Race the train


Report from Tywyn

Last weekend a group of Banbury Harriers and friends made the 150 mile trip to Tywyn in mid Wales for the Race the Train event. Camping at the local Pall Mall site we were lucky to be put in a field that did not flood. not like Cherwell who had to move their tents when their field began to resemble a lake. The event was organised by the rotary club and consisted of various cross country races following the route of a narrow gauge steam railway. The Talyllyn railway was built to carry slate from the mines near Abergynolwyn down to the coast and main railway at Tywyn. It was one of the first preserved railways and is now a major tourist attraction.

There was a choice of races with one way routes called the Quarry challenge at 10k, The Dolgoch challenge at 5.5 miles, and the Tyllwynhen challenge at 3.5 miles all in the morning Then in the afternoon was the main out and back event, the Rotary challenge at 14 miles.

Sandra Smith & Heike chose the Dolgoch challenge finishing together in a time of 57.13 and a very respectable 81st out of 154 runners.

The quarry challenge tested our runners with Michelle Bartlett coming out on top in 55th position and 1st W45 in 49.15. Next was Lisa Ansel in 108th and 2nd W40 in 53.26. Rebecca Biegel Was 175th in a time of 58.32 which was still well within the top half of the 427 strong field.

The very heavy rain the evening before made all the events very muddy and by the time the main event got underway in the afternoon parts of the course had all ready been churned up by around 800 runners. However Sullivan Smith running for Cambridge AC made light work of the sometimes difficult terain running in racing flats and winning the event in a time of 1h 26. 03. Phil Coy was the other Harrier to brave the 14 miles finishing in 368th place and 9th M60 in a time of 2h 10. 23.  

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