The times are a changin’

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Wed 27 Feb ’13


In the digital space it seems that the outdoor and trail running running sphere is growing all of the time.

Testimony to this is MPORA / Factory Media’s new guise Outside Times. The new site, from the stable which contains top MTB title Dirt, states:

The Outside Times is a website for the adventurer in all of us. To push ourselves outside. To take on that outside challenge. From entering your first trail race to cycling across America. We’re into a bit of everything. Well, almost everything. One thing we’re not really into is pigeon holes.

We’re not just runners, hikers or cyclists, we’re into everything. If it’s outside, we’re into it.On the site we aim to inspire us all to find our next outdoor challenge.

Weekend racing…

Posted in At the Races on Tue 26 Feb ’13

© Dave Woodhead /

Emma Clayton and Tom Adams at the Ilkley Moor race

Wins for Ricky Lightfoot, Emma Clayton, Tom Adams and Rob Hope amongst others at last weekend’s racing on the fells of England and Wales. Snow was still prevalent in the Lakes at High Cup Nick, as Lightfoot took yet another win in 2013…

© Stu Stoddart

Ricky Lightfoot at High Cup Nick

Images by Stu Stod here, with full results to follow.

At the Bleasdale Circle race 3-time British Fell Champ Rob Hope was looking strong as he was over 2 minutes clear of the field at this 5 miler that takes in 1250ft of climb. Steve Swarbrick was second with Karl Steineggar in third. Nicola Sweeney made it a Pudsey double as she took the ladies race.

Documenting his afternoon in the hills, Rob told us:

Had a good lung opener at Bleasdale Circle today and a comfortable win. The first short blast I’ve had on the fells this year. Weather ended up like at Winter Hill with blizzards sweeping across the Bowland Fells although it didn’t feel too cold with the short distance.

Three cheers for the marshalls and organisers again, it wasn’t great for standing around. Enjoyed a nice homemade pie and peas, and cup of tea in the village hall after. A nice Saturday afternoon all round!

Full Bleasdale Circle results here, with a few shots by Ian Charters here.

© Andy Holden / wharfeego

Rob Hope – back in form

Over in Wales on Saturday there was a great turnout at the Moel y Ci race, a traditional season opener in the north of Wales. Martin Cliffe continued his great early-season form taking the win, with Lisa Grantham taking the ladies race. Full report by Math Roberts on the Eryri site here, with images by Al Tye on the FRP site here.

© Al Tye /

Martin Cliffe at Moel y Ci

2012 English and British Fell Champion Lauren Jeska was seen sporting some rather fetching fluro yellow shorts at the Flower Scar race in Todmorden on Saturday too, as she comfortably won the women’s race. Karl Gray continued his great 2013 with the win in the men’s race, just sprinting away from CVFR club-mate Tim Ellis, who himself has had a great start to the season.

Steve Weston reports:

This is a new race that has replaced the Noonstone which was cancelled because of access problems. Race starts at Told CC then climbs to the Flower Scar then there’s a tussocky bit before it descends through a wood before going back up a track and going over a cliff before climbing a track through Robinwood.

Full results here with images via Woodentops here.

© Eileen Woodhead

Lauren Jeska

On Sunday it was business as usual for Ilkley man Tom Adams as he took the Ilkley Moor race ahead of Sam ‘Watdog’ Watson. Emma Clayton (fresh from her tremendous 4th place at the National XC on Saturday) smashed her own record by almost a minute, and was perhaps just as significantly 50 seconds up on young Annabel Mason, who herself had won the National U17 race on the Saturday, and making up the women’s top 3 was Helen Fines, also inside the top 20!

Images once again by the ever-present Woodentops and results via the Ilkley site here.

© Dave Woodhead /

Tom Adams at the 2013 Ilkley Moor race

Jon Gay goes sub-24 on Winter Ramsay

Posted in The Sweat on Tue 26 Feb ’13

© Jon Gay

A shattered Jon after his Ramsay last weekend

Lochaber runner Jon Gay completed an amazing feat of long-distance mountain running this last weekend when he completed the gruelling 60 mile Ramsay Round, which takes in 24 summits, including Ben Nevis…

Jon’s full story in his own words!

‘Winter conditions paradox’

I was extremely fortunate to complete a Ramsay’s Round in stunning weather and snow conditions this weekend. I finished in a time of 23 hours, 18 minutes. I have decided to write it up briefly as I have enjoyed reading reports by others.

Having the advantage that the the Ramsay’s is within running distance of my house it is possible to pick my weather (assume drizzle in Fort William). This time there was superb winter conditions, very benign. Paradoxically I believe that the snow surface made significant parts of he run easier than summer. Please see attached my split times.

I like spend most of my spare time in these hills and admit to failing many a winter Tranter or Ramsay attempt over the years. My Brother Dan (summer Ramsay’s completion), and I became experienced at running the Corrour to Tulloch railway after abortive attempts, great for the neck muscles and general awareness. Last February we did manage to get well over half way anti clockwise before retiring with cold feet.

At the time Andy Kitchin was going the other way and also stopped due to the cold after a similar distance (we saw his head torch at Loch Treig). We realised that if you aggregated the times it proved that the winter round could be done in under 24 hours, assuming perfect conditions.

I was pleased to complete a Ramsay’s in summer 2010 along with Pete Duggan. I am an average runner especially on the flat, but ok at ascending or general hill bashing. Completion for me in winter seemed a long shot.

Friend Bruce Poll who is a Ramsay- ist and Aspirant Alpine Guide had blogged about the improving climbing and snow conditions during the last week of very settled high pressure. I asked him if it was runnable up top, he said yes- solid, remember your axe!

Arguably a wind chill of minus 20, frozen to sea level and snow line at 600 metres would comprise ‘full winter conditions’, continental ones possibly. Axe and crampons were extensively needed. From studying the weather it was obvious that there was zero cause for concern here. As implied above I am not up to attempting in harsh weather at the winter solstice, but this would be a much more admirable ethic for completion!

This time I decided to go clockwise, not start in the middle of the night, nor walk to the start, nor go unsupported with a huge sack. This strategy had resulted in my latest retreat in January (drizzle). Sense prevailed and I asked my friend and fellow Lochaber Athletic member Tark Gunn, at short notice, to provide food (and motivational) support at Loch Trieg Dam. I recommend Tark’s hill walking courses, his advice and help kept me safe and made it all possible.

Ascending the Ben the cloud was down and there was fine snow falling. Here we go again I thought, whilst struggling with my crampons/ reviving my fingers. But emerging down Carn Mor Dearg Arete (runnable due to snow cover) I entered an Alpine wonderland with rime on the rocks and full ‘styrofoam’ neve (hard snow) underfoot.

Extensive snow cover was visible throughout the route. CMD was way quicker than summer, most of the rubble was banked out. Descent was a full but careful run. Even a man in heavy plastic boots was fairly shifting, initially I thought he might be doing a Ramsay!

The ascent of the West face of Aonach Mor was a little hairy in places (in Kahtoola flexible 10 point walking crampons) with pockets of water ice and very hard neve, I went too far left where it steepens. On top some ski mountaineers asked me if I was ok and had I lost something?

Why would anyone be running about up there? Fortunately the descent of the narrow Coire Bhuic, possibly the technical ‘crux’ of the route went well. I had tried digging an improvised snow inspection pit but could hardly penetrate the snow with the axe, it looked very safe. I carefully climbed along the back of the broken cornice and front pointed down the steep to a more comfortable angle.

I have traversed the Grey Corries many times but never has the ‘running track’ been this amenable, the hard snow covered nearly all the rubble. I had to phone Tark to say I was early. Just before meeting my upstairs neighbour. I was able to

Hill runners dominate at Scottish XC

Posted in At the Races on Tue 26 Feb ’13


With hill and mountain runners filling 4 of the first 6 spots in the senior men’s race at at this weekend’s Scottish National XC, it was plain to see that those who like it hilly still have plenty of leg speed when it comes to the flatter stuff…

Wegene Tafese and Beth Potter took the senior honours, with Ethiopian Tafese pulling away from top GB athletes Robbie Simpson and Joe Symonds, who completed the podium. Murray Strain also faired well with a 6th place finish.

In the women’s race HBT’s Rosie Smith placed an excellent second behind Potter, with Susan Partridge in third. Cat Buchanan and Tessa Hill also ran strongly finishing well inside the top 20.

Full report via Scottish Athletics here, results here and images here

Reactions so far
  1. Joe Symonds
    Feb 26, 03:22 PM

    Can we count Wegene Tafese as a mountain runner too, as that would make it 5 of the top 6…? He did a race up Helvellyn last summer.

    Scot McDonald was part of the bronze medal wining team (U20) at the WMRA World Champs. in Itlay 2009 (along with Robbie Simpson and Alex Hendry).

  2. Matt MST
    Feb 26, 10:30 PM

    Agree Joe, I had Wegene as one of the 4! Wasnt aware of Scot, sorry!

Gerrard repeats at a gruelling National

Posted in At the Races on Mon 25 Feb ’13

© Adrian Royle

Keith Gerrard kicks away from Steve Vernon

Keith Gerrard retained his English National XC title on Saturday on a snowy, muddy, cold and frankly gruelling Sunderland course, which also saw Louise Damen retain the women’s crown in emphatic style…

Gerrard edged away in the last couple of miles of the race, from long-time co-leader Steve Vernon who won yet another medal at these championships. Speaking to AW the Newham runner stated at the finish:

“Steve pushed me so hard. We were kicking the hell out of each other for 12km. But in the last 200m something just got into me and I just managed to find enough to win. This was my trophy and I didn’t want to let anyone take it!”

Bedford’s Neilson Hall was third.

It was a different story in the women’s race as Louise Damen romped to the win, some 60 seconds clear of Sonia Samuels and 2012 champion Gemma Steel. Mountain and fell runners wallowed in the Herrington Country Park mud too, with Emma Clayton (4th) and Olivia Walwyn-Bush (5th) having storming runs.

Emelia Gorecka was amongst the winners once again as she took the U20 women’s title, and in the process her 7th National XC win – amazing.

All of the reports, videos, images and reactions that you could wish for are now online via the following:

Power of 10 results
Athlctics Weekly
Images by Adrian Royle

© Adrian Royle

Louise Damen

This weekend…

Posted in At the Races on Fri 22 Feb ’13

© Al Tye /

Plenty for fell runners to get their teeth into this weekend, with some really nice races from the Yorskshire Dales to North Wales, and the Quantocks. Your full weekend line-up is online at the FRA here, including High Cup Nick and Moel y Ci…

Both of which should see good entries, especially as the weather looked pretty settled and dry, if a little on the chilly side! So wrap up warm, carry the appropriate kit as ever, and enjoy.

© Stustod / flickr

Carl Bell in action at High Cup Nick 2012

Joe heads to the Iditarod

Posted in At the Races on Fri 22 Feb ’13


Joe Grant

2013 inov-8 athlete Joe Grant is preparing to tackle the extremes of Alaska in a 350-mile race described by organisers as the world’s longest human powered winter ultra-marathon.

Full inov-8 press release

The 29-year-old, who will form part of a new global inov-8 team of athletes set to push boundaries and stretch limits in 2013, begins the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Knik, Alaska, on Sunday.

Born in the UK, raised in France and now based in Colorado, US, Joe will wear inov-8’s roclite™ 286 GTX boot to tame the snow and ice in a race that can take runners anything between four-and-a-half and ten days, depending on conditions in the Alaskan wilderness.


inov-8 roclite™ 268 GTX

There are just seven checkpoints on the course where food and lodging is available. Between checkpoints racers have only each other.

Joe said:

“It will be the longest ultra I’ve done in terms of distance and the extreme cold will make it tough but it’s a super exciting challenge. I just hope I can keep all my toes until the end! When racing over 350 miles in such wilderness and conditions it’s crucial to have trust in your footwear. The roclite™ 268 GTX is light and close to the ground, which is good on uneven snow.”

“It runs like a low top trail shoe, but has all the advantages of a high top for these kinds of conditions. The GORETEX membrane helps keep my feet dry and warm, while the height of the boot in combination with gaiters prevents snow from getting in.”

Following that, Joe hopes to go head-on with the world’s best mountain runners at the opening race in the 2013 Skyrunner ultra series.

May’s 83km Transvulcania ultra-marathon monster on the island of La Palma in the Atlantic Ocean, which features 4,415m of elevation gain, was last year won by Dakota Jones, with Joe in joint 11th.

Joe went on to record an outstanding second place finish at the epic 2012 Hardrock 100-mile race in the US – an achievement he wants to better this year.

“I want to be on the start line for Transvulcania but it will depend on how my recovery goes after the Iditarod Trail Invitational. The Hardrock 100 is a big one for me this year. It’s an awesome race, which embodies everything I like about racing in the mountains. I really want to do a fast time there in July.”

Joe will wear shoes from inov-8’s trailroc™ and roclite™ ranges to race over trails and mountains across the world in 2013.

“I’m super excited about the roclite™ 243 (new for spring/summer 2013). Its specifications are spot-on and I couldn’t think of a better shoe for trail and mountain running.”


inov-8 roclite™ 243

It’s National time

Posted in At the Races on Fri 22 Feb ’13


The National ‘charge’

In England and Scotland that is. This weekend will see a sea of XC runners from across the age groups tackle parkland courses in Sunderland and Falkirk.

The recent dry spell will probably make for perfect going if the frost doesn’t bite too hard, and English reigning champs Keith Gerrard and Gemma Steel with look to defend their titles.

© Athletics Weekly

Keith Gerrard leads the way at the National 2012

In their preview AW state:

This Saturday sees the 126th senior men’s race – a statistic that illustrates the event’s tremendous history, as English Cross Country Association secretary Ian Byett agrees: “The National is truly one of the greatest mass participation national championships in the world,” he said.

Up in Calendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland’s finest will be out in force, and it will be great to see British Fell Champ and GB internationals Murray Strain and Robbie Simpson showing the way for the UK’s fell and hill runners!

Athletics Weekly preview here.

This book could save your life

Posted in The Sweat on Tue 19 Feb ’13


We never really think about it. As we pull on our shoes and grab our kit and reckon we are prepared for the hills or trails, our preparation for any eventuality is complete – or so we think…

Few of us are prepared for first aid in the outdoors (I know I’m certainly not) and this new book from Pesda Press Outdoor First Aid, aims to fill that ‘gap’ in our knowledge.


Written by Katherine Wills the book is geared specifically towards first aid in the UK outdoor sports scene. Katherine is a qualified Specialist Physical Education teacher and currently runs Active First Aid Training, delivering Rescue Emergency Care certified courses throughout the UK.

In an urban setting we rely on ambulance crews, paramedics, doctors and nurses to provide assistance and medical care when things go wrong. This means the average person can get away with knowing surprisingly little first aid, but remain fairly safe on a day to day basis. However, once you are in an outdoor location away from immediate help and assistance you need a different approach.

Pesda Press have some great titles, including the excellent Scottish Trail Running published in 2012, and with Outdoor First Aid out on March 1st, and priced at a very reasonable £15.99, this should be a great addition to the publishers line-up and vital piece of kit for outdoor enthusiasts.

Reactions so far
  1. Jonathan Tyler
    Feb 21, 05:30 PM

    I’ve known Kath for a number of years through my contact with the Mountain Rescue. I run one of the busiest tourist attractions in Wales, the visitor center at the Summit of Snowdon and Kath’s advice and training has been absolutely crucial when I have had to deal with injuries.

    Although walkers on the mountain are at their own risk, I will try to help anyone who has been injured. I have had to deal with: heart attacks (3 in 2 years), serious head injuries (2 in 2 years), broken bones (too many to remember) and somebody having an epileptic fit. Most of these involved a full scale rescue using Mountain Rescue who are excellent.

    This book is absolutely essential for anybody who regularly is involved in the outdoor industry. Having been on various first aid courses over the years, none have been more relevant than the Active First Aid.

Mountain of Greatness

Posted in At the Races on Tue 19 Feb ’13

© Andrew King

South African based media business Go Trail Media have teamed-up with Summit Expeditions Nomadic Experience to document and promote the inaugural Kilimanjaro Stage Run which took place last year…

Full Go Trail Media release

The Inaugural Kilimanjaro Stage Run, Tanzania

In 2012, a small group of ultra runners, including top American female ultra-runner Krissy Moehl, pioneered the way for trail running in the central East-African country of Tanzania. Accompanying local ultra-running legend Simon Mtuy, the runners covered a distance of 160 miles over the period of 8 days, venturing through deep tropical valleys, high mountain ridge lines and across open plains.

© Andrew King

Simon M’Tuy with Krissy Moehl

The five international and five local Tanzanian endurance athletes became the first people to circumnavigate the tallest free standing mountain in the world on foot and in doing so helped Simon realize his long standing dream of running around the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Having been given the opportunity of identifying the best possible coverage for the inaugural event, Go Trail Media was tasked with creating a well rounded, high impact digital media campaign that would best assist organisers Summit Expeditions Nomadic Experience (SENE) achieve continued interest from the trail and ultra-trail running community world wide.

“As the foremost [digital] trail running magazine on the African continent, we knew that Go Trail was the best partner for spreading news of the Kilimanjaro Stage Run” said Tim Leinbach, Communications & U.S. Operations manager of SENE.

“Go Trail Media owner, James Hallett, shares our commitment to growing the sport in Africa beyond the geographic and cultural confines of South Africa. He recognizes the potential of an energizing, healthful, inexpensive sport that is a perfect fit for a continent with literally millions of footpaths, trails, and dirt roads through pristine environments.”

© Andrew King

In conjunction with the 32 page Kilimanjaro Stage Run Special Edition digital magazine, a collaboration with top South African adventure film company, D4 Productions, has produced a 24 minute web-based film documentary called Mountain of Greatness, providing an emotive and in-depth view of what it was like to circumnavigate the mountain from the runner’s perspective as well as to experience the multitude of culture and diversity of all the communities that are situated along the way.

Leinbach continues “The vision of Simon Mtuy, Tanzania’s internationally-known trail runner and organizer of the event, is to grow the sport in Tanzania both to encourage locals to experience the joy and freedom of exploring their country on foot, as well as for visitors seeking a physical challenge and cross-cultural experience far from Tanzania’s well-know tourist routes. With this special issue of Go Trail, along with Mountain of Greatness, we have taken the proverbial initial step in that great shared journey.”

The World Premier of Mountain of Greatness is set to take place at the Trails In Motion Film Festival in Cape Town, South Africa and at the Rainshadow Running Film Festival in Oregon, USA on the 29th of March, with follow up screenings scheduled for Boulder, Coloarado and Tanzania. The world “online premier” will take place a few days later on the 5th of April, with the full length film being made available for viewing/download from the SENE website.

Summit Expeditions Nomadic Experience news

Kilimanjaro Stage Run details

Kilimanjaro Stage Run Special Edition – Standalone Issue

Kilimanjaro Stage Run Special Edition – Shortened URL

Mountain of Greatness Film Trailer

World Online Premier Facebook Event Page

© Andrew King

Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Feb 20, 01:31 AM

    What a fantastic adventure! I really enjoyed the trailer!

    Please remind us when the movie comes out, and we can watch it.

Frosty speaks…

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Tue 19 Feb ’13



iRunFar and Run Tramp writer Robbie Lawless have teamed-up to present another absolutely fascinating article on one the world’s top ultra-trailers. Anna ‘Frosty’ Frost has risen from WMRA GP star to a trail runner capable of ‘chicking’ world class men!

We know a few things about Anna at MST, having looked after her PR for the Salomon Trail Team for a few years and since her move to the Salomon International team keeping in touch and growing to be good buddies too. But in this article – whereby the New Zealander talks at length about her formative years and her love for her homeland – there are things that we have learned.

A great piece about a great person, read on…

UK’s elite head to Carnethy 5

Posted in At the Races on Fri 15 Feb ’13


This Saturday sees one of the biggest races on the calendar as a stacked field head to the 42nd Carnethy 5 Hill Race. Though only 6 miles the race takes in 5 peaks and in wet weather is known to be extremely demanding…

Over 600 runners once again toe the line, in what is year on year a sell-out race. Last year’s race saw legend Angela Mudge take an astonishing 13th win at this early-season classic.

© Mark Johnston

Angela Mudge – win number 13 at Carnethy 5

There isn’t much to be said about Angela that hasn’t already been said, but another win will make it 14 at this famous race and would see her add another the seal on a record that will surely never be matched.

The Carnethy runner will have some stern competition in the form of her team-mate – and one of the most improved hill runners over the last 12 months – Jasmin Paris, along with top England GB international Victoria Wilkinson, Moorfoot Runner Sarah McCormack and top Scottish junior Scout Adkin.

Other women to look out for are HBT’s Eilidh Wardlaw and Claire Gordon, and Carnethy runners Helen Bonsor and Jacqui Higginbottom.

In the men’s race 5-time winner Rob Jebb returns looking for number 6, as does 2011 winner Tom Owens – though the Shettleston Harrier has had PF issues recently so it remains to be seen if Tom lines-up.

© Bob Marshall

Tom Owens winning Carnethy 2011…

Also in the hunt will be top-Scot Prasad Prasad, Helm Hill’s Tom Addison – who has had a very good last 3 months or so, Pudsey men Danny Hope and Darren Kay, Al Anthony, Oleg Chepelin and Andy Fallas plus others.

Racing gets underway at 2pm and you can view the full entry list here.

Reactions so far
  1. Nic
    Feb 15, 08:40 AM

    Sarah McCormack on the start-list as well, high quality field!

  2. Matt MST
    Feb 15, 08:45 AM

    Thanks Nic! Will add her, should be a cracker…


  3. Alec
    Feb 15, 10:45 PM

    I see Finlay Wild also on the start list, on a rare trip down from the North.

A little bit of history…

Posted in Through the Lens on Wed 13 Feb ’13


On a wintery day in February, this film on Channel Run – posted on the FRA fbook page by Andy Holden – gives us all a glimer of warm summer days and a traditional Lakeland show race from 2002.

Of course the Kilnsey Crag race is one of the best and the oldest, and part of that ‘treble’ in close proximity on the calendar which are Grasmere, Burnsall and Kilnsey. Though over 10 years old now it typifies the atmosphere and friendly nature of the race perfectly, with the likes of Ted Mason blasting up the hill and youngsters flying off the Crag towards the finish.

As the filmer says, “It’s bin a good day!”

The OMM heads for the Beacons

Posted in At the Races on Sun 10 Feb ’13


The 2013 OMM comes to Wales this year, and the Brecon Beacons. The exact location of the event on the 26th-27th of October will as ever be a closely guarded secret until a week or so before the event…

The OMM site proclaims the race as “the largest and most prestigious Mountain Marathon event” and few would argue, and with potentially some of the most hostile terrain in the UK, chat is already underway on the FRA forum as to where the route will visit.

More here.

This weekend…

Posted in At the Races on Fri 08 Feb ’13

© Al Tye /

Rich Roberts at Long Mynd 2012

There is an air of ‘the season is getting started’ about this weekend, with a curtain raiser on the Welsh scene at Tarren Hendre, the excellent Wadsworth Trog, the stunning (and tough) Long Mynd Valleys and the cracking Devil’s Burdens relay in Scotland…


Nicky Spinks at the Wadsworth Trog

Other races include the Sidmouth 4 Trigs Challenge down in the South West, the Wild Night Run on Dartmoor, Titterstone Clee on the Shropshire / Wales border and the classic Norman Matthews Winter Hill Race nr Rivington.

More info on racing for the rest of the year online from respective Welsh, English and Scottish associations via the WFRA, the FRA and the SHR sites. The weekend weather looks to be reasonable on Saturday, but changing to be wet and even snowy again on Sunday, so whether racing or just running on the hills for pleasure take plenty of good kit and enjoy!


A misty lead group at the Winter Hill race

Goodnight all!

Posted in At the Races on Fri 08 Feb ’13

© Heptonstall Fell Race

This is what is is all about. A good pub, great ale, a cosy night out and a bit of fell running thrown in. Well, that’s exactly what a hardy 51 runners got this week when they turned up at the White Lion pub for the CVFR Heptonstall Night Score Event

Calder Valley’s Stephen Grimley reports:

51 attended the CVFR Night Score event from the White Lion in Heptonstall last night – runners from Trawden, CLEM, Tod, and CVFR braved a foul night to leg it round the Heptonstall moors clutching maps and compasses. The torchlight fun ended with beer and folk music back at the pub – Ben Crowther of Tod Harriers won 1st prize.

Images here

© Heptonstall Fell Race

Snowdonia Marathon Eryri close to filling…

Posted in At the Races on Thu 07 Feb ’13


Race entry numbers have once again set new records, as almost 2000 runners have now registered for the 2013 Snowdonia Marathon Eryri. Entries went live on at midnight on the 1st of January with almost 800 places being bagged in the first 24 hours. 

Event release

2012 saw unprecedented demand as the event filled-up in just 50 days, and now race organisers are fully expectant of bettering that the record with this year’s event.

After a one of the most successful races ever, the 2012 Snowdonia Marathon Eryri was party to plaudits from many quarters – from runners, to sponsors, to the media and charity partners. Now in its 31st year the marathon is regarded as one of the toughest and most picturesque in the UK and last year saw one of the most successful events in this iconic race’s history. 

Entries co-ordinator Phil Jones is not surprised at just how quickly the event has filled-up, saying:

“We have been once again overwhelmed by the demand for this event in 2013. I don’t think any of us on the organising team really believed that we would have reached 2200 entries by the end of February in 2012, but this year we will be there in the next week or so. It’s not about records, but it is great to know that even into its 31st edition the race just gets more and more popular every year.”

Last year’s race produced two great winners in the form of local favourite Rob Samuel and Welsh ultra runner Emily Gelder, who were both effusive in their praise for the organisation of this great race. However, the compliments have been strongest from hundreds of runners and the numerous partners of the event, who have flooded social media channels with positive feedback about the race.


Race Organiser Jayne Lloyd with entries co-ordinator Phil Jones

Race Organiser Jayne Lloyd states:

“This event means so much to the Llanberis and North Wales community, but with the way the race has developed, it now extends into many countries and running communities. We are so proud of what the Snowdonia Marathon Eryri has done for the area over the last 31 years and how many people’s lives we have touched. Runners can certainly expect an experience that is rivalled by few UK running events once again in 2013.”

The final few entries for the 2013 race can be accessed by going to the Snowdonia Marathon Eryri website via enter the race. Postal entry forms are available by emailing

Anton aims “to get to a summit of some type every day”…

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Tue 05 Feb ’13


Anton Krupicka

In a superb interview with top US ultra-trail and mountain man Anton Krupicka, Advendure open-up Tony about FKT’s, injuries, minimalism and generally what motivates him to get up into the mountains, and just run!

In the extensive article the Boulder runner talks about his general focus being “more on tagging peaks and enjoying the climb and descent along the way, not necessarily getting out for a particular workout.”

And goes on to say how he has “ a personal style and ethic to how I approach mountains and life in general, but I would hate to think that me simply living my life has become perceived as some sort of evangelism or proselytization. I am happy to serve as inspiration for others but I sincerely hope that at no time does anyone think that I know the best way to do something.” Fascinating stuff…

Read the full interview here.

Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Feb 5, 06:32 AM

    I enjoyed reading this interview! Tony is one of my favorite runners. Thanks for bringing this to us!

Weekend racing…

Posted in At the Races on Mon 04 Feb ’13

© Paul Dobson /

Ricky Lightfoot at the recent King of the Castle race

Fell internationals Ricky Lightfoot and Carl Bell battled it out up at the Jarrett Jaunt this weekend. Ellenborough runner Ricky once again edged-out Carl by just under a minute, with former Howgill man Bell resplendent in his new Keswick AC colours…

The CFR site reports:

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Jarrett Jaunt 2013 – we had a fantastic turnout of 71 runners. It was a beautiful, crisp and sunny day here in West Cumbria, with both ice and plenty of mud to make things interesting underfoot. (At least the picturesque riverside setting meant you could wash the mud off after, for those fans of cold-water bathing!). The handicapping was designed to lend its own twist, with the field closing together in the latter stages to enhance the sense of being in the midst of the action. If you enjoyed it, please come again next year – and bring your clubmates!

Congratulations to Lee Amor (first across the finish line), to Ricky Lightfoot, Carl Bell and Howard Seal (fastest men), to Nina Walkingshaw, Jenn Mattinson and Clare Pearson (fastest women), and to those of you who today completed your first Fell Race. A vote of thanks to the helpers and marshalls who made the event possible.

Full results over at the CFR site here

Calder Valley’s Tim Ellis (1:39:27) led home team-mate Ben Mounsey at the Mickleden Straddle in the Peak District, with DPFR’s Tom Brunt in third. Helen Fines stormed round in 1:54:24 to record a new women’s record by some 7 minutes, ahead of Judith Jepson and Jo Bolton.

© Dave Woodhead /

Helen Fines at The Stoop in 2012

Full results here

Another CVFR vest was victorious at Lad’s Leap, as Jason Williams won in 52:53, with young Annabel Mason finishing 4th overall and first female – more to follow on this…

A tremendous 80 teams turned out at the Witton Park Relays in Lancashire, with victory going to Horwich’s men. Some great images from the Woodentops gang here with full results via UK Results here.

And finally at Rombalds Stride over in Yorkshire there were wins for Richard Pattinson and Jo Waites (thanks to @Fellrunninbrief) and once again Woodentops were there for some cold-looking shots!


Entries open for Al Andalus UT

Posted in At the Races on Mon 04 Feb ’13


The Al Andalus Ultra Trail is a super-tough 5-day, 5-stage race of around 230km from the 9th – 12th of July this year. The course provides a demanding test, not just for the legs, but for a runner’s character and determination…

Al Andalus Ultimate Trail is a 5-stage (230km) ultra-marathon in Southern Spain with numerous long climbs (7,200 meters of ascent/descent) and technical trails. With temperatures hitting a sweltering (35-45C), climbs are numerous and long and over 90% is off-road, mountain and desert tracks with the majority of tarmac in the final kilometers – when those legs are crying for help and runners are approaching the stage finishes!

Interested? Well, if you fancy something hotter than July, get your name in the hat right now by logging on and entering here for what will be quite literally one of the hottest races of 2013.


Reactions so far
  1. orla kastberg
    Feb 5, 02:20 PM

    Did this race last year and am going back in 2013. Great event! Course is tough but support and camaraderie is amazing. A must do event for any ultra-runner.

  2. Mike Papageorge
    Feb 5, 08:23 PM

    Yes, I did this in 2011 and concur with Orla: tough, and great camraderie. I hope to be back in 2013…