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Haven't hardly begun on my latest exploit!
Had been very busy with work, including in the run-up to race day two nights working until 0500, and didn't finish a project I was supposed to finish last Monday until 1400 Friday. As before any major run I always get a go-faster haircut, so went out for that and got in some supplies for the weekend. Came home and started packing for the trip, including camping gear, running rucksack, and drop-bag for halfway which would have to be given in at registration. I was mixing special drinks and getting the food together I would need since it was largely a self-supported event. What to wear was of course tricky, although I opted for the lycra-style shorts which seemed to be successful on the Ridgeway. In the end I practically packed all the running kit I owned and then there was the mandatory kit list to think about: emergency bivvy bag, waterproof trousers, first aid kit, mustn't forget the compass ...
Good job marathons aren't this complicated.
So I didn't leave home until 1930, got the tent up just before dark, registered, and then went for a meal when I should have really been at the race briefing (I felt nutrition was more important). Then back to the tent and fine tune all kit items and the way they're packed, and head down finally at 2300.
Three-and-a-half hours later the alarm went off . Stuck my head out of the tent. Is there a glimmer of light? No, there isn't in September at 0230, nor was there at 0400 when the race started. Dreadful start time for me since I'm not a morning person.
I got the porridge on while I got dressed and race ready, and then it was to joining the, I have to say, rather gnarly-looking bunch of people at the start line. Had I finally entered something for which I was out of my depth?
Time would tell.
The end of TRex latest installment beats the latest eastenders duff duff moments hands down.
Jenf - glad your feeling better
Has anyone else noticed JD's missing?
If anyone is looking for a cross training programme for over the winter i can definately recommend Focus T25 from Beachbody. I've been doing it for 5 weeks now and have developed a core (still eat too much to get abs) really noticed the difference on last nights club run. 6.5 miles of trail and i pretty much kept up with the faster girls for the first 4 miles but then dropped back once we hit the flat 2.5 home, really knackered by then but as per the dvd's focused on my form and core and managed to finish pretty strong and still fast for me.
JD is still alive... unless someone else is posting his runs on FB!!! lol
Is it too early to be getting excited about collecting fourth piece of slate and third consecutive
This is DEFINITELY my favourite marathon and most probably only beaten into second place for favourite race, by the Highland Fling
nnoooo Trex, I thought we were getting the whole brecon report not just the journey to the start!
Thanks for asking about my run Panad-here is a race report for those bored enough to read it! Was cross Wales walk event (Clun to Clarach).
Luckily I had an easy Friday and got to bed at 8pm for a 2am wake up call. Was so worried about the forecast i wore some new kit. Registered at 4am and after a instant pot of porridge we bused to the start on the English/ welsh border at Anchor and 160 odd started at 5:15am.
Right from the off I realised my fancy shorts were too restrictive, running up hill felt like I had a resistance band between my thighs! Foolishly had filled camel bac with lucozade and after a few gulps also had tummy troubles to contend with. Lovely views over the hills as the sun rose and passed CP1 and into CP2 at 16miles. Here I ditched the tight shorts so running in Lycra from then on. Long slog on the road into hafren forest and reached CP3 at 25miles feeling a little weary. 2 cups of tea, some cake, waterproofs and a toilet stop were necessary preparation before we left (as a group of 4) to tackle plumlimon. This is by far the trickiest to navigate and most challenging terrain. Thankfully from the peak I could see the sea which gave a massive boost but the descent took forever along tiny sheep tracks and another stretch of road to reach CP4. Having walked huge stretches of the route we were behind on last years time and although it didn't matter in my head it mattered to my legs. Spent a little too long waiting here and getting going again was agony. Through the prettiest section, along a trechorous scree path and some lovely grass miles before the final CP around 39miles with the best bread pudding on offer. Swapped off roaders for roadshoes and headed uphill for the last leg. Friend was flagging so as the heavens opened I (rather ashamedly) pushed on and ran the last 5 miles or so without any walking at all.
As I approached the finish in Clarach (saddest place on earth) the rain completely penetrated my kit and I was soaked to the bone after clocking nearly 48 miles in around 13 hours. Not the quickest but no blisters at all. Could hardly walk that night and coughing my guts up daily since but sort of enjoyed it
Lessons - avoid lucozade, test kit out (although new cycling jacket from aldi was a huge hit!), run at own pace (others were slowed by my toilet stops at the beginning, then think I pushed friend into running faster than he should have because I was ok and still finished half an hour apart!).
Jenf - thanks for JD update after watching Educating Yorkshire was slightly worried for him returning to school after the break. though i'm sure he's just very very busy with that and all those runs he does
TR41 - glad new business is going well think i had an e-mail about Rhyl June does class with TMW but if Mr C gets his London place the 10 mile in Feb may be a good practice for him it's a flat course i think isn't it? so winter weather permitting i may drag him along.
Camlo - good report though i'm getting a bit worried about all this kit changing in bushes that seems to go on on long events
Quiet weekend running wise for me cold hanging about that i want shot of before next saturdays race and my parents 50th Wedding Anniversay Celebration tonight so afraid i amy be curled up on the sofa with a pot of tea watching rather than participating tomorrow
Chrissi -who said anything about bushes?
Fab run TR - cant be disappointed with that!
Had a lightbulb moment last night when realised SNOD is only 6 weeks away so i only have 3 weeks until I can taper... this week is recovery from ultra, next week is mini taper for aber tri followed by another recovery week and so that leaves 1 weekend which I may have opportunity for a long training run. whoops.
20-miler planned for just past midnight, can mean only one thing, yes, it's Round Norfolk Relay weekend
48 miles in 13 hours over difficult terrain is brilliant going, Camlo. You were doing something quite similar to me (but much quicker).
I positioned myself mid-pack (which is where I usually finish in marathons), but this was a mistake. I had to keep stopping along the single-file track up into the mountains to let more and more people by who seemed to be on a mission. It was raining and once we got into the cloud nearer the top the long snake of headtorches ahead gradually went out. I was left with a group of fellow stragglers a little unsure of where to go once on the shoulder of Waun Rydd.
I took a bearing and went off on my own on pathless terrain which seemed to go gradually more and more downhill. I looked back. No-one was following me.
I was having to blunder through waist-high tussocky grass, boggy patches, and gullies which cut into the hillside and all the time going lower and lower. I was already soaked, scratched, breathing heavily, and alone. I sensed the start of a bad experience and it still only 0600.
In the first light of dawn my position didn't look good. I shouldn't be down here and with a very steep slope blocking my path ahead.
I hadn't seen anybody for ages but now I could voices, chatting. Chatting!!? While I was having such a crisis? The voices came from way above me and sure enough a few runners were travelling on the same bearing as me but on top of the cliff about 600' higher than my position. There was no option - I would have to go up this slope. It was a matter of grabbing handfuls of heather and other vegetation to help haul myself up this obstacle. I hoped I wasn't trampling on rare alpine plants.
I emerged at the top red-faced for more than one reason to find myself very much at the back of the field. In fact I was soon being overtaken by short course competitors who had started an hour later than me. Long course competitors had 3-digit numbers and short 2-digit. it was a long time before I saw another 3-digit number. I soon found myself travelling with 2-digit numbers travelling at a suitable pace for me and they proved to be a happy bunch.
Before long I was climbing straight up the steep slope where I had lost a valuable drinks bottle when out on a recce run with the dog.
It was a steep climb and for maximum use of my hands I tucked my map into my fuelbelt. You can guess what happened next I expect.
Yes, I happened to glance down nearing the top and I noticed, aghast, that I was no longer in possession of my map. It had slipped out.
In this event not having a map would be a showstopper. There was no option - I would have to downclimb to look for it. Down and down I went scanning the hillside. Sometimes I thought I saw it but it only turned out to be a clump of wool.
I usually manage to keep my morale up but this was a difficult situation.
Eventually - YES! - there it was, lying innocently in a tussock.
Back up to the summit and put my 'dibber' into one of the electronic devices scattered around the course at which that you had to record your arrival time.
Even further behind now, and I hadn't even climbed one of the 'proper' 10 peaks yet. It was now 0705. The day was getting on and I wasn't.
Hiya gang, welcome back TR41, glad all is well with business and that the 18 miler went very well I got the email from Run Wales about Rhyl marathon but no dates. Do you know them? Is it a good route?
Camlo..big respect for early start and terrain. Can totally agree with the 'don't try new kit on the day'message !
Fenland Runner-don't get blown away in the wind and rain.
Jason is probably on Mars by now on a little training jaunt, he'll be back by morning.
I'm off to do Grafham Water marathon tomorrow...in wind and rain.
TRex, I am going to wait until the end of your report so that I can make full sense of your adventure
Have fun tomorrow all x
I'd better rattle off a few peaks or else I will bore you silly.
Have to admit I do feel a little fraudulent because I didn't do an awful lot of running on account of steep uphills, wanting to conserve energy for unknown demands later on, and even what few level bits there were weren't always runnable due to rocks/boulders. I wasn't in the best shape anyway and also was out to enjoy myself and if people were walking around me then it seemed good to fall in with them for varying lengths of time.
Did manage to run on most downhills though and the descent off the the shoulder of Corn Du down to the A470 was a good one. Through CP1 at the bottom quickly and straight up Fan Fawr (Peak 1, 0853). Chose a good route around the head of the valley to the north to reach Fan Llia (Peak 2, 0951). Chose a very good route off this including a good river crossing at the bottom to reach CP2.
Then it was across Ogaf-Ffynon-Ddu Pant Mawr nature reserve, an area full of Swallow Holes, Shake Holes, and Pot Holes, so best to stay on the path. At one point you take a left turn off the main track onto a very small path. This was fingerposted but very easy to miss. I had made a mistake on my recce run here. Well, at least six people ahead of me that I could see carried on oblivious to the turning and continued on the track. Should I have have shouted at them to bring them back? I chose not to and didn't feel too bad about the decision, but the person I was with felt guilty about it for some time ...
Spent some time at CP3 to which point drop bags had been taken so I decided to change shoes and socks and refuel with the soup provided.
Soon it was the enormous slog up to Fan Hir (Peak 3 - not mentioned by race organisers) down a dip and a climb to Fan Brycheiniog (Peak 4, 1416). Crossing Camarthenshire border to Picws Du (Peak 5, 1440). Met some hikers who couldn't believe how far we had come already that day.
Here I made a time saving choice. Instead of labouring back up to the previous mountain (Fan Brycheiniog) like everyone else was doing, only to have to immediately make the steep descent off it, I contoured around the mountain on sheep paths coming around exactly to the pass between Fan Brycheiniog and Fan Hir, where you then descend quickly via huge steps. I had stolen a march over quite a few people doing this - a small navigational triumph.
Some good running on small paths before arriving at CP 4 at the bottom of Fan Gyhirych, with its enormous green west face to come next. This climb of less than a mile took 47 minutes!! (The race leader took 25 minutes.) (Peak 6, 1718).
The route off this including a smoothish gently descending track and I was able to open up and do some proper running for the first time that day. Caught up with somebody a long way off and found a good route up to Fan Nedd (Peak 7 1812).
I was on a mission to reach the Storey Arms (at the foot of the tourist route up to Pen y Fan and the main Beacons) before nightfall - would I make it? Very dark clouds were already appearing to the west. After the early rain it had been a very pleasant day of sunny intervals and breathtaking mountain scenery but now it was looking very ominous. In a gesture of misplaced confidence I had put my waterproof leggings in my drop bag for returning to the finish.
Tried to run up Sarn Helen but quite a lot of the route was rough, and occasionally a trench full of stones. Don't think it had been maintained since Roman times. Made a 'shortcut' up a steep hillside and the long climb to Fan Frynych (Peak 8, 2000). Coming off here it got dark very quickly, the wind strengthened greatly and the first large drops of rain could be felt. Things were looking serious. At this point I made my bid to bag another peak by deviating off the route a little. No-one followed me: I don't think they even realised what I was doing (Peak 9, Craig Cerrig-gleisiad).
A group of about five of us had somehow got together and the others were concerned about finding the top of the path down to Storey Arms.
I had made the mistake of going too high on my recce and going high was where the others wanted to go. It took some persuasion to get them all to follow me lower down and by immense good fortune I managed to find the path quickly in the dark (there is only one - a really great, technical trail, hugging the edge of cliffs in places and with multiple stream crossings). And the worst of the rain was also miraculously holding off.
Arrived at Storey Arms at 2118 elated, if behind 'schedule'. Just the central Beacons to go ...
excellent report there TRex can't wait for the next part
brer good luck hope the weather not too bad for you.
not sure about mars but i seem to remember JD may be up the road snd mountain from me today at lake vernwy.
good luck anyone running and racing today hope the winds behind and the rain holds off for you xx
BR, I was lucky, it was a fantastic night to be running, a bright moon and a sky full of stars.
Not sure where it came from but elated with nearly 20 miles in 2:36
Oh wow FR, that sounds fabulous and brilliant time too
Well, back from my pre-Snod lsr Grafham Water Marathon. Small field but super event spoiled only by the hellish wind and rain (remind you of somewhere?)
Camlo..disaster struck on the toilet-front for me too twice! Thank goodness it was a trail marathon and not a city one. Must review diet in the last 48 hours , Anyway, given that all seemed to be against me, I trotted around in 3hrs 39 mins and 2nd lady.
*** Breaking news *****
I've just become a grandad!
Half an hour ago. A boy. 7lb something.
Congrats, T Rex.
Yet another fabulous marathon performance by BR, huge well done
Congrats, grandpa! Nice running for a granddad too
Camlo and FR- nice running too
Chrissi- still here, but mega busy at work with a new additional role, and training of course
I ran the Lake Vyrnwy half today, but for some reason just couldn't get my legs out of second gear! Really frustrating as cv fitness was fine On a positive, I did feel like I could have gone round again - which I will have to in 3 weeks time No official time yet, but 80.xx
Brer- this is getting to be a bit of a habit well done AGAIN!
congratulationsWell congratulations Trex awesome news
well done Brer really hope you damn win snowdonia
great running everyone else
TRex - congratulations
Brer - well done esp under circumstances
JD - glad your ok and hope your enjoying the promotion.
Hi, does anyone have or know of someone who has a spare position for this event?
Yeh, TRex...congratulations. Wont be long before grandchild is packed in rucksack to go for an adventure into the hills
Well done JD, brilliant time..again
Congratulations Grandad Rex!
Great result yet again Brer! SNOD will just be a walk in the park to you! Tapering and Carb loading, when do you fit them in?
Camlo/Trex, I've decided that ultras are not for me unless I have a light guided path like areoplanes!
I did a much stronger 18miler this weekend, but I am building up for a big panic attack in the next week or so. Who on earth ever persuaded me that running SNOD was a good idea!!! You up for a good ole wobble yet Chrissi?