THE Dolgellau 5-Mile Road Race once again proved to be a huge success with a number of records being broken on the day.
Organisers hailed the support from clubs such as Prestatyn Running Club, Maldwyn Harriers and Aberystwyth Athletics Club, while Meirionnydd Running Club, as usual, provided a strong contingent.
Over 100 runners took to the starting line and there was relief all round as the appalling weather which had marred Meirionnydd the previous night made way for a sunny race day.
After an initial steep climb the route levels out then climbs again until the second mile where, from the highest point, there are fantastic views of the Mawddach Estuary below. But the focus for the runners was on the downhill section; a very fast couple of miles before joining the Mawddach Trail cycle path for a relatively flat route to the finish at the Marian.
The overall winner was Dean Longley of Prestatyn RC who completed the course in 27:21, with Aberystwyth AC’s Aled Hughes in second in 27:31 and clubmate Rob Johnson in third, a further 12 second back.
The first woman to finish was Amanda Wright-Smith from Birchfield Harriers who finished in 31:54, second place went to Janet Owens from Knowsley Harriers in 35:52 and third place to Rhian Griffiths-Jones from Denbigh Harriers who finished in 36:10.
In the junior race, the first-placed boy was Aron Jones from Hebog in 31:30, and the first girl was Jenna Bagnall of Prestatyn RC in 37:38 and a new category record.
As well as Bagnall’s record, Prestatyn runners were responsible for another two new records: Stephen Skates’ time of 37:37 was enough to claim the record in the M35 category, while Michael Davies posted the top M70 time with 40:24.
And there was further success as Anita Worthing of Aberystwyth set a new F60 record with a time of 39:29.
Fifteen Meirionnydd RC runners competed on the day, with Tristan Evans the first local runner to cross the line.
His time of 29:31 was enough to take third place in the Senior Men category and ninth overall.
The first female Meirionnydd runner was Nia Davies in a 41:43 and 63rd overall.
Other Meirionydd runners finished in the following times: Arfon Hughes, 36:22, 33rd overall; Nich Bradley, 36:42, 38th; Ben Wells, 37:17, 41st; Justin Pilkington, 37:55, 46th; Graeme Stringer, 39:08, 53rd; Peter Nicholls, 41:52, 67th; Allanah Fenwick, 42:25, 69th; Mat Fenwick, 42:26, 70th; Kevin Owen, 43:57, 74th; Mpho Bogatsu, 44:32, 77th; Kevin Evans, 45:12, 80th; Sioned Mair Jones, 45:58, 82nd; and Haydn Fowler, 47:32, 91st;
The event provided not only a fantastic race but also managed to raise funds for a cause close to the club’s heart.
A barbecue after the race raised £120, which will go to Wyn Roberts, who himself finished the race in 36:22, to boost his sponsorship for the Dementia Unit at Dolgellau Hospital.