The second race in the British Fell Running championships was held at Râs Tal Y Mignedd last weekend, and nine Keswick AC members travelled to Snowdonia to take on the challenge. Râs Tal Y Mignedd is the shortest of the series this year, at 6.2km with 560metres of climb, but the views of the summit obelisk looming over the campsite showed that the race was not to be underestimated, particularly in the high temperatures that lasted all weekend.
The ladies’ race was first up, won by Caitlin Rice of Ribble Valley Harriers ahead of local Browen Jenkinson of Eryri. Keswick’s Jenn Mattinson overcame the sweltering conditions to finish an excellent 13th, backed up by Rachel Findlay-Robinson and Kerry Cornforth in 34th and 48th respectively.
In the separately-run men’s race, James Espie of Deeside made the trip from Scotland worthwhile to take a clear win over a returning-to-form Sam Tosh of Rossendale. Keswick’s men showed excellent packing to take the team prize, with Dan Haworth in 11th, John Battrick in 12th, Mark Lamb in 16th and Carl Bell in 19th, ably supported by Steve Hebblethwaite and Steve Halsall, who were 23rd and 46th respectively.
The challenging combination of the steepness of the climb and the hot conditions were certainly in evidence at the post-race gathering and prize giving, as blisters were competitively compared. The whole event had a fantastic community feel, with proceeds from the race and the following evening do, where runners and locals alike were entertained by The King himself [Elvis] in the campsite’s barn, going to the local school and to raise money for a defibrillator for the valley.