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Race Details:

Ras y Gader 16.9km, 915m ascent (10.5miles/3000ft). WFRA race Category: AM; & ER/LK/PM.

Minimum age 18 on race day. The race starts at 1pm
There is a fun run in the morning at 11:00 and junior races: u18 at 1pm, u12 u14 and u 16 from 1:15 pm from the same start.

Route Description - see Race map
The start and finish for all races is at SH728177 Eldon Square in the middle of Dolgellau. It leaves by the steep metalled Cader road (bearing right at a junction) for c.2.5 km to Gellilwyd Fawr (SH707167, map Check point ckpt 1/7), the first marshalled checkpoint. At this point the route follows public footpaths to the rear of the Gwernan lake reaching the main Cader car park at Ty Nant (SH698153) in another 2km or so. Underfoot there good forest path gives way to boggy fields with tussocks and rocks. Ty Nant is a marshalled checkpoint (ckpt 2/6). Water is also available here.

The race then crosses the road and proceeds up the mountain on the “Pony Path” to Rhiw Gwredydd (SH691136) in another 1.5 km, just below the 2000ft point. Rhiw Gwredydd is a main race checkpoint (ckpt 3/5), all runners must pass the marshals here, where numbers are recorded.

The route then follows the main footpath to the summit of Penygadair (SH711130) which is unmarked. The path from Ty Nant has open grass, scree and sections of laid block steps and bare rock. It is indistinct in places especially near the cwm edge at Cyfrwy. The final section runs close to the cliff edge and can be very windy. Marshals will be at the summit (ckpt 4), where once again race numbers will be noted.

The return leg is a reversal of the ascent. All runners must pass the key marshalled checkpoints on the descent back to town.

In severe weather the route may be shortened.
The under 18 race is simply shortened to a marshalled turnaround at SH 646142 -the top wall crossing.

Race map

Experience Required
Runners should have experience of mountains and appreciation of potential weather conditions in Spring, with confidence in their abilities to cope with whatever is forecast. Competitors should be confident that they can reach the cut off at Rhiw Gwredydd within 75 minutes.

First Aid Cover / Emergency Response available.
St John’s Ambulance first aid at race HQ. Fell marshals have blizzard blankets / jackets. Mountain Rescue is aware of the event but not in attendance. Marshals at the 4 key checkpoints will have communication with race HQ in case of emergency. Transport available at Ty Nant.

Minimum Personal Safety Kit.
Map compass and whistle. Full waterproof/windproof body cover (including head to wrists and ankles). Hat and gloves may be deemed essential on the day. Kit should be of fell running serviceable quality. Pre and post race kit checking will take place. Anyone found without the required kit will be disqualified.

Water only available at the start finish and Ty Nant checkpoint. Runners are strongly advised to carry their own supply as well as any food they may require.
In hot weather wear appropriate sun protection.

Navigation Skills Required /Course marking.
The route is well marshalled but the mountain is unmarked.In fair weather and good visibility the mountain navigation is unchallenging. However the section between Cyfrwy and the summit needs care in mist in both directions. In no circumstances, and especially in conditions of poor visibility when navigational skills may be required, should competitors head North or South from the summit due to the steep cliffs in that direction. You must follow the route as described above, passing through the checkpoints on ascent/descent as appropriate.

Race Rules.
WFRA rules apply. See separate notice. In the interests of competitor safety and not to keep marshals on the hill a time “cut off” of 1hr 15mins from the start will be enforced at the gate/stile at the Rhiw Gwredydd check point 3/5. Any runner failing to reach this checkpoint in the allotted time will be retired from the race and the competitor MUST descend the mountain from there.

Retirement procedure.
If you wish to retire report to the nearest marshal, give your number and make it clear you are retiring. If able, then make your way directly to REPORT IN PERSON TO THE TIMEKEEPER giving your number and ensuring they acknowledge you have retired. You are not retired until the timekeeper records the fact. Failure to follow this procedure leads to delay in recalling marshals and possible mountain rescue callout. If you need transport off the mountain this will be by Mountain Rescue.

Junior Races.
Under 16 14 and 12 races all run on the lower road sections of the main race route. the under 12 s turn at Nant y Gader (approx 1k) under 14s at 1 mile and under 16 at 1.5 miles. All roads are closed and marshalled with radio communication.

Race HQ
Is based in the Free Library, just off the town square in view of the start/finish area. If in doubt, ask! This will also be the venue for registration, toilets and post race food. Registration will close at 12:40.

Refreshments:
Refreshments will be available after both the junior races and main race, free of charge to competitors, in the Free Library. Please bring your race number to get your free scran.

Awards/Prize giving:
The main race prize ceremony will take place, either in the main square or if it’s raining in the Free Library, at approx 1600 hours. An announcement will be made before they begin.


Race video, filmed in 2016 and 2017:

2018 Runner video by Andy O'Brien:

Course record held since 1996 by:
Five times winner of Ras y Gader Colin Donnelly from Eryri Harriers set the record in 1996, which still stands at 1:21:18.

Colin Donnelly

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