A Sunshine Day in Conwy 2016

I’d like to say a Huge Thank-you to Fabian 4 for hosting the ‘Conwy Mountain Challenge’ Race 4 in the National Trophy Series. A Big Thank-you to organizers Ellie, Adrian, and your Team of Volunteers, marshal’s, sponsors, cooks and everyone else that gave up their day to make this event a success, as ever you did your selves proud! We had fantastic Conditions for this year’s race, blue sky and warm temperatures with very little wind … what could be better on an ideal Septembers day!

Chester Canoe Team member David Hatton was first out of the Kayak, in a very fast 48.00mins, with individual Sam Plummer just 5 seconds behind, Shaune Walsh, James Block, Michael Mason and Steve King all followed a couple of minutes behind. The Estuary was calm and fast with a good strong tide, hardly any wind made for some very fast kayak times.

Winner Mike Mason

The very, very steep hill at the start slows everyone down but once the athletes get to the trail across the top and along the pipe line they begin to sort themselves out. Michael M. moved into the lead, followed by Shaune W. and James B. but Steve K. and Sam P. were starting to chase them down. When you reach the Dam the course climbs steady up the mountain, the views from the top were brilliant. It’s a steady downhill on tracks and trails. Just when you think your almost home there’s a sting in the tail as you climb back up through a wood before running down to the race HQ.

Steve King

Last year’s winner Mike was certainly on form again and went onto the MTBike 6 mins ahead of anyone else. Sam was 2nd going into the bike, with Steve just 90 seconds behind. You have about a mile on the road to get your legs spinning before a huge climb up the road to the start of the Marin Trail. It seems a never ending up hill for several miles, the trail then undulates and winds its way towards Betws y coed before turning back, this is when we start to hit the narrow technical tracks which certainly sorts out the good MT bikers! Meanwhile Alex Pilkington had been catching the leaders and half way through the bike moved into 2nd place. Mike went onto win in a very fast time 3.20.37. Alex 2nd 3.24.04. Sam 3rd 3.28.14. and Steve King 4th 3.30.08.

Sandra Heslop

In the Ladies race there were some excellent kayakers with Sandra Hyslop (GB White water racer) and DW Women’s Record Kat Wilson holder putting in fast times. Sandra also had a very strong run maintaining her lead, Rebecca Good moved into 2nd place, with Kat still in 3rd. Sandra increased her lead on the bike and finished in a very fast time of 3.57.37, an outstanding performance!  Rebecca held onto 2nd 4.22.57, whilst Lowri Davis put in a strong bike and moved into 3rd 4.35.12 with Kat in 4th 4.47.34.

There were plenty of excellent results and some brilliant team performances, really everyone that finishes this tough race deserves a mention, it certainly tests the muscles, the mind and that inner strength to keep going when you face yet another hill! Special Mentions must go to our BQA Members, earning National Trophy points, well done to them all, 4 races down with just one race left Bude Awesome Foursome, next weekend, let’s hope our legs have recovered by then!

BQA Members
4th Steve King 3.30 08 (3rd Vet 40)
13th Russel Brayer 4.15.38 (2nd Vet 50)
21st Lance Ball 4.42.45
Ladies 6th Jean Ashley  5.19.34 (1st Vet 50)


Jean’s daughter ‘Lucy Ashley’ was a member of the Chester Canoe Team (U22’s)  they finished 4th/9 teams, Lucy was first out on the run, after Team member David Hatton won the kayak leg, they finished a very creditable 4th/9 in the Team Event.

Keith Longney

It was also great to see one of GB’s first Quadrathletes back in action after a 3 year lay-off Keith Longney was 7th overall and 1st Vet 50 3.48.49, still racing strong and in fine form!

Some more action shots hear –  Photographs by Chris Gash Photos

There has been lots of positive feedback and plenty of ‘love’ for the Conwy Mountain Challenge! Thanks again to everyone involved … hope everyone is having a rest day today, and please lets hope this enthusiasm continues to future races!

Race Report from the Organizers 2016 Race Report