Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Mountain Racing

Between Moelwyn Mawr and Moelwyn Bach
It’s that time of year for extreme sports; 2nd April was the Boat Race, 8th April is the Grand National and on the same day it’s also Ras y Moelwyn. The Moelwyn Race is a fell run over the three peaks of Moelwyn Mawr, Moelwyn Bach and Moel yr Hydd, a mere 10 ½ miles and 2,800 feet of altitude gain. 

The route of the race makes an excellent walk with fantastic views but the front runners in Ras y Moelwyn don’t pause to take in the scenery. In 2015 there was a record turnout of nearly 400 and the course record was well and truly smashed - a runner from Scotland finished first in just 1 hour 13 minutes and 9 seconds for what most people would take a whole day to walk! This short film sequence gives you an idea of the terrain.

At the other end of the scale was Kurmang Rashid, the Blaenau Ffestiniog baker who is famous for his spicy Kurdish Pasties. He always competes and completes … in about three hours. It’s not the winning but the taking part!

Another local race starting in the town square of Dolgellau is Ras y Gader (The Chair Race) which takes you to the top of Cadair Idris and back. It’s the same length and altitude gain as Ras y Moelwyn but it isn’t a circular route. As you slog up the mountain it can be very dispiriting to see the front runners flying past you on their way to the finish line. This year’s Ras y Gader is on 20th May.

Mountain racing is an excellent spectator sport!

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