Paul’s Blog – Part One

Well it’s been a while since I’ve given an update on what I’ve been upto on the Welsh Hills, in truth not a lot compared to the standards of recent years but that is in part at least due to the seemingly continuos Wind & rain at the start of the year, I do not like being blown over on summits! I was lucky enough to get up on all 3 mountain massifs (Snowdon, Glyderau & Carneddau) in my crampons before Christmas but alas since then only once more with my friend Georg who got me on the end of a rope on a snow gully on Carnedd Llewelyn at the start of this week. It was good & necessary prep for Fraser’s & mine plans for Gran Paradiso & Mt Blanc this coming July. I have at least been doing a little bit better when it comes to running & put that down to a combination of the lingering effects of Himalayan High Altitude & the increased training mileage I did on my return at the end of last year. New’s Year’s Day got off to a cracking start when despite rolling into bed at 4:00 a.m. after a heavy night I managed like many others to drag myself out of bed for a 10:30 start on the Llyn Llydaw race. Thanks to the organisers for giving us a great way to start the New Year & clear the cobwebs. Cafe was busy so my planned lift back from Dorina didn’t materialise resulting in me having to run back from Pen y Pass instead, a bit relieved when Dorina’s car came round a bend shortly before I’d reached PyB!

Training runs since have often been rewarding with several pb’s & I actually won the Siabod staff race (in the abscense of Tomos)! But with James looking eager for revenge & Tomos returning for our planned race 2 at Easter my title looks to be a temporary affair only.

Last Saturday despite a bit of a temperature & sore throat I turned up to tackle my first Dolgarrog Pipedream race, this is an event if sheer madness which soon after the start tackles 517 Steps (yes 517 & bloody high ones at that!) before following the pipe further onto the back of the Carneddau before a looping climb & steep descent back to the finish. My time of 47:53 won me no prizes but it was just great to be apart of such a quirky race so thanks to race founder & organiser Craig Jones for all his ingenuity & hard work. The next day I met up with Steve & others for the Eryri training run from Capel to Llyn Buchan, Crafnant & returning via Crimpiau. It must have been 9 miles or so but with 3 others (Jeremy, Matt & Hayley) having also been at Dolgarrog the day before the pace was (for me at least) thankfully not too stiff.

Looking ahead the calender is filling up. April contains the Moelwyn’s & Snowdonia Half Marathon (I really need to visit the notorious hill from Trefriw to Geirionyd), May has Cadair Idris, June The Welsh 1,000 metres (I’ll be in the walking original route trying to beat my pb & get amongst the prizes) is followed by my first Full Marathon at Coed y Brenin. I ran in the Half Marathon there last year & that was pretty damn hard, what am I letting myself in for! There’ll be mixed feelings in early July, having met with Ross last week to discuss The Moel Siabod Fell Race which I’m taking over the reigns of organising it from him it soon became apparent that there is no way of being able to run in it as well. It made me realise how lucky we are to have so many dedicated people organising all of these great races, to those of you concerned especially those like Mike Blake who organize multiple events, great job, well done!

Plans for August onwards on hold awaiting to see how the Alpine trip goes although in the back of my mind a two day assault on The Paddy Buckley Round in prep for the real thing in 2014 is a thought that’s beginning to linger. That said hopefully a Team Siabod entry into The Oggie 8 Challenge will materialise. Don’t worry Chris & Fraser the Welsh 3,000’s is still on but we’ll have to start planning it, what about May?

So it’s looking like a great year, let’s hope the sun shines & those Shin Splints can be managed. Hope your diaries are filling up too with things to do in our superb environment.

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