Dol Parkrun & Tarren Hendre Fell Race

Have planned on giving Dolgellau Parkrun a real good crack, 3 of my friends/ training partners are up for it too. I set the course record a year ago, 16.12, and feel like that needs revising.

On the morning of the race, it is filthy weather but Owen, Tom, Gareth and I are all there. Owen has hurt his foot so will just be cheering us on. Gareth has just got back from Australia so is still getting over the jetlag, and adjusting to the bitter cold and rain. Tom is flying at the moment, just off the back of a speedy 31.28 10km.

The race is 2 laps of an out and back course. Tom and I go for it hammer and tong from the beginning. I am in the lead, then he is the the lead, then me, then him. We are tearing strips off each other, ripping straight through the puddles and taking the wet corners at break neck speed. It is brilliant.

IMG_2937 (1)


I feel like I have a good chance with a sprint finish, but with 500m to go Tom winds it up and I can’t stay with him. He wins in 16.08 to my 16.11. We have both gone under the former course record. Gareth comes in third place.


We now have just under 3 hours until the next race, Tarren Hendre Fell Race. It is only a 20min drive away, so we should be able to relax and restore and get fully prepared. However, I have locked my car keys in my car. Nina and I take the kids into cafe for cake, as promised, I am soaking wet and very cold, but have no dry kit (all locked in the car). So we drive back home, get spare keys, and drive back again.

I get kit from my car, and jump straight back into Nina’s. We make a great team, she is driving very well through pouring rain and flooded roads, while I am trying to get changed into fell running kit and map read. We are laughing at how this is the worst preparation for a race of all time. I am still freezing cold after first race. The passenger window is broken and slightly open at the top, wind is whistling through and rain is hitting my face.

We arrive with 4 minutes to go. Nina fills in form while I am paying and pinning on number. They let me register on the condition I can get to starting line in time. It is a bloody mile away! I am running running running. Get there just in time to hear race briefing. Realise I haven’t had anything to eat since 7am. Race starts.

It is an entirely different affair to the fast and flat Parkrun of that morning. Very slippy and steep mud trail up woods and onto open fell. Then more steep up up up. I am dying. I hate walking in ascents, but sometimes it is so steep you have to. I am down in 8th position. I can see Tom and Gareth battling away at the front. I am slipping further and further behind. I am feeling abit weak and dizzy, but I know if I can just get over the top, my descent will probably save me. It does. I instantly start taking people over and am back in third place.


I have a scrap with Eryri Harrier teammate Rich Roberts (very good runner). We are sparring for third, sprinting down through a tight muddy forest track. It is living. I am holding back abit cos I am scared I will hurt my injured knee. But it holds up fantastically well.


I finish third, with Rich Roberts just behind, and Tom and Gareth about a minute ahead.

So in our mini series for the day the results are as follows;

1st: Tom Roberts (1st+2nd=3pts)

2nd: Gareth Wyn Hughes (3rd+1st=4pts)

3rd: Me (2nd+3rd=5pts)

So, yes, I lost. But I had so much fun losing, and to great competitors. The kids were fantastic supporters the whole time.

My old coach, the late Frank Horwill, said:

“A runner who doesn’t race is a keep-fit enthusiast”



Non-Running highlight of the week:

taking Jim swimming

Best thing on the internet this week:

Madagascar 3. The kids weren’t too keen, but Nina and I think it’s hilarious!

Thing I’m digging this week:

Ross Murray, Olympic UK 1500m runner, announces his retirement on Instagram here. Incredible talent, beset with injuries, only really had ONE year where his body held it together, that year happened to be 2012. His closing piece is classy and emotional.

Thanks loads to Gareth Roberts from Cader Sports Photos for some of the above images.

22/1/2018 AM PM
Monday REST 5tm
Tuesday 5tm 1xmile in 5.42. 5x1km in 3.06 (3min rest). 400m(1min rest)200m – 67/31. 7 miles total
very windy night
Wednesday REST 13tm
 wake up early to do run, but calves too tight from track, go back to bed!
Thursday REST  10tm
 calves still tight in mornings
Friday REST 10tm
Saturday Dolgellau parkrun –  2nd, 16.11

Tarren Hendre fell race – 3rd, 54min

14 miles total

 fantastic adventure, but pretty smashed after!
Sunday 16tm
Hurry last 6 miles so can take Jim swimming
TOTAL: 80 miles  tm = treadmill



3 thoughts on “Dol Parkrun & Tarren Hendre Fell Race

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