Last weekend saw hundreds of runners arrive at the gorgeous Coed Llandegla Forest in Denbighshire to compete in the second staging of Always Aim High’s Big Welsh Trail. The event, which comprised both a 10K and half marathon, was billed as one of the most exciting trail races in the UK with the routes devised by international mountain runner Rob Samuel.
The races drew in a field of nearly 350 trail participants, all of whom tackled the rolling, tree-lined footpaths of Offa’s Dyke. Both events, supported by One Planet Adventure, also gave competitors a taste of some of the more fun aspects of trail running, especially a dual section of bog close to the Aber Sychnant moor and the beautiful Pendinas reservoirs in the last three miles of the race.
Cardiff-based Michael Kallenberg ran out as an impressive winner in the men's half marathon covering the trail in a swift 1:25:25. The women’s competition was won by 2013 champion, Sarah Caskey who narrowly beat second placed, Lisa Morley, in a time of 1:49:49. Earlier Jamie Loxam (40:44) was an equally impressive winner of the 10k event, as Wrecsam Tri member Helen Davies proved a comfortable victor of the female section in 48:12.
Speaking about the success of the event, Always Aim High events director Tim Lloyd stated: "I don't think we could have wished for more on the second Big Welsh Trail. We have been lucky with the weather, we were expecting torrential rain but it never came and in the end it was great running conditions for all.
Secondly, I am particularly pleased with the feedback that we have been getting from the runners out there on the route. It seems that in particular the Aber Sychnant bog has been a big source of fun for many, going to show what great spirit exists within trail running. Additionally I think the mix of forest trails, challenging technical single track and the friendly nature of the event has been infectious - a great day has been had by all!"
Further information on the events is available at the Big Welsh Trail website.
Photo Credit: Sports Pictures Cymru