Paul’s Blog – Posted 12/01/16

A belated Happy New Year, all the festivities went in the blink of an eye & a deluge of rain! A big thank you to all those customers who braved the elements & visited us over the period, despite some genuinely horrific weather & the reality of storm Frank being a damp squid we had our busiest Christmas period so far. Who can blame anyone who took Met Office advice & stayed away alarmed at Capel’s one metre of rain during December. Capel reality though is that we are rarely in-accessible due to weather conditions & our Boxing Day warning simply was an unprecedented extreme event for us at the Siabod.

Winter has arrived, snow has fallen above 500 metres & there are rumours of more to come with dropping temperatures, so all those winter mountaineers keep an eye on weather & condition reports you may at last get what we’ve been hoping for!

My highlight over the ‘break’ (Dorina & I were actually at the Cafe for 9 straight days, she worked somewhat harder than me but at least ‘I was there’) were a Christmas morning run in Coed y Brenin & the Llyn Llydaw race on New Year’s Day. However I was put firmly in my place on both of these!

Firstly CyB: Up before my Father & Dorina saw me prepare the Goose & head off out at 09:30 for my ‘traditional run’. 3K later I reached CyB only to see a couple of runners returning to their van, good effort I thought! The next hour saw me tackling my mental demons in the cold rain trying not to abort the Half Marathon route despite thoughts of the hills yet to come. Then at my furthest point from any bale out option & having not seen another soul a fit girl came into view on my right & our paths met perfectly 50 metres later. Then it happened as I asked her was she doing the Goldrush route (an 8 miler) I was slapped in the face by her friendly reply ‘well I am now, but I’ve already done the Half Marathon & after this I’m going to do the Long Sarn Helern & then the Short Sarn Helern’. Guess I deserved that, what an effort 31 miles compared to my mere 17!! It was the same runner I’d seen with her partner returning to the van earlier. We chatted for a couple of minutes before our paths went separate ways wishing each other well, the second half of my run went by in an easy breeze, it’s all in the mind (well mostly at least), by now I think we were both feeling where else would we want to be on Christmas morning.

Back at the ranch after 3 hours or so I was in exactly the right mind to start 4 hours of cooking for the eight of us, we sat down at 5:15 & even though I say so Myself the Goose had never tasted better.

Llyn Llydaw saw a certain Phil Roberts (of Siabod Summit fame) put the next slap in. Phil had turned up earlier in the week & announced ‘Paul I’m just going to run up Snowdon, do you fancy it’. Well being just 5 minutes after lunch, NO I DIDN’T actually but I was planning a run later so I hatched a more sensible plan. ‘O.K. Phil we’ll park at Pen y Gwryd, run up to PyP, then recce the race route up the Miner’s & if you want to go on from there on your own you can’. This plan duly revised as we ran to become a full recce of the entire race route including both lake sections. It was clear these technical bits suited Phil far better than me, my only consolation being that Phil might whop Iain who would no doubt whop Me on race day itself. Without going on Iain didn’t show (Man flu), Phil did & duly came in a tremendous 3rd overall to my 29th out of the 77 brave souls who ventured out on New Year’s Morning. Phil is only an occasional runner, just imagine what he could do if he put his mind to it.

Despite these slaps I am feeling very positive about the year ahead, my weekly mileages have surged back above the 40 mark after a couple of lean months & I am extremely close to committing to those ‘I’m 50 this year goals’. Pen to paper on these is coming as will details of this year’s Reach Out for Nepal day.

Back to CyB, last Thursday evening saw me attend my first CyB training run with Matt Ward & his gang for some months, over 40 of us, what a turnout! We split into 3 groups so that there was length & pace for everyone. I urge you to get there this Thursday if you can, 6:30 pm at the CyB centre.

Finally thank you to that un-known girl on Christmas morning, your own effort has re-lit my running fire & it feels great!

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