Trail Marathon Wales once again delights participants
Last Saturday (22 June) saw Coed y Brenin Forest Park transformed into an arena of trail running, as the MTB mecca welcomed over 700 trail runners for the 2013 Trail Marathon Wales.
In 2012 Wales’ newest trail marathon saw over 500 runners embark on the full and half marathon route which take in some of the most technical and beautiful aspects of this 9000 acres forest in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. This year a further 200 runners toed the line, under overcast skies, with 13 and 26 miles of some for the UK’s best trail running ahead of them.
At the sharp-end of the race 2013 once again saw a host of internationals taking to the start line. With the likes of Wales and GB internationals Andy Davies, Richard Roberts, Rob Samuel, Tim Davies and Anna Bartlett present.
As racing got underway for 9.00am in relatively dry conditions the full marathon quickly developed into a three-man race as Tim Davies, Richard Roberts and Kenilworth runner Andrew Siggers headed affairs.
As the runners headed away from the Coed y Brenin visitor centre and out onto the route which took in such trail delights as the Sarn Helen trail, the famous Volcano trail, Ffridd Goch and Ty’n y Groes (which contain the trees from where this vast expanse of forest gains it name) the race was developing into a battle royal. And as the race approached 17 miles it was Roberts who out down the hammer, stealing a lead of some 25 seconds on Siggers, from a fading Davies, as they approached the 18 mile feed station.
After catching Roberts at mile 19, Siggers decided to test the Welshman, and after what he later described as “putting in a dig” he opened up a gap. Siggers was to never looked back after this and over the final miles opened up a sizeable lead over Roberts to win in 3 hours 6 mins and 40 seconds.
Roberts finished strongly in 3:14:01 to take second place, the Welsh Long Course championship and book himself a place on the Welsh team for the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Hungary this September. 3-time Snowdon Race winner Tim Davies (3:17:51) eventually took the third spot.
In the women’s event Salomon runner Mary Grace Spalton ran a highly-composed race, leading from early on to win in an impressive 3:47:37, to take the coveted TMW bespoke way-marker trophy back to Berkshire. Emma D’Alton (3:57:08) had to once again settle for second, after finishing runner-up to Angela Mudge in 2012. Mercia runner Mel Price made up the podium in 4:02:08.
Speaking after the race Siggers stated:
“The route was really enjoyable. I’m not as much of a fell runner as some of the guys here, and had to try and open up my advantages on the uphills. But I am really pleased to have come here and won this race. The organisation was excellent and the course was constantly changing from open loans to trees, to steep inclines and waterfalls – it had everything.”
The Kenilworth runner is looking to venture onto the mountains and fells over the summer and added:
“It’s great to come here and win though, and beat the likes of Tim and Richard. I put in a big effort around 20 miles and I think that was enough to get me a good lead so that I could just concentrate on my running over the last part of the course – but that last hill is quite something and I was still pushing all the way to the finish”.
In the supporting half marathon event, starting at 9.30am, the men’s race was a two-way tussle between Wales and GB internationals Andy Davies and Rob Samuel. After a hard fought battle 2012 TMW full marathon winner Davies pulled away over the closing miles to record an amazing 1:21:37 axing just on 5 minutes from the 2012 course record set by England international Rob Hope (1:26:35) in 2012.
Samuel pushed hard to the finish and also finished inside Hope’s time with 1:24:07. Staffs Moorlands runner Gareth Briggs made up the top 3 in 1:34:56.
Welsh international Anna Bartlett took the ladies race with a fine run in 1:46:29 ahead of Joanne Gallaghar (1:51:23) and Shan Roberts (1:54:15).
Top 3 Half Marathon results:
- 1st Andy Davies 1:21:37
- 2nd Rob Samuel 1:24:07
- 3rd Gareth Briggs 1:34:56
- 1st Anna Bartlett 146:29
- 2nd Joanne Gallaghar 1:51:23
- 3rd Shan Roberts 1:54:15
Top 3 Full Marathon results:
- 1st Andrew Siggers 3:06:40
- 2nd Richard Roberts 3:14:01
- 3rd Tim Davies 3:17:51
- 1st Mary Grace Spalton 3:47:37
- 2nd Emma D’alton 3:57:08
- 3rd Mel Price 4:02:08
A race highlights film can be seen via the excellent Will Sanders here