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Race Report – Goldrush Trail 2022 – The ‘Spring classic’ Returns

After over 1000 days between the 2019 and 2022 events, the Goldrush Trail and Canicross Trail races returned to Coed y Brenin this weekend.

Of course we always pay testimony to the lovely nature of the route and the stunning Welsh forest trail environment of the Goldrush Trail, but this time it was the sense of joy and smiling faces that stole the show, as runners and canicross racers from across the UK took part.

A few weeks of generally dry weather made the underfoot going ideal for the competitors. This coupled with the bright weather conditions and a light easterly breeze meant that the runners and dogs were treated to a perfect temperatures for the arduous and varied 8.5 mile race.

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Competitors had journeyed from as far a field as Cornwall, Bridgenorth and Glasgow especially for the event, with many staying on for the weekend in-turn bolstering the local economy. Another impressive stat from the event was the fact that once again at a Run Coed y Brenin event the women outstripped the men in terms of numbers, with 57% of the 275 entrants across the trail and canicross races being female.

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©Sport Pictures Cymru

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©Sport Pictures Cymru

The men’s race was set to be fast with 2017 Goldrush winner Tom Roberts and brother Gwion toeing the start line at 1pm. In the women’s race the 2018 and 2019 winner Elliw Haf also return to try and make it a hat-trick of wins.

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2022 Goldrush Trail gets underway! ©Sport Pictures Cymru

As the men’s race opened out onto the first singletrack section Tom and Gwion were pretty much together, with just 5 seconds seperating them at mile 4 as they took on the long descent to Afon Mawddach. Back in third Neil Godsell was chasing hard, but with the gap at over one minute it was clear at this stage that the title was going to go to one of the local-men as the Roberts brothers forged on.

As the runners entered the last couple of miles, Tom notched things up a gear and pulled away to extend his lead to a minute as he entered the last 100m climb to the finish line, taking a sweet victory in 58.49.

Behind Gwion secured a strong second place, recording an impressive 59.50, with Godsell closing the podium in 1.03.16.

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Tom Roberts takes the 2022 Goldrush title ©Sport Pictures Cymru

In the women’s race Elliw Haf was on her own from the early miles and was well in control throughout. After a tough 13 miles trail training run only two days before she was showing no sign of the effects of that effort as she pushed hard up the Copper Bog section at around 5 miles.

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Elliw Haf pushes hard on the Copper Bog ©Sport Pictures Cymru

Philippa Roberts from Betsi Runaways was chasing hard with Clare Hanson in third a few seconds behind. But after the Pink Heiffer descent Elliw’s superior descending ability had come to the fore, with her gap increasing to almost 5 minutes by the time they reached the bottom of the 1.5 mile plummet at mile 6.

Coming into the last mile it was clear that the Eryri Harrier was on for a comfortable win and crossed the line in 1.11.45, greeted by her son Mabon as she crossed the line!

The race for second was still on and as Roberts and Hanson entered the last couple of miles there was only 40 seconds separating the two runners. By the finish it was Philippa who was a good enough for the second spot, crossing the line in 1.16.39, just under one minute ahead of third placed finisher Hanson (1.17.38).

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Elliw Haf makes it three in a row at the 2022 Goldrush Trail ©Sport Pictures Cymru

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Tom and Elliw celebrate their wins with son Mabon ©Sport Pictures Cymru

One of the growth areas of the Goldrush over the last few years has been the Canicross race, where dogs and runners race in harmony on the same route as the trail runners. With almost 50 cani competitors setting out half an hour after the main race.

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©Sport Pictures Cymru

The runners and dogs were feeling the heat for sure in the sunny conditions, but with a couple of streams to cool off and have a drink in and two water stations on route, all were able to keep refreshed across the dog-friendly 8.5 mile route.

In the men’s race Oswestry man Ian Gibsoon, along with his dog Milo were in command early on and raced around the route in a scintillating 59.02 to take the win.

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Ian Gibson and Milo win the 2022 Goldrush Trail Canicross ©Sport Pictures Cymru

Behind Gibson 2018 female category winner Ashleigh Bailey was once again chasing hard for the overall win, but was left to take second overall and the first female by a good margin in a super-quick 1.01.18 with her dog Rolo.

In the men’s event John Ford took second in 1.04.23 with Bridgenorth’s Stuart Carr in third with 1.09.58.

The women’s podium was made up with Lynsey Coan (1.05.03) in second, with Jasmine Sharp (1.10.03) in third.

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The female Cani podium, with Ashleigh Bailey on top spot ©Sport Pictures Cymru

The race exuded a community feel and with the local Ganllwyd Community Council benefitting this again year, with money donated by the race to help charities and good causes feel the effects of the event in the locality. The Ganllwyd crew also supplied a number of marshals around the race route.

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The event was also supported by another beneficiary, the South Snowdonia Search and Rescue Team, who offered medical support and emergency coverage out on the route. The Team provide support to all five Run. Coed y Brenin events throughout the year.

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The race organisation would also like to extend their thanks as ever to the all of the volunteers at the 2022 Goldrush Trail event , and the whole team of staff at Coed y Brenin and to Natural Resources Wales Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru who manage the Coed y Brenin estate.

Full Trail Race and Canicross results are now online via TDL Event Services and this link, with images available at Sport Pictures Cymru

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