Paul’s Blog – A racing update – Posted 20/04/17

As I spoke to Nick Bradley before the start of the Moelwyn race the Saturday before last it was clear he was ruing his luck as he commented ‘someone’s ordered this’ in response to my ‘bit different to the weather 2 weeks ago’. Nick of course is the race organiser for the Arran race which two weeks earlier had seen us lashed with rain & a biting wind. What a difference, the Moelwyn was blessed & would take place under clear skies with only a light breeze higher up. Not all good news as we sweltered in the becalmed cauldron on our way up to the Cwmorthrin mines, it was seriously hot but all in all what a wonderful afternoon to be running this fantastic circuit of Blaenau’s mountains.

So how did I get on amongst all that sweat & grimacing, well it’s becoming a familiar tale as once again Mr. Rowlands got trotted past me on the final descent, as indeed did other serial good descenders such as Emlyn Roberts & Gary Porter-Jones. To add insult to injury running across the Rugby field to the finish Liz Barker flew past me ‘rewarding’ me for supporting one leg of her Paddy round two years ago, in truth I could see the stamina of a seriously good long distance mountain runner as she went by.

My time was slower than hoped & only partly justified by the extra distance of the race this year, is this sounding like gloom & doom? Well there are bright sides to clutch at, generally other runners like for like times were down on last year, maybe the heat had gotten to us all, my placing of 39th was the first time I’ve ever achieved a top half finish in the Moelwyn field. However the main highlight was Kean who slowed as he approached the finish turned to wait for me to close the 10 metre gap & shook my hand as we crossed the line together. All thoughts of his cheating by using me as a Hare & bringing along a bus load of his supporters were well & truly forgotten.

Conclusion, more mountain work required in training or else it could soon be Kean 4 Paul 0 for 2017, have I really just written that?

This Saturday sees the Goldrush Trail Race take place in the Coed y Brenin, as I said before this for me is the finest of the marked Trail routes at CyB so the Cafe can expect me to go AWOL once again. I recced it 2 days ago which ended in me helping two women who’d got their car stuck on the course! What were they doing there? Still what could I do other than help push them onto terra firma & receive their warm thanks as I then led them in the right direction. My recce time (1:18) was 6 minutes down on race time last year, will I lose those when in racing mode, bring on Saturday for me to find out. Good luck to Matt Ward & his fantastic team for the event, to all the runners taking part I am sure you will enjoy their hospitality & route enormously.

Thank you to all our customers over a very busy Bank Holiday weekend & apologies to anyone who struggled to get into our car park or find a table. I sneaked out late Saturday for a short loop of Capel & then again for Siabod’s summit on Monday afternoon. there is a rumour that this latter run might be connected to an aborted call out for the Ogwen team but as I have prattled on enough for now perhaps more of that another day but rest assured that, for now at least, I remain a Non-UK Mountain Rescue statistic.

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