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2018 - Raid Corsica
Cobbie's Selected Race Results

Raid du Massif Central - 6 days, 562 miles, 16,300m ascent, 46 hrs Report


Aug - Dee Mile, 2000m OW swim. 29:12; 60/301. Report

July - Raid Pyrenean Report

May - Chester Tri West Coast of Scotland Cycling trip ... 300 miles in 3 days. Report


Sep - Scilly Swim Challenge, 11 miles of swimming in 5 stages Report


June - Dee Mile, 2000m OW swim. 29:33; 25/275 Very Happy Very Happy


March - Gin Pit Marathon; 3:59:26. 14/39


Became a dad Cool

Oct 2011 - Feb 2012

Travelling the world Cool
Nepal - Annapurna Circuit and Chitwan
S. E. Asia and trekking in New Zealand
South America
Trekking the 'Circuito del Dientes de Navarino'; Chilean Tierra del Fuego


Sep - AXTri - Report

June - Chester to John O'Groats cycle ride with the Tri Club; 637 miles in 9 days

2010 Races

Sep - Ö TILL Ö; 14:19; Report

2009 Races

Nov - Pembrokeshire Coast Challenge; 78.6 miles. Day 1 - 5th in 4:39. Very Happy Day 2 - Retired with ITB injury after 15 miles Sad

Oct 4th - Sandstone Trail 'A' Race; 17 miles, 1750ft 2:19:15; 29/156

Aug 8th - Norseman 14:57; 81=/230 Report No1 & Report No2 Smile

June 28th - A Day in the Lakes HIM 5:55:18; 68/309 Report

June 17th - Dee Mile, 2000m OW swim. 29:12; 13/100 Report Very Happy

May 31st - Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Cyclosportif 107 miles, 3000+m ascent; 7:20:26

March 28th Cheshire Cat Cyclosportif 105 miles; 7:04 Report

March 21st - Chester Tri Runners vs Kayaks; Llangollen Canal 32.4 miles; 5:22 Report

2008 Races
The year I was a fat bast@rd Rolling Eyes

Atlantic Coast Challenge 78miles; About 18 hrs Report

Norseman 17:05 Report

Etape du Dales 110 miles; 8:40ish with puncture

2007 Races

Nov 17th - Penmaenmawr Fell Race (11 miles, 1500ft); 1:35:23; 50/220

Bala Olympic Tri 2:14:00; 217/773 (AG 61/203) Smile Report

Hathersage Hilly - 1:22:34; 19/169 and AG 4/43 Smile ; Report

July 11th - Dee Mile, 2000m OW swim. 23:16; 15/76 Smile

Jan 29th - Tough Guy 1:25:02; 59/3800ish finishers Very Happy Very Happy AG 5th Vet Shocked Very Happy ; Report

Jan 22nd - 4 Villages Half Marathon 86:52; 152/1570


Nov 18th - Penmaenmawr Fell Race (11 miles, 1500ft); 1:31:42; 24/237; Report Very Happy Very Happy

Oct 8th - Pentland Skyline (16.2 miles, 6,200ft); 3:30:54; 79/150; Report. Blisters Crying or Very sad

Oct 1st - Sandstone Trail “A” Race (17 miles, 1750ft) 2:15:14; 14/135 3rd V40; Report Very Happy Very Happy

Sept 24th – South Shropshire Sprint 1:23; 28/234

July 23rd - TLD Bike Relay 5:52:38; Report

June 7th - Dee Mile, 2000m OW swim. 28:47; 24/97 Smile

June 4th - Bala Middle 4:47:39 Crying or Very sad

May 7th - Fred Whitton Challenge 112 miles, 4,150m of ascent, 8:18:52; Report

March 19th - Edale Skyline Fell Race 21.3 miles, 4,620ft; 3:48:25, 100/260

Jan 29th - Tough Guy 92:55; 52/3283 finishers Very Happy Very Happy AG 6/521; Report

Jan 22nd - 4 Villages Half Marathon 85:43; 152/1655 Very Happy


Oct 30th - Snowdonia Marathon 3:54:50; 265/961

Oct 2nd - Sandstone Trail “A” Race (16.8 miles, 1750ft) 2:17:41; 29/111 Very Happy

Sep 18th - Bala Olympic Tri 2:20:31; 83/433 (AG 17/100) Very Happy

Sep 10th - Helvellyn Tri 4:17:38; 43/331
Report Very Happy Very Happy

July 24th - The Longest Day 11:00:25; 40/150

June 5th - Bala Middle 4:39:54; 92/318 (AG 25/87)
Very Happy

Mar 15th - Wuthering Hike [31 miles 4400 ft] 5:35 Smile

Jan 29th - Tough Guy 93:49; 161/3,500 Very Happy

Jan 22nd - 4 Villages half marathon 90:39; 256/1504

Survival of the Shawangunks - 5:29:45 35/120 Very Happy
Wolverhampton Oly 2:19:50 Very Happy

The year of illness and poor motivation Crying or Very sad
Powerman UK 3:47

HIM Llanberis 5:09:40 Very Happy Very Happy

HIM Llanberis 5:38 Cool Cool
All about Cobbie

Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Location: Chester
Occupation: Consultant
Interests: Red wine and cakes

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Penmaenmawr Fell Race Report (11 miles, 1500 ft)
Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:16 pm Cobbie
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Whilst the weather forecast was an encouraging sunny spells, I always know to take North Wales predictions with a pinch of salt…and so it proved. I drove across on the coast road through numerous squalls, separated by beautiful sunshine and no less than 3 different rainbows Cool . At registration, met a good few of the Wrecsam Tri crowd, my old club and always good to catch up with them as well as Sid, an old friend from my first running club and the person who introduced me to this race Smile .

I’m very conscious that route descriptions can be a bit obtuse for those not familiar with an area so this time I thought I’d give the details outside of the report, especially as I can’t better that on the Eryri Harriers website:

In profile, the course starts with a climb for 2km to Ty'n Ffridd, followed by an fast undulating but generally rising traverse for 4km to Cae Coch, mostly on grassy tracks. Fast tarmac running for 1.5km leads to Bwlch y Ddeufaen which is the gateway to the dreaded "Bog", approximately 3km of leg-numbing sogginess, initially fast running then crawling through groin-deep marsh and culminating in a grinding climb to the Quarry checkpoint. From the Quarry the route is very fast, generally undulating on a rough track for around 4km before the final 2km of descent from Ty'n Ffridd to the finish.

After the briefing and kit check I looked around to see a sea of cags and long sleeved tops, plus only a few in shorts…hmmm perhaps my short sleeve merino and shorts was a bit under-dressed, still too late to change and I was pretty confident that I wouldn’t get cold with gloves and a hat on.
The start of the course has changed over the years to remove a major bottleneck but it’s still a narrow road so for once I bothered to get close to the start line – even then I still found myself held up considerably by slow runners who refuse to start in an appropriate place. Still, not a major problem, no need to overdo it here as the climbing is never easier than steady and occasionally steep. The road, initially tarmac, soon gives way to unmetalled and then becomes a grassy track as the route reaches the moorland and here we started to appreciate that today was going to be hard work, a very strong headwind which immediately slowed the field and allowed me to use my strength to pick up places quickly before reaching the single file track across the moor, a gradual rising traverse across a mix of rocky and grassy terrain. The wind was the strongest I’ve had on this course and made the going very tough, steely determination a pre-requisite to making progress. There was also a real need to concentrate to keep balanced during gusts and take into account the variable terrain, sometimes firm but mainly skiddy from the surface water. Despite the fact that I know I’m running very well just now, thoughts of a PB were already receding – back in the late ‘90s I came about 50th in the race on two successive years but with times 5 minutes apart, all down to the wind…on moorland, there really is nowhere to hide.

Eventually the long initial climb ends and the going gets easier, undulating with a gradual drop to the first checkpoint. I broke away from the group I’d caught on the moor to make it to a stile first and not get held up – decided to be careful on the other side rather than jump straight onto the slippery wooden bridge, sadly the only one, we had to ford the other streams, all of which were way bigger than normal…it’s obviously been raining for a fair while hereabouts. The first checkpoint came and went after wading across a 15ft wide river, normally, just a jump and then some fast contouring, sheltered from the wind for a while by the summit that we were working round. Then bam, suddenly the wind was back and again it was back to relentless hard effort, no let-up and with occasional stronger gusts. A couple of people came past on a short, steep climb and I realised that I’d been sheltering them from the wind and tucked in myself for some partial respite. The guy now leading the group was a big chap (big as in tall and strong) but with a very steady rhythm to his running so I call him Mr Metronome for the rest of the race. He was very distinctive in a red cagoule which billowed in the wind, making him appear at times more like a sail. The sun popped out from behind clouds regularly here, alternating the scenery from glowing golds and reds to flat browns but the conditions made it hard to relax and take it in for long. Eventually we reached the gradual descent to the road section and I pushed off the front of the group so that I could see the ground more clearly. I remember hoping that the dry stone walls on the road section would give us some shelter but it turned out that the wind was actually channelled down between them to make things even harder than on the moorland. Three of us took it in turns to lead in an unspoken pact, with Mr Metronome spending more time at the front. Normally you can recover somewhat over the mile of road but today it was as hard as anything in the race. We caught and passed a couple of runners who’d become isolated and after what seemed like ages hit the cattle grid where the road turns back into a track. There was another slight respite here as we went round another subsidiary summit and the three of us started jockeying for position as the twin pylons approached that signal the turn north onto the bog section.

I was actually content to stay behind and take on some fluid as we turned northwards, back towards the coast and immediately onto rough ground, picking our way through a large rocky area. I remember being very aware of how much easier this bit was than my recollection from previous races; no doubt my much greater level of experience on difficult terrain coming into play as I had previously thought of it as a boulder field! Then it was onto the really squelchy stuff, the two guys in front pulled ahead a bit but I was happy enough with that as we now had the wind on our LHS and I like to be able to see my next few steps clearly; I wanted to be careful where I put my feet, trying to prevent a fall as far as possible. As with the boulder field, the marsh didn’t seem as bad as I remembered but again, I’ve run through a lot of marshy terrain over the past year. Just as I was congratulating myself on coming through without a leg getting stuck I tripped on a heather root after jumping a small stream. Straight up again but thought I must have been slightly winded as suddenly I was running through treacle. Looking up though I realised that the last few hundred yards of bog were just deeper than previously, I wasn’t losing ground to those ahead.

The end of the bog would be a time for rejoicing if it wasn’t for the long drag up to the final checkpoint. I took it very steadily, saving myself for the descent and allowed the gap to those in front to grow a bit. For the first time ever we all took a slightly less than direct line and sought shelter from the cross-wind in the lee of the tall dry stone wall that runs parallel to the course. It was raining now so we were getting a lot of shelter and I found it very amusing that I could feel the rain whipping into my left ear where my head was just taller than the wall whilst my cheek was staying dry.

At the end of the wall we had a final turn into the wind, just a short section to the checkpoint and then, at last, had the wind at our backs for the first time. That this was for the descent meant it was actually something of a mixed blessing – being helped uphill is better than gaining additional speed whilst already hurtling down a steep hill. Mr Metronome was about 100 yards ahead now and we were all holding the gaps comfortably apart from one guy who caught and passed all three of us without appearing to be running any faster - strange.
For a long way, the route follows a wide, flat, grassy track so little danger and speeds were high. A dodge through a farm gate and onto a more rocky track before reaching a turn right at the end of a field onto the fellside and the start of the final steep descent. I reached this point without realising how much momentum I was carrying and my heart was briefly in my mouth as I had no choice but to go airborne over a small rocky step in the heather, followed by a slide on my heels for a few feet before regaining control. For some reason I felt more reckless than normal and this was soon to be my undoing as, back on the main track, I completely lost traction on a particularly muddy patch and went over on my L hip, badly grazing both knees in the process. Straight back up and for some reason continued in the direct line over another steep drop instead of taking the switchback path, bounding and jumping through the heather before thankfully getting back to the road and the steep descent to the finish.

No camera I'm afraid, so I can’t show you how the blood was gushing down my shins; suffice to say I’m really sorry for whoever cleans the hand basin in the Village Hall where the race ends…I did my best to remove the blood from the porcelain but with muddy hands…well you know how it is. Floating

No results yet, will update once they are out. Finished in a little under 1:32, about 10 mins down on expectation. Talking to Mr Metronome at the finish (he revealed his local Eryri colurs beneath the red cag at the end), I found that he was about the same so a really slow year obviously.

Today, my knees are healing well although drew a couple of gasps at this afternoon’s club swim. Wink

Replies next time. Smile
Almost back to being an athlete in 2016 Shocked

Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:21 pm T-rex of Tri
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1,500ft - 11 miles - you call that a fell race?

Race description sounds delightful though!
'Mon the Biff

Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:19 am Slacko
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My legs feel drained just reading that! I've never done a fell race but it sounds challenging but fun.
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Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:37 pm Stuart Mc
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Awesome report Cob and a big well done.

Reminds me of working in Burnley and running up Pendle Hill.
Stuart Mc

Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:00 pm putt putt
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sounds eventful - look fwd to seeing the results - I fell over during a x/c race last yr and still have the scars on my knees........... Shocked
Triple IM 09, DecaIron (137h- 4th) 09, GUCR 10, 2.46 Mara Apr 11, 9.38 Roth 11, 9.57 IMUK 11 (Q Kona). 2012 - 5th AG nat dua, 9.27 TBW (1st). 2013 Tampa Dble (24.13 - 3rd), Oct Mara 2.49 (1st) 2014 Gin Pit 2.58 (CR)/3.15, AG Gold GB Duo March15 (50-54)

Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:53 am Badger
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Nice one - I prefer to think of anything off road as adventure racing!

Well done with the race and good way to cap off an easy week. Smile

B Cool
Focus on easy, because if that's all you get, that ain't so bad. - Caballo Blanco
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. - Native American proverb

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