Monday, August 19, 2013

Race The Train 2013 - Tywyn - Wales

Yesterday, August 17th 2013 'Race The Train' in Tywyn celebrated its thirtieth year.  I thought the event deserved a post on Travel Tales as runners had travelled from far and wide to take part in this fun series of races against a steam train from theTalyllyn Railway.

Organised by Tywyn Rotary Club the race raises money for charity and this year it was for Action for Children a national charity that supports vulnerable and neglected children in communities across the UK. The original idea that local dentist Godfrey Worsey had for the race has gone from strength to strength, since that first event thirty years ago with just about 48 runners. This year the main race of 14 miles (23km) had a field of at least 1,000 runners, with a total number of entries overall for the day touching 1600 it was a record year for entries, a number which I think is pretty impressive.

The full race of 14 miles (23 km) is from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn and back. The course is mostly over public footpaths and local privately owned farmland, with the permission of the landowners, though the first and last sections are on public roads. 
Additionally, there are shorter races in the morning, as follows:
  • Quarry Challenge - 6.2 miles (10.0 km) from Quarry Siding Halt to Tywyn.
  • Dolgoch Challenge - 5.5 miles (8.9 km) from Dolgoch to Tywyn.
  • Tynllwynhen Challenge - 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from Tynllwynhen Halt to Tywyn

A video of the start of the race can be viewed on the Love Tywyn - Facebook Page

As a newcomer to Tywyn it was great fun to be able to help at Race The Train yesterday. Unfortunately the weather did get progressively worse during the day and by the end of the afternoon everyone was absolutely drenched.

I would like to extend my Congratulations to everyone that took part. I was helping on the finish line and it was a real pleasure to meet all the amazing people. In the morning I was one of a team giving out the goody bags that every runner receives at the end of the race containing their souvenir t-shirts and medals for taking part. In the afternoon for the main event I was even closer to the finish giving out water and directing the runners to the collection point for their goody bags. I have great admiration for each and every one of those runners that crossed the finish line yesterday. Well Done.

As I was helping at the event I did not have much opportunity for photography! During my lunch break I did take a few general ones, including managing to catch the start of the main race. Also whipped my camera out to capture the first man home, I think I am correct in saying it was Andy Jones, full results and times if interested can be viewed on the Website - Race Results 2013 page.

I have shared a selection of the photos I managed to capture with the little Panasonic I had in my pocket, just to give you an idea of the atmosphere as generally rather disappointing. Plenty of great shots all over the web though if you follow some of the links listed below.

The start of the main race.

Activities for non- runners.

First man home  - Andy Jones - Crosses The Finish Line

Commemorative T-Shirts I was privileged to be given one to wear while helping at the event.

The Medal Received by the Runners

This link will take you to a   Video of Start of Race The Train 2013

                                          Map of Talyllyn railway courtesy of Wikipedia

With thanks to the following links for information contained in this post.

Tywyn Rotary Club - Facebook Page     Love Tywyn - Facebook Page    Wikipedia - Race the Train

Talyllyn Railway   Race The Train - Official Website

Entry for 'Race The Train ' 2014 is already open, details can be found here

All photos are my own taken in August 2013. 
 Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection 
The full set of photos may also be viewed individually in my album entitled  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Talyllyn Railway - Flower Train - August 13th 2013

Yesterday evening a friend and I took the Floral Train on the Talyllyn Railway from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn. This popular annual event which is organised in association with Tywyn Garden Club is an important and popular event on the club's calender. The members of the club had worked very hard in preparing for the event by making buttonholes for the passengers as well as decorating the train. We left Wharf Station, Neptune Road in Tywyn at 7.30pm enjoying the scenery of the Fathew Valley on the around an hour journey to Abergynolwyn.  A stop at Abergnolwyn of an hour with wonderful entertainment by Dyfi Male Voice Choir made this a very enjoyable evening. There were refreshments available and after the singing the raffle was drawn, before the train steamed home in the gathering dusk. It was soon dark but it was lovely to see the lights twinkling around the valley. We were back at the Wharf Station just before 10.30pm having had an evenings entertainment with a difference. 

Thanks to all those concerned with the success of this evening from the Talyllyn Railway and Tywyn Garden Club

The photos I have shared will I hope enable you to gain an idea of the camaraderie and atmosphere of the event. I also found a video from a couple of years ago of the choir rehearsing one of the songs they sang yesterday evening which I think you will agree gives you a good idea of the talent of this choir.

          Clicking on the individual photos will give you the opportunity to view them in a larger format.

A video of one of the weekly rehearsals of the Dyfi Male Voice Choir.
Video is courtesy ofgeology26

The following links may also be of interest if you are planning a visit to the Talyllyn Railway or are interested in learning more about this historic narrow gauge steam railway in the Welsh countryside.

Talyllyn Railway   Facebook Page - Talyllyn Railway  Talyllyn Railway - Wikipedia

All photos are my own taken in August 2013. 
 Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection 
The full set of photos may also be viewed individually in my album entitled  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cascade Trail - Abergynolwyn - Wales

It is time for me to start blogging again but no longer will News From Italy be my main platform for posts because as regular readers know my life has changed dramatically during the course of this year.  I know that David wanted me to continue blogging because when he was ill I told him that I was going to give up completely to spend all my time with him. He was in fact upset by this suggestion as he felt I enjoyed the virtual interaction with people from all over the world that shared our passion for Italy. He was right of course so I intend to try and make Travel Tales as successful as News From Italy had become because this was his wish. I think it will be hard at times as I still have lots of  posts to share from our travels together over the last year of his life.

However I hope that your support and encouragement will continue to motivate me. Easing myself in gently I will start with some of the lovely places I am discovering in the vicinity of my base here in Wales, starting today with a recent walk I took with my sister, The Cascade Trail.  We started our walk from Abergynolwyn village having driven there from Tywyn. Leaving the car in the car park by the Village Community Centre and Cafe we took the short steep walk up to the trail. It is also possible though to catch the train from the Talyllyn Railway in Tywyn and join the trail from one of the stations as there is a Stations Link walk between Abergynolwyn and Nant Gwernol stations.

The trail follows a rocky river gorge with cascading waterfalls and beautiful woodland surroundings. The Cascade Trail is a short one ascending the valley close to the riverside, a longer route the Quarryman's trail takes one higher above the Tal-y-llyn valley to the ruined mine workings of Bryn Eglwys. No time for the longer walk this time so we instead took the bridge across the valley and descended the valley again via the old mine tramway, ruins of the mine's drumhouse and the station before making our way further down to the village again.

I hope my photos have enabled you to enjoy a virtual walk of the 'Cascade Trail' 
NB: For larger view just click on individual photo.

For those planning a visit.
OS Grid Reference: SH 681 067

The following website links may also be of interest:
Forestry Commission - Wales     Natural Resources - Wales

Snowdonia National Park   Talyllyn Railway

All photos are my own taken in July 2013. 
 Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection 
The full set of photos may also be viewed individually in my album entitled