March update.

Ok, so although I’ve not really had much time to work on things lately, the past week have been pretty busy with some exciting news.

The Beast was very fortunate to have some funding from Valero at the very beginning, allowing us to purchase a number of key race event essentials. It’s 11yrs since the first race(but 10th anniversary due to covid), and Valero have again kindly funded some extra equipment as the Beast grows. So you’ll see some extra signage and flags, some bigger tables for holding the extra amount of cake, as well as a number of other items. Thank you.

Etts electrical have again sponsored the race numbers, whilst a number of local businesses are wanting to sponsor the many trophies and/or to get their name on the Tshirts. THANK YOU. I’ll be posting a list of sponsors once it’s been finalised. If you want to sponsor any of the trophies, then please get in touch asap.

Did I mention Tshirts you say? Yes, there will actaully be Tshirts! However, these will only be available to purchase on the day, and it will be first come, first served. No pre-ordering or asking for me to reserve one. It’s a huge headache keeping track of who wants what size Tshirt. I’ll let you know how much they are.

Nobbler races organiser Tim Plumb, has worked his technical wizardry by making some fantastic checkpoint dibbers. This will not just make it easier for checkpoint marshals, but will hopefully give you split times and positions of your race. 😉

Chris Wanless, aka Trailhead sports therapy has agreed to come and give you some post race massage. First come, first served. 😉 He will probably be in the community hall.

Arfryn dairies has agreed to donate the milk for ‘hot wets’.

Local wood wizard Owen Davies is again making the wooden trophies. The biggest news shocker is the coasters! We’ve decided to take the gamble of completely changing the slate coasters, and go for wood. They’re done locally by Owen, and I also think it’s more eco friendly rather than digging into the ground. I think they still look amazing, just different from what we’ve always done. It also works with regards to the ‘Year of the WoD’, being a bit like, ‘Year of the WooD’! See what we’ve done there? Below is the Preseli Beast coaster, the Beast Bach runners would get a slightly different one.

Entries are still coming in, so thank you if you have already entered.

A number of locals are currently training on the WoD, and I don’t think it’s ever had so much traffic. Maybe by the day, there might even be a well worn trod!!! There’s a strava segment on it, so I wonder who will take my crown? It’s only a matter of time!

Lastly, but certainly not least. There is some sad news to announce. On Friday 15th March, we as the local community were truly devasted to hear of the passing off a lovely guy, Marc Beasley. ‘Beaso’ as many knew him ran all of the Beast distances over the years,(hence why he was also called UltraBeas, after finishing the UltraBeasT) and took up off-road running back when the Beast came about. We shared loads of training runs together as part of a group, and he even joined us on the odd away adventure. He was a huge nblr attendee, and over the last year or two he got into doing Ironman’s. Hundreds of us are truly devasted by his passing, and it was such a shock to us all. We all send his family our thoughts and deepest condolonces. There will also be some special ways of remembering him on this years Beast. xx

Diolch/Thanks, Caz the Hat.

End of year update.

Ok, where do I begin???

Firstly, I’d like to take this opportunity to Thank ‘EVERYONE’ who has been involved in the 2023 races I organise, from the runners themselves, the marshals and supporters, those that sponsored/donated some of the items for the races, those that have helped marked courses and marshalled on top of a windy hill, and lastly and not least, my close family who have supported me through all the races and supported me even when they’re busy. 😉 I can’t thank you all enough. Muchios cwtches.

So now to talk about what’s happening next year! 😋 

2024 DATES

Sat 11th May – The Beast races. 

This is not just the 10th Anniversary year, it will also be a special edition version! Yes folks, those entering the 24 miler or the 11 miler, you’ll also be doing the WoD right towards the end!!! WoD stands for – Wall of Death!!! Basically a very big steep hill(steeper than the Beasts Back that you usually go up to Foel Feddau!!!) just before you summit Foel Cwmcerwyn. 

Fear not. If you really don’t think you can handle both the Beasts Back and the WoD, then there is the ‘Fun run’ option of doing just the WoD!  This slightly shorter ‘simpler’ version is going to be called Beast Bach ‘twt’. (Twt meaning tiny). 😉 However, the Twt will be a non-competitive race, meaning no category prizes, just slate coaster and usual post race refreshments. 😉

There will be no UltrabeasT for 2024. Revised maps of the 2024 routes , and stats for each are below.  Big thanks to the Rees family for allowing the race to use the WoD area which is on land that they manage, Diolch. 😉 

Sat 22nd June– Preseli DipDab 4hr score event to test your orienteering/map reading skills.

Thurs  18th July (pm)- The park run distance of the Carn Ingli Killer race! 😋 

Sun 4th August- The 7mile Cerrig Glas race, with kids races too. 😉

Sat 17th August- The 5.5mile classic Ras Beca, with kids races too. 😉 

Online entries for the Beast, and possibly for the other races, will open mid December……hopefully! 😋 

As for the 2023 Brussel Buster, then this will actually be on Sat 30th Dec 2023. 😋  More details to follow, but it’s going to be an exciting one, and a complete change of venue!!!  Similar format, a night orienteering style 2hr score event, starting and finishing at a pub. 😋  What’s not to like? 😉 

Muchios Thanks wee Beasties. 😉

 

Cerrig Glas 2023 write up and results.

So, the weather gods were certainly on our side for the 2023 Cerrig Glas race. Some events had been cancelled the day before because of the weather, with heavy rain and strong winds! Was this really August??? As it was, we had high cloud and a slight breeze. Perfect. 😉

We had  22 runners enter online before the day of which 18 turned up and a further 17 runners entered on the day. So 35 in total which I think is a record! 😉  However, before they went off, we had the Junior races to sort out! 

This year I set up two courses. A  nice, testing little 1.5mile route for the over 11’s, and a 0.7miler for the under 11’s. Four older juniors took up the challenge of the 1.5mile route, and when the first two came over the brow of the hill together, it was certainly game to see who’d take top spot! What a battle of a sprint it was and it’s a pretty tough descent at that. However, Tabitha Curtis’  daring ability to let rip downhill left Iestyn Colnet destined for second overall. Definitely talent here for the future. Ryan Block was 3rd, closely followed by Tali Wright.

The younger juniors saw five have a bash. There was three in close contention nearing the highest point of the route, with Theo beating Deian Watkins by 7 seconds. He in turn beat his older brother Hari by 8 seconds. Little under 8s winner Beau was fourth, with Bryn coming in 5th. Well done/Da iawn to all the juniors.

Once the Juniors’ presentation was over we had the adults race. After a quick briefing on the start line, they were soon off into the distance on a nice gentle slope. By roughly halfway at Foel Drygarn there were two at the front. The bookie’s favourite Ollie Minton certainly had his work cut out by an unknown to me, Gareth Venables. It was only through Gareth’s misfortune at having stumbled and fallen a few times which allowed Ollie to break away. That, and this being unknown territory for Gareth meant Ollie got the win by just over a minute at the finish. Great bit of racing. There wasn’t a huge amount of time between the next few. Mike Munro held off M50 winner Steve Williams for 3rd overall. Heddwyn Evans was 1st M40 male, but was chased down by Liam Phillips (2nd M40 only 20 seconds behind.)  1st lady overall in 7th was F40 winner Tasha Sexton. I love how much effort she puts into this race, and has won overall female on several occasions. Katie Harrower was 8th overall and 1st OF. ‘Big’ Malcolm was 1st M60, and 11th overall. Tenby aces Tracy Thomas took home 1st F50, in 26th overall. 

Everyone enjoyed free tea/coffee and cake afterwards, and the category winners took home a alcoholic beverage.. 😉 

Huge massive thanks to the marshals, helpers, cake makers, the runners, and the farmer for allowing us to race there. Diolch pawb/Thanks all.

Next up is Ras Beca on Sat 19th August. An iconic and historic race. 😉 Hopefully see you there peeps. 😉 

2023 Carn ingli Killer write up, and results.

So, the weather just about held off for the 2023 race. The forecast was supposed to be clearing, but it was still raining somewhat at lunchtime, and it was still pretty gloomy and horrible when we left with a car full of stuff from Maenclochog! When we drove over the hill, Carn Ingli itself was just about in view, and that’s how it remained whilst I was out marking the course at approx 5.30pm. Although it was a bit blustery, there was a beautiful rainbow nearby to the east. By the time I arrived back at race HQ, Rachel, Carz, and Sharon and Pete were busy taking in entries, and I was really surprised to see so many runners about the place! In the end there was a record number of 49 entrants! Waw, amazing! Amongst some of the newbies young and old, were some well known supporters of the race.

Domi and Shan were marshalling the top, and sent back a photo of their view. A proper white out! The cloud had descended onto the very top, and you could barely see more than 100metres! Ha, was I going to have some lost runners even though I’d marked the route???

After a quick pep/briefing talk at the startline, and of course I had to enlighten them that I’d won the Four fans fell race last Sat……outright!, it was a Ready, Steady, GO! And off they all went.

Julia and Bruce were marshalling the first road bit, before moving over to the decsent hill/junction. Whilst Karen was on the gate further up which leads out ontot he open ground.

It didn’t feel that long before Ollie Minton arrived back taking the top spot a minute clear over local Jonny Sable. I do feel for Jonny. He’s ran the race probably more than anyone else. He’s come top 5 in each of the races he’s run, but never 1st! As I know too well, it will come one day. Just hoping you don’t have to get as old as me before you do! It was pretty close between 3rd and 4th, and M50 winner Steve Williams wasn’t too far behind either, finishing 5th overall. It was good to see past overall winner Heddwyn Evans return, and he took the M40 win in 6th overall. Kitty Robinson is also still flying, and easilly took the OF win, and 9th overall. A fantastic battle behind took place between two juniors. Local lass Tabitha Curtis flew around in a time of 37.02 and 13th overall, beating her dad even by some 20seconds! He was closely followed by 2nd junior female Maisie Foster. Oscar Patrick was 1st Junior male in 38.44, 19th overall. These juniors are definitely ones to look out for in the future. 1st F50 winner was Ailinor Evans and 23rd, whilst Jo Vandermulen was 1st F40 and 24th. Mark Underhill was 1st M60, and 26th. Hazel Davies ran a fab race again to take the F60 win and 32nd, even though she is actually a F70!

Everyone in my eyes ran brilliantly. It’s not the easiest of 5k ‘Park runs’!!! Once everyone was back in, we strolled back to the ‘event centre’, and enjoyed tea and cake, before I announced the results and some photos. Rach couldn’t help herslf by trying to embarace me by announcing that I’d won the Four Fans fell race. I did try telling her that I’d already announced that, but let her carry on again in case someone didn’t hear it!!!!

Thanks to everyone who came and ran, but more so to all the marshals and helpers who without their support would not allow this race to happen – Rachel, Carz, Sharon and Pete, Domi and Shan, Karen, and Julia and Bruce. Diolch/Thanks.

Don’t forget, I’ve still got two more races that I’m organising this year! Next up is the 7mile Ras Y cerrig Glas race, on Sunday 6th August at 12pm. There will be some junior races here too, probably starting at 11.30.

Then last but certainly not least, the 5mile Ras Beca! It’s a huge honour to take this on, and I think this will be the 44th event! The date is a week earlier than usual, and is on Sat 19th August at 1.30pm. There will also be junior races here too.

More details on these races are on the Races tab.

2023 DipDab write up and results

DipDab race report 2023.

So, it all begins at the start of the year really for this one. Deciding if I’m going to change the format, and when? This event will never be as big as the Beast races, but I quite like mixing things up anyway to challenge people.

The change from doing three linear courses to a 4hr score event was simple really. After last years issues with some runners not getting signal for their app to work was also a pain. And if you cannot find one of the controls(checkpoints) out on a linear course, then that’s basically it for that course as you’d technically be DNF’d. A score course however allows runners to try and work out the route that they can run in the 4 hours they have. And with he added spice of the harder to reach/find controls being worth more points, then it also adds to the head scratching on whether they risk trying to get there or not. So not only do I want to make an interesting course, I also want it to just be achievable to the few. No point making it impossible, yet I see no point in making it simple that everyone completes it with the winners finishing it in half of the allotted time. So it’s also a head scratcher for me, and a lot of running around in the hills checking if timings and control locations are indeed possible. The Brussel Buster in winter is very similar, but a lot safer(to some degree!) as it’s mostly confined to the forestry area. Some would however disagree! 😛

I must admit, I was pretty happy with my map planning this year as on my timed reccies, I’d worked out I’d ran the ideal route choice in about three and a half hours. However, I knew where exactly I needed to go, and run where the worst ground wasn’t! Plus I wasn’t needing to stop at every control to pick up pieces of paper from zip lock bags! With there being 28 controls, even 30 seconds at each would amount to 14 mins, so not a huge amount of spare time!

The decision to make runners lose points for being over time isn’t my idea for sure. This concept is used on most score type events. It’s a good way to stop runners from being out on the hills ‘all’ day, and then us having to wait for hours until they return. Again, it adds a bit of pressure on runners.

So, the thank yous first. Firstly to Rachel for allowing me to organise this one, and her support and brain sharing. Also for her incredible hand painted and gilded winners trophy. It was pretty epic for sure. Carz for her brain sharing too, but I couldn’t share anything to do with the map as she was going to be running it! And yes, I can hold the locations a secret. 😛  As her going wayward during the race proves! Actually, thanks to her and the boys for their help too 😉 Then there’s Martin Everett who took out 10 of the 28 controls to place on the hills on the afternoon before. Huge thanks to those who made cake. My sister Eirlyn, Rhian(pretty platters), and villager Ann Morris. Diolch o dalpen. 😉 Thanks to Eirlyn for helping on refreshment duties on the day too. Then there was those on registration/kit check and number crunching at the end duties. Liz(who was there with runner Kate), Simon, Rhyds, Carz, Martin, and Maggie and Mike, and Rhian. Thank you. 😉 Thank you to Tim Plumb/realtimeracing for sorting the online/timing stuff out. Tim himself was in Glastonbury, so left us in charge!!! Although things weren’t loading up on the day, it will be fully updated in due course. 😉

Thanks also to Kevin(who was running), and Carz and Rhyds for going back out to collect quite a few controls over the following days after! Cheers.

Big Thanks to Tafarn Sinc for letting us hold the event here. It’s really handy being able to use the facilities(electric, toilets, and ‘refreshments’ at the bar!) here, and being so accessible to the hills. Diolch yn fawr.

Ok, the runners. So after registration and kit check prior to starting, there were quite a few runners looking on with some trepidation. For some this was the first time of doing this kind of event, and the added spice of not being able to see the map until a whole minute before their clock would start ticking added to the nerves. Although there are no pairs/teams classes, I’d given runners the option of running together if one of them weren’t that confident of map reading. So the odd few set off at the same time instead of setting off solo at minute intervals. The other good point of starting at the pub, is that once runners were more than about 15 metres away, they were out of sight of the next ones off. So the next runner setting off had very little idea in which direction they’d gone! 😛 Well, it would just be the case of follow the leader in that case.

The forecast for the day was thundery showers, and breezy. So I’d made them carry a waterproof coat as part of their mandatory kit instead of a windproof one in case they got a soaking. One person suggested they should run with a tin foil hat in case there was lightning, but I’m not that sadistic…honestly! Luckily the thunder(and lightning!) stayed away, and apart from a very few raindrops and brief claggy’ness for the very tops of the hills for a short spell, it remained perfect conditions for running in.

When the runners returned, it was a question of counting up the points from the pieces of Tyvek paper they were collecting from all the controls they’d visited. Good job we had the number crunching team to work these out! As it was it worked well, and the results changed all the time. I’d soon heard that local boy John Collier had visited all the controls gaining him the full 800 points! More importantly is that he was back just inside the 4hrs! Could anyone else match his efforts? Well, Neath harriers runner Iestyn Evans also collected the full tally of 800 points! However, because he was over time by 17 mins, which then meant that he was deducted 40 points reducinh his tally to 760 points! Still amazing really as I think this was his first time in the Preselis!  

There were a number of MDC runners taking part, and it was MDC runner Gary Davies who was top scorer in the Male vet 40 category with a score of 630 points.

Just behind him though on 620 points was one of the many SBOC(Swansea Bay Orienteering Club) runners, Kerina Lake, who was not only top scoring female, but was also 1st Female vet40 and 5th overall!

1st Male vet 50 with 570 points was a friend who had travelled all the way down from Brighton! This was Graham Cleminson’s first event for about 4yrs, so it was so nice to see him do so well. I’d met Graham whilst reccieing in the Rhinogs for the Dragons Back race, and this type of event is right up his street. 😉

Just behind him on 560 points in 10th overall was Alan Stone who was 1st Male vet60!

2nd Lady home overall with 480 points was vet60 winner Margaret Reynolds, who was also a SBOC runner. Whilst third female back was Bristolian Meredith Moody who was first Open female with 420 points. (I class ‘Open’ as under 40yrs old!).

Sasha Habgood completed the female vet50 category winners on 390 points, even though she’d lost 50 points for being 21 mins late!

A huge well done to you all really, and thank you for making the effort to travel down and sharing the event amongst others. It’s much appreciated. I’ve had some great feedback from a lot of you. So thank you. It makes all the hard work worth it. 😉

Oo, and what did the runners take away as a momento? Well a sherbet DipDab of course! I still can’t believe that some of you had never even heard, seen, or even tried one before now! 😛 The category winners took home either a mantle brewery ale, or a Gethins’ Pennyfarthing cider. Both local made. 😉  

So, I’ve already started thinking about the next one! And what god forsaken places I’m going to place the controls next!!! 😉 Onward and upward, or was it down that gully bend……again! 😛 Diolch/Thanks.

DipDab start/Finish revealed.

So, roll up, roll up. This years DipDab Start/Finish will be…………..at Tafarn Sinc, Rosebush. 😉 This is where we did the Brussel Buster last winter. It was such a good locaton, I thought we’d go back. It’s a pub, and also does Sunday lunches if you fancied it after finishing. You could also come down the night before!

The secret pool is a approx 1km from here too, and a must go to place to wash yourself and cool down after the run. 😉

If it’s still as dry as it is, then parking will be in the community playing field next to the playground car park behind Tafarn sinc. Ideally, don’t park in the Tafarn sinc car park itself. What3words location is shuttling.install.obtain

Please bring the enough/mandatory kit, ie- compass; waterproof(windproof if forecast is good) coat; emergancy survival bag-not blanket; hat or buff; gloves; water container; whistle; good off-road/fell trainers; marker pen or pencil; and a clear zip lock bag to place your collected pages in. You need to keep your pages safe, as these are your points tally at the end! It’s recomended that you also take a fully charged mobile, but it’s against the principle to use this to aid navigation.

I may be letting the cat out of the bag a little here. Slightly unlike the Brussel buster, at each control location there will be many A6 sized pre printed(with the control code, and points worth) tyvek pages inside a zip lock bag as marked on the map. You only need to take one tyvek page from each control you visit. There are a total of 28 controls, with a total tally of 800points! So your own zip lock bag needs to be big enough to potentially keep all these safe inside. No pages = no points!!!

2023 Beastly write up

So, after the very busy Beastly build up, the weather gods certainly shone on Maenclochog for the ninth full running of the Beast. 24hrs later, and it would have been a different story!!! As it was, there was a carnival feeling in this rural, but bustling North Pembrokeshire village.

So, I have to start by saying a Mahoosive Big THANK YOU to everyone who helped out. The volunteers put soooooooooooo much effort into their roles, with amazing fancy dress costume wearing and enthusiasm from them all. From Mr and Mrs Roberts from Oop North, registration team, top of town band, Tim Plumb/Realtimeracing, hill and roadside marshals, Kev the sweeper, Caffi’r sgwar, Siop Sarah, Gethins cider, Mantle brewery, Princes Gate water, Etts electrical, The Globe, this amazing community, and,………….everyone else involved. Without you, this event wouldn’t be what it is, and certainly wouldn’t have soooooo many positive comments from the competitors!!! DIOLCH o Dalpen i chi gyd/Huge THANK YOU to you all. 😉  

A few days before race day I was starting to worry/fret/lose sleep that there wasn’t going to be enough cake. Mrs Roberts kept saying that it’ll be fine, and more than fine it was. 😉 The table was again groaning under the weight of cake. Thanks to all who donated the huge variety of cake. 😉 

Then, there’s the runners. The Beast has started to become a bit of a must-do race for many now, with many returning year after year to run the course. However with three different routes on offer, it’s sometimes difficult to choose which one to do.  They came from far and wide. They ran, they sweated, they smiled(or was it a grimace!!!), and then they ate cawl and cake! 😜 

That King Charles certainly needs a word with however. I mean what a cheek to take the usual Beast day to have his coronation on!!! However, that did mean we had a Bank Holiday weekend, so had the extra day to get over things anyway. 😋 It also made me think about other ideas!!! 😋  

So I’ll start with the 11m Beast Bach(BB). This starts 2.5hrs after the other two races,  but attracts the most entrants by far. It’s certainly more do-able for most! What made it more interesting this year was the fact that Gancho Slavov( the record holder for the UltrabeasT) ran the Beast Bach, while the current record holder for the BB was running the UltrabeasT!!! Were either of them going for the record??? I certainly knew someone was! 

After the briefing, and the now usual hugs all around, the Beast Bach train tore off up through the village before heading off road through the Beasts Lair. 😉 Local Nblr(Nobbler) Ollie Minton has been on great form recently winning a number of local off-road races, and took the win fairly comfortably by some two minutes over Gancho in 2nd in a time of 1hr 25m 26s – so no record breaking so far. However, Nblr teammate Kitty Robinson came romping in fourth overall in a female record breaking 1hr 29m 18s! Huge well done. 😉  Previous records were 1hr 13m for the men, 1hr 31 for the ladies. Aberteifi RC runner David Warren still has a lot of speed left in his legs, as he came in a galloping 3rd overall in a time of 1hr 28m 24. More astounding is that he’s a male vet 60!!! There was some great running done by many, but what I love most, is the fact that this really challenges those that don’t tend to run this far….or on terrain like this. So I love hearing from them what they thought, and what they felt. 😉 

Other category winners- Catherine Treble, Westbury harriers- F40; Delyth Crimes, Sarn Helen-F50; Hazel Davies, Emlyn runners- F60. Some runners didn’t carry the mandatory kit so despite some good times weren’t officially placed. Hence why Dylan Davies, Amman Valley harriers took the M40.

The 24m Preseli Beast(PB), and 32m UltrabeasT(UB)) sets off at 10am, and there was a record number of entrants. 69 PB, and 41 UB runners. MDC runner, Matt O Keefe was running the PB, and out of the entrants I knew, I had him down to win. With the What’s app updates from the marshals out on the course, he was clearly leading this one, and by the time he finished, he was 30minutes ahead of second!!! However, he was still some 30minutes slower than the course record! I truly think this record will stick for a very long time.  

 The M40 class was strong, with 4 runners in the first 5 home! Just goes to show that you often get better at the longer distances as you get older.

First overall female back was Amman Valley runner, Clara Davies in a time of 4hrs 16m 19 seconds. She too was a F40 runner.

Other category winners were Ben Jones CDF runners-OM; Paul Beeson, Maldwyn runners-M50; Derek Spear, Run4All Neath- M60; Cassie JONES, CDF runners-OF; Jenny Heming, Eryri- F50; Deb Parr, Pembs harriers- F60.

Now for the 32m UltrabeasT.  More than a few of us were eager to see how this one was going to pan out. Peter Bray, the current record holder for the BB, and PB, was back and hungry for another scalping of the Beast! He led from the start, dropping two others after about mile 1! But could he keep up this extremely hot pace???? A few updates on the Whatsapp group got the marshals rushing to get into position earlier as he was again pushing the timings. He barely stopped at the aid stations and seemed to have a rocket stuck up his a**e! 😛 But there was still the fact of running out on the eastern side of the Preselis, where the ground can be quite savage if you take the wrong lines! However, the update from the marshals on Carn Alw, and on Foel Drygarn was that he was still flying! Only the matter of running back along the golden road, up onto Cwmcerwyn, and then it’s nearly 3 miles of downhill. With Sarah’s buggy bleating her horn to let us know that the leaders of each race were coming in, we knew he was going to totally obliterate the record. It was a whopping 42mins quicker in fact. That’s more than a minute a mile! Truly outstanding! So for the first time ever, the same male has the record for all three distances. Could that happen in the female category I wonder??? 😋 

Other category winners. Richard Jackson-M40 4th overall; Balazs Pinter, Aber AC-M50 6th overall: and the machine Dave Powell, Aber AC-M60 5th overall. 

The female race was pretty exciting too. I recognized a few entrants’ names, but also knew local lass F40 Tasha Sexton had been training hard. When she crossed the line first, she had given everything. I and loads of other were so chuffed for her, especially as she came in at 5hrs 54m 29s. 😉 MDC runner Katie Ironside was first OF lady in 6hrs 1m 17s. Another local lady Helen Platel took the F50 category in 6hrs 52m 1s; whilst we didn’t have any F60 entrants. Well done all who ran this one. It takes no prisoners!!! Great to see some old faces in this one, especially my mate Little Dave, who had his own ‘supporters’ group out on the course! 😋   Good to see a few runners stepping up to this one from having done either of the other routes in the past. Da iawn. 😉 

There was a special coronation prize giving ceremony this year. I’d come up with the idea of donning on a ‘crown’ and ‘royal gown’ on the overall male and female winner of each race, together with catagory winners either side. Well, it made many laugh. 😋 There was an extra special prize to Peter Bray too. I’d come up with the ‘Triple Crown’ award idea when thinking that he would deserve such an award should he take the record for all three distances. I have to thank Owen Davies of OED for not only making all the awards, but especially this special award with 36hrs notice! 😋 Diolch Owen, and well done Peter. 😉 

Category winners all received a trophy, and a bottle of either Gethins’ cider, or Mantle brewery ale to rehydrate! 😋 

Diolch i Pretty platters, and Llaeth Preseli Milk and Gelato for the mobile pop-up vans. 😉 

Ok, so I’m going to mention the only downer of the day, which was in the Beast Bach. Runners running with no kit! I’d emailed, put a notice in front of registration, and shouted it out before kit check was carried out. However, some runners decided to try and sneak around the back, and got in! The race insurance stipulates that runners must carry kit required and decided by the race organiser. Luckily nothing happened, but that’s not the reason for not carrying kit. You’re just cheating everyone else, including yourself. It puts yourself, others, and myself at risk. So please please please, bring kit with you to my races next time. As it was I had a very good volunteer marking your number down on the finish line and the very reason you didn’t get in the prize giving. I’ve also got to re-do the final results, and this will be rectified. This sounds harsh, but no it, no result. 

Back to it. I know it’s slightly wrong of me to highlight some people, but there are certainly some that need it. James G and Carz the plait for marking out some of the course, in pretty horrible conditions! Mr and Mrs Roberts from Oop North travelled down from Lancaster on Thursday, and didn’t stop whilst here. They’ve come down every year, and although they love it, it’s still a huge commitment, and pretty tiring given that they’re in their 70’s! After helping clear up the final things on Tuesday morning, they headed back up North. Diolch. 😉 Then finally there’s Rachel, Carolyn, Rhyds and the Boys. Rachel is so supportive and sorts a lot of the admin stuff out and keeps track of race day stuff, and people. Carz and the boys did a lot of running around getting last minute stuff, as well as giving me a hand to mark the course. 😉 xx

So, onto next year!!! 😋 Well, I’ve already announced that because it’s going to be the 10th anniversary of the full Beast, we’re adding in a ‘little extra hill’ known as the WoD(Wall of Death!!!), onto the BB and PB route. There will be no UB, but we will make a mini Beast, which won’t be that mini, and will also take in the WoD! Oh, joy of joys. 😋  I can’t quite decide if it’s going to be back on the Sat, or stay on the Sunday??? 

And before I sign off completely, there are still some other lower key races I organise, without the carnival feel of it all. Cheap to enter, but you still get tea and cake at the end. 😉

Next up is the Preseli DipDab- June 25th. A 4hr Orienteering score event where you’ll only get the map on the start line, and have 4hrs to find as many checkpoints as you can!

The short 3.5mile Carn Ingli Killer race- Tuesday eve 18th July, from Newport. Beast route up, across, and back down. Simple right? 😋 Marked route.

The 7mile Ras y Cerrig Las- Sun August 6th. A 7mile fell race taking in much of the eastern UB loop. Marked route.

And finally, the well established Ras Beca- August 19th. A 5.5mile fell race starting from near Crosswell. Marked route.

Link to all races page. The Races – The Preseli Beast

Some facts- 300 runners took part. Some 65 volunteers helped out. Muchios cake was eaten. Many miles were ran. Muchios beer was drunk in the Globe that night!!! 😋 Till next year. 

Diolch/Thanks. 😉 

Pps. One thing I totally forgot to mention, was Ticks!!! Check your legs, even up into your nether regions for these pesky blighters! You can use tweezers to try removing them, but it’s worth buying a simple tick remover. That’s all I’m saying. 😋 WARNING: The Most Horrific Tick Infestations – Bing video

Photos will be attached at some poijt, but most will be on the Beast fb page soon. 😉

The Beastly write up

Well, what does a massive bee, a human-sized traffic cone, an accordion playing dragon, a cutlass wielding pirate, and the top of town band all have in common?  Well, it’s the Resurrection of the Preseli Beast races of course! And these were just some of the marshals out on the course!!!

So, where does one start to write about this one???? A long two-year wait due to some bug going around and it’s finally back. It seems a long time ago now since the last proper one, and in that time there’s been lots of ups, and lots of downs! To be truthful, I wasn’t really looking forward to organising another Beast! I’d got used to it not being there, and the trouble and thinking I go through. BUT, now it’s come and gone, I’m glad I/we did it.

Before I talk about any of the races, I have to say a huge thanks to my family and close friends. You have stuck by me through thick and thin.

Then there’s those who have helped pre-Beast. Sorting out marshals and helping marking various sections of the course. I really couldn’t have done it without you.

The arrival of Mr and Mrs Roberts who travel down each year from Lancaster, just to help out!

Just prior to the race starting, I loved seeing photos of some of the marshals who had dressed up on the What’s app page! The army of volunteers are just amazing, and they’re simply the Best. They give up their time and energy to help make the Beast what it is. A huge Thanks to you all.

I also can’t thank tech whizz kid Tim Plumb enough for helping with the entry page, timing system, registration tool, and results page. Cheers Tim. Everything was a lot easier this year.

Then there’s Sarah in her Beastly buggy. Racing up and down the village. Leading the runners out, and then the first runners back in! Gives us a great warning.

Then there’s all the people who made and brought the mountain of CAKE! There was so much choice, and it was well scrummy…..so the runners said! 😉

There’s the top of Town band(mainly Shelley). She must have arms of steel, as she was banging on them drums for the runners going, and on their return!!! 😉

Siop Sarah, for the printing, and bananas. 😉

Etts electrical for sponsoring the race numbers.

Owen Davies(OED) for engraving the ‘leftover’ oak floorboards we used as trophies. 😊

Princes Gate water, for the water at the end.

And the whole village of Maenclochog for embracing the Beast. 😉

So, the races. We had a record number of pre entered runners for all races, but for some reason, many of whom couldn’t make it to the start line. Saying that, 31 UltrabeasT, and 53 Preseli Beast runners toe’d the line. Just prior to the start we held a quick race briefing, which involved a minute’s silence for those not with us. One of these in my mind was stalwart volunteers, Rose Eynon. She would always be out the front of Siop Sarah banging her drum and smiling. So it was lovely seeing a photo of her sister Ida doing the same!  

So, the starting gun went, and one runner in particular. No 445 was Peter Bray and was up at the top of the village in a flash and way ahead of the rest of the field within minutes. I soon heard that he had been quizzing what the current PB record was! Peter had smashed the Beast Bach record a few years ago, and it seemed he wanted another scalp under his belt. He did not disappoint. He caught many of the marshals out and was up on the usual times the first runners would usually arrive. My worry now had changed to ‘Is he going to meet the tail end of the Beast Bach runners????’ Well, Yes, he did! However, it couldn’t have slowed him up much as he was belting it back down through the village and even caught Sarah in her buggy and us out at the finish line!!! He smashed the old course record by some 8 minutes, to be the first ever (super)human to run under 3hrs! 2hrs, 56mins, 33 secs in fact. A new course record, which will take a lot of beating I think! This is also made more phenomenal as the course has changed a little this year, and is actually slightly longer! Way to go Peter. Look forward to seeing what you can do on the UltrabeasT now!!! 😛

It was a while before the second runner crossed the line, and it was local Ian Streeter who was second OM. 3rd  OM was another local, Rhys Harries. 1st Female and 4th overall was local Kitty Robinson who finished in 4hrs 2mins 24s. This is Peter Bray’s sister, so the running gene obviously runs through the family! 😉  1st M40 was MDC runner Sam Ryall in 4hrs 08mins, whilst his team mate Simon Darke took M60 honours in a great time of 4hrs 24min. Local runner and regular Beaster Huw Davies was first M50. Local lass Pip Welton who was super nervous before starting, smashed her way round to finish in 4hrs 38mins to take the F50 trophy. The F40 win went to another local, Tash Sexton. We had a few Ultra runners change down to the PB route just prior to Foel Feddau, but this did not alter any of the results.    

In the UltrabeasT, locals Sanna Duthie and Mike Monroe ran together for much of the route, but it was little powerhouse Sanna who took the overall win by some 4mins over MIke in a time of 5hrs 44mins! Sanna smashed the previous female record by some 11mins! Amazing, especially as there were no markers at all out that Ultra loop! 😉 Dan Jewell was 2nd male, whose parents live in the village. 😉  Another outstanding performance was by Aber AC runner, Dave ‘The Terminator’ Powell who was 1st M60 and 4th overall in 6hrs 4mins!!! Dave has been coming to the Beast for many a year, and always puts on a strong performance. 1st M40 and 5th overall was local Richard Simpson in 6hrs 17mins. Whilst another Aber AC runner Balaz Pinter took the M50 trophy in a time of 6hrs 30mins. It was yet another Aber AC runner in the form of Louise Barker who took home the F40 trophy in 6hrs 54mins. We didn’t have any F50 or F60 ladies compete this year.

Local Maenclochog boy Kevin Davies ran his first UltrabeasT this year. Kevin was one of my volunteers for a few years. He was inspired to don some daps and get out running. He took part in the BB, before moving up to the PB successfully. As he said, he’s not getting any younger, so wanted to have a bash at the UB before he gets too old. It’s stories like this that made me do the Beast, and I was so happy to see him finish within the cut off time. Da iawn Kev. I bet that beer tasted sweet afterwards. 😉

And so the Beast Bach. Some 153 runners toe’d the line for this one. There were definitely some of regular faces in this one, and some of the speedy ones were back again. Regular speedster Mark Horsman beat the rest of the field home in 1hr 24min, and was also 1st M40! He was so happy to finally win the BB outright after trying so hard the last few years and coming in the top 5 on numerous times. Hot on his heels was newby Steffan Davies from Carmarthen Harriers. One to look out for I think. Local Steve Williams was 1st M50, just ahead of his rival M50 Alec Williams. Mercia runner Glen Davies took 1st M60 spot, in 19th position overall! 

In the female category, Sarn Helen runner Dee Jolly took top honours again being 1st OF in 1hr 38mins and 19th overall, whilst her team mate Lou Summers took 1st F50 in 1hr 50min. She was closely followed by F40 winner Clare Harris in 1hr 51min  Lon Morgan took home the F60 trophy.

Having everything on the village green seemed to go really nicely for everyone, and it was really nice for the volunteers and runners alike to sit and watch runners coming in. It may have been too convenient to the Globe Inn as some were re-hydrating pretty well in no time at all!!!

After the runners had finished they were treated to scrummy cawl made by Caffi’r sgwar. Thank you.

Also outside the Globe later on was the mobile Pretty Platters, who made delicious hot food. Nice.

 It was so lovely seeing some old, and new faces at the Beast this year. Thanks for coming, and for some of your kind comments that you’ve taken F50 winner he time to write.

Lastly, this write-up wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a close friend of ours who passed away just a few days after the Beast.

Dear Wynn Cliff was a huge part of the Beast, and in fact it was her and her late husband Steve who were inspirational in getting the Beast underway in the first place! They organised the Anniversary Waltz, and the Teenager with Altitude in the Lake District. I remember Steve coming down the night before our first race, and getting straight into sorting the spreadsheets out as I’d not done it right! Wynn was the calm one who made sure all were fed and watered, and knew how to sort out registration. I first met Wynn a few years previous to that, in a very remote car park at the bottom of the Roman Steps at around 4am! We were there to support a certain Rob Woodhall on his Meirionydd round. She calmly got out of the car and said you must be Caz. She proceeded to get out all manner of cooking equipment and got a brew on and cooked some porridge! She later catered on road support on my Paddy Buckley, Bob Graham, and Meirionydd rounds. 😉 She, and Steve, became dear friends to both Rachel and myself. You will be sorely missed Wynnie pegs.

If these last couple of years have reinforced anything, it’s to cherish each other. So, the Beast has been finally resurrected. Runners came, they ran, they were cheered, then they returned. A huge thanks to you all for everything, marshals, supporters, and runners alike.

So the Beast isn’t just a race anymore, it’s started to become a bit of an institution to attend by many of the regulars. I was however very sad to hear before race day that the man usually dressed in a pink tutu couldn’t come this year. He’d come down with the dreaded Cov just prior to the day, and so he missed the only Beast to date. Little Dave attended the first ever Beast in 2013 and each year afterwards. You were very much missed Big man.

Diolch/Thanks.

Caz the Hat.

Ps- Don’t forget, that I also organise other races too! 😉

Next one is the Preseli DipDab on Sat June 25th at 10am. A 6, 10, or 17mile(approx) orienteering type event. The Long is a counter in the South Wales fell running champs series!

Carn Ingli Killer- A 3.5mile (park)run! Tuesday 19th July at 7pm.

Cerrig Glas- A 7mile run on Sunday 7th August.

All the above details can be found on  https://preselibeast.com/races/

Final Pre-race details.

https://preselibeast.realtimeracing.co.uk/

Shwmae we Beasties.

The Beast is nearly with us, so there’s a few important things to note before coming.

Parking– This will primarily be in the Community hall car park, and the field beyond, as in previous years. You can camp in the field on the night before and on Sat night if you so wish. There is also parking in the public car park opposite The Globe pub. If these car parks fill up, then there will be an overspill car park in the primary school car park/playground which is situated 100yds above the green on the right. 

Registration– We’re hoping that this will be done on the village green, where the finish usually is. However, this depends on the weather, in which case we’ll be in the village hall. Registration opens for PB and UB, 08.45am- 09.45am, whilst the BB is 10.15am – 12.15pm. There will be two tables- Surname A-M, and surname M-Z

Tshirts– Ok, so those that have ordered a Tshirt, you can collect your Tee just after registering. If you didn’t order one, but you’d like to buy one, then come back after 1pm and see if there are any available. On a slightly sad note the Tshirt company have printed these on cotton T’s, and not on wicking Ts sorry. They still look great though. 

 Wristband timing system– A wristband will be given to you at registration. It’s your responsibility to make sure you wear/keep this on you at all times AND make sure you dib in at the end!!! This is the only way you’ll be given a time/placing! Results will be viewed on-line soon as runners cross the line. https://preselibeast.realtimeracing.co.uk/ Cheers Tim. 😉

Race numbers- This will be given to you at registration. Please safety pin your number to the front of you! It makes it soooooo much easier for marshals at checkpoints, especially when there’s a few of you!

The Start– This might be on the big finishing green this year, so please bear this in mind. There might be some hugging, as it used to be! If you don’t want a hug, then that’s fine. When it gets to the higging stage, just put your arms in a cross across your chest to stop being hugged by a random runner! PB and UB start at 10.00am, whilst the BB start at 12.30pm.  

 Kit– Please bring with you to the event all the kit you’d need as specified on the WFRA website, ie- Full waterproof top and bottoms, hat/buff, gloves, whistle. This might change to a windroof top instead of waterproof top depending on weather forecast. And this will be announced on a board near registration on the day. For the P Beast and UltrabeasT you’ll also need a map and compass, as both routes will not be fully marked! I will have printed PB/ and extra UB loop maps on the Tshirt table, and these can be bought for 50p each. However these will not be waterproof, so please bring a polypocket or similar. Otherwise print your own off from the Beast website- The Routes with Photos – The Preseli Beast

Marshals– There are load of marshals out along the course. Please say a big thanks to those you see. 😉 

Course markers– The Beast Bach is fully marked, but the Preseli Beast and UltrabeasT will not be fully marked. Markers will be either yellow painted arrows, white painted canes, and metal pins with small red flags on top.

Water and food along the course. There will be water/food in both Gwaun valley checkpoints, Newport, Tafarn y Bwlch road crossing/BB turn around, and at Foel Drygarn for the UB. Food will be jelly babies, and bite size pieces of soreen/choccy bars. We will NOT be providing cups at these stations, so it’s up to you to provide a bottle/cup to drink from. This is to reduce waste and cost. 

Water along the course. At the bottom of the Beasts Back, you’ll cross a stream. There is an earlier stream which is rocky, but it’s best to drink from the second one.  This is a great place to refill your bottle or drink from. This will be the last place to drink for those doing the BB/PB. It’s approx 4/5miles from the finish, but it’ll feel longer as you’ve got two big climbs to do! For those doing the UB, then there’s a couple of water courses to fill up from before Foel Drygarn/furthest point, but once you leave Foel Drygarn, then there’s no water until the finish! 😋

 Roads!- We try to make the best efforts to inform other road users that a running race is on by placing the correct signage and having marshals in place. However it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s safe to be on the road. The roads are not closed off to traffic, so please be vigilant when going on the road, however small the road is!

Finish– Make sure you dib your wristband as soon as you finish. Then please remove your wristband and place it in the wristband bucket. 😉 Once you finish, please collect your coaster, and food token and cake token. You’ll need the token to get cawl and cake!

Water at the end. There will be a free water bottle and a banana after you finish, so please look out for these. There will be no goody bag, sorry. 

 Food– Caffi’r sgwar will be making the usual tasty cawl, and this will be served from the door on the left hand side of the cafe. Do not go inside the cafe to get your cawl!You will need to bring your own bowl and spoon, and your own mug for teas/coffeesYou’ve been warned!

Prizes– We will only be awarding trophies to the first in each category in each distance. If you see a star next to your name on the online results, then please be on the green for presentations between 3 and 4pm. If you have to go before that, then please come and see myself or someone who knows what they’re doing!

Retiring before the finish. If you retire somewhere out on the course, then PLEASE return to the finish as soon as you can. This is so that we can get the wristband off you, and know that you’re safe and ok. Please don’t just send me a message, as I may not see it. Feel free to try ringing me if needs be, but again, don’t just leave a message as I may not get it. If we don’t know where you are, there might be a search party out looking for you!!! 

Afterwards– Please relax on the green if you have time, and watch/clap/shout the other runners coming in. The Globe is just across the road, as is the Caffi’r sgwar. The Pretty platters mobile gourmet food stall will also be there too from 3pm to 9pm! 😉 

Please check your legs?! Yes folks, it’s coming up to that time of your when those horrible little Ticks are about again. How To Remove Ticks – Bing video.

Post run Massage! Chris of Trailhead sports and coaching is a qualified sports masseur and will be providing pain, I mean massage, for those wanting to try and ease those aching muscles. Look out for him in a tent on the green, or in a small quiet room in the hall. 😉 

And after everything has finished, please feel free to join me/us in the Globe for a beer……….or five! 😋 

 
See ya Sat,

for hugs.

Caz the Hat.

PS- I have a new hat! 😋 

Orders for Tshirts have ceased!

I’ve had to order the Tshirts today, so I won’t be taking any more orders sorry. You’ve had your chance! We’ll be giving out the Tees at registration only to those who have pre-ordered. After registration has closed, and both races have started there may be some leftover, so there might be the oppurtunity to buy one after that time./………..if you’re quick!

Thanks,

Caz the Hat.