7 icy miles partly with JS group tonight
Good going Jason (as usual)
Nice to have company AGF
1 mile w/u then 2 miles (6.59, 6.47), 5 minute recovery jog, then another 2 miles (6.56, 6.52), and mile w/d. Ideally i'd have had a slightly longer w/u but it is utterly freezing here, couldn't feel my hands after 3 or 4 minutes.
Sounds like great fun AGF, looking forward to seeing her picture.
5 miles last night with 3 at 7mm pace and an easy 5 miles this morning. First early run in ages and although too busy to run tonight it'll be good practice for doing doubles later on in the VLM build up!
Sleepwalker 20 Race Report - Saturday 24th November 6pm - Talybont-On-Usk.
A miserable day of rain, rain and er, more rain. Travelling up in the car was interesting enough, with the single road across the top from Ebbw Vale to Llangynidr having visibility down to about 20 feet, low cloud not helping on a road full of sharp bends with steep drops and no guard rails
On arriving at Henderson Hall I was greeted, as in the 2011 event, by a room full of serious looking runners. At registration I was asked to go for a random kit check but Duncan said that he wasn't doing any more and it was on my own cognisance. I'm a good boy though, so had all the mandatory kit, plus some extra bits that I though might come in handy, most notably an Edge 800 GPS with full OS mapping and route data stored.
Pre race briefing described very wet conditions (not surprising really) and an enforced detour at Taf Fechan forestry due to Larch Fungal disease. This meant a roughly 10 minute addition to course time. We were told to abide by the forestry commission wishes and follow the diversion which was one of the few places with tape to mark the way. Other than that they had reduced the amount of course markers to major decision points only. I'm quite glad I know the area fairly well or I'd have been filled with trepidation...
At 5:50 we all trooped over to the canalside towpath for the start. Headtorches flickering in to life mine didn't want to play ball. Bugger. I didn't want to have to 'DNF' this early . Fortunately, undoing the battery pack and fiddling randomly in the dim light got it working - I did pray that it would last though and it was in the back of my mind for most of the run. There isn't much light in the Brecon Beacons without one!
The first half mile or so was fairly easy going, a small crowd of participants partners and children cheering us over the canal bridge and off into the darkness of the first 3 mile climb up the Brinore Tramroad. This is usually a well surfaced track but was, essentially, a stream. No chance of keeping feet dry for a reasonable distance and I was regretting wearing GoreTex trainers as mine were doing a damn fine job of keeping the water in! After passing CP1 a rough, rocky descent led to the best off road surface of the evening, a 3 mile fireroad climb to Torpantau. The next few miles were a mix of forestry track and singletrack road, best described as gently undulating which led to CP2 below the Neuadd Reservoirs. Crossing the dam I missed the (not so) obvious path and ended up on the grass dam wall, the outflow to my left and glancing back, other runners about 100ft above and behind me. A diagonal goat-style trot brought me back on track the far side of the dam.
The next section is best described as a bog. Up over the knees at point, crossing fast flowing streams and with little way of knowing what would happen to each footfall it was a relief to reach a more stable forestry track alongside Pentwyn Reservoir. Crossing between Pentwyn and Pontsticill Reservoir CP3 loomed out of the darkness. A warm tea and Eat Natural bar being the reward of the previous 12.5 miles efforts.
The steepest, most technical climb up Dolygaer pops out onto the track at the far end of Brinau Gleisson. The moorland was misty and fairly disorientating with the light of the headtorches reflecting back and further limiting any ability to distinguish your position. The Edge 800 proved it's worth a couple of times, most importantly a quick glance telling me and several runners to turn left when we reached a point with no obvious choice [it's a good event for cameraderie].
The crags of Darren Fach led to a rocky double track with deep puddles and a need for determined concentration due to it's uneven and technical surface. After a few miles it was a pleasure to reach CP4. From there on it's a free-for-all where, provided you keep Talybont Reservoir on your left, you can pick and choose your route. I followed the outward climb back down, but it felt harder than at the start. Tiredness leading to a few stumbles and countless turns of the left ankle on rocks hidden by rushing water. The baleful lights of Talybont are a welcoming sight and a (very) tired set of runners arrived back at the end.
Warm showers, dry clothes, a few cups of tea and a good spread of cakes made us feel human again.
All in all. Very enjoyable. Tough. But worth it.
Finished in 3:15:53 and 13th of 74 finishers, ten of whom were unlucky enough to have 'DNF' on the results as they were outside the 5:10 cut off time.
Despite telling myself to the contrary, I fully expect to be back again on Nov 23rd 2013, health and well being not-with-standing.
It's such a unique event it's well worth doing so if you fancy having a go, sign up and I'll see you there
Thats A great report JayC. and 13th place is very very credible. Top running !!
Lulu - My new running Partner
and another photo....
NP. I think I might be seeing everything through rose tinted glases. I have not mentioned the downsides..... The shredding of air, the occasional dog "parp" and fact that when she goes down to the shops on her own to collect my daily paper she sometimes comes back with the daily mirror...and I thought I had here trained
Great report JCMSounds a bit hard on the technical DNFsNice pictures of nice dog AGF
AGF - what a beautiful Lab. She's got that "butter wouldn't melt in my mouth" look but I bet she likes a good chew. Has she started on your skirting boards yet
OH - I agree. They can get their finishing time, so the organisers do record it so I can't see any reason to give them a 'DNF'. It'd be different if the cut off was at a course checkpoint and they were stopped at that point and brought back by vehicle [I think that happens on the Dursley Dozen].
Great pictures. She looks like she could be a little madam.
Lovely photos AGF and great that she has settled in so well.
Rest day today, can feel the effect of the weights I did yesterday, squats with 30kg. Have bruises on the bones on my shoulders today, think I did it wrong!
Another good day's training NP, when does the plaster come off?
Great report jaycm and sounds like a tough race run well.
Looking forward to the weekend.
Fioan I cant wait for this thing to come off i have had enough already....
Jayc- great running and report
AGF- Not really a doggy person, but she does look cute
NP- nice running and swimming
Fiona- nice running- hope the bruises fade quickly!
Nothing much here- couple of days of recovery runs. Got Gwent league cross-country in Blaise Castle, Bristol tomorrow
Jay - Well done on the race! Course sounds a bit brave though!
AGF - Nice pics of the dog
NP - Good training
Fiona - Were you doing squats with the bar across your back, or front? Never had bruises on the shoulders with the bar on my back, but round the front is a different matter. Even with a much lighter load.
Jason - Good luck tomorrow
3 miles on the treadmill and some upper body weights for me today.
Aiming for a pb at parkrun tomorrow, would like under 20.30, but 20.44 will do! My brother has a more ambitious target of 17.xx, off an 18.42 pb.
Thank you for your generous comments guys. We are well pleased with her. Today we did the local parkrun and she was as good as gold and did not interfere with any of the other runners at all or bark. She also came in first dog of 5.
I hope you got yout PB stuart. ??
These weighst will definatley benefit you come London Fiona....super strong !!
Nice swimming NP.... I need to start doing that again !!!
Hope the cross country went well Jason !!
hope your well HM4/OH/Jay !!
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