Marsden leads Harriers home against the train.

PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:40 10 June 2010

SIX Exmouth Harriers travelled to Wales to compete in the Tywyn Mid-Wales Race the Train 14-mile multi-terrain event that was first held 25 years ago, writes Les Turner.

SIX Exmouth Harriers travelled to Wales to compete in the Tywyn Mid-Wales Race the Train 14-mile multi-terrain event that was first held 25 years ago, writes Les Turner.

Race the Train takes place alongside, as far as practicable, the route taken by the Talyllyn Railway on its journey to Abergynolwyn and back.

The terrain varies all the time and was very wet and muddy in places.

The route also ascends and descends quite steep terrain and runs on narrow footpaths with little chance of overtaking.

Often the train track is just over the fence so if your family and friends are on the train, they can shout encouragement to you at several places.

The classic start to the race is on the crest of the main railway line bridge adjacent to the Talyllyn Railway station and both the runners and the train are started by the train whistle ordered by the timekeeper.

The course, which is on public roads for just over a mile, runs through the town before heading for Brynglas.

At this point, the course turns up a farm drive to cross the railway and follow it all the way to Rhyd-yr- Onnen.

After the farm drive there is a mixture of tracks and fields.

At Rhyd-yr-Onnen you leave the railway and run up a tarmac lane for 1/3 mile, turning on to an un-metalled track running through a ford.

From here you return to run alongside the railway over fields, rough pasture, and farm tracks to reach Brynglas.

After climbing up a short stretch of farm road you cross the railway to run the next section with the railway on your right.

The first 1.5 miles of this section is over fields and rough pasture to Dolgoch where you cross the car park before ascending across a field to run through trees before dropping down a tricky slope on to fields again.

A short run down an unmade track turns back on to well-cultivated pasture, all the way to the turn point at 7 miles.

After a short run through the field, the course leaves for uncultivated sloping hillside, crosses a stream and runs under the railway to climb very steeply.

It then runs across the face of the hillside on narrow sheep tracks for over a mile, when it climbs to join the road to return to Tywyn and the finish.

The first Exmouth Harrier to finish was Hugh Marsden, 28th in 1 hour 36 minutes and 15 seconds. Jenny Timms came 242nd in 1:55:43 and Terry Oldham was 367th in 2:2:26.

Congratulations to Lorraine Slight who was 1st FV50 and 459th overall in 2:7:48.

Dawn Teed and Phil Bater came 583rd and 584th in the same time of 2:15:57.

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