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Race The Train

Sat August 19 2006 Listed by Davey Boy
16 Entrants Club PB SB Pred Time WAVA
BigG Hooray! I beat the train!! 38th position.

Awsome race. The conditions were extremely difficult thanks to the rain over the previous few days, but in some ways it just added to the fun - this was never supposed to be easy. The course is well marshalled with plenty of drinks stations. Having the crowd cheer you on from the train at some points gives it a special edge. Superb goody bag as well, with T-shirt medal and lots of food and drinks. Would do again, but only after I get round to buying some fell shoes. North Yorks Moors AC 1:41:29 1:41:29 1:41:29 64.78
Boycie I will find it hard to give words than can fully describe this event. In short, the train took 1hr 48 and I took 1hr 50 so I failed. A full 2 days of torrential rain ensured that the 'very muddy' used in the description of the race did not really do justice to the conditions. It was simply ludicrous in places. Perhaps the best thing I can do is to rewrite the organizers description correcting it for the many factual inaccuracies:-

The race was started 22 years ago and this is the 23nd race. It was approximately 14.4 miles long. This is the classic start on the crest of the main railway line bridge adjacent to the Talyllyn Railway Station. Both the runners and the train are started by a geezer at the front who sounds a claxon and shouts 'go'.  The course, which is on public roads for just over a mile, runs through the town centre, where several brave souls shout encouragement, before heading for Brynglas.  At this point, the course turns right passsing a cemetry (which may be more than simple coincidence) to progress up a farm drive to cross the railway - if you can average 6m30 miles or faster to this point you will see the train go by at this stage and receive vociferous support from the many people on board.  After the farm drive there is a mixture of incredibly muddy tracks and undulating and uneven fields, which are churned up by the runners treading the path before you.  At Rhyd-yr-Onnen you leave the railway and run up a tarmac lane for 1/3 mile turning on to an unmetalled track running through a 1ft deep, 5 metre wide ford to reach the first refreshment point.  From here, you return to run alongside the railway over fields, rough pasture and farm tracks to reach Brynglas.  Here you will find the second refreshment point and, after climbing up a short, but steep stretch of farm road, you cross the railway to run the next section with the railway on your right.  The first 1.5 miles of this section is over fields and rough pasture, again incredibly muddy and with torential rain making footing extremely difficult.  After this you arrive at Dolgoch, where briefly you cross the car park, before ascending steeply across a field to run through trees, before dropping down a very tricky slope (particularly if you don't have rubber spikes) onto fields, again of a type and with footings similar to previously, arriving at refreshment point three.  A short run down an unmade track turns back on to 2 well-cultivated pasture fields, before arriving at one that the farmer kindly ploughed 7 days before the race, meaning that every step you take, your foot will sink about 6inches into clotted mud before you finally arrive at the turn point at 7 miles. This then leads you onto the most ludicrous section of the course.

After a short run on the otherside of the ploughed field, the course leaves for uncultivated sloping hillside, crossing a stream, running under the railway before climbing a hill (literally as it is so steep you can not run up it), and then you will proceed to run for 1.2 miles along a sheep track that has been reduced to an slippery mud slide, approximately 1.5 foot-falls wide that climbs very steeply up the hillside (approximately 400 feet in 0.8 miles), before joining a tarmac road which ascends steeply for over a 1/3 mile, crossing the railway line.  On reaching the brow of the hill, as you look towards the coast and Tywyn, it now levels off for a short way (approximately 50 metres) before leaving the road and plunging down a very narrow, extremely muddy path (take care).  Running over very rough terrain, crossing a raging torrent, and possibly through shoulder high bracken Unaffiliated 1:47:58 1:50:10 1:45:00 1:50:10 59.67
CD Great race, hard work on a wet day but very rewarding. Scunthorpe & District AC 3:00:00 3:00:00 3:00:00 40.75
Davey Boy Really tough but very good off road race (14.75 mile), first 7 mile is flat and mostly across fields, last 7 is tougher. The idea is to get back before the train (Approx 1:48). Maybe this year?? I hope so.......OH! NO missed the train by about a minute, conditions were unbelivable, well thats my exuse anyway, back to the drawing board then for next year. Unaffiliated 1:48:50 1:48:50 1:48:50 61.40
devonlol Southwest Roadrunners 2:33:35 2:54:16 2:54:16 39.68
disorganized number 563: can't find my time Cherwell Runners & Joggers, Trail Running Association 0 0 0.00
EggFuYoung First ever long race!  Conditions awful... Unaffiliated 2:36:59 2:36:59 2:36:59 41.88
garfieldhouse The conditions were a total nightmare! I managed it but so much slower than I wanted- mainly due to the mud and the steep slopes half way around. Southwest Roadrunners 2:50:20 2:50:20 2:20:00 2:50:20 38.59
Greenman I was never going to beat the train in the mud and rain but severe nausea at about 8m didn't help - brought me to a complete stop. No full english breakfast for me next year and hopefully back to normal weather to put me in with a shot! Grantham Running club 1:48:18 1:54:43 1:54:43 58.92
herbies gone bananas Unaffiliated 2:44:04 2:44:04 2:44:04 40.08
Lawriej Fell Runners Association 0 0 0.00
long whatton speedster Race the train was a race decided when the sun was shining and it was Hermitage Harriers RC 1:45:00 1:45:00 1:48:00 1:45:00 62.92
martin K London Underground AC, Runnymede Runners 2:16:47 2:16:47 2:16:47 51.40
Mr Phil Porthcawl Runners 2:27:03 2:36:00 3:00:00 2:36:00 42.35
Rubberman Wheew - that was hard work.
Should be renamed 'Race the Rain'. 
Lots of marshalls and drink stations, but treacherous conditions on the run back along the hill due to washed out path. Only fell on my arse once, and only skittled one other runner on a slippy descent. Will do next year. Hermitage Harriers RC 2:02:20 2:09:47 2:20:00 2:09:47 51.26
Shadow 100 Marathon Club, Cybi Striders 2:16:09 2:32:47 2:32:47 51.71

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