Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Ol' Running Up and Down Mountains Game Don't Get Any Easier...

..and I am thoroughly knackered right now, flopped on the sofa as I type. Adding to the tiredness my balls are burning [snigger]. Or more correctly the ball of my left foot. I managed to get a piece of grit into my shoe with around four miles to go and with places to win or lose there was no way I could stop to get it out. Well that's the aches and pains dealt with.

My race plan, for the 27km and 1400m of ascent, was to go out very slowly and work my way through the field. I set off towards the back and initially felt really lethargic. I didn't seem to be able to run much on the way to Pen Cerrig Calch but across to Pen Allt Mawr I got going and picked up a few positions.

I found the holy trail down into the valley and followed the right hand route up to Pen y Gadir Fawr, picking up the 'have faith, there's a path over there' path where it flattens a little which makes the run in much easier. I was a few minutes slower to the summit than last year but that wasn't much of a surprise.

I scythed it on the way down into the Grwyne Valley but came to a grinding halt on the way up to Chwarel y Fan. Once onto the ridge I verily bombed it along the top though - Neil G was impressed with my turn of speed. From there I was feeling okay, due to my slow start. I didn't even feel a hint of sense of humour failure.

I managed to pick up a few more places up to Crug Mawr and despite going slowly up mushroom-less alley I was, at least, able to do some proper running after the summit down to the finish - although the final steep bit right at the finish brought me to a stop. I crossed the line in 3:18. Five minutes slower than last year but I'm pretty happy with that. I thought I would be worse. All in all not bad outing to the mountains.

Well done to John Darby and the crew of helpers. Another cracking Black Mountains race and a great entry of 93 runners - I was 31st, just exactly in the top third of the field, nice. Bring on next year - and maybe I'll reduce my finish time....

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