The eternal allure of the mud run for our women folk. They were at it again last weekend. The Hardcore Helens reckon they’d have gone top 5 but for a directional malfunction while Rachel Butler, Georgina Fletcher and Jill Hillman were known to have taken part as did Caroline Orrells and Mandy Mullet dressed as a pair of Wallys.
There must be something about sea air that Lenny Hughes can’t resist as he followed up his South Coast “ultra” earlier in the month with what we understand was the 70th marathon race of his career. He also finished third overall (4.04:06), won his age group and therefore a modest purse with which to treat his mates to a beer afterwards (a popular lad our Lenny, rumour has it they couldn’t get all the straws in the glass). At 59 years young and with London just around the corner Lenny is clearly in the shape of his life.
In fact a little longer than marathon distance not that it stopped the resolute Phil Bullock who took on storm force conditions to finish in 12th place and a time of 4.17 which, given the adverse weather and a not so gently undulating course, was good going.
The Hardcore Helens were at it again, this time on a blustery South Coast of England coastal trail where they took part in the half-marathon. Helen Owen was first back at base in 2.43:01 with Helen Wilkinson following home in 3.04:14.
Meanwhile in the ultra-marathon, veteran warhorse Lenny Hughes made it out and back in 6.20:29 with Dan Owen just one place behind in 6.29:17. Hats off to them all, they probably were given the conditions.
10k they said but that was as the crow flies. To those relying on two feet such as Helens Owen and Wilkinson it seemed more like 8 miles. Add to that the wind and the mud and it turned into something of a real endurance. Hats off then to Helen O on her 1.26:06 and to Helen W who wasn’t far adrift in 1.27:37. Meteorological puns aside, Lenny Hughes is having a storming year and was rewarded with a 10th place Ultra Marathon finish in a time of 5.51:13. Dan Owen too was well in contention at around half way before getting lost on route. We’ve seen his name in subsequent results so must assume he found his way back at some point.
It makes Mudrunner look like a Park Run and therefore must present an irresistible attraction to the family Hillman (Paul, Jill and Tim) who seems to excel in such conditions. Known as “wild running” it incorporates woods, obstacles, lakes, fields, they’re all there and all designed to test mental and physical strength, skill and stamina. Really it’s exhausting just typing all of this but it’s all grist to Jill, Paul and family. Can’t find results online, maybe that’s not the point though. Get Jill to tell you all about it as the Christmas “do”.
Just one Maldwyn entrant this year, Mandy Mullet having a recovery run after her Snowdonia Marathon exploits a couple of weeks previously and finishing in a time of 70:06.
Well done Donna Griffiths who completed the race in 64:13.
Ed Davies finished in 9th place (43:32) and was first man. Reanne Atherton also gave it her all, clocking 64:20.
Sean Clarke turned his attentions southwards for this 10th anniversary running of the tough but popular off-road half and came away with a 15th place finish from 71 who managed to trouble the scorers in a time of 1.43:28. Despite recovering from a cold, Sean pronounced himself happy with his performance.
It’s not often you see such a star-studded cast of hill-farers this far south (or indeed north) but as a counter in both the Shropshire Hills series and WFRA Open Championships this year it was bound to be a big draw.
Tim Davies was victorious in 54:03 and here is how the rest of the Maldwyn Harriers did (some in Mercia colours) from 158 finishers:
23rd Bryan Arthur 64:05
28th Ed Davies 65:51
36th Paul Beeson 67:43
56th Rob Martin 71:43
59th Roland Stafford 72:10
83rd Haydn Jones 77:39
85th Bernie Jones 77:53
Very well done indeed over 6.8 miles and a climb of 2,297 ft.
Our Harriers’ seemingly insatiable desire for the new and unusual took them to Coed y Brenin and the concept of running with head-torches. Not only did they have a lot of fun (there’s already talk of doing it next year) but also success, none less so than Maldwyn Harriers 1, comprised of Sean Clarke, Danny Owen and Dan George, who took 4th place in the team event, and Claire Abel and Sean Clarke who won their respective age categories (Claire representing a team of Dolly Mixtures).
Full results can be found here :
So enthused was Claire Abel about her experience at the previous week’s Source that she signed up for more of the same here. Good job too as she was rewarded with third place among the women, finishing 27th overall in a time of 1hr20:39, a performance which elevated her to top spot among our women in the club championships with just four races to go.
Anthony Powell (4th/1hr02:39), Dan George (9th/1hr10:04) and Kaya Saul (14th/1hr14:06) were our other representatives and as you can see they all did well. In the George/Saul tussle it is now two apiece, Dan having clawed back from a two-nil deficit this month. However Kaya can take satisfaction from being the first junior athlete to finish here.
The day after the Monty Race (more of which later) and two of previous nights combatants were in action in Tywyn. Ed Davies recorded a time of 1 hr 46.42 in the main race over 14 miles but had to defer to Jamie Loxam (in Stockport colours) in terms of familial bragging rights as the latter impressed with an 18th placed 1 hr 28.11. Martin Green meanwhile opted for the shorter 10k race and ran a very solid 49:35 for 55th spot out of more than 300 starters.
Darren Jarman was Maldwyn’s only entrant in this year’s sand-slog and was rewarded with a 19th place finish in a time of 44:47.
Ian Ellis (32nd) showed his club mates home in 5.10:17 ahead of Dan Owen (5.48:21), Dan George (6:02:41) and Jon Steele (7.03:10). All of whom would have knocked a good couple hours and more off these times had they been on road.
In contrast to last year’s dry underfoot conditions, runners had the F1 style dilemma of whether to fit wet or dry tyres. This race suits Paul Beeson down to the ground as he took a second successive Maldwyn “chequered flag” in this race to finish in 30:12 ahead of Martin Copus (30:45). Unfortunately it’s hard to tell in which positions they finished due to the most singular way in which the results are displayed. We do know, though, that 11-year old Connor Owen scorched to second place in the junior (u15) race – run over the same course as the seniors with a few minutes head start – in a time of 34:05 which would have made him our sixth fastest finisher in the seniors. Bearing in mind many of our experienced big ‘uns complained that they couldn’t walk right for days after negotiating the short but testing mix of road and hill that’s a great achievement. Kaya Saul was our other junior home in a very respectable 37:06.
One week later and Ed’s boy Andrew Davies (ex-Maldwyn and thought to be pretty good) took half-marathon laurels in a time of 1hr21:41 while our other interest included Dan Owen (43rd in 1hr50:03); Paul Beeson (55th in 1hr52:17) and Dan George (65th in 1hr 54:30).
In the full marathon, Glyn Fletcher was our first man home in a time of 3hr57:06 (52nd) with Ian Ellis 70th in 4hr01:56.
Those young Davies’ did it again – another double first for teenage siblings Luke and Heidi from Brecon AC following their Chocoholics wins in April.
Luke’s winning time of 30:06 put some daylight between himself and Roger Farrington (U/A) in 30:23 and Oswestry’s Ian Lowe in 31:20
First Maldwyn Harrier was again Martin Copus – what a good race series and club championship he’s having – 5th in a time of 31:41 ahead of Sean Clarke (7th in 32:11), while, Todd Tanner, Bryan Arthur and Anthony Powell bagged the remaining three top 10 places.
Meanwhile Heidi’s winning time of 31:05 in the women’s race gave her fourth place overall, with Nic Davies (Shropshire Shufflers) and our own Jacqui Loxam taking the “minor medals” with 34:46 and 38:20 respectively.
Full results can be viewed here.
A new event which would have clashed with our own Gregynog Trail Race had we not have been obliged to re-arrange it. As it was it gave young Connor Owen to show mum Helen Owen the way home in the 5k race which Connor won in 23:02 with Helen a fine 10th in 26:35 (1st WV40). Heather Kelly also took on the challenge and was 24th in a time of 32:15.
In the 15k race Dan Owen (definitely a relation) was a commendable 7th in 58:02, probably a PB given that this is a distance so rarely run.
Ed Davies was chuffed with his performance in this major gathering of the hill-hardy up in Scotland. Ed’s 1hr55:33 assured him of 101st from 269.
There was a great turnout of Harriers for this fast 5k especially when you consider the lure of the last of the Rhayader 5ks which was on the same night.
Martin Copus again took bragging rights with another new PB, 17:52 for 8th spot. Hot on Martin’s heels was Sean Clarke in 12th and another PB of 18:09, while Ed Davies (MV60) Kaya Saul (MU15) and Chloe Evans (FU17) all bagged age group gongs.
Martin Copus (17:52) PB
Sean Clarke (18:09) PB
Ed Davies (18:52) 1st MV60
Kaya Saul (20:09) 1st MU15 and new PB
Dave Manuel (21:08)
William Evans (21:26)
Chris Copus (23:20)
Chloe Evans (23:47) 1st FU17
Nikki Grainger (23:52)
Andre Hutchinson (25:24)
Rachel Williams (25:40)
Ben Wood (25:43)
Jan Shanahan (27:53)
Ever seen this from the main Welshpool to Shrewsbury road and fancied running up to it? No? Me neither. However Bryan Arthur and Ian Ellis slugged it out, with Bryan prevailing for 10th place in a time of 25:43 one place ahead of Ian in 25:54. A little further back was Todd Tanner, 16th in 26:31.
This one’s for the real Hard Knocks! Maldwyn’s men were competing in the Class A category – where else?- and this is how they fared:
Chris Atherton - 4 hrs 57:47
Paul Beeson - 5 hrs 30:20
Anthony Powell - 5 hrs 57:45
Rob Martin - 6 hrs 14:34
Tim Davies was third in 1.29:17 completing a clean sweep of the medal places for Mercia who also took the men’s team title. Bryan Arthur (also Mercia) was 14th in 1.38:52 while an “unattached” Sean Clarke finished just two places behind Bryan in 1.40:28.
Maldwyn’s men’s team finished an impressive third due to some good performances by Ed Davies (19th in 1.41:22), Ian Ellis (27th/1.46:26) and Darren Jarman (29th/1.47:51).
Other Maldwyn interest was as follows:
30th Rob Martin 1.49:39
37th Dan George 1.51:09
48th Lee Shackleton 1.57:33
128th Jacqui Lloyd 3.03:19
The race was thrown into doubt when organiser Dick Finch, a redoubtable figure on the South Wales fell running scene, sustained a serious bike accident earlier in the week. Thankfully his club mates rallied round to make sure it went ahead. A stray Maldwynite made the trip south. Glyn Fletcher has put in some handy speedwork recently (see Rhayader 5k reports) but it was a different test of legs and lungs here as Glyn recorded a creditable 1.46:33 to take 31st place.
Ed Davies was first Maldwyn associate to cross the finish. 30:46 was good enough for 14th place and top of his age group. Todd Langley Tanner (17th), Bryan Arthur (21st) and Ian Ellis (24th) are all new members this year but were this time resplendent in Mercia yellow (not as obvious on the eye as our own) were next in 30:17; 31:44 and 31:59 respectively. Bernie Jones (36:22) and Kaya Saul (47:44) also braved the Bash.
Oswestry Olympians were justly rewarded with a huge field for this year’s hill run (4 miles and 500ft of ascent) among which were Ed Davies (13th in 24:14) and Bernie Jones (27:38 for 31st).
Athletes from Maldwyn Harriers enjoyed a successful not to mention enjoyable evening at the second annual Attingham Park Relays in Atcham recently, where 120 teams of three runners were competing.
Chris Atherton helped a team which also included Mercia's Emma Gould and Simon Adney to victory in the mixed team event while Dan Owen recorded one of the evening's fastest stage times in running the first leg for a Maldwyn Harriers team also comprising Glen Speake and Tim Davies and who finished third in the men's team race.
New for this year and a great excuse for a day out for the Harriers who hired a bus for the occasion and made a feast of it afterwards. Dan Owen was our first home in the half-marathon event finishing 8th in 1.38:55 ahead of Dan George (1.46:19) and Lenny Hughes – yes, the same Lenny who ran up and down Cader the previous day – in 1.55:17. The 10k race though proved to be the major attraction for Maldwyn’s day-trippers. Paul Pritchard (23rd) was first to dock in 50:40 ahead of in-form Dave Manuel in 25th (50:46) and 26th placed Jacqui Loxam (51:30) who took an excellent 3rd place in the women’s race. Other Maldwyn performances were:
33 Phil Byrne 52.32
36 Ifan Jones 52.50
51 Helen Owen 56.25
56 John Murphy 57.12
89 Rachel Williams 64.30
100 Diane Jones 66.45
110 Jan Shanahan 68.56
126 Julia Gorman 72.49
135 Kelly Davies 74.59
No fewer than four races at this year’s Red Kite Challenge weekend but here’s the one that interests us due to the presence of three of our number. Rob Martin was top Harrier finishing in 26th place (1.50:29) ahead of Lenny Hughes (1.57:28) and Bernie Jones 2.03.12.
A new race for the calendar and which is ostensibly a winter version of what is becoming a bit of a summer classic.
Dan George was our first to finish in a time of 2.08:39 (146th overall). Jon Steele (not listed as a Harrier but we know it was him) was next in 2.21:13 (204th) while Julia Ellis wasn’t too far adrift in 2.29:34 (243rd overall). 329 runners endured..
Ed and Tim Davies both had useful run-outs in the second year of this trail event. Ed’s 6th place (26:33) in the 5k earned him the M55 award (we’re surprised they’ve not named the motorway after him by now), while Tim recorded 39:02 for 8th spot in the 10k. Like many Maldwyn athletes that weekend they were to race on consecutive days.
It may have been regular cross country for some of us but our resident “Lord and Lady Muck” could not be tempted away from their regular hardcore Mud Runner fix, with Jill Hillman completing the gunge run in 1 hr 35:42 and Paul Hillman in 1 hr 42:34, just four seconds ahead of son Tim. Who says that on a Sunday families need to bond over the dinner table?
Maldwyn’s women recorded “one-two-three” clean sweep at this second running of the 8.9 mile Pen Trail Race. Hannah Owen took the laurels in a time of 1.15:14 with Rachel Butler second in 1.25:07 and Jill Hillman in third (1.37:07).
In the overall race, Sean Clarke was our first finisher in 6th place (1.07:01), a single slot ahead of Paul Beeson (1.09:33) with Steve Orrells in 19th and Michelle Beeson in 20th.
After the race Hannah said “I really enjoyed the course, especially the challenge of the loops up through the woods. The end stretch beside the estuary was the most challenging but it was a great race, beautiful scenery and really well organised”. Indeed although it was by most standards a small turnout the feedback has been remarkably positive so here’s hoping this newish event goes from strength to strength.
Bernie Jones took part in this new event in the race and was rewarded with 43rd place (2.09:02) from 164 finishers.
This tie-in with the Leighton show was organised by our own Haydn Jones. Despite the best efforts of several distinguished Harriers including Roland Stafford (2nd), Ed Davies (3rd) and Haydn himself (4th) they were unable to best local boxer Warren Sinden who was definitely punching above his weight in such company. Jaz Maddox won the women’s event ahead of Jacqui Loxam.
Run in the teeth of Hurricane Bertha (by now downgraded from hurricane to just plain awful), this year’s Borth Beach run still attracted a near record entry and, by some miracle, it remained dry. However the cross-wind coming in off the Irish Sea was so fierce that some lighter framed runners were at risk of being blown into Powys. This certainly meant that the runners were able to test their fortitude but few other than first-timers would have been able to claim PBs. In fact the high number of DNFs for this type of race (10 out of a field of 119) indicates how tough the conditions were.
Maldwyn runners were present in reasonable numbers and, as usual, gave a good account of themselves. Jamie Loxam finished as runner-up in 39:07 followed by Dad-in-law Ed Davies who was 15th in 42:32. Keeping with the family theme, Jacqui Loxam continued her rich run of form with a 35th place 48:06 clocking and was first woman back to base. Here is how the rest fared:- Reece Moles 51:53 , Ifan Jones 53:08 , Andre Hutchinson 55:36, David Johnson 60:48, Diane Jones 64:55.
Ed Davies and Steve Orrells ran Clun’s 5 or so mile equivalent of the Monty Run. Maybe others did as well but we don’t know as the results are thus far proving elusive. More next time, hopefully.
Hats off to Julia Ellis who turned in a not-at-all shabby performance (2.04:36)
A number of those who helped out at the previous night’s BBQ 5km could be seen in action early the following morning. 13.1 miles is a pretty big ask under most conditions but add “off-road” and “2,324 ft of ascent” to the equation and throw in hot weather for good measure and it’s enough to make the legs and lungs scream in anguish just typing this.
Tim Davies was a splendid second place behind young Welsh international Mike Kallenberg in a time of 1.22:06 whilst dad Ed Davies was his usual impressive self in 15th spot (1.40:49) just a couple of places behind our old mucker Chris Atherton now of Ambleside. However as Ed and Tim were both representing Mercia on this occasion, the supreme accolade for Best in Class (Maldwyn Harrier) went to Paul Beeson for his 1.45:16 in 22nd place. Just a few berths behind Paul was Rob Martin (25th in 1.46:09) with Glyn Fletcher a little further back (38th place in 1.50:37). Bernie Jones narrowly missed the magic two-hour mark with a 2.01:34 clocking, while Jacqui Lloyd (2.35:34) and Michelle Beeson (2.46:15) also ran well in testing conditions. 148 runners completed the course.
The enthusiasm of some of our members for Mud Runner is well documented and this time its inclusion as part of the club championship ensured that there was more of a competitive edge than might have been the case previously.
Congratulations then to Rachel Butler who was not only top Harrier on the day but won her age group in a time of 1.29:00. Chris Copus (1.31:14) in his debut Mud Runner was next to finish with Georgina Fletcher (1.31:33) just four places behind Chris completing the Maldwyn medal positions. In all some 26 senior athletes ran with a Maldwyn tag, too many to name check here. However, special mention must be made of Jill Hillman who, like Rachel, won in her age group – very well done to her – and Sharon Lloyd and Keri Orrells who also took part in the junior event supporting their young ‘uns.
In the junior event Connor Owen (U11) was first to finish for Maldwyn in a time of 35:19 ahead of Rueben Lloyd (U13) in 43:50. Other juniors competing included William Owen (U9), Piper Lloyd (U9), Reuben Lloyd, Rochelle Plumb (U7) and Samuel Lloyd (U7).
Full results for both senior and junior races can be found here.
Despite struggling over the last few miles, Paul Beeson turned in a commendable performance to finish 68th from 309 finishers (4.14:44). The number of DNFs suggests that conditions over 26.2 miles on the hottest weekend of the year so far were pretty testing.
In the 13.1 mile race, Glyn Fletcher suggested that he is recapturing form after a long lay-off by finishing 39th from 389 finishers in a time of 1.54:05. Bernie Jones (2.04:30); Claire Abel (2.19:40) and Julia Ellis (2.23:02) also turned in good performances.
Photos from the event can be seen here.
Kaya Saul (MU16) was our sole entrant this year completing the up and downer in 33:01 and leaving a lot of experienced fell runners in his wake.
There was a good turnout for the third annual Gregynog Trail Race, in very fine weather, for what doubled up as a race series and club championship fixture. Tim Davies won for the second successive year covering the 4 and a bit mile (mostly) off-road course in 26:44, followed by Brecon’s teen sensation and this year’s Chocoholics winner Luke Davies. Ian Lowe of Oswestry was his usual consistent self. His third place finish ensures that he currently leads the overall race series ahead of Ed Davies who was fourth on this occasion. Jacqui Loxam won the women’s race ahead of Croft’s Sue Davies and Nicola Davies of Thornbury and currently heads the women’s race series.
There was considerable success for our Harriers in the age group categories with Kaya Saul (M under 20); Sean Clarke (M40); Ed Davies (M55); Steve Orrells (M60); Margo Martin (F under 20); Jenny Evans (F senior); Claire Abel (F35); Helen Owen (F40); Sharon Lloyd (F45); Rachel Butler (F50); Jill Hillman (F55) and Jacqui Lloyd (F60) all victorious.
Full results are on the results page of our website.
It’s hard not to think of the old Sly and The Family Stone classic “Family Affair” as you read through the top end of the finishing order for the Big Trail 10k. First and by some considerable margin was Jamie Loxam, whose familial ties to the Running Davies’ makes him a virtual honorary member. Jamie’s dad-in-law Ed Davies was 3rd in 46:49 while wife Jacqui Loxam was 18th overall and 3rd placed woman in 52:49. Claire Abel underlined her continuing progress by dipping under the hour in 59:32, ahead of Julia Ellis (62:15) and Rachel Williams (67:50).
Hats off to Bernie Jones who not only took 36th place from 116 over the longer route but was also 1st placed MV50-59 in time of 1.56:42
Photos from the event can be found here.
It’s testimony to the persuasive powers of Mr and Mrs Orrells that they were able to tempt a number of other Harriers to this annual test of strength and endurance which this year seemed to combine steep climbs with mudrunner type conditions. It’s also longer than previous due to the requirement to reroute part of the course and may therefore need to be renamed the Crocodile 9.
Ed Davies led the Harriers home in 18th (64:48 on the chip) and claimed his usual MV55 title. In the Battle of Midway, Andre Hutchinson (85:15) edged Rachel Butler (86:48) in what is shaping up to be a series of close encounters between those two. Steve Orrells who is able to put together a good series of races for the first time in quite a few years, recorded 98:56 (Steve ran 65:00 over the previous course back in 2004). Diane Jones (1.48:30); Sue Carroll (1:57:49); Caroline Orrells (2:01:23) Sylvia Price and Mandy Mullet (both 2:26:40) also won out over the tough conditions.
No Maldwyn teams at this inaugural and hugely well-supported 3 x 2 mile relay event organised by Shropshire Shufflers. However Chris Atherton, in possibly his last race as a Maldwyn registered runner, bagged the second place spot in the men’s team race in partnership with Tom Roo (Mercia) and Paul Bowes (Shropshire Shufflers). Meanwhile Claire Abel and her Dolly Mixtures team mates finished a hugely creditable fourth from more than 30 women’s teams. Claire reckoned that it was a lovely event except for the weather which of course cannot be attributed to the organisers.
This year the mixed terrain meant mud and more mud - we had to convince some people they hadn't turned up for the Mudrunner by mistake!
This, coupled with some sharp dips and climbs meant conditions were definitely suited to the more fell-hardy.
It was no surprise, then, that Ed Davies led home the Maldwyn Massive with a 10th place 40:03 which was very good considering the very tough going.
Martin Copus, whose background is very much road runing, still managed a solid 14th plae in a time of 41:55.
The third Harrier home and our final counter for the men’s “A” team was Ifan Jones in a time of 51:33, just one place and nine seconds ahead of Chris Copus, who, like son Martin, elected to wear flats over the hilly and Somme-like off-road course.
In the event, Maldwyn men’s “A” team finished a respectable 7th place out of 18.
Our first three women packed well to ensure a splendid 3rd place in the women’s team event. Rachel Butler was first back in 72nd place overall and a time of 54:35, followed by Jenny Evans in 55:32 (77th) and Andre Hutchinson (79th) in a perfectly symmetrical 55:55.
It’s hard to think of a lovelier setting for a trail race than the area around the “Prisoner Village” of Portmeirion so it was little surprise that this inaugural 6k event drew them in droves.
Claire Abel came home in an impressive 40th place in a time of 40:53, earning her the distinction of 2nd place WV35. Rachel Williams finished in 67th (45:05) while Sharon Davies (Mercia) was 97th in 48:19. Some office party, we reckon.
“Severe winter duathlon” as it says on the Mud Runner website, sounds pretty daunting and definitely not for the fainthearted or indeed those of us who prefer the feel of terra firma below our usually presentable looking running shoes.
Step forward, then, the redoubtable Hillmans, Montgomeryshire Sports Awards’ Coach of 2013 Jill and husband Paul (a former winner of the same award), never ones to shirk a challenge.
Jill completed the 10km classic Mud Runner course, 20km off-road mountain bike challenge and short sharp 3km finishing run in 4:23:05.85 while Paul negotiated the sharp test in 4:47:53.43. Faced with these stats it isn’t hard to imagine why Jill wasn’t doing very much running at circuits the following day! Well done to both.
For older trail running news please visit the latest updates reports.
Maldwyn Harriers at the
Night Trail Wales, Coed y Brenin, October 2015
Maldwyn Harriers at the
Park Hall 5k, June 2015
Maldwyn Harriers at the
Mud Runner, June 2014
Maldwyn Harriers at the
Mud Runner, June 2013
Trailblazer 10k, June 2013
Trailblazer 10k, June 2013