The 2024 Beastly write up.

Well, what can I say??? Mmm, I’m not sure where to begin… Let’s start with the WoD.

I first discovered part of the WoD a few years ago. I’d come running to the quarry half way up from the Rosebush side a few times and even put that top steep section into the Ras Cwmcerwyn race a few years back. I then found a different way down to what I thought was the bottom, and used to do that……. for training! However, the descent down was initially pretty rough, and far too rough for most peeps. Then I found a better way down to the actual bottom where I used the lumpy tussock as the landmark for the bottom of the WoD.  Oh joy! During covid, I used this new WoD route climb as a way of getting 10,000ft in the shortest amount of distance as possible. 12 reps in one go was all it took!!!!! (My sanity was questioned a few times!)

So, a route had been set. I took a few locals out and showed them the way of the WoD. This then became a bit of a favourite amongst a few of us, especially as there was now a strava segment up it too! Some even took to making the WoD stick, and it also had the odd dance around it! Lol.

So, the 10th Anniversary Beast. Where have those years gone to eh? It seemed like a different Beast back then; the start was actually ½ mile out of the village and we had 112 runners in the Beast and Beast Bach combined. One of the runners who took part in that inaugural event (Little Dave) said that this race was one of the best he’d done and would go from strength to strength. How right he was.

The question that had been going through my mind for a long time was how could I add the WoD to the Beast, and what would people think of it? As a fell runner, hills like these aren’t ‘abnormal’ and so while some of you might think it’s crazy, there are loads of fell races with bigger climbs! However, the addition of it to the Beast would certainly put some folk out of their comfort zone, especially as it’s towards the end!!! With this being a special year, then why heck not?

So I included the WoD in all races as a present to you all, and myself. I think the Twt route will avoid the WoD in future and go up to Cwmcerwyn the normal route but will continue to be included in both other distances. As promised there will be an online poll to see what the participants think so watch this space…

Ok, that’s probably enough about the WoD for now.

The build up to the Beast starts quite a few months before the event really. What started as the two of us putting on a race has developed into an event that really does take a whole community to make it a success. So I’m going to explain a bit of the various parts and say some thank yous.  Pretty much after one race has finished we have to work out if we’re going to do merchandise, and what designs are we going to do/make for the next one. I’m really fortunate to have a very talented wife so most of that is down to her. Our daughter, Carolyn (Carz the Plait), her hubby Rhyds, and our grandsons also play a part in lots of the planning and designing, so a big huge thanks to them too. This year there were new flags to design and approve, new T-shirts, and new buffs! Another person who has played a big part this year, is Mr Tim Plumb. He’s designed new timing boxes for key locations. This then avoids the route marshals to having to write down runners’ numbers and times. This is particularly helpful when the two routes converge and there are runners coming from different directions! Tim also did the online registration tool, and the results. So thank you Tim. The results also show split times between the sections, which is great if you want to see how you got on.

Valero kindly sponsored the Beast for its inaugural event, and now the Beast was 10, it ideally needed some more kit. So thank you for sponsoring new flags (which were really helpful to see where the top of the WoD was!!!!!!), and new tables. Diolch. We decided to do Tshirts this year, and to aid promotion, we’d asked some local businesses if they’d like the opportunity to have their names on the back of the Tshirts. Thank you muchly to(in no particular order) Caffi’r Sgawr, Pretty Platters, The Globe, Young Bros, Running Free, Rock & Dough, Valero, and Etts electrical. Etts also sponsored the race numbers, which they have done now for many years. Thank you all. 😉

Trophies were sponsored by Stopio; Fir club; Hains & Lewis; Golden Road gin; Clive & Sian Rees; and Danclawdd cottage. Diolch yn fawr I chi gyd.

Trophies and coaster were all made locally by Owed Davies(OED woodturning). 😉

Thank you to Siop Sarah, for many things, including driving her Beastly buggy like a crazy fool up and down the village; and to Arfryn dairies for donating the milk for hot wets. 😉

The locally made Gethin’s cider was donated as extra prizes by Gethin from the village. 😉   

The cake makers! Huge thanks to everyone who made and brought the humongous amount of cake. You’re all absolute diamonds. The cake table was again groaning under it’s weight of cake. 😉

Thanks to the hard working cawl crew at Caffi’r Sgwar who supplied the runners and also kept many supporters fed and watered. Thanks too to The Globe, Pretty Platters, and Llaeth Preseli for supplying their various forms of goodiness. 😉

Now for The Beastly volunteers! What can I really say about the humongous army of volunteers that hasn’t been said by many of you runners before. They are totally amazing and brilliant, and the whole event could not go ahead without them! They usually amaze me most years, but this year they’ve blown me away by everything they did. There were some amazing costumes, brilliant bit of thinking on the spot, the top of town band were there as usual…immense, the cracking registration and finishing team, tea and coffee crew, fantastic marshals out on the course, and most of them did some really long stints! I love them all. And as for this brilliant village? Waw, what can I say??? I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to feel and see what the villagers were doing, but some of the videos I’ve seen are superb. Diolch o dalpen pawb. Xx

Mr and Mrs Roberts from the north are notable persons I also have to mention. They travel down from Lancaster specifically to help. They arrive on the Thurs, get stuck in straight away, and don’t stop until they leave on Monday morning. Mrs Roberts also makes a small mountain of cake too! Diolch both.

And lastly, but certainly not least, (mainly as they were sweeping at the back anyway), Sam and Rich. For those who don’t know, the ‘sweeper’ is a runner who follows the back of the running pack and ensures that we know all the runners have come in off the course.They also doing a sterling job of collecting all the markers and signs! They had entered into the Beast a while ago, and because they have entered into a 100miler in June, they’d decided to run a back-to-back Beast! They had planned on running a Beast on the Friday, and on race day! On Friday they’d also agreed to mark the Newport sections of the route, with Mr Tim Plumb, and I’d agreed to meet them at Sychpant, and Newport to give them some sustenance, and the markers. Whilst at Newport Sam said that he might sweep for me on Beast day, but I’d turned round and said that I already had a sweeper. However, just after they’d left, I had a message to say that my original sweeper wasn’t well enough to sweep. No worries I thought, Sam and Rich have just volunteered themselves!!! So when they finally  finished back in the shire, I asked them, and they kindly agreed. 😉 Thanks both.  

And now for the actual races. Not a lot to say really!!! Joking. Firstly, weren’t we lucky with the weather???? A really wet winter was starting to worry me somewhat. What if the wet weather was going to last until Beasty day???? I’d asked all my volunteers to keep their fingers and toes crossed for the week before and on the day, and so it did! It makes a huge difference to the event, and the Green looked like a small carnival!

Ok, back on to the race. Thank you to the WFRA Welsh and South Wales Race Championships selectors for nominating the Preseli Beast into their champs counters. It made for a very fast and interesting race. The 24miler went off just after 10am, where everyone kindly held a few moments of silence with me for much missed friend and fellow runner Mark Beasley ( Beaso), and local farmer Dilwyn Vaughan (Beast route runs through their farm) who had passed away recently. It was a touching moment just before both races started. Thank you. xx

Daniel Donnelly left the crowd right from the start, and was pulling away by the time he’d reached the top of the village. I hadn’t really clocked his name on the entry list, so it was anyone’s race I thought. He finished in 3hrs 37mins. Another surprise and shocker of an entry was realising until near to the end that UK Skyrunner, Holly Page, had entered and was running! Quite a lot of the team had no idea of who she was, but I’ve read about many of her successes in the UK as well as overseas! She’d been running a sensible race until Newport where she was 6th overall, and then started using the men in front of her who had sprinted off to pull back through the field as the race went on. When I heard she was second overall at the bottom of the WoD, I was blown away that she was even here!!! She flew up the WoD, and back to the finish to keep hold of second overall in 3:53:22. I believe that’s the highest ranked female finisher in the Beast ever! Awesome! 😉 I quizzed her afterwards on what she thought of the race/event, and she said it was utterly awesome. 😉 Overall winner Daniel was pretty stoked about the race/ route/event too, and was really chuffed with his win. Alistair Burleigh had a great run and took MV40 win and third overall in 4:01:59, whilst 1st local home was Nblr Ollie Minton, 6th overall in 4:12:14. Jez Brown(who has came 2nd overall previously) also ran a fantastic race to take the MV50 trophy and 7th overall in 4:12:59.

Mynydd Du lass Rhian Probert is having a good season and took 1st FV50 and 16th overall in 4:30:15, whilst John Langton was just behind her taking the MV60 trophy in 4:34:51. Claire Prosser took the FV40 trophy in 4:54:00 and 28th overall. Local ‘Clochog lad James Greenhalgh ran a great race to be 2nd MV50 in a time of 4:43:34. Not bad considering he’s had a new hip! Aber AC runner Karen Kenish took home the FV60 trophy in a 5:54:33, and was 74th overall.

I know I should never name favourite people, but I just have to mention the ‘Big guy’, Little Dave. There’s only one Beast he’s missed, and always puts in his all. The weekend before the Beast he’d run the GL3D’s(3 days of running in the Lakes!) ‘Adventure’ class, and was one of only two runners who had managed to get around to visiting ‘all’ the checkpoints out on the course!!! He ran the Beast nursing a poorly ankle, and still finished a very credible 27th overall in 4:53:58!!! Boom!

Ok, now for the Beast Bach. This was hotly contested between local lad Ed Clements and Jacob Tasker, with Ogmore Phoenix runner Jacob taking the win in 1:27:23. Very good going considering they also had the WoD to do! Ed finished in 1:29:35. The remarkable Cardigan RC runner David Warren ran a stormer of a race in 1:42:35 to finish 4th overall…..and take the MV60 trophy!!! Boom! Well done young man. Current King of the WoD strava segment is Ed Morris, who finished 5th. Pembs harriers Roscoe Howell won the MV40 trophy in 1:47:02 and was 6th overall. Brynberian lad Chris Welton was 14th and took the MV50 trophy in 2:01:10, whilst Rowan Saxton was right behind him and took the u23 win in 2:01:31. First female overall in 17th position was Catrin Donnelly in 2:02:40. Local lass Lottie Chant ran a great race to come 25th and take the FV40 title in 2:08:33, whilst Sarn Helen runner Delyth Crimes was 38th in 2:17:59 to take the FV50 win. The remarkable Neil Owen was 45th in a time of 2:22:14, and took home the MV70 trophy! The legendary Wasdale wombler Lindsay Buck had made a special trip to the Preselis and scurried away away with the FV60 trophy in 2:25:28 and 52nd overall. She was closely followed by 2nd FV60 Flora Gunner in 2:26:52 and 57th. Another notable person I have to mention, is MV60 legend, Lenny the lion. He’d had a massive heart attack a few weeks ago, had 4 stents fitted, and here he was running the Beast Bach in 2:27:48!!! Eryri Harrier Maggie Oliver ran a great race considering she’s in her 70s, and was 213th in 3:33:17. Out of the 255 starters, 244 finished the race correctly! Unfortunately some runners again did not carry the mandatory kit, even though there was a kit check at the start. So some of those who did run and finished were DQ’d!. If you want to complain, then please contact the WFRA, as it is under their rules and guidance that this race is insured under. Some of you may probably run in the hills with no kit, but please consider what would happen to you should you injure yourself severely that you’re unable to move for several hours!!!! This was mentioned several times on my website, emails, and kit check!

Ok, what’s more to say, apart from a huge thank you to each and every one of you. For taking the time to enter, travel, and make this event what it is. Diolch.

Some fun facts. There was probably more cake made and consumed here than at most cake fayres! I’m pretty confident in saying that there were more fancy dressed marshals here than on any other fell races. Where else would you find a lobster, and the Carn Ingli pirate to name a few.

Where else would you find 34 quirky fun signs out on the course of a fell race?

Where else would you get to hug three others on a start line?

There were 67 marshals on the whats app group, and not everyone was on there!

It was the most finishers to date.

Is the WoD the biggest climb in the Preselis? No, but it’s probably the hardest…..as most of you have found out! Lol Will be in again???

Furthest travelled? The Dutch contingent from Holland I believe! Thank you.

So that’s about it. As for the rest of the year??? Next up is the DipDab on Sat 22nd June. This is a 4hr orienteering type event, where you have up to 4hrs to try and collect as many points as possible by using the map that you get given on the start line.

Then there’s the Carn Ingli Killer on Thursday 18th July. A 5k run in the(Pembs National) park. Not your average ‘park’ run! Enter on the night for 3 whole pounds!

Ras Y Cerrig Glas is on Sun 4th Aug. A 7miler on a beautiful course. Includes a 0.5, and 1mile route for kids.

The legendary historic Ras Beca race in Sat 17th Aug, again with kids races.

And then finally to the Brussel Buster. This is a fun 2hr score orienteering event at night usually held between Christmas and the New year. Date to be confirmed. These races can be found under races on the Preseli Beast website. Just don’t expect it to be the same as the Beast!

I will add a link here soon for a print out of results.

Should have mentioned it before now, but PLEASE CHECK YOUR BODY FOR TICKS!!!

Diolch o dalpen/Thanks in heaps, and huge hugs to you all. xx 

Ps- Thanks for taking the time to write such lovely comments on social media, and in the Beastly book. 😉😉😉 xx

Pps- If I’ve missed you out from this write up, then I’m really sorry! xx

T-minus 4.1 days!

So, Beast Bach entries have closed, and you only have till Tuesday evening to enter the 24mile Preseli Beast!

For those entered, please read through the race day info page asap. There will be a declaration to read, and then a form for you to sign to say that you’re happy to run in the event.

It’s a go, go, go at Beast HQ from now on, so apologies if I don’t get to reply to emails etc.

For those entered the Preseli Beast, and want to drop down to do the Beast Bach(or Twt), then just turn up on the day for the relevant registrstion time, and explain to the registration team. There is no need to email me before!

Whatever you do, BRING KIT, and a bowl, mug, and spoon!

Mid April update

Beastly update.
Entries are coming in nicely. Thanks to those who have already entered. 😉 If you haven’t already entered, then there is still space at the moment. I’ll be closing Beast Bach & Twt entries on Sunday 5th May, and Preseli Beast entries on Tuesday 7th May

If you’ve already entered, but now want to either change distance or transfer to someone else, then this is best done on the day at the registration tent. Please don’t email or message me asking to change it before hand.

New Tshirts, flags, and new buffs, as well as some other event stuff have been finalised and ordered. 😉 Photos below. 😉

If you fancy helping out on the day, whether marshalling somewhere, or on the village green, then please get in touch. There’s cawl, tea and cake for all helpers. 😉

Huge thank you to the many businesses who have sponsored T-, shirts, trophies, and race numbers. 😉 There are still some trophies available for sponsorship, so please be quick. 😉
Preview of Tshirts, flags, and buffs below. Tshirts will be in colour, rather than white. It’ll be first come first served on the day. 😉 No pre-ordering.

Pretty platters and caffi’r sgwar will be offering their tasty food near to the village green throughout the day. Plus the ever amazing Siop Sarah and the garage will also be open for anything and everything else. 😉

Some of you want to know what the difference is between the Beast Bach, and Beast Bach Twt is? The link below has the three various routes and the elevation stats for you to peruse through.

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. 😉