Stuart Holding represented the club at the Big Welsh Trail Half Marathon on the 1st of June and gives us his report:
Well, I’ve not been doing much and I needed a little motivation to get the trainers back on so, with a little internet surfing and following on from the fun of the cross country season I signed up for a trail half marathon. It was a new event so no previous reviews but looked like a fun yet challenging event.
One training plan later and a few Thursday sessions it was race day.
Stood on the start line the weather was great for running, sunny but not too warm. With little recent form I thought a target time below 2 hours would be good.
Looking around at the start line there was a good turnout 200-300 runners and an obvious mix of abilities – the guy with the track suit pants and the road shoes was stood next to an obviously, seriously trained runner wearing a Snowdonia Marathon headband. I know you shouldn’t judge but I wasn’t planning on following either of them.
After the standard health and safety talk we were off. 300 yards, a left, and we were climbing uphill, a little steep but ‘nice and steady’ I told myself. Another 300 yards, a right, a steep downhill woodland trail and off along a muddy track were I came across the guy with the track suit pants splashing around in the mud.
To make this review shorter the next nine miles were an exhausting series of inclines and descents through a mixture of country and woodland tracks. Very nice, but very knackering.
At mile nine a friendly marshall cheered me along with a “the worst of it’s over, it’s all downhill from here”. A little cautiously I picked up the pace … slightly.
Mile ten, it was true, I picked the pace up more, excellent manmade paths over the heather covered hills. I was overtaking people!
Mile 11 the manmade paths stopped and I remembered the pre-race paperwork -IT MAY BE BOGGY AROUND MILE 11. IT WAS!! With no solid surface, my feet disappearing every other step I was down to a leg sapping walk/stagger. It couldn’t be over soon enough.
That over and I was home free, a tricky muddy path around a lake and a last half mile back on the hills just to add to the misery and it was all over.
A time of 2 hours and 2 mins. Overall 57th place. A nice café, a barbeque to refuel, a free T-Shirt and off for a beer. An excellent day had by all, what more could you want?