Long Mynd Hike 50m

Inspiratioin and advice wanted in return for jelly babies

1 to 20 of 37 messages
13/07/2011 at 18:09

Have entered a navigational 50m, after a couple of 30ish ultras (one fell one canal)

 And  just wondering if anyone else had a number for the Hike, or ran it before and could offer any advice or inspiration from upping from a 30 to a 50m?

Do most of you do back to back training on weekends as oposed to long 30+ mile training runs? Or do you find 30m+ are the best?  I've always ran approx marathon distance+ about 3/4 weeks before an ultra, or had long 6-8hr + days out on the hills in prep for fell ultras. 

Advice on route choices you took between check points would also be welcomed

I have ran one navigation ultra fell race with a friend, and other navigational fell races but this time I'll be going sole in an ultra fell race, so tips on surviving the night section (This will be grouped).

Gonna plan loads of reccies, so I can try and be familiar with the route too.

Thanks in advance!

18/07/2011 at 22:51
Hi Prue, I've hiked (with buddies.. not ran) the Longmynd Hike the last two years, it's a fantastic event, very well organised and marshalled.

I wouldn't be too worried about the navigation. For the first few hours it's light and you can always see a trail of people ahead of you. At night you can see the shining of many head torches around you. You are normally grouped at night for safety reasons so chat up someone who knows the route!

I was totally unfamiliar with the area in the first year I did it and got round with only 1 minor navigational error. However, as I was hiking there were a few groups around you could pair up with.

In terms of upping the mileage, generally (in my experience) the more miles in your legs the better. Back to back runs on the weekend is also a good idea. However, it all depends on when you can train.

A word of warning, Longmynd is a challenge with about 5 big summits with two of these in the first hour. Take it easy to start with and settle into the race. Don't carry too much (there are some required items of kit), most checkpoints offer hot and cold drinks and snacks. Oh and beware of your footing along the Stiperstones path, you could easily twist an ankle there if you dont pay attention to the footing.

If you're intereted, my event report can be found here (just click back to Oct 2010 & 2009)


I've also put a short video on YouTube here:


As I said before, brilliant event. I'm hiking it again with my buddies (if you read the report there's some unfinished business for a few of them and it's a bit of a social event) but might be tempted to run it in the future.

Edited: 18/07/2011 at 22:53
29/07/2011 at 11:49

Avon, your a star!

Thanks loads for the information and I'll take a look at your blogs and you tube clip, don't think you can prepare enough for these type of events. 

 I have my first recci of a 25mile section tomorrow, I can split it into 2 x 12.5 miles if I tire (had a heavy training/racing week).  I think some of the bigger climbs are similar to those in the Stretton Skyline route so have them planted in my head as achiveable, but am worried for the Ragleth right at the end :-0 not knowing how knackered I'll be!

 Thanx for info on drinks /carring stuff, I know at the last ultra fell race I made the mistake of carrying and eating far too much.  So its good to know the check ponits are well catered.  I'm hoping to cut back a lot of time though at the check points as when I looked back at one of my races I spent such a lot of wasted time there. 

If you think of anything else, its all appreciated

25/08/2011 at 20:19

I'm doing this for the first time even though i only live down the road.

Did the half i didn't know yesterday, a circuit from the Stiperstones and really enjoyed it, i am not as fit as i'd have liked yet though. going to do it again but from Pole bank soon so i remember it and to help fitness.

Hoping to go under 12hrs but we will see!

I have been told that there is not much food at checkpoints is this not true?

25/08/2011 at 22:21

Stepping up from 30-50 miles is more a character test than a physical test. 

Very few people get DNFd in a 50 for physical reasons. 

The mental low point in any ultra comes around the half way mark, when people know that they have as far to go again. 

If you look at the DNFs in any ultra, pretty much all of them sit down and quit at the half way mark. 

Pretty much everybody who pushes on past he half way mark finishes. 

26/08/2011 at 09:48

Ben D - Thats an intersting take on it, it must be hard to get into your head at half way that its all to do again.  I think with this race as well the 1st half is very tough.  Steep climbs of Caradoc, lawley and long drag up Goc Bach. 

Chris - When are you planning on doing the second recci?  As on the 11th of September there is a race called the Stretton Skyline that covers more or less the first half of the Hike.  Its around 19m 4500ft ascent.

Under 12hours would be great!  I have no idea really what I am capable on, over this distance.  A couple of guys I've been reccing with said about 12-13 hours...  but we'll see, that sounds ambitious!

 I've reccied the whole route now, did 2 weekends out, and split the loops into 2 about 20ish miles each.  Think I have the 1st section similar to the skyline sussed and the last few miles from pole bank, ragleth and church stretton sorted, but feel I need another recci of the middle section over from Stipperstones and Cordon, too many turns and road over that side.  More that I first thought. 

Chris - I'm not sure about the check points, most pepole I've spoken to have been pleased with the race overall.  Think I'm going to take what I'm use to in reccies, bannanas, gels and sweets Might be worth dropping them a mail just to see.  Think in the rules it wants us to make sure we have energency food, the kit check looks quite strict.

I've still only ran for about 5hrs, around the 20ish mile mark most weekends.....  Need to step it up now as only 5 weeks to go tomorrow!!   

Edited: 26/08/2011 at 09:51
26/08/2011 at 11:45

I did the Stretton Skyline a couple of years ago and am planning on doing it again this year if i have permission from physio to run by then, just had elbow op so just walking at the moment. I know that part well as i use the hills there to train on regularly.

Like you its the middle bit i need to do again, did it with a guy who knows it well the other day (stiperstones-Stiperstones 23miles) have marked the map with the route we used, going to do it again soon while it is still fresh as i hope to be able to do most or all of it without having to get the map out.

Two reliable sources have told me that sometimes there is soup at one or two checkpoints but otherwise its just drinks.

Kit checks very strict, measure your bandages before you get there because they will!! Get there in good time too as apparently it takes a while and don't bother taking your time carefully packing your bag until after kit check as you heve to get it all out.

Its a lovely route isn't it even with the road bits.

29/08/2011 at 11:48

You get cold drinks at High Park and Bridges, hot drinks at Bank Farm, Shelve, Woodgate, Near Stiperstones and Pole Bank. No food. If you get back or wait at the hall until after 7am there is a full cooked breakfast - before it is just cereal and toast. Take some food.

You are always grouped at sunset - which they count at around 6pm. The trickiest part of the Hike is looking at other hikers on the first 5 hours to decide who would make a good group and who you definitely do not want to spend the night with. Avoid those who set out too fast and look like they might flake out. Also - avoid those who have done one or 2 recces and think they know the way.  There is a multitude of route choices - the good group is the one who does what I say is best!

Don't think you can't get lost - a few years ago when the fog came down there were hikers who are on the Long Mynd every weekend trying desperately to find Minton. There is a lot of road walking - more since the wood route to Black Radley has been disallowed. I am sure a better route can be devised in the Shropshire Hills - but its my local so I turn out every year.

11/09/2011 at 19:45

Prue, think i saw you on the Stretton Skyline today, if it was you you looked to be going well!

I was on the water station at the bottom of the Lawley, didn't want to ask/slow you down.

How is the long mynd hike training going?

13/09/2011 at 09:58

Chris - Yes that was me

I was really chuffed with my run on Sunday, as really didn't know what to expect, but I had a great run and felt good all the way round.  Started off slow and then just got comfy. Still smiling from the weekend

That water station was a god send, you did a grand job!  I was so, so thirsty and hadn't taken on board enough liquid, was dead pleased to see it there.  I'd hidden a bottle at the road crossing but was too late in the race.   Twas lovely to see quite a bit of support at the Lawley and water station much appreciated!!

Training going well so far, fingers crossed, my legs were trashed for the race, but seem to work well on the day.  I headed up a a couple of times last week and re-reccied what I'd reccied before and still found I was getting lost and un lost, its the bit over to Corndon hill and comming off thats a little tricky, but I think I've got it in my head now.  I just took my time trying to work it all out.  

Need to try and get another couple of days over there before the race.....  2 and half weeks now!   Eeeekk!

How's your training going?  I'm guessing the physio gave you a no to racing on Sunday ....  Will you be back running for the Hike? 

Edited: 13/09/2011 at 10:00
13/09/2011 at 13:02
Not racing yet as i don't want to risk falling, doing some long steady runs though on the route. Went out on Fri night so i could do the bit from Bridges to finish in the dark. Hoping to do 35 miles on Thurs, the first bit and last bit. Then i will rest, safe in the knowledge that i have done enough training!!
13/09/2011 at 13:17

Oh blimey! Well done! 

After that I'm sure your training is in the bag!

Think I need to re-think this weeks training  I've only ran up to 25ish miles in training...  also think I need to dig the ol' head tourch out and head over there one night soon.  Starting at the bridges maybe not such a good idea, their real ale is too inviting

Edited: 13/09/2011 at 13:19
13/09/2011 at 13:30
I know i did call in part way through a reccie for a pint, fortunately i had nearly finished!!
13/09/2011 at 14:07
Lol!  I couldn't resist stopping for one at Habberly the other week....  The last 5 miles back started off well but I paided for it in the end...   Its the way forward for ultra fueling and tastes nicer than energy gels!  
22/09/2011 at 09:39

Seen a comment earlier saying theres food. There isnt, so you need to take your own. Theres hot drinks on a few of the checkpoints and a breaky at the finish. 

As regards shortcuts:

1. Stick to the road after coming off the top of the stiperstones. Some people go off to the right, trying to cut the corner off, but its just not worth it.

2. There are a couple of different routes through eastridge woods. Adter turning right over the stile, most people take the second turning left (before the track drops down). Make sure you dont take the first left. Other people stick to the track around the edge of the wood, which is longer but flatter and easier not to get lost.

3. After you go passed the Stiperstones Inn, but before the road/track at the top of the road that bears off to the right to Shelve, there is a small path that goes off the road to the right through a little wood that cuts the corner off. If you do a recce in the day its easy (just keep heading for the top of corndon in the distance). At night, some people get lost in the main field trying to locate the second stile before the road.

4. The hardest part of the route to follow is after Woodgate Farm. Lots of people do this differently, but its too difficult to expalin. As an attempt - go throught he farm, up the field, bear right, with the hedge on your right, over a stile, turn right though the gap in the hedge then bear left down to the next stile. Go straight ahead and look for thestile in the middle of the field with no fence either side (!) to the gate into the woods. bear to the left and look for a stile on your left with a trough in front of it. Up over the brow and then straight ahead, bearing around to the left where theres an old farm machinery part lay in a samll opening, keep bearing left, passed the cottage/shed on your right, down to the stile in front of the road/track. Right onto the road/track and then left onto the main road before turning right for Black Radley. Easy, yes ?!

Corndon can get a bit foggy and in the dark its surprising how many people wonder off to the left after the checkpoint. If you havent got the fence to your right, your too far left.

Its also surprising how many people I hear say that theyve gone in Minton, just not thinking. Make sure you take the road to the left.

Ive got the route on my garmin. If you want it, let me know.  If not, good luck and enjoy it

22/09/2011 at 11:38

One other short cut - coming up to the Pole Cottage checkpoint.

After leaving the road coming up from The Bridges pub onto the track, pass through the gate with the white cottage on your right, continue for a couple of hundred yards until the track bears to the left and there is a small cairn on the right.  There is a small path from here that bears off to the right up the hill through bracken which takes you directly to Pole Cottage. It is however very boggy and not the easiest path to follow, so some people stay on the track to the top and then turn right.

If you take the shortcut through the bracken, just follow the gaps in the bracken as best you can and look out for a pond which should be close on your right after levelling out on the top of the hill. Once you pass the pond, youll see the fence around Pole Cottage straight ahead (no actual cottage there) which you follow the left hand side of to the road. Turn right onto the road and the check point is approx 100yards

25/09/2011 at 19:31
Less than a week to go, good luck everyone!
26/09/2011 at 18:08

Thanx Avon - Started to get a sore throat and swollen eyes today....The curse of the taper!  I hope it passes by Saturday

I don't think I've been so excited by an event before.  I'm so intrigued about how my body will fair over the distance   !!  

Captin Beaky - Thanks for all the info.... 

Think I'm happy with points 2 and 3 and have gone back another few times to reccie point 4, as I think its one of the hardest bits, especailly as it will be dark/ dusk coming off Cordon.

Not sure about point 1, I reccied this section right at the begining of training, and think I might have cut the corner, if I get time this week I might go and have another look.  Am off for a night run on Wed too, to test the head tourch, just a short one before the race!  

Just wondering what food you are all going to take??  I was going to stick with Fruit, nuts and stuff like gels,, licorice and sweets I've trained with.  But others have suggested more savory snacks like - Pasties, pork pies, soups, sarnies??? Just wondered what you'd all used before in 50ish mile events?

Good luck everyone!!!!!!  Long range forcast is looking good too

Edited: 26/09/2011 at 18:08
26/09/2011 at 20:32

Looks like it might be shorts weather!!! in the day anyway.

 Beaky, point 4, or you can go around the road, a bit longer but easier to follow and less muddy/rutted.

Think i'm taking loads of stuff like jaffa cakes/ jelly babies/ Mars bars/ bananas/ malt loaf. may throw in a sausage roll if i have any space left.

Just entered my second week of doing nothing running/walking wise which feels a bit odd.

See everyone there!

26/09/2011 at 21:24

I posted a thread asking about what food to take a while back - its titled Best Energy Gels ? An alternative to Torq. There are quite a few good responses and it goes on to what food in general to be eating.

When Ive walked the LH before, Ive taken a mixture of cereal bars, jaffa cake bars, a couple of small jam rolls, a couple of bananas and jelly babies. This sounds a lot, but Ive always been told to eat a small amount, often, ie every hour.

This year, running it, Im going to take gels, jelly babies and a few jaffa cake bars. I think when I reach the 30-35 mile mark, Ill want something to look forward to eating like a jaffa cake bar, rather than just the gels which keep you going but taste like crap.

Ive been told to stay away from is fatty foods such as the pastries, pork pies that you mention. Im certainly no expert and looking at other treads it would seem that some people eat all sorts of weird things and swear by them. The thing that keeps cropping up as a general rule is to stick to what you know and not try anything new on the day that you havent tried running on before.

That said, if you want something more substantial, perhaps something like these new mini pots of Quaker Oats (porridge) that Ive seen in sainsburys ? Theyre about £1 per pot each and you just add hot water, which you can get at the later check points. Will be lighter in your pack too !

The best advice that I CAN give you on what to take is ibuprofen and/or co-codamol (easier on the stomach than ibuprofen Im told). If you havent done 50 miles before and werent planning on taking any pain-killers with you, trust me youll be thanking me by mile 35 and wanting to give me a whopping big kiss when coming down Minton !

Best of luck everyone. Get past Shelve checkpoint and youre on your way home to a full english and a brew !  Craig

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