Can’t believe that with the World Master Running Champs. being only 3 days away I still haven’t got to try out the course but at least my activity levels have risen a bit recently with a couple of runs & a walk within the last few days all with there own highlights.
First up was the Elidir Fawr race last Saturday, a first for me, why did I leave it so long. Turning up for registration just after 1:00 pm I had my eyes open by stand in race organisor, Mike Blake who else, that it was not an up & down route but included a traverse round to Foel Goch before a long ridge descent. The turnout, 14, was disappointing but gave it a great family feel, with discussions such as ‘shall we run it as a pack’ being loosely suggested. Another more notable point was made as a few miles down the road a major obstacle type event was being held, entry fee reportedly £140 compared to our £3, says it all, pretty sure we had a better time all round!
Back to the start, we’re off, red-mist descended, pack running who suggested that obscenity this is a race, see you Stuart!
The notorious climb up Elidir Fawr from Nant Peris has sunk many early on a Welsh 3,000 challenge & in my two ‘speed’ attempts I had clocked up 1:02 & 1:01. Clearly fresh legs in race mode I would finally expect to break the hour mark but was still very pleasantly surprised to clock the summit in 46 minutes in 5th place chased closely by Megan Oliver who got me early on the descent of Cnicht the week before.
Deja Vu as under the foot of Foel Goch she was clipping at my heels so I did the obvious thing of letting her through on the easy line before starting my pursuit. The gap grew, closed & grew again during the fabulous routes closing stages but hitting the tarmac she was still in sight. Gave it my all (it’s a race) but despite closing to within 20 to 30 metres it was beyond me so a respectable 6th place in 1:21:40 had to be settled for. Another of the pack animals Stuart came in a short while after, looks like it won’t belong until he’s beating me like last years version.
Thanks to Mike as well as Maggie, Alwyn & a young Marshall for pulling the race out of the bag, what a glorious route despite that climb let’s hope next year in can be a North Wales counter, it’s simply too good to drop of the calender!
Monday morning I extended my walk with Nick by scuttling up to the penultimate plateau of the Miner’s track on Glyder Fach to be rewarded with a wonderful vista of Tryfan & the Carneddau breaking strikingly through a cloud inversion & almost got the icing on the cake of a Brockenspectre, not quite but ooh so close. Back at the Cafe a couple of hours later Maggie Oliver popped in for a coffee, my first victim, ‘Maggie, do you want to see some Cloud Inversion pics’, she was very patient!
Tuesday came & Sion & I rendezvoud at Dolgarrog, he’d promised to show me the running course for this Sunday’s Dyffren Conwy Triathlon which I’ve entered with Phil & Penny. All I can say is what a brutal climb that first hill is. As Sion skipped away from me I tried to keep running on a gradient steeper than I’ve ever tried to run before but at halfway after approx. 180 metres height gain on what must have been largely 1:3 gradient the inevitable happened, walk Paul, walk, so I did. The rest of the recce was more enjoyable but it is a serious test & clocked in at 13.9K rather than the stated 12.
The taking part on Sunday will be the main thing, plenty of acquaintances are doing likewise, can’t see us getting on the podium but with Phil’s biking skills you never know. Good luck to everyone, may the sun shine & the sweat pour.