DULL overcast conditions with variable easterly winds made it feel cold for the 30th Annual Barry 40 Mile Track Race, although it was probably tougher for the supporters than the runners.

Five degrees at the start of the race on Sunday, March 20, the sun made a late appearance for the race presentation at 4pm as the temperature crawled up to nine degrees.

Fixture congestion meant a small field for the 30th running of the event, but what the race lacked in quantity was certainly made up for in quality.

Late entry Steve Way gave a flawless demonstration of precision running to announce his return to the very top of the ultra scene. His five mile splits tell all: 29:43, 29:34, 29:26, 29:21, 29:09, 29:07, 29:14, 29:18.

His final time of 3:54:52 took four and a half minutes from the previous world M40 best set by Martin Daykin in 1989.

Mention should be made of Andrew Tuckey whose 4:14:59 would normally ensure a winning run. Cheltenham's Andy Gore had to call on all his reserves to hold on to a very hard-earned third.

Three high-class ladies contested a fascinating race, with less than two and a half minutes covering all three at the half-way stage.

Despite recent injury, the class of Isobel Wykes shone through in the end as she successfully defended her Barry 40 title. Cass Chisholm chased her all the way in an impressive debut at this race, whilst Nicky Taylor sadly withdrew shortly before 30 miles after leading up to half-way.

Fourteen entries accepted, 13 starters and nine completed the 40 miles.

Official Result

1. Steve Way M41 - Bournemouth AC: 3:54:52

2. Andrew Tuckey M39 - Bridgend AC: 4:14:59

3. Andy Gore M46 - Cheltenham Harriers: 4:51:59

4. Nigel Davies M44 - Sarn Helen: 5:10:42

5. Isobel Wykes F37- Truro Running Club: 5:12:58

6. Cass Chisholm F33 - BRAT: 5:25:03

7. Lawrence Webb M43 - Ultra Team Rugby: 5:49:54

8. Rhys Pippard M31 - Serpentine RC: 6:24:18

9. Allan Jones M62 - Brackla Harriers: 6:43:02


Grant Jeans M32- Unattached: 115 laps in 3:08:56

Nicky Taylor F39 - Mud Crew Ultra Team: 114 laps in 3:49:59

David McDonald M47 - Les Croupiers: Marathon in 3:54:59

Roy Silver M59 - Les Croupiers: 20 miles in 2:51:21

Performance to be submitted for World Best Ratification: Steve Way M40 40 Miles in 3:54:52 (Previous best: Martin Daykin, 3:59:24, Barry 1989).

Welsh Ultradistance Championship

The race incorporated the 27th edition of the Welsh Ultradistance Championship, with four starters and two completing the full distance.

Unfortunately, because the Anglo Celtic Plate/UK 100km championships were to be contested the following weekend in Perth, Scotland, many of Wales's top ultra athletes were unable to compete.

However, this gave Nigel Davies the perfect opportunity to claim his first Welsh Ultra title, which he achieved with a new personal best of 5:10:42, more than seven minutes better than last year.

Allan Davies, contesting his first ever ultra, showed great determination to take silver in 6:43:02. David McDonald and Roy Silver completed a marathon and 20 miles respectively, which was their pre-race aim.

Sadly there were no Welsh ladies taking part this year.

Championship results:

Welsh Men’s 40 Mile Championship

1. Nigel Davies M44 - Sarn Helen: 5:10:42

2. Allan Jones M 62 - Brackla Harriers: 6:43:02

Open Race

1. Steve Way M41 - Bournemouth AC: 3:54:52

2. Andrew Tuckey M39 - Bridgend AC: 4:14:59

3. Andy Gore M46 - Cheltenham Harriers: 4:51:59

Other recipients of trophies as winners of sub-categories within the event were:

Ladies Race

1. Isobel Wykes F37 - Truro Running Club: 5:12:58

2. Cass Chisholm F33 - BRAT: 5:25:03

Age Categories

M40-44 Nigel Davies M44 - Sarn Helen: 5:10:42

M45-49 Andy Gore M46 - Cheltenham Harriers: 4:51:59

M60+ Allan Jones M 62 - Brackla Harriers: 6:43:02

Although ultra running is ultimately about the athletes, the support crews, in all their different roles, were just as important.

Thanks therefore also go to all the lap recorders, timekeepers and officials, feed station helpers, paramedic Michelle, Gary and Pip Hyatt for refreshments, groundstaff Nathan and Lawrence, the Vale of Glamorgan Council, photographer Paul Stillman, and everyone else who gave their time and their support.

By Mick McGeoch