The latest event in the South Wales Summer and Winter Hill Series was held at the Skirrid, near Abergavenny, on December 20th. There were about 3 times as many runners taking part this year as last. The winner was Paul Murrin of Chepstow Harriers in a new course record of 30.05. First lady was Katie Beecher of Les Croupiers in 34.41, also a course record. First FODAC runner home was Mark Mathews, 14th in 34:11. Other FODAC runners were Dan Sandford 36.01; Julian Boon 36.13; Mark Blake 39.13; Neville Turner 46.55 and David Jenkins 47.28.
Report by Mark Mathews:
“Just a small report on the Skirrid fell race, which saw on one of the finer afternoons of the calendar nearly 3 times the usual turnout, making a top ten this year would be a toughy.
Mark Blake took a risky parking strategy: directly outside the pub semi blocking a gateway, we thought the locals may object. David Jenkins decided to cheer them up and proceeded to wear his shorts inside out, made us chuckle.
Forrest Jooligan was a little late and missed out on a chocolate bear, contemplated refusing to take part.
Dan Sandford rocked up feeling a little amiss but still open to the challenge.
And Neville Turner losing his fell running virginity, his finish line statement, Fell running rocks! or Epic! or Awesome! or words to that effect, you get the picture.
We set off to do a lap of the field, just to thin us out for the multiple gates and stiles which we encountered on our climb to the base of the summit proper, taking the footpath and rounding onto the saddle of the Skirrid, taking a deep breath to descend through the boulder field, readying ourselves for the scramble up a 65 ish degree pitch of about 300ft.
Reaching the summit and rounding the marshals and descending 65 ish degrees through heather bracken and sheep sh*t clad slopes to return from whence we came.
Great racing as usual great value and great company, highly recommended to those yet to try it out.”