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Thread: Ras Y Moelwyn 2019

  1. #1
    Member strider's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    Ras Y Moelwyn 2019

    I'd just like to thank all those involved in organising Ras Y Moelwyn on Saturday. It was a tough race and I struggled with my knee on the final descent, so the last mile seemed to go on forever. I've never seen so many marshals at a race - very welcome in the poor visibility. The Welsh welcome was warm, and the start of the race in the town centre is special.
    The scenery was spectacular, and the old quarry workings quite eerie in the mist. On a fine day I expect there are great views too.
    So, a tough race, but definitely worth doing next year if you can.
    Last edited by strider; 28-05-2019 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Error

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2015
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    141
    It's a brilliant race. Combination of the natural rugged tops entwined with the industrial mining landscape is great and the route makes the most of it all.
    The mist on the higher ground just added to it - having topped-out on Moelwyn Mawr, people scattering in all directions and disappearing in and out of the murk during the frantic descents.

  3. #3
    Ras y Moelwyn fell race

    I was apprehensive and excited in equal measures where the race was concerned. Unquestionably it’s a great race route - part of which goes through an old slate quarry. And that’s where my apprehension lies, for after the race I was staying in The Old Quarry Hospital...I prayed I wasn’t tempting fate!

    My sister-in-law had hired a holiday home in Wales for the week and by pure coincidence she’d booked The Old Quarry Hospital in Blaenau Ffestiniog - which just so happens to overlook the finish line of Ras y Moelwyn fell race. When she’d heard I was participating, she kindly invited us to stay for the night after the race. We accepted, but the invitation had aroused my superstitious tendencies. What were the odds I’d get injured whilst running through the quarries? Admittedly, The Old Quarry Hospital is no longer an active hospital, it’s now an impressive holiday let ...but the irony of injury was overwhelming. Blimey - where’s Stanley when you need him?

    Stanley is a neighbours cat - he’s elderly in appearance but is blessed with inexhaustible agility that’s uncharacteristic for his advanced years. Stanley is seldom seen during the hours of daylight: he’s a nocturnal creature, regularly spotted wandering around our street after nightfall - he’s certainly an enigma. He resides at number eight: it’s an elegant dwelling with a stylish composite front door. The doors authentic woodgrain effect texture, finished in duck-egg blue, perfectly enhances the exterior of the property. My wife Alison finds the door aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Apparently they do one in Chartwell green that would match the colour scheme of our hallway - whilst ultimately adding security and value to our home...so I’m informed.

    Stanley evidently likes our front garden. At least once a week he’ll leave us a small token as a goodwill gesture, usually beneath one of the evergreens. Stanley’s actions leave me puzzled - why doesn’t he ‘soil’ his own garden: maybe he relishes the thrill of the chase? Nellie our border terrier always displays maliciousness towards Stanley. Her prey instincts are undeniable - Nellie will lick her lips and tremble in anticipation at the mere sight of Stanley - an instinctive inclination she’s up for the pursuit and capture of prey. Stanley will purposely provoke her by precariously walking along the narrow edge of our garden fence, all the while displaying his anus in an act of ultimate provocation. Nellie adores sausages and Stanley’s anus resembles the end of a hotdog sausage - that of the tinned variety. Nellie’s lack of agility means Stanley’s anus will continue to run-a-muck, he knows this and takes great delight in giving her a bum-deal. To my knowledge Stanley’s the only one in our neighbourhood that’s been defecating in our garden. It’s worth pointing out that Stanley is a black cat and I’d like him to cross my path. I mean no harm to Stanley, more the contrary - I see him as a lucky charm. Admittedly his discharging of faeces under the evergreens is an annoyance.

    On the morning of Ras y Moelwyn fell race I’d been on the lookout for Stanley - my lucky charm. The omens weren’t looking good as he never showed and therefore our paths never crossed. However, I noticed he’d participated in excretion during the night. Muck for luck - I’m clutching at straws. Undeterred I remained visually aware for good luck omens throughout the morning. Not once on the drive to Wales did I see a pair of magpies - always only one for sorrow. When we arrived at The Old Quarry Hospital I was mortified to see an opened umbrella inside the porch and a pair of kiddies wellingtons on the kitchen table. It was a relief to be told the wellies weren’t new...I did ask. In a last throw of the dice whilst walking to registration I was overtly vigilant for the elusive lucky penny: find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck...unfortunately I remained penniless. I told my sister-in-law about my superstition for tempting fate with regards to staying in the hospital - she called me “daft”. I called her “impetuous” in reference to the opened umbrella...she laughed and said to Alison “what’s he like?”. Alison simply rolled her eyes, she’s had years of my odd behaviour.

    The race starts from Blaenau Ffestiniog town centre - near the bus station. Several slate structures engraved with poetry are scattered around the centre - they’re impressive reminders of the towns slate mining heritage. Ras y Moelwyn Fell Race is also impressive: it’s rough and technically challenging in the mist - brilliant race. Many thanks to all involved and well done race winners Jack Wood and Kelli Roberts.

    Thankfully I finished the race unscathed, surprising given my frequent lapses of concentration whilst reminiscing about family and friends who’ve worked in the coal mining industry. They weren’t far from my thoughts as we ran though the quarries. Only last week I saw Clarence - he’s a neighbour of my parents. Clarence was a coal miner for all his working life and when I was a kid I’d tell him he looked like Alice Cooper with his eye makeup. Clarence’s eyeliner wasn’t cosmetic, it was the remains of coal dust clinging to the base of his lashes. Ironically Clarence’s daughter is now a beautician - she started working at the Pick n mix counter of a large department store but she was soon offered a promotion to the makeup aisle. Apparently she’s achieved above average sales figures on her last quarterly review. She’s now being headhunted by the electrical department where the profit margins are greater. Clarence is gushing with pride...according to my mum.

    I really can’t imagine the working hardships Clarence and his fellow miners faced on a daily basis. To all the past and present miners of coal, slate, gold etc...respect, total and utter respect.

    As for Stanley - We’ve had a faeces free week. Maybe he’s taken his business else where...fingers crossed and touch wood!
    Last edited by Tindersticks; 30-05-2019 at 10:43 AM.
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

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