I can now appreciate why odd fell runner goes astray in the Rhinogs fell race. The terrain is a little on the wild side.
We didn't recce the entire race route as we couldn't be arsed to drive the 30 to 40 miles required to get all the way around to Llanbedr from where we are staying. Instead we drove four miles up the road, parked up and ran across to the Rhinogs from this side.
Our first ascent was up to Rhinog Fach. We found a well defined path which took us all the way. At the top the clag was down but that was no problem for my trusty forerunner gps. From Rhinog Fach it got rocky and the going slowed. Eventually it opened out onto open fell and we motored across to Moel Fre - although some might say 'motored' was a little bit of an exageration, perhaps pootled might have been more apt.
Anyway, from Moel Fre we moved off the race route and headed down to the road and followed that in the general direction of Rhinog Fawr to save some distance. Eventually we made it to the end of the road and headed back into the mountains. After what seemed like hours, miles of boggy swamps and some hundred feet of ascent we made it to the top of Rhinog Fawr. The descent was not without incident.
Top tip, when running a long run - and at 24km and 4,800 feet of ascent, I think we can consider this a long one - do not save the rockiest, most technical bit until you are completely knackered - doh.
The descent was slow going as we traversed from boulder to rock, from rock deep heather - it got even slower when Pedwar became transfixed to the spot with fear and wouldn't go any further. After some cajoling from Helen - not to mention twenty wasted minutes - he finally made it down.
On the final 2 mile run in we discovered that Brown Dog was limping on her front right. Nothing seems broken but it will probably put her out of action for tomorrow's run. Me, on the other hand? Well I've run a lot more than my normal weekly mileage in three days and although my calves ache, my quads burn, my back is sore and my arms have dropped off - I should be good for another run tomorrow.
Boot camp continues...