The iconic Twin Peaks made a return following a Covid enforced absence and it was a spectacular return for the race that takes advantage of Aberystwyth’s naturally stunning landscape.
The glorious Autumnal sunshine enticed nearly 140 runners to take part in the 7.2 mile race with eager youngsters also getting in on the act as they tackled the slightly shorter but equally challenging Ras Consti.
The main race itself began by the bandstand on the promenade before going towards the RNLI and crossing Trefechan bridge in anticipation of the first climb up Pen Dinas. After traversing the wet and muddy downhill from there the route was reversed along the promenade before the second climb up Constitution hill and finishing with a fast downhill section and across the promenade to the finish line.
Organised by Aberystwyth Athletic Club, over 30 member athletes ensured they were well represented and fittingly enough it was a familiar club name who crossed the line first. Janos Vranek led from the front and completed the course in a time of 45.55, over a minute and a half ahead of his nearest rival.
Naturally he was delighted: “As the race has not been run for a few years this was the first time for me to tackle the course.
“It is a great course, taking advantage of the natural landscape here in Aberystwyth – with challenging climbs but fast downhills and the wonderful weather made it a great spectacle.
“Looking forward to next year already.”
There were other notable successes for Aber AC with Aled Hughes securing an age category win in a time of 51.48 and Lynwen Huxtable continuing her fine form with a category win in a time of 58.26. Ruth Flatman secured 3rd place in her age category with a time of 1.14.03.
A special mention must also go to Ifan Lloyd of Swansea Harriers who finished in 6th place overall in a time of 49.58, winning his age category, but most importantly the first ever winner of the Twin Peaks race in the 1980s when running for Aber AC.
There was similar success for the club in the junior races with Yasmin Evans, Enfys Rowlands, Nel Dafis, Oli Lerigo and Llew Schiavone all securing age category wins as they took on the Consti Challenge.
Among the sponsors this year was Aberystwyth Town Council and town mayor Councillor Kerry Ferguson was delighted to see the event return: “It was great to see so many people, runners and supporters, come to Aberystwyth and take part in event that highlighted the virtues of our wonderful town.
“The fantastic weather undoubtedly helped but it ensured the Twin Peaks race made a memorable return and long may it continue.
”I would like to congratulate all the competitors and especially the organisers for their hard work and dedication in staging such a memorable race.”
All runners received memento cards given and designed especially for the event by Lizzie Spikes and the team at Driftwood Designs who also contributed the winners’ cards and frames.
For the junior races book prizes were kindly donated by Y Lolfa and Firefly Press.
Louise Barker was one of the team of organisers: “After Covid it would have been easy to forget about this race and not bring it back but we felt it was an important event to have on the racing calendar.
“It also takes advantage of two of our most notable natural assets here in Aberystwyth with the beautiful promenade linking Pen Dinas and Constitution hill and offering a natural running course.
“We can now hopefully build on this year’s success and it looks like Ras y Ddau Gopa Twin Peaks race will be with us for many years to come.”