News Report 14th November 2005
Having attracted 36 competitors to it's inaugural running in 2003, followed by 67 in 2004, the turnout of 80 competitors for the 2005 event confirmed the rapid growth being made by the Rhobell Fawr fell race held in Llanfachreth near Dolgellau last Saturday lunchtime.
In only it's third ever running, the race has already established itself as the final event of the Welsh fell running association championships as well as the first event of the Meirionnydd Winter Series of three fell races.
Although fine, sunny conditions prevailed on raceday, heavy rain over the previous days led to a wet and slippery passage for those who ventured the 6.3 mile course which included a total of 1900 feet of climbing. The race victor, a mere 6 seconds outside the existing course record, was Matthew Gilbert of Wrexham A.C. who completed the challenge in an outstanding time of 50.39mins. In second place was Eryri Harrier, Tim Higginbottom, who beat local favourite Steve Gilliland of Tywyn by 5 seconds in respective times of 52.29mins and 52.34mins. A new course record was set in the ladies race as Jackie Lee of Eryri Harriers knocked a total of 20 seconds off the existing ladies record as she finished in 58.54mins.
As ever, there was also a strong local turnout for the event. Following Steve Gilliland home was Dewi Roberts of Blaenau Ffestiniog, claiming a 13th place finish in 59.03mins. Next local home was Gwyn Jones of Pwllheli in 1hr 03.26mins whilst Dave Whittey of Llanelltyd made a rare competitive appearance, finishing in 1hr 05.47mins. There was a strong performance by Glyn Lewis of Tywyn, finishing in 1hr 07.21mins whilst Andrea Goode of Arthog led home the Bro Dysynni female contingent in a time of 1hr 10.14mins. Next local home was Bob Chilton of Hermon in 1hr 11.41mins whilst Nick Bradley of Dolgellau limbered up for the forthcoming club visit to Lanzarote by finishing in 1hr 13.34mins. Juliet Edwards of Dolgellau claimed victory in the female over-40 category in 1hr 15.54mins with the Dysynni turnout being completed by Barrie Jackson of Bala in 1hr 17.31mins and Roma Charlwood of Dolgellau in 1hr 18.09mins.
As ever, the race relied strongly on volunteers helping out on race day and to that extent a large thankyou must be given to all the marshalls and various helpers as well as to the residents of Llanfachreth for their support in the event and to local landowners over who's land the race is run.
The next event in the Meirionnydd Winter Series is the Tarren Hendre fell run which will be based in and around the village of Abergynolwyn on Saturday, 28th January, 2006.