48; Paul Donohue and Jane Linley both on 2.08 (they held hands across the finish line – I call that style!!!); Rob Mackey 2.19 and Ann Ablett in 3.03. Keith Jones (ex member but one of the originators of “Buckley goes to Tywyn”) did a very good 2.18 despite lack of training.
By 5.30 the rain stopped and the sun came out not long after. It was a glorious warm evening. We retired to the camp-site, showered, had a BBQ and a few drinks and talked until 2 o’clock on Sunday morning. Buckley Runners doing what it does best.
Another great weekend at Race the Train. My regret – not more Buckley Runners were there. Hero of the day – my wife Steph who stood near the finish line in the rain and cold to get photos of Buckley Runners finishing. She was cold and soaked by the time Ann got in, but she stayed and cheered right to the end. Huge thanks for that Steph.
It was my 16th time at this event, and in some ways my best. My time of 2.19 was my best time for over a decade. People said I looked happy at the end, they were right. The training and the races this summer seemed to work. Huge thanks to Jane for putting up with me on all those Sunday runs and everyone else who has persuaded me to enter some of the longer fell races. Now I will have to go back and see if I can do it again next year.
See you all in Tywyn nest year.
Posted by Rob Mackey Sunday 22nd.