WITH everything else flooded or frozen off, the only way was up – with runners heading for the hills in two recent fell races.
The Craig Yr Allt Winter Fell Race near Caerphilly a week last Saturday saw 102 runners take on the 3.9-mile 984ft slippery course, with Wyndham Turner of Black Mountains club Mynydd Du racing to victory for the second year running in 30.22.
He was 41 seconds faster than his winning time last year and just over a minute off the course record, with Daniel Powell of Beacons fell rivals Mynyddwyr De Cymru second in 31.49, followed by Jonathan Ford of Fairwater Runners Cwmbran 29 seconds further back.
Mynydd Du’s Rhian Probert was second fastest woman and 18th overall in 36.40, with female winner and sixth fastest overall Katrina Entwistle of Bristol & West AC setting a scorching 33.25, just over a minute off Katie Beecher’s course record set in 2015, when conditions were much more favourable.
Katie Ironside of Mynyddwyr De Cymru was third woman and 25th overall in a time of 37.35, while club mate Simon Darke was fastest over-60 man in 47th overall in 39.28.
Nikki Childs of Mynydd Du also won the women’s over-60 class, crossing in 46.52 in 70th overall.
The male team prize was awarded to MDC (Daniel Powell, Joe Reardon, Marcus Pinker & Martyn Driscoll) with Cardiff Harlequins in second.
MDC’s women also landed the ladies team prize (Katie Ironside, Donna Grant and Briony Latter), just pipping Cardiff University with Mynydd Du third.
Runners reached for the skies again last Saturday (January 21) in the Kymin Winter Hill race overlooking Monmouth.
MDC’s Katie Ironside this time set the fastest women’s time of 39.04, just 20 seconds up on MonRoss Trailblazer’s Laura Lelievre.
Matt James of Hereford Couriers set the overall pace on the 4.42-mile 1,150ft climb course, crossing in 32.57 to head the 115-strong field by 19 seconds from Tom Whitmarsh-Knight of Les Croupiers with San Domenico’s Andy Gardner third in 33.34.
MDC’s Tom Black was fourth (33.53), with club mate Darren Ould 18th (38.35) just pipping Mynydd Du’s Joe Rumer by one place (38.50).
Michael James of Abergavenny Trialthlon Club also placed 32nd in 40.21, one place and 22 seconds ahead of MDC’s Simon Darke, who this time was second in the over-60 men’s class.
Third senior woman home and fourth overall was MDC’s Briony Latter in 43.03, just eight seconds up on club mate Donna Grant, who won the over-40 women’s category, while Mynydd Du’s Nikki Childs repeated her previous week’s success, taking the over-60 class in 48.06.