Paul’s Blog – Posted 20/03/15

The bug which forced my withdrawal from the Wrexham marathon two weeks ago was a nasty little piece of work as it morphed from initial Fever to Stomach Cramps (&….) & then finally chronic headaches over the 7 days it lingered.

Thankfully on day 7 (last Friday), Fraser & Kean were over to discuss our May presentation as well as a possible next sojourn to the Alps in late July to help take my mind of that blinding headache. In the afternoon we headed up to the Cafe to join Georg for lunch & then on to meet Steve Peake at the Beacon Climbing Wall near Caernarfon, have you been there? Well you should!

Not being a climber I was soon inspired by the antics of those who clearly are to have a go. Not as easy as it looked, my first two attempts on a 5c & 5a ended in failure (well I was weak from the bug you know) but thankfully a little later & spurred on by ‘Squiral’ Kean, who had made mincemeat of those first two 5’s, I recovered my composure to top out a 4c & 5a, not much I admit but it’s a long bloody way down from up there. A quick thank you to Steve & also Georg for their tuition & ability to keep a straight face when faced with something funny!

Saturday dawned, my god I feel well again, what a great feeling! Met up at the Cafe with Fraser & other members of the Liverpool Trekkers (Lee, Christene, Fiona, Sue, John) as well as my mate John for a planned walk onto the Glyderau from the Cafe. Topped out on Gallt yr Ogof & Y Foel Goch before reaching the distinctly snow capped & frozen summit of Glyder Fach before beating a retreat to the Cafe via Cwm Tryfan. Special mention to John (the LT one) for persevering despite a hangover (the night before he’d been asked by a Policeman, are you alright to get home sir!) & to Fiona who took on one of Dorina’s huge scones despite roars of laughter & embarrassing photo’s, sadly she failed, clearly 12 miles & 3 summits is no match for a Dorina Scone!

Our apologies to anyone who had a longer than normal wait for Sunday lunch partly due to a pleasant late booking for a party of 28 from Thailand, hope the atmosphere made the wait worth it. Now back to full health the girls had me on a long rope (horizontal this time) between the dishwasher & clearing tables for 6 hours, why do I ever wonder how lucky I am?

I was not to be defeated, at 17:30 I downed the scourer & made a hasty change into my running kit before shooting out the door undetected for a circuit of Capel Curig. Beautifully tranquil evening, fading light, splendid isolation, what a way to return to running after an enforced 10 day break, it was simply wonderful & capped off a great weekend.

Re-energised there has been no stopping me since, Coed y Brenin 16 miler on Monday (inc. the ‘Sting in the Tail’), Siabod Wednesday evening again beautifully tranquil & in splendid isolation (even a fall didn’t down my spirits as I came home in a respectable 1:16:02 for me at least) & then Thursday evening out with headtorch with Matt & his gang in the Coed y Brenin for hill reps. The Sting in the Tail twice in one week? I must be better!

Next up is the Aran Fell race this Saturday, a new one to me in which rumour has it Kean could be putting in an appearance, my spies have reported a gent of a certain age being seen huffing, puffing & cursing leaving the car park at the bottom of the route & then striking out for a recce of the initial climbs towards Aran Fawddwy’s summit. In fairness to Kean under interrogation by e-mail he has admitted to this recce, justifying it on the level of competition he is expecting on the day.

Kean you are entering into a win win situation. If you beat me I wouldn’t dream of lessening your achievement by making reference to arguably the worse 7 day bug known to man. More likely if you lose you can simply call it a day on your sport of ‘slow running’ & rise like a phoenix to take up your sport of the future ‘speed climbing’, there’s no way I’m going to be coming after you there.

Back to the Beacon Climbing Wall, whether you are a climber or a novice it’s a great place to visit, preferably with climbing friends to show you the ropes (no doubt they have instructors too). I’ve a feeling no matter what happens in the Aran both Kean & I will be back to improve our technique with the additional benefit of improving our Core strength too.

Well that’s the blog up to date, now to watch the remains of the eclipse before letting loose the chain saw at John & Marion’s, I am clearly getting older & wiser because I have decided to let the sun re-emerge before pulling the rip cord on the saw, see progress!

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