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Runners shine in the Coed y Brenin rain

Events at Run Coed y Brenin have had a good run in terms of weather this last few years, so the lucky streak of wall-to-wall sunshine had to come to end sometime, and as the day dawned on Sunday for the second Trail 10k Wales event is was teeming rain that greeted the runners as they made their way to the start line.

Was this going to dampen the spirits of almost 300 trail runners – not one bit!

The race was the fourth in this year’s series of events at Run. Coed y Brenin, adding to the established trail events at this fast-growing trail running centre in the heart of the 9,500 acres of this majestic North Wales forest.

The Trail 10k Wales race is advertised as an ‘achievable and runnable’ trail event, with enough to challenge a seasoned racer whilst remaining a perfect introductory race for those runners still gaining experience on the trails.

So it proved, as almost 25% of participants were first-time runners at Coed y Brenin, with many also embarking on their first ever trail race. One other big plus from the organisers point of view was the first ever positive split event for female runners, with an incredible 141 finishers from 244 being women – that’s 58%!

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©Sport Pictures Cymru

Racing-wise Wales and GB international Rob Samuel flew around the 6.2 mile route comprising some of Coed y Brenin’s best singletrack and forest road trails in an incredible 35 mins 51 seconds – taking a massive 3 minutes off 2016 winner Jim McConnel’s course record.

After crossing the line Rob stated:

“I really enjoyed that, it was a cracking 10K route and had a really nice balance of runnable, but still challenging trails. I particularly liked the first single track section, but that last kilometre is so tough!”.

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Rob Samuel on his way to a clear win at Trail 10k Wales ©Sport Pictures Cymru 

Behind Samuel there was a big battle for the podium places between Michael Corrales and Alun Williams. The two experienced trail runners battled tooth and nail for the whole of the route with Corrales coming out just two seconds ahead of the fast-chasing Williams in 39:32.

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Race winner Rob Samuel is flanked by runner-up Michael Corrales (left) and Alun Williams ©Sport Pictures Cymru 

If the men’s race was a close affair the women’s race was a real cracker. Welsh international Tammy Lewis-Jones came into the event in great form and was always amongst the race favourites. Looking to stop her and extend her list of race wins at Coed y Brenin, after a great win at the Goldrush earlier in the year, was Lucy Wasinski.

As the kilometres passed the pair were locked together, matching each other stride for stride over the undulating trails, and as they hit the 100m to go mark it was Wasinski (48:22) who just did enough to take the win from Lewis-Jones (48:24) – by a mere 2 seconds! Meirionnydd RC runner Anneliese Loveluck completed the top 3 with a fine run for third place.

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Tammy Lewis-Jones leads Lucy Wasinski at kilometre 6 ©Sport Pictures Cymru

The Trail 10K Wales event was also notable in providing pacer runners at the event. The 60 and 80-minute pacers were experienced Coed y Brenin runners Richard Walker and Jude Evans, with both helping participants achieve their time-goals on the day.

Once again the community surrounding Coed y Brenin were instrumental in helping make the event happen with local village community council Cyngor Cymuned Ganllwyd supplying marshals around the race route and staff at the feed station.

The event was also supported by another beneficiary, the South Snowdonia Search and Rescue Team, who offered medical support and emergency coverage out on the route. The local mountain rescue team provides support to all five Run. Coed y Brenin events throughout the year.

Coed y Brenin Forest Park estate is managed by Natural Resources Wales and once again proved the perfect hosting venue for the event with participants staying on to enjoy the cafe facilities on site, post-race.

Trail 10k Wales Top 3 results:

1st Rob Samuel 35:51
2nd Michael Corrales 39:32
3rd Alun Williams 39:34

1st Lucy Wasinski 48:22
2nd Tammy Lewis-Jones 48:24
3rd Anneliese Loveluck 51:09

Continuing the theme of Run Coed y Brenin organised events. feedback from all competitors was overwhelmingly positive – comments to the Facebook and Twitter pages included:

“Absolutely superb event. Thank you to all involved on organising and a massive shout out to the marshalls who were all so lovely and supportive and encouraging! I’ll definitely be back! !” – Laura Davies

“First proper trail race..only my second race in fact and loved it..may do Winter half next!! Thanks to all the marshals and were fantastic and friendly…back next year for definite.” – Dale Earp

“Thank you Matt and all the team at Coed Y Brenin for another awesome race. Brilliant course, fantastic marshalls & support! – Hannah Mercedes Jones

Race results are online via TDL Event Services, with images available at Sport Pictures Cymru

The 2018 Trail 10K Wales race will take place on Sunday 2nd of September, with entries going live soon via the race website.

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