Posted: 06/06/2016 at 22:07
Back from the most amazing weekend / race The Welsh Castles Relays , a club mate summed it up by comparing it to the Tour De France !
We usually take 2 teams of 20 but this year due to certain issues we only took 1
Travelled by 3 mini buses from Exeter to Canarvon north Wales which took including a lunch and tea stop 10 hours !!! along with several other runners from the other 64 teams we stayed in the sports hall over night ... some camped some B&B'd
After a fairly decent sleep dispite being on an air bed we were up bright and early to pack up and head to the town centre for the first of 20 stages which would wind all the way down through Wales passing all the Castles covering 220 miles finishing in Cardiff on Sunday afternoon
Once the first runner from each team sets off we all jump on assigned club mini bus to follow , pick up and drop off our runners
when i say relay what happens is each stage has set time to start and the start of a leg is about half a mile from the finish of the one before and starts befure the previous winners come in if you see what i mean
My stage wasnt untill 11am on Sunday i had run it before 12.8 miles and i wanted to better my time but it was 24 degs so I thought I just take it slowly at first as we hadnt sent a very fast team there wasxno pressure we had no chance of winning
I was dropped of at the Red kite centre right at the top of Drovers the views are second to non ! Thete was a mile climb to start taking it really easy due to the heat I let the fast ones just go .. and with only 64 runners the field soon spreads out and you find yourself on your own running your own race through tne most amaziing country side and welsh mountains my stage wasnt too hilly there were alot of steep down hill sections which i can feel in my quads today .... you are passed by all the mini busses and support cars of the other teams they also stop to hand out water and give support and cheers its fantastic , I felt much stronger than I was expecting and sub 8s were a piece of cake I was enjoying this far too much to race ! each mile ticked away , and before I knew it there were just 3 miles to go there was a nasty climb at 9-10 miles and i passed several people who were now walking and struggling with the heat , once we were at 11 miles it was a nice drop down into Brecon , I overtook a guy and handed him my last drop of water I knew I wouldnt need it now , he was gasping , I felt so strong , the slow sensible start had paid off ! ine last down hill section and there was the finish by the reservoiur 1.38.51. 2 mins off my previous time giving me the confidence to enter Torbay Half in 3 weeks ! its in there that 97/98 minute half marathon if i can run that course in that time in that heat surely?
, my support bus was there to collect me ... on it was the runner they had collected from the previous stage and the one we had to drop off for stage 19 ! stage 16 and 17 were already under way .... its like a military operation ! so after a quick drink and something to eat it was back on the bus ! to watch the last few stages ... the last stage finishes at Cardiff castle and its an honour to run it ! the guy who has this organised our team fir this event for tne lasy 15/16 years ran this leg and with literally hundreds of runners and supporters along with glorious weather it was some finish ! we actually didnt do too bad ! 27/64 teams ! Londons Serpentine and Wales les croupiers as usual were the top teams .... but seriuosly that event really is all about the taking part and fun factorv
Tomorrow I will read back to see what you have all been up to