Distance: 8km / 5m
Climb: 290m / 951ft
Venue: Moelyci Environmental Centre, Tregarth, Bangor, LL57 4BB. SH593678
Skills & experience: n/a
Race is at 12 noon. We’ll meet to leave the club car park at 9.40 am.
Race Organiser: Gary Porter-Jones 07927 655935
Venue and Registration: Moelyci Environmental Centre, Tregarth, Gwynedd. SH593 678
Considered by many to be one of the classic local short fell races, Eryri Harriers’ Moel y Ci race is traditionally one of the first in the North Wales fell running calendar. It usually attracts a large field of athletes keen to test how effective their winter training has been. Starting and finishing at the Moelyci Environmental Centre, Tregarth, the 8k/+290m; 5m/+950ft route consists of various terrain that will test the runner’s speed, agility and confidence. First, the short uphill section through fields which are usually extremely boggy this time of year leads to the stile that joins a small single track road at the brow of a hill. Don’t be deceived by the gentle-looking ¾ mile of road, as its potholes and slippery surface will readily rob the unwitting runner of their orthostatic stance. A turn off to the left then takes runners uphill again and onto the grassy path in an anti-clockwise direction round to the south side of Moel y Ci. From the path’s Tynllidiart junction, the grassy surface gives way to a stony and uneven track. A squeeze through the kissing gate sees the runners push hard up and over the false summit and eventually on to the summit Trig Point along the well worn sheep trods that wind their way through peaty, shoe-sucking bogs. From the top, it’s a fast and potentially ankle-twisting descent, whether you choose to run in the path chiselled into the side of the hill, or the thick blankets of rock-concealing heather either side of it. Near the bottom, the marshal directs runners in an easterly direction into the dark woods, where agility is the key to avoiding stumps, roots and slippery rocks. The darkness of the woods soon yields to the slightly brighter February daylight, the relatively foot-sure, yet pothole-laden road again back uphill to the stile, the slippery grass and the skin-shredding thorns and bracken. This is where local knowledge can pay dividends if the best line is chosen. The final ½ mile of the return route sees runners sent in a short anti-clockwise loop towards the finish, where the observant runner may notice the remains of the old railway tracks underfoot. Only a very short hobble from the welcoming finish line is freshly cooked soup with a roll, and the many other local products on sale at this fantastic and extremely supportive environmental centre.
Male record: 35.10 Richard Roberts (2012)
Female record: 41.38 Jackie Lee (2009)