Friday, July 18, 2014

Muggy Malverns

I went for the tried and tested out and back across the Malverns, starting and finishing from Hollybush - that's the southern end. It's a route that combines a long run with a hill session. The hills are all short and sharp. Some sharper than others and to be fair I struggled. I think I struggled more with the weather conditions than the hills though. Although looking back I was pretty feeble. The mugginess was horrible. I got really hot and it didn't help that an energy gel leaked in my bumbag so then I ended up getting hot and sticky. The gel got on everything - not good.

There were loads of people out enjoying the hills today but the views weren't as good as they can be. Seemed more than normal but that doesn't seem to be helping the paths from getting overgrown. A few of the early sections were quite overgrown. Hence the reason I'm sporting a fair number of bramble scratches and nettle stings.

I slightly spoilt the finish of the run. From Midsummer Hill I followed the left path towards Pillow Mound - yes, it's really called that. I've never tried it before and there were a few path off-shoots from it - one of which I should have followed, because before long the path I was following started to head in the wrong direction. I followed it for a bit to see if it would turn back in the right direction but it didn't. So then I decided - rather stupidly as it turns out - to try and cut back through the woods. Fail. I eventually ended up back on the path having had to abort on account of requiring a machete to continue. Yes, it would have been easier just to have back tracked along the path in the first place - but where's the fun in that?

Anyway, eventually I picked up the correct path a before long arrived back at the car. Was I ever hot though. I was practically melting and when I opened the car door the heat wave nearly took my eyebrows off. In all I covered 21km with almost 830m of ascent in a fairly slow 2 hours 15 minutes - seasonally adjusted the hiccup at the finish.

Haven't decided what I'm doing tomorrow. I think I'll probably give the Waun Fach fell race a miss but I might re-recce some of the Steam Bunny Bluff to work out the best descent line off Waun Fach and in the process catch the race at the summit.

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