Paul’s Blog – Part Twelve

I’ll talk about Doug Scott’s presentation separately, an amazing night, very well supported & raised a great deal for CAN, icing on the cake next year is being discussed…………

With the first dusting of snow on the tops last weekend, a couple of frosts & another ‘coldish’ snap arriving yesterday morning it is almost feeling like winter, or at least more seasonal late autumnal weather, has arrived in Snowdonia. We must keep our fingers crossed for the months ahead & our hopes for a decent winter season which is becoming long overdue after recent years.

It felt good to get out on the mountains with Neal yesterday. Having delayed our start until the rain had blown through we had spectacular views under clearing skies during our circuit of Y Garn, Glyder Fawr & Glydar Fach. The light at times was stunning but my over-riding memory was just how long it’s been since I last took in these mountains at a more casual pace. Indeed it’s been so long that it had me scratching my head on the best descent line of Glyder’s Fach’s rocky summit dome. I got there in the end, found the familiar ‘rocker’ but come on Paul, no excuses get out & walk a bit more! We arrived back at the car just before Dusk, a day intended to help Neal prepare for his forthcoming trek to Toubkal had awakened my own need to walk just a little more in these gloriously ‘familiar’ mountains.

Of course running is mainly to blame but cannot be sacrificed so time will have to come from elsewhere, Dorina, Gaby, can’t we find someone else to replace me?

My running is still on a high after that negative second half split in the Snowdon Marathon, the miles have been clicking by at a healthy rate ever since & plenty of variety including some new hilly circuits (in reality amalgamations of the best bits of old routes). Goals & targets are swirling through my mind, races booked & more to do. At the moment the running highlights for 2018 are my first Ultra race in May, 42 miles along the Annadale Way, followed in June by the Stockholm Marathon, 3 hours? dream on, no don’t dream just train hard & then harder.

My running bubble may take a temporary set-back in tomorrow’s Pen. fell race which I’m returning to after a year’s absence, the bog awaits & Chris Near’s pre-race e-mail warns it’s very wet this year (of course being a bog when was it ever dry?) & the final descent is very slippery, not my forte at the best of times. But this great end of season event is one to be savoured among so many like minded runners.

A few words now regarding Mike Blake, stalwart organiser of so many fell races in Snowdonia, the list is endless, his work for Eryri Harriers, his support to other race organisers (me included) etc. etc. All of this has led him to be shortlisted for this year’s Welsh Unsung Sports Personality of the Year award. Mike may not be able to run down Tryfan in 8 minutes any more (yes 8 minutes is his race record, when I believe the infamous ‘Mike’s Leap’ was born) but he would be a more than worthy winner of this award so good luck Mike, will the bandanna come off?

A final word, a drive to Sheffield on Wednesday saw Dorina & I talking to Tom of Jagged Globe for an enjoyable couple of hours, two inevitable things resulted. Firstly, I have been reminded just how much I don’t miss this country’s busy roads, how lucky I am not to be one of the unfortunates who have to drive through the log jam of the Stockport & Glossop area on your way to & from the Woodhead pass more than once a lifetime? Secondly, I’ve finally taken the plunge, deposit paid, Cho Oyu Spring 2019 awaits!

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