With the snow and ice from the previous weekend still stubbornly hanging around, a hardy quartet of Cirencester runners took to the Welsh hills on Saturday.
The Celtic Trail event offered a range of distances which all followed the old, high-level footpath of the Coed Morgannwg Way. This is a dramatic route following ancient trails and tracks and offering stunning views over the Brecon Beacons, Black Mountains, South Wales Valleys and the South Wales coast. It is completely off road and takes in woodlands, pastures, moorland and mountainsides.
Billed as fast, fun and runnable, this years participants found some of it anything but, with icy conditions underfoot.
Dave Musgrove chose the 21 mile option. He reports “It was very good fun. It had snowed the night before so conditions were quite lively, but it was a beautiful cold day for a run. I finished in first place in 3 hours 4 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised as there was also a half marathon and ultra going on as well and I wasn’t sure who was doing the same race as me.”
“I note from the results that a trio of Ciren runners did the ultra on the same course, which looked like very hard work to me, so more power to Jill, Lara and Jo. Mince pies at the end were a highlight.”
Jill Hadland, Lara Tompson and Jo Roberts did indeed tackle the ultra distance option.
Lara says “Jo, Jill and myself ran the race together although we told Jill to go on ahead as Jo and I had both been really poorly in the week before so, with hindsight, we really shouldn’t have been running.”
“It was a beautiful place with great trails although the blankets of ice made them really hard to run. What a way to start Christmas off with a run on the trails with friends.”
Really well done all four.
17th December, Celtic Trail Winter Races, various distances
21 miles, trail
1 David Musgrove (Cirencester AC) 3.04.42
34 miles, trail
1 Daniel Flynn (Unattached) 4.51.18
99 Jill Hadland (Cirencester AC) 8.25.00
108 Lara Tompson 9.00.42
110 Joanna Roberts 9.00.46
Gareth James went to the Forest of Dean for the Forest of Dean AC organised Christmas Tree Run, just over 5 miles of snowy trails and footpaths with a nasty uphill last mile which Gareth described as unpleasant! A challenging course for a first post Covid Run.
18th December, FODAC Christmas Tree Run, 5.5 miles multi terrain
1 Jon Like (Parc Bryn Bach RC) 35.53
26 Gareth James (Cirencester AC) 51.17
On the parkrun circuit this week, Ruth Fulford ran another excellent age graded run, hitting almost eighty per cent at Thornbury.
At Cirencester, Ollie Campbell crossed the line first and David Moss ran his best time yet at the Seven Fields event to finish 7th.
For those of you looking for a Christmas Day parkrun locally, there will be one at Tetbury. They will however not have the usual run on Saturday, Christmas Eve. There is a comprehensive list online of venues holding Christmas Day and New Years Day parkruns.
17th December, parkrun, 5k trail
1 Rohan Archer (Unattached) 18.05)
67 Ruth Fulford (Cirencester AC) 30.38
1 Ollie Campbell (Cirencester AC) 19.57
35 Alan McAdam 27.07
44 Rachel McAdam 28.16
49 Brendan McCarthy 29.32
Seven Fields parkrun
1 Gary O’Brien (Unattached) 18.37
7 David Moss (Cirencester AC) 20.52
Merry Christmas to everyone. Perhaps, as you all digest the mince pies, you can start thinking about running goals and plans for 2023.
Let Rachel know of any results at firstname.lastname@example.org