Page last updated at 01:17 GMT, Sunday, 7 June 2009 02:17 UK

Missing rescued after fell race

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Dave Worrall, team leader of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team spoke on Saturday, before the last two runners were found.

All the people who went missing in bad weather during a Snowdonia fell race have been found, RAF rescue teams say.

Eight people were airlifted to hospital and another 25 people were helped to safety during the day.

Two people remained unaccounted for some time but they were finally located late on Saturday.

The annual, 22-mile Welsh 1,000m Peaks Race involved 245 competitors and had been due to finish on the summit of Snowdon, but was later abandoned.

Mountain rescue teams and the RAF were involved in the search in the Carneddau mountains, near Bethesda, from about 1500 BST.

The race involves teams of runners and mountaineers from clubs and the armed services. A soldier died in a 500ft fall while competing in the race in 2007.

Location map

The event started on the Gwynedd coast at Aber before a course through peaks in the Carneddau mountains, with the finish on Snowdon.

A North Wales Police spokeswoman said the race began at around 0900 BST, with calls to police coming in from about an hour later due to the "atrocious weather conditions".

The force co-ordinated the rescue from the Ogwen Valley mountain rescue team base and counted runners, walkers and mountaineers as they returned.

Those rescued included some army cadets.

Dave Worrall, team leader of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team said most of those runners they had dealt with were suffering from cold and hypothermia.

A sign on the A5 in the Ogwen Valley
The 22-mile long race took in Snowdonia peaks and was due to finish on Snowdon

He said the weather had been exceptional for the time of year and it would have been a "difficult call" for race organisers.

Helicopters from RAF Valley, on Anglesey, and Chivenor, in Devon, were involved in the rescue, along with members of the Ogwen Valley and Valley Mountain rescue teams.

In a separate rescue on the Llanberis pass, an ill woman was airlifted to hospital.

A spokesman for the RAF rescue centre at Kinloss in Scotland said the rescue efforts had been hampered by low cloud, heavy rain and strong winds.

Tony Varley, chair of the Fell Runners' Association, said: "I think everyone taking part is likely to be physically fit.

"And there are strict requirements about carrying things like water cover and windproof cover, hats and gloves, emergency food, a map and compass."

"Obviously things go wrong no matter how fit you are - you could injure yourself or get totally disorientated if you're tired and the weather's bad."



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SEE ALSO
Race soldier fell 500 ft to death
16 Aug 07 |  North West Wales

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