Old Greybeard’s shortest ever bit at the front

Hi Chums! A rather abbreviated newsletter this time but time is pressing and now that the

nights are drawing in we are sure that you really, really want to know about the Winter

League fixtures. So here we are, with the results of the summer championships and a couple

of articles thrown in for good measure.


Pencampwriaeth Cymru/Welsh Championships 2000

Winners and MDC (and Brycheiniog!) positions in the Open championships were:

Ladies (64 competed)

  1. Sam Bretherick Preseli 345 points 11. Ruth Pickvance MDC 90

(bit short of MDC ladies this year!)

Congratulations to Ruth, who became MDC’s first English international by being selected for

the World Trophy in Germany, which should be taking place as you read this. The Welsh

team has been selected but I’m afraid I haven’t got the names. Sack the Editor!

Men (387 competed)

1. Colin Donnelly V Eryri 410 2. Pete Maggs V MDC 333
6. Neil Lewis S MDC 292 11. Steve Brown V MDC 259
31. Joe Blackett S MDC 191 38. Dave Omerod SV MDC 181
44. Eric Meredith SV MDC 173 54. Cledwyn Jones SSV MDC 146
69. John Sweeting SV MDC 113 80. Tom Gibbs S MDC 99
102. Ade Orringe V MDC 92 110. Chris Gildersleve V Brycheiniog 90
103. Steve Froggatt S MDC 84 156. Simon Blease V Brycheiniog 82
104. Alwyn Nixon V MDC 79 189. Mike Harris V MDC 73
222= John Peake V MDC 66 222= Bart Rees S MDC 66
325 Dave Malatynski V MDC 44 329. Mike Hicks SSV MDC 43


New club vests are now available: limited stock only at £12 each. The red and green (or

green and red) stripes now run vertically down the sides in the latest trendy style and

MYNYDDWYR DE CYMRU is printed on the chest (spelled correctly this time!). Fred

Parry has them at present: contact him (01633 423664) or Martin (01656 880009) to order


Also, a small number of the ‘Red Dragon’ Welsh Mountain Runners sweatshirts are now

available due to public demand. A bargain at £12 from Martin and Kay (01656 880009)

and ideal for posing at those chilly Winter League venues or at the bar of the Muddy Dap.

People who have pre-ordered will get theirs as soon as we see the colour of their money!


Midnattsollop/Ras canol y nos

Douglas Adlam

Seven club members turned up for the 20 June club run at Tyinkrysset, Norway at

different times and from different directions but all having partaken in some serious in-

cruise smorgasbord en route. Derek and Shirley, for example, took the cliffhanger route

from Bergen snaking up the precipice from the fjord to about 1700m where although the

road was clear, the snow was piled up above car height on both sides! Jenny took the low

altitude high-speed route whilst the Greybeards, Fred and Douglas took the medium level

cross country scenic route from Kristiansand.

That set the scene because even in disappointing weather Norway is spectacularly

beautiful with fjords, waterfalls, glaciers, wilderness and all that tourist brochure stuff- it

is for real! The highlight of the trip was probably a close encounter with a herd of 50-odd

reindeer (followed by a meal of bambi-steaks) in the course of a bimble into the wilds

behind the hut. The precise definition of bimble as opposed to mong is lost in the mists of

jargon and subjectivity ask anyone who was there. (3 bimbles =I mong = the Transfan:


The Midnight Sun Run itself involved a steep and stony track, the crossing of some rough

but flattish ground with swamp and scrub to the ‘notch’ (inspiration for the t-shirt) and the

ascent and descent of a steep snow filled gully (whee!), all in about 450m height

difference from around the 1,000m mark. It wasn’t quite a midnight run, because the

weather was obviously fast closing in again, but it was near enough.

Photos may appear in the next edition – equally, if there is sufficient interest, it may run

again next year.

Old Greybeard adds:

From the original idea of Doug and Jenny of ‘why don’t we have a Tuesday night run from

our hut in Norway?’ this turned into a memorable trip to a fascinating and spectacular part

of the world, and it was good to see that more people turned out than for certain local runs

Over the week we reached satisfactory levels of exhaustion by a combination of long

walks, runs, mountain biking, canoeing, chopping logs for the stove and carrying endless

buckets of water up from the stream to feed the shower, all of which helped to work off the

excesses of Norwegian Ferries smorgasbord.

The scenery was indeed as good as the guide books say, with large areas of snow and

frozen lakes between spectacular pointy mountains with equally spectacular Norse names.

The midnight sun run almost lived up to its name, but the sun had just dipped below the

horizon as we reached the summit. Plenty of daylight for the photos though, and by the

time we had drunk the celebratory champagne back at the hut at about 2 a.m. dawn was


I could go on about the scenery and the wildlife (ptarmigan, reindeer but not an elk in sight

despite all the warning road signs) and the price of the beer (ouch!), but space is short. If

there’s another opportunity to go say ‘yes please, me, me, me!’, as I know you’ll have a

good time. Just ask and we’ll show you the photos!

ACE Race Round 2-Snowdonia: Tom Gibbs

Round 2 of the ACE Race series saw competitors gather under the shadow of Cadair ldris in Coed Y Brenin Forest.

The talk on the Friday evening was of what the organiser, Phil Humphreys, would do or to put it another way, how tired

everyone would be by Sunday afternoon.

Adventure racing is growing fast in the UK and ACE Races has established itself as one of the premier adventure race

series. The format is simple, five separate events over a weekend. Four score format events, Orienteering, Night

Navigation, Mountain Biking and Canoeing plus a Trail Run. A total of 500 points were available in each event, the

winner being the competitor with the highest points total overall. Simple, well compared to Rocket Science.

Saturday morning saw the ubiquitous pre-race briefing with the comical sight of everyone trying their best to avoid the

plague of midges. Saturday would involve a 12km run to Lake Trawsfynydd, followed by a 90-minute canoe then a 4

hour orienteering leg finishing back at the event centre, Ace Base. A 90-minute Night Navigation stage awaited

competitors later that evening. Sunday would see competitors unleashed on their bikes round Coed-y-Brenin forest tor

6 hours, widely regarded as Britain’s best Mountain Bike area.

After a swift multi-terrain run to the lake, competitors were faced with the unenviable task of having to blow-up their

own boats. Once inflated the Sevylor kayaks resemble giant bananas and on the water display all the grace and poise o

frozen chicken. Competitors were faced with the task of navigating round the lake. punching controls located on

features such as spurs and islands whilst battling against the conditions and the boat. Perhaps Canoe-0 will be the next

big thing Our luck was out as we sustained a puncture, which saw the floor of our boat steadily deflate. Luckily we

managed to finish before coming permmanent residents of the lake. No one managed to clear all the controls, but

Quadrathlete and Ace Race regular, Chris McSweeney came close, missing only one contro.

Ihe Rhinog Mountains provided a spectacular backdrop to the Orienteering stage, which covered some of the areas

used in the Creoso 2000 Welsh Orienteering Festival. Again the score format was utilised and some 20 controls were

well placed to give a good mix of fast open moorland and horrible pine plantations. Much to the annoyance of the

organise, 2 competitors managed to gain all the controls, with Steve Birkenshaw being the only to get back within the

time limit.

NOW waS a chance to eat, rest, enjoy a massage, eat, check results and eat. The midges soon had everyone in their tents,

though Keri and I had the luxurious benefit of his Campervan, not the only reason why I do these events with him, buta

very good one.

The Male Solo category was starting to hot up, with Steve and Chris battling it out. Both are competing for the

lucrative series prize of a Ford Explorer for a year. As dark descended upon the Race HQ the scene was set for the

Night Navigation stage. After a lot of macho posturing about the size, power and endurance of the various head torches

on display, competitors disappeared into the woods putting their torches and navigational skills to the test. In total 12

of the competitors returned with all the controls. Soon thoughts turned to getting some sleep before the final challenge,

Sunday’s Mountain Bike stage.

Coed-y-Brenin Forest has developed as a mountain bike heaven, with miles of tracks and a number of dedicated trails.

After previous years of torrential rain and lightning, good weather was a pleasant surprise and allowed the competitors

to enjoy the area. After the Night-O the solo race was still tight, only a few points separating Chris and Steve. Chris

proved just a bit to0 strong on the bike, getting all the controls in under the six hours to hold on to the top spot.

The smiles on the faces of many weary competitors showed just why these races are so popular. So if you want to try

something a bit ditferent then why not try an ACE Race.

ACE RACE 2 – Results

Male Solo: 1. Chris McSweeney 2412 pts; 2. Steve Birkenshaw 2388 pts

Male Pair: 1. Tom Gibbs & Keri James 2242 pts; 2.Howard Lowe & Oliver Stanley 1672 pts

Female Solo: 1. Annette Morris 1613 pts; 2. Vicky Zimmerman 1290 pts

Female Pair: 1. Jennie Morton & Nicky Best 1152 pts; 2.Katy Rogan & Zoe York 806 pts

Mixed Pair: 1. Tanya Trayers & Jason Henwood 1462 pts; 2. Clare Peckham & Steve Watkins 1361 pts

ACE Race Round 3- Yorkshire: Tom Gibbs again

Ilkley Moor and the South East Yorkshire Dales were the setting for Round 3 of the ACE Race series. This

event saw a capacity field enjoying good weather, fine courses and a campsite with a bar. If you revel in the

sparseness of the KIMM complete with the infamous Trench’ loos and no paper, then this event was not for

you. The camp site came complete with a hall, licensed bar and even a disco style glitterball. For some

reason most competitors seemed to prefer this to standing in a field swatting midges.

Day one was the biggy, with over 10 hours of competition. Before any of that could happen, competitors

had to cycle to the start, which sounded fine except that it was on the top of IIkley Moor. An hour and a

very steep climb later, competitors were already feeling the heat. The race proper started with a 90 minute

Orienteering stage on the moor, actually over the same ground as the Compass Sport Cup Final: true to form

Steve Birkenshaw duly got all the controls, though was a couple of minutes late in returning.

After a chance to take on some liquid competitors were soon onto their bikes for a 7-hour (yes Seven) MTB-

O covering an excellent area from Ilkley to Malham. This area offered some excellent riding especially

Over Embsay Moor. The heat was really taking its toll. Keri and I consumed over 5 litres of water and

energy drink during the 7 hours and still were dehydrated, though the hardest part was passing the Tea

Shops at Bolton Abbey and the Chippy in Gargrave.

Arriving back at the camp we soon tucked into a big pile of pasta and tried to rehydrate and recover for the

night navigation, though most thoughts seemed to be on whether the bar would still be open afterwards.

The Night Nav stage was a bit bizarre, with competitors having to stick to footpaths (not easy in the dark)

and hunt around farmhouses for controls. The locals must have thought that some aliens had landed, though

there were no signs of crop circles the next morning. After a medicinal drink competitors turned in after a

long and hard day.

Sunday comprised an 8km trail run to the canoe stage, a 10km paddle along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

then a 5km run back to the camp.

McSweeney and Marc Laithwaite. All points on Sunday were gained for time taken: after the first run Marc

had taken the lead, but Chris had pulled back in front after a solid paddle. Thanks to an error by Marc on

the last run, Chris managed to hold on to win by 3 points, the equivalent of 1 minute.

The solo race was hotting up with only a few points separating Chris

As many competitors commented, the ACE series just keeps getting better. Any Orienteers looking for a

different challenge should take up the challenge

ACE RACE 3 Results

Male Solo: 1. Chris McSweeney 2221 pts; 2. Marc Laithwaite 2218 pts

Male Pair: 1. Tom Gibbs & Keri James 2167 pts; 2. Jonjo Knott & Chris Conroy 1867 pts

Female Solo: 1. Annette Morris 1544 pts; 2. Claire Happenstall 1300 pts

Female Pair: 1. Jennie Morton & Nicky Best 1266 pts; 2. Katy Rogan & Freya Incledon 1068 pts

Mixed Pair: 1. Linda Collison & Richard Collison 1721 pts; 2. Elaine Doherty & Paul James 1517 pts

Team:1. Cath Ashton, Claire Wiliams & Steve Wilson 1732 pts; 2.Julia Panter, Tracy Smith & Phil Oxenham 1503 pts