Mynydd Du

Fell and Mountain Running Club

The effects of fell running: a case study at the Cribyn Race 2014

Whilst marshalling and taking photos at the Cribyn Race yesterday with the kids, we noticed that subtle changes come over normal folk when they have been running up hill for 15 minutes in a gale. In the interests of scientific endeavour, we thought these changes should be documented. No humans were harmed in this experiment.

It seems to be miraculously rejuvenating - the runners all look much younger than their true age:

Running uphill reduces the signs of ageing - Mark is actually 86

For some, it has a stabilising and calming effect, helping them re-integrate with society:

Fell running to be recommended by NICE?

It has worked for this chap

For others it doesn’t:

But there have been some side effects

and failures

Some sprout extra limbs, yet still look bored…

A polymeliac fell runner

Many become excessively style-conscious, showing off designer clothing and accessories:

A fashionable fell runner

It can be hard to tell the different between the males and the females, but in this case it’s all too obvious (the gloves):

A female fell runner

Many faces develop the fixed grin, or “rictus fell-runnicus”. Observers often believe that the victims are enjoying themselves:

Rictus fell-runnicus

With others there is no such illusion:

Fell runner showing his true feelings

Despite a strict ban on facial fair under the new WFRA safety guidelines, some manage to conceal modern beards at registration, only to let them loose on the hill:

Fell runner with modern beard

Some runners impersonate the Emperor Palpatine to intimidate other competitors:

The Emperor Palpatine

A fell runner

On the plus side, manners on the hill are always impeccable, with most runners saluting, bowing, curtseying or doffing their caps in deference to marshals:

A polite fell runner

And finally, yesterday’s race proved that the winner is always the runner with the most tattoos:

Tattoos mean prizes


Photos from the Cribyn Race 2014

The wind was screaming through checkpoint 1, with horizontal rain trying to turn into hail by the time the later runners were coming through. The camera fuzzed up a bit with water drops, but we managed to snap nearly everyone. Plus a few more at the finish of the leading runners (til the rain came on again!). Enjoy…


Prince Charles gets to meet Mynydd Du hero

Prince Charles asks 77-year-old Tom Harrison of Mynydd Du and 83-year-old John Starbrook of Runneymede Runners how their knees stand up to the London Marathon...

Tom Harrison and Prince Charles

The other Pen y Fan Race

At Mynydd Du’s Pen y Fan Race and Fan y Big Horseshoe Race a couple of weeks ago many punters were confused by the fliers appearing on windscreens advertising a “Pen y Fan Horseshoe” race… eh?  Well it was a new race, organised by Andy Creber and scheduled just two weeks after “our” races. Well everyone loves a new race, but this did appear to be creating confusion and treading on our toes a bit, so Mark, Naomi and I did email Andy to suggest that perhaps another name should be considered for future years. He has responded in a very positive manner!

But the race looked like a great course – possibly the same as the “Ring of Steel” that ancient MDC shufflers talk about in hushed tones – so we decided to run. Finding the forest parking was a bit of an adventure, and we wrecked the car speeding up on the dirt track due to lateness (a big bit of the engine now seems to be dragging on the road, which is probably not good). But at least we did find it, unlike some (mentioning no names Sean Taylor – OMM navigation partner of guess who – read on…).

The race started on the dam and then up the Gap Road, with decisions to be made about when to break right to find the summit of Fan y Big. Our young star Jon Barnes found the best line, opting not to find the summit at all and just turn left instead up Cribyn.  This navigational triumph gained him a 7 minute lead at the summit of Cribyn, which he sustained all the way to his inevitable disqualification.

Mark Palmer left the Gap Road early, cutting hard right up a barely perceptible sheep trod, and pursued by a sceptical but optimistic few including Rich Johnson and me. About half way up I was cursing Mark for this ridiculous folly, as those who had stayed on the track appeared to pull miles ahead, but then Mark’s trod veered left, and eventually came out on the crest path leading nicely to Fan y Big where we came out slightly ahead of our foes. I’m not convinced it is the “best” line, but it was certainly better than most of the others.

From there it was the old up and downs of the Brecon Beacons Race route, and I was in about 8th place until Corn Du and the long run in along the ridge where I found a bit of speed, and (given last 2 years of injuries and lack of training) I was amazed and happy to be nipping Ben Gibbison’s heels by the end (OK, long-range nipping). I really enjoyed the race – much better than my miserable experience at Waun Fach the week before, and I hope it runs again – though possibly with a better name!

Here are some photo’s from the finish:

Cooling off at the finish

Alice Bedwell

Cribyn and Fan y Big


Naomi Law

Carl Brancher

And my bloody nipples – ouch!

Crispin's bloody nipples

Here are the results:

Pen y Fan Horseshoe Fell Race 27July 2013
No. Overal Pos Time Corn du Finish Time Descent Time Descent Pos
16 Mark Palmer MV40 1 00:43:45 01:04:07 20:22 1
34 David Williams 2 00:48:10 01:10:08 21:58 3
6 Richard Johnson MV40 3 00:46:43 01:10:14 23:31 11
29 Ben Gibbison 4 00:48:49 01:11:04 22:15 6
37 Crispin Flower MV40 5 00:50:06 01:11:26 21:20 2
30 Ben Moon 6 00:50:52 01:12:54 22:02 4
32 Andy Wilton 7 00:49:35 01:13:20 23:45 13
35 Ciaran Connor 8 00:50:44 01:13:34 22:50 8
23 Ian Luke 9 00:51:33 01:13:37 22:04 5
42 Dimitri Vorres MV50 10 00:50:43 01:13:47 23:04 10
33 Andrew Ind 11 00:51:08 01:14:10 23:02 9
41 Adrian Woods MV50 12 00:51:47 01:15:22 23:35 12
39 Matthew Lawson MV40 13 00:51:32 01:15:24 23:52 14
10 J Strohmeier 14 00:50:01 01:17:21 27:20 25
48 Gavin 15 00:55:20 01:17:56 22:36 7
14 Andy Vaudin MV50 16 00:52:50 01:18:28 25:38 21
19 Tom Hall MV40 17 00:54:25 01:19:13 24:48 17
1 Niki Morgan LV40 18 00:53:52 01:19:25 25:33 20
17 Peter Osborne MV50 19 00:55:30 01:20:11 24:41 15
24 Dave Austin MV40 20 00:55:48 01:20:33 24:45 16
4 Helen Marshall SF 21 00:54:33 01:22:20 27:47 26
15 Peter Williams MV50 22 00:56:36 01:22:31 25:55 22
20 Timothy Osman MV40 23 00:57:38 01:22:53 25:15 19
28 Andrew Blackmore MV40 24 00:57:30 01:23:59 26:29 23
25 Alice Bedwell LV50 25 01:01:15 01:27:53 26:38 24
26 James Murphy MV40 26 01:05:23 01:30:33 25:10 18
40 Sharon Woods LV50 27 01:02:52 01:31:03 28:11 27
22 Simon Daniels 28 01:02:45 01:31:34 28:49 30
5 M Cason MV40 29 01:00:51 01:32:10 31:19 35
38 Naomi Law LV40 30 01:03:55 01:32:36 28:41 29
31 Carl Brancher MV50 31 01:03:29 01:32:47 29:18 31
46 Stewart Thomson MV50 32 01:03:22 01:35:34 32:12 37
8 P Satchell MV50 33 01:07:13 01:35:40 28:27 28
2 P Symons MV40 34 01:04:28 01:36:23 31:55 36
27 Chas Ryder MV60 35 01:09:10 01:38:50 29:40 32
12 Dick Finch MV60 36 01:08:15 01:39:09 30:54 34
13 Cheryl Villis SF 37 01:08:17 01:41:52 33:35 38
11 Carl Villis MV40 38 01:06:41 01:42:31 35:50 40
43 William Darby MV60 39 01:06:10 01:43:31 37:21 41
7 Anna Auchterlonie SF 40 01:13:30 01:44:02 30:32 33
44 Philip Griffiths MV50 41 01:12:02 01:46:00 33:58 39
18 Michael Halsall MV40 42 01:13:10 01:51:05 37:55 42
45 Jan Richards LV40 43 01:12:42 01:51:17 38:35 43
9 Karen Elvers LV40 44 01:15:58 01:59:00 43:02 44
21 Stephen Hennessey MV50 45 01:16:39 02:00:19 43:40 45
36 Jon Barnes U23 N/A 00:36:50 00:56:30 19:40 N/A


Cwmdu Race 2013

A decent crowd of Mynydd Du runners turned out for the new Cwmdu Race yesterday. A couple of MDC buddies were asking where we had all come from, and was it a special occasion? As it turned out, MDC grabbed the top two places, with a confident performance from Hugh Aggleton as expected, and a great run from Matt Stott who has really found some form this year and overtook Mark P on the final rubbley path. But strength in depth won Mynydd Du the (virtual) team prize, somewhat begrudgingly announced by Dick Finch!

The new venue and course were appreciated by all in perfect conditions - a hard ten miler that will certainly be on my list next year.

Notable club performances included Mark Palmer in third place, despite saving himself for the insane "City to Summit" race next weekend (good luck!), Ade Woods 1st v50 and 8th overall, and Sharon Woods 1st v50 female.

Results below, borrowed from the WFRA site spreadsheet. Anyone got any photos?


1 Hugh Aggleton MDC M 77.16
2 Matt Stott MDC M 77.42
3 Mark Palmer Mynydd Du M40 78.23
4 Martin Shaw Mynydd Du M40 85.10
5 Mike Evans TROTs M 85.57
6 Ben Gibbison Mynydd Du M 86.11
7 Marcus Pinker   M 89.32
8 Ade Woods Mynydd Du M50 89.42
9 Crispin Flower Mynydd Du M40 89.47
10 Daniel Hooper Sarn Helen M40 89.55
11 Mark Bown Bath M 89.58
12 Colin Lancaster Mercia M50 92.25
13 John Aggleton MDC M50 92.31
14 Alex Lewis Neath M 92.52
15 Lauren Jeska Aberystwyth F 93.04
16 Niki Morgan Chepstow F40 94.40
17 Robert Wilson M50 M50 95.02
18 Sian Roberts TROTS F40 96.08
19 Julian Boon FOD M40 96.56
20 Dave Austin Chepstow M40 98.11
21 Louise Barker Aberystwyth F 98.39
22 Peter Osborne Llanelli M50 99.52
23 Gavin Brace   M 100.11
24 Adrian Noble Weston M50 100.24
25 Sean Taylor Mynydd Du M 100.36
26 Helen Marshall Swansea F 100.45
27 Nicola Gething Mynydd Du F40 100.49
28 Keith Agmen BOK M 101.24
29 Emma Bayliss Mynydd Du F 102.07
30 Kyle Cardey   M 102.14
31 Josh Harris Weston M40 102.24
32 Nick Biggs   M 102.52
33 Adrian Gwillian Fairwater M40 103.05
34 Mark Cason Mynydd Du M40 103.05
35 Ed Dickson MDC M 103.31
36 Simon Blease Brycheiniog M50 105.42
37 Simon Davies   M40 106.03
38 Rhian Probert   F40 110.05
39 Andrew Dickens Mynydd Du M40 111.40
40 Jay Grigson Chiltern M 112.17
41 Sharon Woods Mynydd Du F50 112.23
42 Gary Gunner Croft Ambrey M60 112.50
43 Stuart Thomson Mynydd Du M50 113.05
44 Les Williams Eryri M60 114.38
45 John Darby Mynydd Du M60 115.13
46 Anne Marie Harris Mynydd Du F40 115.45
47 Naomi Law Mynydd Du F40 115.45
48 Mike Halsall Llanelli M40 117.38
49 Kim Chester FOD M40 120.41
50 Lou Davies Mynydd Du F40 120.53
51 Phil Miles   M60 120.53
52 Carl Brancher Mynydd Du M50 121.38
53 Sue Tagg Parc Bryn Bach F40 128.32
54 Gerry Ashton Chepstow M50 130.39
55 Robert Morris Wye V R M50 132.01
56 Martyn Peters Hereford C M60 132.01
57 Jan Richards Mynydd Du F40 134.14
58 Rob West MDC M70 134.56
59 Helen Duffield Chepstow F40 139.37
60 Tosh Simkin Chepstow M40 139.47
61 Karen Elvers Chepstow F40 141.30
62 Gareth Jones MDC M60 141.31

Cribyn Race finds a good home

After several good years in charge, Helen Fines has finally decided that driving down from Yorkshire to organise the Cribyn Race, as well as baking about twenty massive cakes for the runners, is not sustainable. So she's handed the race on to Mynydd Du, and Sean Taylor has stepped up to the mark as the new race organiser.

Cribyn Race

I've added the race to our races page, and Sean will continue the race's own web site with the help of Dave Austin.

It's a tough race that really sorts the men from the boys - let's hope it goes from strength to strength with Sean and Mynydd Du at the helm.



Up and Under sponsor's discount

On behalf of Up and Under Outdoor Gear I can announce that with immediate effect Mynydd Du members producing a current membership card will be entitled to Contract Prices at all times in our store. These prices are typically 15-20% below Recommended Retail Prices topping out at a massive 75% off and are therefore more competitive than those displayed in the store.

At Up and Under we are proud to be a specialised independent retailer, and are keen to support local clubs wherever we can for our mutual benefit. We may have additional offers from time to time and will request email addresses from your members when they visit the store so that these offers can be sent out as soon as possible.

If your club doesn’t issue membership cards but is affiliated to a National organization that provides you with a membership card this will be equally acceptable if you inform us of this in advance.

You can find out what prices you would be paying when you produce your club membership in store at Up and Under by using the B2B login at the top right of any page of

You will be greeted with Welcome back B2B Club Account and you will then see that your club membership provides you with discounts as much as 75% off RRP.

For more information please contact Rob Gordon

UK Relays 2011

The race field before the startJust back from an enjoyable weekend at the relays in Kettlewell. We made our various ways to the Yorkshire Dales on Friday, finding out en croute that Angela was pulling out of the Ladies team. Fortunately Naomi’s Mum Sally had come down from Scotland to support, and valiantly agreed to don the hoops.  A bit of recceing and interrogation of locals showed us roughly where the navigation leg was going to be – on the flanks of Great Whernside with a long flagged run in. It looked like the navigation might be quite tricky, with rough ground and few features on the upper slopes. This, and a reappraisal of Iain’s likely speed, led us to swap things around a bit in the men’s line up, putting Iain onto the short leg 1 and Mark and Martin onto the navigation leg. The Ladies team re-shuffled to cope with Angela’s absence, giving Sally the last leg.



Tim Davies leading off leg 1Saturday dawned glorious with early frost and hanging mist giving way to clear blue skies and autumn colours. Iain and Sharon lined up with nearly 190 others in the village square to start at 10am. Tim Davies led the charge, with Iain comfortable in mid pack. With little racing experience we were all a little nervous of how he would pace the 4.5 miler with such a fast start, but he got it about right and came into the field in 80th place to hand over the Sean and Matthew.

Sharon appeared a few minutes later in 149th place, to set Anne Marie and Emma on their way for the 9 mile leg 2.



Sean and Matthew hit the sting in the tail on leg 2

This second leg was crucial with two long climbs, a couple of miles of sapping bog, and fast descents on tracks. I was expecting it to take about the same time as a road half marathon. Mathew and Sean picked up 50 places to pull us up to 30th overall, completing the leg in 1:17:37, 19th fastest on the leg. This was a truly impressive performance for two newbies to the sport who have never run in pairs before, especially when you see the talent that was on display in this leg. For example they were only 2 minutes down on Ian Holmes and Andy Peace.

Anne Marie and Emma got round in 01:39:13, also picking up loads of places, and handing over to Naomi and Louise. Anne Marie was one of the many runners finishing leg 2 slathered head to toe in the black stuff, after a bit of spontaneous bog snorkelling.




Mark and Martin power past a Clayton team at the end of leg 3Mark and Martin ran a strong leg 3, pulling us up another 9 places and posting the 15th fastest time for the course. The navigation didn’t sound that tricky in the bright sunshine, but if the clag had been down it would have been a different race entirely.






Harry Matthews finishing the race for the A teamHarry has not been doing much running this year, but is always fit and strong from cycling, and did not disappoint with a solid leg 4 performance. Unusually our demon descender let someone past on the descent, but it turned out to be Tom Adams who posted the 8th fastest time for the leg, so no disgrace there!

Our men’s team finished 22nd overall in 03:54:45, a few places down on previous years, but still a strong performance given the strength and depth of the competition. Eryri finished 16th.



Naomi and Louise finishing leg 3For the ladies, Naomi and Louise were spot on with the navigation but found the underfoot conditions hard, finishing in 1:45:01. They were faster than 31 other teams on the leg! They handed over to Sally for the big climb up Great Whernside.



Sally bringing home the ladies team

At the tender age of 67 Sally is very much a novice fell runner, though she has won the V60 category many times in the Lakeland Trail races. Leg 4 at the relays was certainly a new challenge though, especially as she had not expected to run, and had done 8 miles a couple of days before.  In the event she ran way faster than expected, bringing the team home in 05:23:46, and 156th place (I think 30th ladies team overall).

We all had a good time in the Blue Bell that evening, and I’m looking forward to next year already.

Full results and split times can be found on the sportident web

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