Race the Train
17th August 2013


Official Results

Larissa Clarke 1.58.17
Sarah Wanden 2.13.05

This race's reputation preceded it, and I entered it on a whim after my first lap of Thunder Run a couple of weeks back. About Weds last week it dawned on me that I would be driving almost 400 miles to run 14 -ah well, in for a penny and all that.

Over 1000 runners on the start line of this 14 mile race, the idea being that you try to beat the train running on the narrow gauge railway (the passengers are family and friends of the runners) the atmosphere was amazing, Tywyn is a small coastal town in North Wales and the arrival of a huge amount of runners filled the town. There were four races  on, a three mile, five mile, 10k and the fourteen mile. The 14miler was the big event starting at 2.05pm. Weather was windy and warm, I say 'was' for a reason. The first few mile or so was on the road, a little congested due to the volume of runners but this soon sorted itself out as we ran onto the fields. Going out you could hear the train, and sometime see the steam above the treeline. As we progressed it began to rain a little, the marshals were amazing, all smiling and cheering us on whilst getting soggy.

There were a few sharp hills, some uneven surfaces and some small streams to pass through, all the time the wind was behind us, by the turnaround point everyone was pretty soggy, and loving it! At 7 miles we turned boom! the wind was straight in our faces, pushing us back and it remained this way almost to the end, we then ran up the hill we had been running next to, it got very steep and narrow so walking and single file running was required. Some of the course was fairly technical, you really had to focus, the rain by this time was coming across sideways and very heavy, brilliant!! We passed through the bog of doom (I may have had a little incident here) and soon were out on to the open mountainside. The camber was just ridiculous, so difficult to run on, you really needed one leg shorter than the other! Soon we joined the original path we had run out on, seeing the same smiling soggy marshals and back on to more familiar territory. To beat the train you needed to be faster than 1.47 and a few did achieve this, about ten per cent I believe.

Personally I managed 2.13 which gave me 14th of 35 in my age category...but this race was not really about getting a time, it was about having a good time! Amazing medal, blingy t shirt, biggest race goody bag I've ever received, wonderful marshals, more water stations than you could imagine, with isotonic drinks and smiley faces, brilliant after race social, disco, hot pasties (1) this is THE race to tick off, and what's more it's set in the most stunning North Welsh countryside, I almost stopped at about ten miles to admire a waterfall! The campsite I stayed on was great, clean and cheap with warm water and good wet room style showers. Nearby is Aberystwyth Parkrun and there's also the beach if you fancy it. A 'must do' race if get the chance!

And here's the bling


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