Monross Trail Blazers returned to competition at the first opportunity in 2016 by running the 11th Kymin Winter fell race on Saturday, January 2nd.

The race route is just four miles, but has 1,100 feet of elevation, half of that coming in the first mile. It’s steep!

After a short road climb, the runners join the Offa’s Dyke footpath. Conditions were testing underfoot due to persistent heavy rain, so the 140 runners slipped and shimmied their way up to the end of the first climb before a fast descent for half a mile and an opportunity to catch their breath.

Another lung busting climb followed, this time a 500 foot climb over 1.25 miles. Those who over indulged during Christmas and New Year began to slow.

After reaching the 18th century Roundhouse at the summit the runners pressed on, knowing the uphill running was over at least.

A madcap descent to the finish was next, weaving through mud and rain soaked gullies over a mile and a half to the finish.

Gavin Jones was fastest Trail Blazer, finishing twelfth in 36 minutes, 38 seconds. Barry Davies followed, finishing 17th in 37:32.

The rest of the team jostled for position, three finishing within a minute of each other.

Gerald Meredith was next across the line in 41:46 (41st overall), James Fletcher 21 seconds later in 46th (42:07) and Matthew Hall close behind in 51st (42:44).

Matt did have the disadvantage of having to run to the run, following a broken bike chain en route to the race!

New member Mark Scrivens ran well, finishing 91st in 46:54.

The teams next race is at the 4th Herefordshire Winter cross country league race on Sunday, January 10th at Monkhall farm.

Midweek training sessions continue on the road through the winter, with the next session at 6pm on January 6th from Monmouth Leisure centre.