Sunday, September 01, 2013

Who Put That Wall There?

It was a bit of a hot one out on the hill. The Four Fans Race, what a cracker. I had a good run - until it went bad. On the final climb I hit the wall and from there my race was over but I'm getting ahead of things.

I drove over with Matthew and the Stotts - they were late to the pick up point but we won't mention that. Over to Storey Arms with plenty of time on the clock we each prepared in our own way - as I'm not into their meditation malarkey. At the appointed hour of the clock we set out to climb four hills and come back down from a mountain.

I ran with M on the first ascent with Judith just ahead. As we approached the corner cut off I, well, cut off the corner. M and J carried on along the track - unfortunately he had misconstrued my advice as where to cut off... oops [winks to camera]. As we approached the first Fan I was ahead by half a minute but I knew it wouldn't last.

Most of the runners were running on down from Frynach but I doubled back to follow the fence line and the contour of pleasant running - as it isn't known. M caught me and pulled away and by the time we hit the Fan Nedd climb so had J. We had all taken slightly differing contours below Cefn Perfedd but I think we can all agree mine was the most pleasant. M and I stayed geo-stationary but J was flying - I reckon she'd borrowed a big kite from someone and glided down...

Anyway on the Fan Nedd climb I was pants. Both M & J climbed like gazelles. I climbed like a decrepit walrus. From there, despite taking differing lines again, the gaps remained fairly even on the descent and climb to Fan Llia. Judith, the wily campaigner, took the half way angle between M and I - sounds like a musical - on the climb to hedge her bets. Fair play.

It was on the final climb, just as I was making a little head-way towards J - M was dead to me at that stage - that I quite literally died - and I'm permitted to use that phrase now as the OED has changed the meaning because so many people mis-used it in the past. From the half-way point on the climb it was effectively race over. I started to go backwards. Losing four places in the last couple of miles. The gaps were massive but the legs had nothing. I could not run save for the final down hill section. Even the flat was too much. Gill asked me to run for the camera atop Fan Fawr. At that stage I couldn't have run to avoid being run over by a bus - not you get many at the top of a mountain.

It was very enjoyable and the race itself has all the markings of a classic - especially when the cloud is down - which hopefully it will be in future years. All in all it's been a good weekend of training and my achilles feels fine so that one less thing to worry about. Massive congratulations to Judith in her first proper fell race. I think she was eighth overall which is a high five style impressive.

Roger, over and out.