MORE than 500 runners braved Arctic temperatures at the weekend as they took on the 40th annual Rhayader Round the Lakes Race.

Set in the Elan Valley, with the longer 30k route taking runners on a scenic tour of the area’s stunning reservoirs, competitors nevertheless had to battle a blizzard on top of Pont Elan, the race’s highest point, where visibility was near zero.

Race results showed that almost 400 runners took part in the gruelling 30k race (around 18.7 miles), while 154 runners took on the shorter 10k run.

Jacob Tasker, of Ogmore Phoenix Runners, won the gruelling 30k race in a stunning time of 1 hour 43 minutes 04 seconds. Local runner Ffion Price, of Builth & District Running Club, took the ladies’ crown and was 24th overall in a time of 2h 10m 41s.

County Times:  30k race winners Jacob Tasker and Ffion Price. 30k race winners Jacob Tasker and Ffion Price. (Image: Emma Hardwick/Rhayader Round the Lakes Race)

BaDRC’s Robin Woods won his Vet 45 category and was 5th overall, in 01h 55m 28s.

It was a double success for Tipton Harriers in the 10k race, with Luke Vine claiming the men’s and overall 10k title in a sublime time of 33m 13s. Club colleague Amie Williams was first female home in 42m 31s, which also saw her take 10th place overall.

One of the 10k entrants was Theo Earp, the teenage son of Dyfed Powys Police officer Gareth Earp, from Rhayader, who died in a road traffic collision last June.

County Times: Theo Earp, son of the late Gareth Earp, was among the runners.Theo Earp, son of the late Gareth Earp, was among the runners. (Image: Emma Hardwick/Rhayader Round the Lakes Race)

Theo was running the race for the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) charity. He finished in a highly respectable 47m 23s which saw him bag 23rd place overall.

“From the registration marshals this morning to all those who spent literally hours in the rain, snow, sleet and cold making sure our runners were safe, to the handing out of medals to selling merchandise, working the announcements, lead and sweep cyclists and vans and all the other things that the runners don’t really see, thank you,” said a post on the Rhayader Round the Lakes Race Facebook page.

Both races started and finished at Rhayader Rugby Club, with the 10k route taking runners out to the Elan Valley Visitor Centre along the main road and back via a footpath.

The 30k route saw entrants take on a monstrous climb up to Pont Elan from Rhayader, looping around the Craig Goch, Pen-y-Garreg, Garreg Ddu and Caban Coch dams before descending upon the visitors’ centre and trudging back to Rhayader.