Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bit Disappointing

Not with the run but the promise of gert lush conditions so cruelly withdrawn. I was bathed in sunshine on the drive across to Llanthony. I was bathed in sunshine as I ascended up to Offa's Dyke. After ten minutes along ridge the cloud descended and, well, that was that for most of the run.

Setting off I was really looking forward to some great views so in that respect the run was a rather large disappointment. Still, I got the miles run - and I even managed to add a mile pirouette as I ballsed things up royally in the near zero visibility as headed off Rhos Dirion for the ridge down to Waun Fach. I knew there was a gate to go through, and having veered a little off to the left to keep out of the boggy path I ended up heading off to the left on a small path. Once again my spidey senses told me something was wrong as I looped back round to attempt to locate the gate again. Second time round I kept to the right to successfully find it. Mind you, the bloke I passed - twice - must have wondered what was going on...

The other disappointment was that the live tracking stopped working so soon into the run. I checked on things once or twice and it appeared to be doing the business - ie, it was showing the route plotting away merrily on the screen but it must have got fed up sending it up to the interweb. Oh well, more investigation of other tracking software required, me thinks.

Anyway, back to business. The run along the ridge over Waun Fach and Pen y Gadir Fawr was fairly text book - even if one couldn't see anything. Even had time to stop atop Pen y G to give some directional advice to a group of walkers who asked for a little help. I'll tell you what though, the run from Rhos Dirion to Crug Mawr goes on forever and when you can't see anything it's pretty bloody boring - might as well have been road running - ok, maybe not. Finally as I approached Crug the cloud lifted and the sun came back out to play.

Having reached Crug I then dropped off across no mans land down to the edge of the forest - a little recce I've been meaning to do for a while to test the possibility of running a direct line midway up the forest boundary to Crug in the BM race. The terrain wasn't actually as rough as it looks. Can't say for certain as I need to run it in the proper direction but my initial feeling is that it could be a goer. I will know more once I go at it in the race direction.

From there I followed a few foot paths here, a few foot paths there - and a few that weren't there at all before ascending up to Bal Bach and dropping down to Llanthony and the finish. In all I covered 26 miles with about 4,500 feet of ascent and, as you can see from the route, I didn't add the bonus section for extra climb - but then again, we all knew I wasn't going to, didn't we?

Home now and bloody knackered. Toot toot.

Today's 26 mile loop out of Llanthony...