That was absolutely brutal, at just over ten miles & over 3,500′ of climb the stats don’t really do it justice. It would appear the route is specifically designed to ruin your quads on Cynhorion, in my case the descent did this (when will I learn to let go) then force you on to the remaining 7 miles or so through a series of climbs & descents which slowly increase the physical pain but ease the mental pain as each one is put behind you. I still remember reaching the summit of Foel Goch thinking how far off Moel Elio looked & that there would still be 4 miles to go once I’d got there.
Earlier a smile had been brought to my pained face when I realised that I had miss-heard two Marshalls. Approaching the Marshall at the Sheep Folds I was surprised by her greeting ‘it’s Happy Man’ particularly because after the Cynhorion ascent I felt anything but HAPPY. Then even more to my amazement after just maintaining a run up the Telegraph Path another Marshall despite her surely being able to see that I was in pain again greeted me with ‘it’s Happy Man’, was this some kind of motivational speak the organisers had laid on in the hope that we would forgive them for the harshness of the route? 10 metres later as I began to walk to the foot of Foel Goch the penny dropped, My grey haired moments cleared as I realised they had both actually said ‘it’s Café Man’!! Thanks for the greeting girls much appreciated.
As normal I lost a few places on the descents on the run in but felt O.K. until that last climb up the field to the Finish. Stroke of pure malice to put the start at the bottom of the field & Finish at the Top. As the breed known as ‘Fell Runners’ clearly the organiser being of the same breed knew that we would all rather drop dead than be seen walking on this Final climb, thanks guys nice one & yes I felt I just wanted to throw up as I crossed the line.
My time was respectable for me at least, 2:08:06, which placed me 121st out of 182. Well it was a British Championship race so just taking part & trying not to embarrass Myself was my only goal. Best moment despite the pain was a good climb up Cynhorion, worst being overtaken by a guy in the Over 65 category coming down Moel Elio who was only good enough to be runner up in his class! The race winner was Rob Hope in an amazing time of 1:24:53, simply breathtaking, throughout all classes both Male & Female there were some awe inspiring performances.
As always thanks to race Organiser Mike Blake & all those Marshalls, Time Keepers & others who helped to make it yet another great event to be a small part off.