Palmer can’t quite keep up with the Jones’

Posted in At the Races on Sun 17 Jul ’11

© www.breconfans.org.uk

Andres and Filipe Jones at Pen y Fan

The classic dash, up one of South Wales’ classic mountains, that is the Pan y Fan race, escaped the worst of this weekend’s weather as it went off in clear and dry conditions yesterday

Jones brothers Andres and Filipe warmed up for their Welsh vests at Snowdon next week with a one-two ahead of Mynydd Du’s Mark Palmer. Helen Fines bounced back from her 5th place at last week’s British champs race in North Wales to turn-in an easy win in the women’s race.

To be fair the 3.5mile sprint to the Pan y Fan table-top was probably a little short for Palmer, whose recent exploits have seen him win the Brecon 40 and run a fantastic 14.59 Bob Graham Round, however the Jones boys have been in pretty hot form of late too.

After leading handsomely at summit Andres was reeled in by Filipe and the even faster descending Palmer, on the super-fast descent once described by Keith Anderson (course record holder at an amazing 30 minutes dead!) as giving the runner “the feeling of flying”. However, Andres held of his Aberystwyth team-mate by one second in 35 mins 30 secs, with Palmer in third 25 seconds back.

Note: The fastest descent of the day was an amazing 9 mins 12 secs by Stuart Bellamy of Mercia!

© www.breconfans.org.uk

Helen Fines

Running for Vegan Runners Helen Fines was also swift on the descent, clocking an impressive 10.07, leaving her 7 minutes up on second placed Helen Bennett from MDC.

Full results over at the Pen Y Fan site here with some nice images on the gallery page here and cracking report here.

SHR navigation course

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Thu 28 Jul ’11

© www.runsnowdonia.co.uk

Following the success of the navigation courses held in 2010 and continuing interest shown by members, SHR are organising another course for hill runners on the weekend of 15th/16th October based in Fort William…

The closing date for applications is 15th September 2011. Places are limited and acceptance will be based on a first come first served basis.

Further details and an application form here

Swinburn has high hopes

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Sat 09 Jul ’11

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

Nick Swinburn

GB team member Nick Swinburn is confident of team success at this Sunday’s European Mountain Running Champs in Turkey, and having viewed the course he feels that he is ready to perform well on an individual level too…

Similar to Andi Jones’ thoughts, the North-East based young athlete feels that due to their experience the GB men should be confident against some strong opposition.

Nick explains:

The main competition will probably be from Turkey, Italy and France, but I think we have a strong mens team as well with everyone having run in World and European mountain champs in previous years; Steve Vernon (Euros 2005 9th; Worlds 2008 13th), Adam Osbourne (Euros 2009 34th, Worlds 2009 34th) and Andi Jones (Euros 2007 11th, Worlds 2003 4th).

I’m looking forward to the race as the last few weeks of training have gone quite well. I did the course as a junior 5 years ago and had a decent race, though we walked the last 4k of the course yesterday and its funny how you forget all the steep bits.

Theres a good 400m flat section to the finish for some overtaking of theres anything left in the legs after 1300m of climb.

The weekend in pictures…

Posted in Through the Lens on Sun 07 Aug ’11

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictires.co.uk

Matt Fortes at Y Garn

The Borrowdale Fell Race was subject to numerous great images this weekend – some of the roughest and toughest Lake District fells shown off at their dramatic best with the contrasting weather conditions…

Some of the best as ever at SportSunday, Andy ‘Wharfeego’ Holden never disappoints with some brilliantly clear efforts, Ian Charters blogs and clicks here and Keswick Lake District’s photos are here.

© Andy Holden

Ricky Lightfoot on the corridor

© Ian Charters

Billy Bland in red, still the Borrowdale record holder…

© Ian Charters

© Ian Charters

© Andy Holden

Ben Abdelnoor

© Andy Holden

© Mike Fanning

Ben with Britta Sendlhofer

Fell Running Pictures were out and about as usual this weekend, and Al Tye and Pete MacMillen’s emotive shots form classic short-distance Welsh race Y Garn are now online here – great work as ever!

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictires.co.uk
© Al Tye / fellrunningpictires.co.uk

Every weekend in the UK thousands of people get out there on the hills and mountains for non-racing, training, fun and recce purposes. Luckily for us they often take a digi camera these days too, and one such runner is Sarah Ridgway.

Not only does Sarah (along with hubby Iain) compete at the highest level, but she also runs the rather successful Run Snowdonia, and whilst out on her mountain endeavours keeps us up to date via her blog.

© sarzmountainrun.blogspot.com

Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Aug 9, 02:37 AM

    Great pictures!

Taggart and Adams at Ingleborough

Posted in At the Races on Sun 17 Jul ’11

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Lloyd Taggart

Lloyd Taggart (running at the Snowdon International as an open runner next weekend) warmed-up by winning yesterday’s fast Ingleborough race, part of the Ingelton Gala in North Yorkshire.

Lizzie Adams won the women’s race on the straight forward out and back course which, is only steep and technical for the highest third of the race – the rest of the course fast running on wide tracks.

Full results and further details to follow as part this weekend’s round up later in the week.

© www.settleharriers.org

Lizzie Adams

The Cabello Blanco comes to the UK

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Thu 28 Jul ’11

© rod-runner-888.blogspot.com

Micah True lives in the Batopilas Canyon of the Sierra Madre in Mexico. Over the last decade he has been instrumental in encouraging the local tribe Raramuri / Tarahumara to keep running which has always been a part of their traditional way of life…

Every year he organises the 50 mile Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon which sees the local runners compete against some of the worlds best ultra runners. The race is unique in many ways, not least that all competitors meeting the 13 hour cutoff win half a tonne of corn, helping competitors to feed their familiies at giving them a valid reason to jeep running.

© www.barefootted.com

True with the Tarahumara runners at the Urique race

Micah was thrown into the spotlight in 2009 when the book Born to Run featured his race and placed him as one of the central characters. In September Cabello Blanco (as he is known locally) with visit the UK to give a series of talks.

The dates and venues are:

  • Monday 19th September 2011 – City of London School for Girls, Barbican, London, EC2Y 8BB
  • Wednesday 21st September 2011 – Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School, Bristol
  • Thursday 22nd September 2011 – Faculty of Health, Birmingham City University, Birmingham
  • Thursday 29th September 2011 – David Lloyd’s Leisure Centre, York

His talk will be just over one hour with as much Q&A as required. He also has a short film of the 2009 CCUM that he will show as he gives his presentation, Micah will also cover the following areas in what should be a captivating few hours:

  • What first brought him into ultrarunning
  • His views on running styles, barefoot running and minimalist footwear
  • Meeting the Tarahumara in ’94 at Leadville 100 mile race where they set the course record beating all the american runners.
  • How he ended up in Copper Canyon living among the Tarahumara
  • The Events leading up to the 2006 Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon (CCUM) featured in the book “Born to Run”
  • What’s happened with the CCUM since then
  • The work he is doing with Norawas de Raramuri (the not for profit organisation he has established to support them)

Tickets can be bought online here

Chorier runs third fastest Hardrock 100 in history

Posted in At the Races on Sun 10 Jul ’11

© iRunfar.com

Julien Chorier

French-raider Julien Chorier followed in the footsteps of Kilian Jornet (Western States) in 2011 by being the winner of a US 100 mile ultra-trail race. Not only did Chorier demolish a pretty good field at the Hardrock 100, but did it virtually alone…

After taking the lead around the four mile mark the Frenchman comfortably extended his lead by every checkpoint, so that by the time he had returned to kiss the rock in Silverton, Colorado his lead was a massive 1hr and 53 minutes over young American Dakota Jones. After his WS100 third placing Nick Clark had to once again settle for third.

In the women’s event was a great race with Diana Finkel overcoming Darcy Africa by a 29:27, a mere 19 mins up. Such was the standard of their efforts that the two women were 5th and 7th overall, beating some very good male opposition.

Some great reporting, photography and interviews over at IRunFar.com with full results on the hardrock site here

© iRunfar.com

Diana Finkel

Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Jul 11, 06:38 PM

    Julien Chorier was a beast at Hardrock! It is widely considered the toughest 100 mile race in the US.

    One correction: Nick Clark was third at Western States.

  2. Matt – MST
    Jul 11, 08:18 PM

    Thanks Tony!

Comments closed

Weekend images…

Posted in Through the Lens on Mon 18 Jul ’11

© www.flamingphotography.co.uk

The leaders early on at Holme Moss

It was a case of fell runners in the mist at Kentmere and wet n wild at Holme Moss yesterday, but the inclement weather this weekend didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the fell crowd to once again turn up in numbers…

Looked a bit drier at Fan y Big in South Wales, the second part of the Pen y Fan weekend in the Brecon Beacons.

Results not out yet, but you can still feast your eyes on some great shots courtesy of SportSunday, Fell Running Pictures and Flaming Photography. Well done all!

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Helen Fines at Fan y Big

© www.flamingphotography.co.uk
© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

English Champs resume

Posted in At the Races on Fri 29 Jul ’11

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

Rob Jebb (50)

A quietish weekend ahead on the fells, less a couple of top quality events taking place north and south of the Border. The Scots have the Ben Rinnes 5 Tops hil race, part of the Dufftown Highland Games – a super tough 14 mile event starting at 12 noon on Saturday…

South of the Border things are hotting up in the English Fell Running Championships, as a short round 5 takes place at Whittle Pike.

Lauren Jeska is looking pretty good for the women’s championships and is still the one to catch, and will most likely not be at this weekend’s race as she is currently in Europe, having taken a maximum 32 points at the first short event, Mearley Clough.

In the men’s champs Rob Jebb is in the the driving seat, and has the opportunity to extend his lead at the top of the table, as he scored 46 at Mearley Clough with a possible 52 on offer for the win this weekend.

All the weekend races as usual on the FRA, SHR and WFRA sites…

Morgan’s season starts here…

Posted in At the Races on Sun 10 Jul ’11

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Donnelly crests Yr Aran

Borrowdale runner Morgan Donnelly returned from a long-term lay off to win round two of the 2011 British Fell Running Championships in emphatic style at the Welsh Yr Aran race yesterday.

Having struggled with an achilles injury in the early season, and more latterly with a twisted ankle, it’s clear that Donnelly’s season starts here. Speaking to MST after the race he was well aware that though he missed the round one Mourne Peaks race in Northern Ireland, he would be very much in the running for the title with Sedbergh (Long) and Devils Beeftub (Short) still to come.

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

Morgan Donnelly

“This is where it starts for me really, with the next three that count in the championship, here, Sedbergh and Scotland (Devils Beeftub). I haven’t raced too much this year, and apart from the injuries I am feeling pretty fit.”

Speaking about his injury problems Morgan continued:

“I wouldn’t say I was fully fit at the moment. I had physio last night (Friday), and I still have achilles pain when I run, and I turned my ankle recently as well, so that’s what was really worrying me, and that was the other strategy for going out fast, as I didn’t want to be pushed too much on the descent – but it held up okay.”

“Well I am not very good at coming down, so the only chance I stood really was to get as much of a lead as I could and hopefully stay in front!”

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Donnelly heads back to Llanuwchllyn

200 starters got underway a little after 1pm, after overnight storms had given way to a beautiful summer’s day in Llanuwchllyn, just outside of Bala, and it was Donnelly who signaled his intent from the start as he raced into a lead. His strategy of getting away and building a big lead at the summit was obviously working, with runner up Tim Davies stating afterwards that he felt they shouldn’t have let him build such a lead.

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

The Davies brothers: Tim leads Andy

Coming to the summit Donnelly led, from Rob Jebb, with Davies in third. Brother Andy (who was to finish an eventual fourth) admitted to going out a little too hard on the ascent and was in a group of 8 containing Lloyd Taggart, Steve Hebblethwaite, Graham Pearce, Rob and Danny Hope, Darren Kay and Eryri’s Richard Roberts, as they headed back down the rugged Aran descent.

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Taggart leads the charge

Apart from Tim Davies catching Jebb on the descent the top 3 were pretty much assured, with Davies gradually reeling Donnelly back in and later saying “I ran out of race!”.

But the Borrowdale man was not to be denied and scored a super win of over a minute at the finish, breaking Tim Davies’ record to boot in 1:22:55.

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

Morgan is well clear at Yr Aran

The women’s race was also a tale of one runner taking it out early and adding pressure for a resounding victory. There was no surprise in that the runner in question was Pippa Maddams – a women who has pretty much dominated British women’s fell running for the last three years.

She told us:

“I had been to recce the route and pretty much knew what to expect. It was still pretty tough though, and I went out hard to build a lead. Though at around halfway up I looked round and saw Jo (Buckley) so thought ‘get your head down you’re here to run!’ and pushed really hard to the summit”.

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Pippa Maddams

Similar to Donnelly, Pippa then built on this lead still further as she flew back to Llanuwchllyn for a 3 minute plus win, and sliced over 2 minutes off the course record into the bargain.

Calder Valley runner Buckley finished a comfortable second ahead of revelation Mel Price, who has been having a great season in Wales and Borders races. Lauren Jeska was fourth with Helen Fines in fifth.

Fines’ relatively (by her very high standards) low scoring position means that Maddams now has a commanding lead going in to the last two rounds and only needs to score well at the short Devil’s Beeftub race in Scotland in September to secure her third successive British title. Few would bet against it.

Some superb images as ever from Al Tye over at Fell Running Pictures now.

Men’s top 10
1 1:22:55 DONNELLY, – Morgan Borrowdale
2 1:24:05 DAVIES, Tim – Mercia Fell Runners
3 1:24:34 JEBB, Rob – Bingley Harriers
4 1:24:57 DAVIS, Andrew –

Weekend results…

Posted in At the Races on Wed 20 Jul ’11

© mylittlewalshes

Max Wharton (centre) winner of the under 16’s

Rob Jebb reversed his recent Brit Champs defeat at the hands of Morgan Donnelly as he won the Kentmere race on Sunday. Other racing saw wins for Mark Palmer at the Great Lakes Run, Simon Harding and Helen Berry at Holme Moss, and Lloyd Taggart at Ingleborough…

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

Jebby at Yr Aran

There was a great turn-out for the English Junior Uphill-Only Champs at Sedbergh too, with almost 150 youngsters taking part across the age groups, with Jebby on hand for the prize giving. Full results here, and images here.

Weekend results, courtesy of the FRA:

Kentmere
Holme Moss
Oldfield
Oxenhope
The Ingleborough link doesn’t seem to work at the moment

© www.flamingphotography.co.uk

Holme Moss 2011 early on…

Conway produces sizzling performance at UTLD

Posted in At the Races on Sun 31 Jul ’11

© b4refooter-nymh.posterous.com

Terry Conway on route at the Lakeland 100

Glorious weather, a superb event and some very worthy winners, graced the Lakeland 100 and 50 mile events this weekend, otherwise know as the UTLD (Ultra Tour of the Lake District)…

Terry Conway was once such winner, producing arguably the performance of the weekend to beat Stuart Mills’ time of 2010 by three and a half hours – running superb 21:58 for the 100 mile route, to win from Andy Mouncey who ran 24:27. Adam Perry and Ireland’s Paul Tierney ran in together in third place running 24:34.

Gaynor Prior came through very strongly in the second half of the event to win the women’s race in a super 28:24, also slicing hours off the 2010 women’s time set by Britta Sendlhofer.

An excellent 96 runners finished this mammoth event

The 50 mile race, setting off in the midday heat from Ullswater, ran the second half of the 100 mile event.

Craig Stewart led for most of the second half of the race, winning in 8:18, some 20 mins up on Ian Symington. Serpentine’s Penny Lenton won the womens race in 11:04.

Full results are now online at Sportident here, with plenty more to come no doubt, over at the UTLD site in terms of photos and video.

French double at the World Trail Champs

Posted in At the Races on Mon 11 Jul ’11

© www.runconnemara.com

Erik Clavery

It was double delight for the French team at this weekend’s World Trail Running Championships in Connemara as Erik Clavery and Maud Gobert took the individual titles on a tough course that produced a true champion…

© www.runconnemara.com

The start at Kylemore

With 125 starters this was one of the biggest fields assembled for the championships and at the end of 70km just over 1 minute separated Clavery and Canada’s Jason Loutitt. Patrick Bringer of France completed the podium as the Frenchmen easily won the team prize.

It was a diffeent story in the women’s race with Gobert winning handsomely, well over 8 minutes up on pre-race favourite Cecilia Mora from Italy. Great Britain’s Lucy Colquhoun ran brilliantly for bronze. Again it was the French women who were too strong in the women’s team event, taking first, fourth and sixth places.

Full results now online here

© www.runconnemara.com

Lucy Colquhoun

“A very technical trail, it’s perfect” – Julien Chorier

Posted in Through the Lens on Thu 21 Jul ’11

© www.salomonrunning.com

This film is five minutes of what the Hardrock 100 is all about. US runner Joe Grant talks about the event and course being designed to be less targeted at competition, and more about just challenging the runner

The toughest 100 in the US for sure, and possibly the worlds most incredible ultra-trail race, you decide…

© www.salomonrunning.com
© www.salomonrunning.com

Jornet wins mammoth battle with De Gasperi

Posted in At the Races on Sun 31 Jul ’11

© www.sportdimontagna.com

Kilian wins at Giir di Mont 2011

At the Giir di Mont race in Italy on Sunday there was a battle royal for the king of the mountains between arguably the world’s top two mountain and sky runners, Spain’s Kilian Jornet and Italy’s Marco de Gasperi…

After three tough and typically hot hours it was Kilian who took top spot in a new course record time of 3:01:03, two and half minutes up on De Gasperi. Such was their effort over the last few miles that the two runners had over 15 mins to spare on third-placed man Stefano Butti, with Brit Tom Owens in fourth.

De Gasperi had looked good going into the last part of the race and held a full 4 mins advantage at one point, however Jornet wasn’t to be denied this race which he calls “special” and overhauled the Italian to take yet another win in this event which brings Italian mountain running fans out in their thousands.

© www.sportdimontagna.com

The Giir di Mont top 3

There is little on the international circuit now that Kilian is yet to win, and of course his multiple world title winning efforts in ski mountaineering also ensure that he is revered across mountain sports.

Yesterday, De Gasperi and the rest of the quality field assembled in Premana would agree that he was once again untouchable, and though it’s difficult to assign the term mountain running legend to someone so young, Jornet’s exploits over the last 5 years throughout the world have ensured that Catalan is well on the way to such a status.

The UK’s Owens was pragmatic as ever and gracious in defeat:

“It was so hot out there, and though I am very happy with fourth it would have been nice to catch Butti for a podium. The legs weren’t really working properly today, and in the end it was an exercise in survival!”

“That’s it for racing for a while, it’s all about the prep for the Trans Rockies now with Ricky Lightfoot in three weeks”.

© www.sportdimontagna.com

Tom Owens still has a smile after 32 hot kms

In the women’s race another Spainish athlete Mireia Miro carried all before her on this runnable yet relentless race – which takes in three big climbs and descents along its 32km route. Like Jornet, Miro’s winter discipline is also ski mountaineering which helps develop great climbing ability and her time of 3:48:50 was a full 12 mins up on experienced international Stephanie Jimenez.

© www.sportdimontagna.com

Mireia Miro

Russia’s Zhanna Vokueva was third with New Zealander Anna Frost in fourth.

Full results and photo galleries now online at the Sport di Montagne site here

Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Aug 2, 03:55 AM

    Congratulations Killian! You are awesome!

    That race is a little short for Killian. I’m surprised he din’t run it three or four times.

Comments closed

Jones and Clayton lead the way for GB at EMRC

Posted in At the Races on Mon 11 Jul ’11

© Mark Croasdale

Andi Jones

Seniors Andi Jones and Emma Clayton led the way at a sweltering European Mountain Running Championships this weekend, with top 10 finishes. In searing heat amidst top European competition their finishes were the highlights of a satisfactory overall performance from the GB squads…

Full UKA release

The 10th running of the European Mountain Running Championships took place today in Bursa, Turkey on Sunday. The event programme began with the Junior Ladies who raced over 3.5k and climbed 405metres. The junior men followed. Their race was 8.5k with 865m climb.

The senior ladies then ran the same course. The final event of the day was the senior men’s race over 12k with a climb of 1245m. The men’s race started in Bursa and finished on Uludag mountain summit. All races finished on top of Uludag mountain and started at various points along the mountain path. The weather was hot and sunny with temperatures around 30 degrees in Bursa and a slightly cooler 24 degrees at the top.

Great Britain sent 15 athletes, 9 of whom were making their international debut for Great Britain.

The junior women’s race was won by Denisa Lonela Dragomi (21:43) , from Romania. She was followed home by two athletes from the host nation: Yasemine Can (22:08) and Sevilay Eytemis (22:16). The British team was made up of debutants Ffion Price 14th (24:54) and Scout Adkin 15th (25:10) who worked well together and Beckie Taylor who ran well for 22nd (26:21). Turkey took the team honours and Great Britain were a credible 6th.

© Mark Croasdale

The junior men’s team

Turkey have become regulars on the podium over the last few years and today they took all the podium places in the junior men’s race. Nuri Komur was first across the line (43:08) with his team mate Sonmez Dag close behind (43:12).Turkey’s third counter was Murai Orak just a little off the pace (43:40). Like the GB junior women, the GB junior men’s team was made up of first-timers. Garry Rankin was delighted to make the top twenty. He finished in 18th place (48:27). After the race he said

“I was glad that much of the course was through the forest as it was tough in the heat when we were out of the shade. I didn’t expect so many flat bits on an uphill course but it was good for me because I caught quite a few so I’m looking forward to trying to make the team for the World’s now as that’s an up and down course.”

© Mark Croasdale

Junior men get underway

He was followed home by Jack Ross in 22nd (49:22), Joe Johnston in 29th (50:45) and Dominic Mahoney in 45th (54:50). Turkey again took the team honours and Great Britain again finished 6th.

The senior women’s race was the only race where Turkey didn’t win a podium place. This race was won by Martina Strahl of Switzerland (48:44). She was followed by Antonella Confortola of Italy (49:09) and Lucija Krkoc of Slovenia (49:24). Emma Clayton ran on this mountain in 2006 when she represented England in the World Trophy as a junior.

She led the team home then with an 11th place finish and today she bettered that by leading the British senior team home and she finished in 10th place (50:53). As she crossed the line she said

“This is my first senior vest and I really didn’t expect to come back and race as well as this! I had been told not to go off hard and I’m glad I listened because it enabled me to push harder on the downs and the flats. I then continued to pick people off on the steep climb towards the finish. I thought I was going to be 11th again but I managed to pass one more in the last 200m!

It’s great to compete against top class Europeans. I’ve been doing the Grand Prix in Europe so I’m learning how to compete with them.”

© Mark Croasdale

Senior women

Clare Whitehead was delighted to finish 26th on her debut (53:02). Victoria Wilkinson was disappointed with 28th (53:19) but glad to be back in European competition after injury and a virus. She said:

“You have to respect the European competition. If you lose 30 seconds you lose 10 places.”

© Mark Croasdale

Victoria Wilkinson gets in the zone

Nicola Meekin also made an excellent debut finishing just outside the top 30 in 31st (54:08). Italy won the team competition and Great Britain got another 6th place to their name.

The senior men’s race was won by Ahmet Arslan from Turkey in 58:08. He was followed by Gabriele Abate from Italy (58:40) and Jose Gaspar from Portugal (59:05).

Fells and bells…

Posted in At the Races on Fri 22 Jul ’11

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Chris Steele

It will be a case of something old, something new, something Borrowdale and something blue on Saturday, as top English fell runner Chris Steele is getting hitched. But it’s not any old wedding this one…

Chris will be tying the knot at Dean Church before heading to Loweswater where there will be afternoon tea. All sounds very conventional and very pleasant. From then on it takes a rather different route, as Chris explains:

At around 3.30 we are having a 3.5 mile race up Melbreak. As most of the Borrowdale team will be in attendance it should be a pretty hot race, with many ex and current British champions there – Mark Roberts, Keith Anderson, Simon Booth, Pippa Maddams, Jim and Phil Davies, Morgan Donnelly, Ben Bardsley, me, the list goes on.

As many of the guests are fell runners I am hoping approximately 40 people will take part. Its a pity I will miss Snowdon this year but ! think this will be more fun!

© www.lakedistrict.gov.uk

Loweswater

The stile of Aran

Posted in Through the Lens on Tue 12 Jul ’11

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

Ben Bardsley in full flight

More great shots emerging from this weekend’s British Champs race at Yr Aran race, as Sport Pictures Cymru were on the lower slopes of the race at a significant stile crossing, which made for some excellent images…

Those Welsh runners are a lucky bunch, what with SPC and Al Tye’s Fell Running Pictures.

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

Mel Price

Gwynfor James captures some brilliant in-flight shots where grace and beauty is left behind in prefernce for getting over the thing as fast as possible! Some nice groups shots at the start of the acsent are on the Picsaweb set too – view ‘em here

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

Big Preview: Jones goes for no. 5 on Snowdon

Posted in At the Races on Fri 22 Jul ’11

© Dave Pinnington

Andi Jones in 2009

The International Snowdon Race / Ras yr Wyddfa this Saturday (July 23) sees an international line-up that is one of the strongest for many years, and sees Englishman Andi Jones aiming for an unprecedented 5th win on this famous mountain…

With the event already set to be one of the greatest ever to grace the area, teams from across Europe will pit battle on the famous mountain in an effort to put their names alongside the former winners that include names such as Kenny Stuart (still the course record holder after 26 years), Angela Mudge, Tim Davies and Carol Greenwood.

© Gareth Llewelyn

Kenny Stuart at his 1985 record run

This year’s Snowdon event will also be a ‘new’ race on the 2011 ISF (International Skyrunning Federation) calendar, replacing The Ben Nevis Race as the UK’s Skyrunner® World Series Trial race, offering national and international competitors the chance to gain valuable ranking points.

© www.skyrunning.com

Winners of the International Snowdon Race are guaranteed their place in history. To be one of the men and women that have won one of the 35 races held since 1976 takes tenacity, talent and qualities that only the elite mountain runners possess. To be one of those athletes who have won the race more than once assures almost legendary status.

© Mark Croasdale

Andi Jones at the recent EMRC in Turkey

Andi Jones is one such runner, and returns to one of his favourite races after his absence in 2010. Winner of the race in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, Andi was unable to take part due to the European Marathon Champs in 2010, but returns full of vigour in 2011.

The 32 year-old school teacher enters this year’s race in great form, fresh from a superb 7th place in the European Mountain Running Championships in Turkey last weekend.

Looking to take his second win, and prevent Jones from taking his 5th, is young Scot Robbie Simpson. The GB international returns to the place of his historic triumph in 2010, where he became the youngest ever winner of the race at juts 18 years old. Mountain running legend, and three-time winner of the race, Ian Holmes also returns this year, after finishing runner-up to Andi Jones in 2009 and placing 3rd in 2010.

© Neale Lewis-Jones

Robbie Simpson

Wilson Chemweno blazed a trail for Kenya in 2010, by becoming the first elite Kenyan runner to run the event and there is a possibility that two fellow countrymen and one woman will travel from the Eldoret area to race in 2011. This is to be confirmed, news will appear on the race website www.snowdonrace.co.uk.

One open event competitor to look out for is Englishmen Lloyd Taggart, who has shown strong from in recent weeks and has a pedigree of performing at the highest level.

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Lloyd Taggart at Cader Idris 2011

In the women’s race 2010 winner Catriona Buchanan return to defend her title. The Scots youngster will face strong opposition, most notably from 2010 runner up Pippa Maddams. Having been defeated by Buchanan last year the Keswick athlete will look to add this great race to her career wins which have seen British Fell Running titles in 2009 and 2010 and a superb world title winning run at the recent World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia.

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Catriona Buchanan at Snowdon 2010

Another very interesting open entry also comes in the form of Katie Ingram. The 2009 winner has been part of the GB triathlon set-up in recent years, however Ingram is returning to the source this weekend, and after a fair hiatus from mountain racing it will be interesting to see how the GB international performs.

© Dave Woodhead

Katie Ingram

With the Home Countries and Irish teams having been announced the team races should be very competitive in 2011, with Scotland in particular looking to wrestle the team title from the English grip that has been present for many years.

“We have concentrated this year on attracting some high-quality international runners to the event”, says race committee member Jayne Lloyd. As the head of international teams at the race Jayne is excited at the prospect of some high-quality racing at this year’s event. “The Home Countries will once again a chance to prove themselves against the best of European competition.”

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

The Welsh team is also strong with the likes of Mathew and Richard Roberts, and Andrea Rowlands taking to the start line.

Another significant aspect of the race – and an underlining of its heritage and sporting significance in Wales – is the TV coverage that the event enjoys. S4C has been