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Sweltering conditions for record field at ‘challenging’ Goldrush Trail 2018

The 2018 Goldrush Trail race showed just why it is considered one of Coed y Brenin’s very best trail running routes last weekend as a record number of trail runners and canicross racers hit the challenging trail in glorious sunshine and temperatures into the mid-20s!

Underfoot conditions were dry and responsive and with 200 trail runners and 50 canicross competitors lining up to face the 8.5 mile route, record times were definitely on the cards once again.

The men’s race was set to be fast with Trail 10K Wales winner Rob Samuel, GB junior international Chris Richards, 2017 Goldrush winner Tom Roberts and former winner Ifan Richards toeing the start line at 1pm – the hottest part of the day! As the race opened out onto the first singletrack section GB mountain runner Samuel started to take control of the race, with Roberts and Chris Richards chasing.

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Young Salomon athlete Chris Richards in full flight! ©Sport Pictures Cymru

By 6 miles as the long singletrack descent to Dolgoed unravelled, Samuel showed his class and was clearly on for a big win and possible course record.

As Eryri Harrier Samuel came into the last 200 metres it was clear he was going to smash the course record of Roberts, crossing the line in an incredible 53:38.

Behind Chris Richards had moved away from local-man Tom Roberts to take a strong second place in 56:04, with Roberts completing the podium in 58:34. The first three men going under the hour, another first for the race!

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Rob Samuel takes the 2018 Goldrush title ©Sport Pictures Cymru

Speaking after the race Rob stated:

“What a great race! I haven’t run the Goldrush route before and it’s a brilliant course – it has everything from steep climbs to rocky singletrack descents, plus the breathtaking views of course! It was very hot out there today and I think that will have effected the time, but I am super-happy to take the course record.”

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2017 Goldrush winner Tom Roberts pushing on  ©Sport Pictures Cymru

In the women’s race there was also set to be some fierce racing, with all three of last year’s podium taking to the start line once again.

After finishing second in 2017 to Lucy Wasinski, Eryri Harrier Elliw Haf turned the tables as she led from gun to tape for a convincing win in 1:12:27. Elliw has been in great form in recent weeks, breaking her personal best for 10k on the roads and beginning to ramp up her off-road training towards such summer goals as Ras yr Wyddfa.

Wasinski finished an excellent second in 1:14:40, smiling as ever, stating that she will be back again next year – along with husband Greg who took part in the Cainicross race.

Third place went to local runner Alwen Williams, who ran an excellent 1:18:07

After taking the women’s title an obviously happy Elliw commented:

“Wow, wow, wow, that was hot. I am not so good in really hot weather, but felt great today. I was always aware that Lucy wasn’t too far behind as I know she is strong. But I just ran my own race today and kept pushing and pushing – the last mile never gets any easier though!”


Elliw Haf approaches the Cooper Bog section ©Sport Pictures Cymru

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Lucy Wasinski ©Sport Pictures Cymru


Winners! Rob Samuel and Elliw Haf ©Sport Pictures Cymru

In 2017 Lee Thornton won the Canicross men’s event in 1:02:57, however he finished second overall behind female European champion Kim Mazzucca. In 2018 he was out to go one better and take that coveted overall crown of the winner of the Goldrush Canicross.

As almost 50 dogs and runners set out half an hour after the main race, Thornton was obviously in determined mood as he hit the front from the start with partner Bowie. Building his lead as the race approached halfway.

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Lee Thornton and Bowie on the Copper Bog ascent ©Sport Pictures Cymru

Behind Ashleigh Bailey and her dog Rolo were chasing hard for the race win, and also that female category win too. Once again the runners and dogs were feeling the heat, but with a couple of streams to cool off and have a drink in and two water stations on route, all were able to keep refreshed across there 8.5 mile route.

As they came into the last mile it was clear that Thornton was going to take the win, coming home just under 70 minutes in 1:09:32. Bailey was second in 1:11:59, also claiming the women’s title, with Mike Hirst (1:14:24) third overall and second man, with his dog Rufus.

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The men’s podium at the 2018 Goldrush Trail Canicross ©Sport Pictures Cymru

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Top 3 women at the 2018 Goldrush Trail Canicross ©Sport Pictures Cymru

The race exuded a community feel and with the local Mawddach Rotary Club of Dolgellau benefitting this again year with money donated by the race to help charities and good causes feel the effects of the event in the locality. The Rotary Club also supplied the marshals around the race route and staff at the registration and finish line.

Ganllwyd Community Council looked after the water station at the Goldrush and will benefit from a donation that will enable them to continue their great work in the local community.


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 Team provide support to all five Run. Coed y Brenin events throughout the year.

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The race organisation would also like to extend their thanks as ever to the whole team of staff at Coed y Brenin and to Natural Resources Wales Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru who manage the Coed y Brenin estate.

Full Trail Race and Canicross results are now online via TDL Event Services, with images available at Sport Pictures Cymru

Next year’s Goldrush Trail race date is TBC in April 2019 with entries going live on December 1st, 2018 via the race website.

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