Cader Idris Race 29/5/10

AM 10.5 miles 2927 ft.
Started from Dolgellau town centre with a very professional start line looking more like the start of a big city road race than the usual random start of the typical fell race. And that's how it continued for the first 2.5km, running out of the town on the road cheered on by local supporters and some bemused tourists. We then get off road onto a flat track leading to a small boggy forest that we had to run through and around the lake. A couple of fields later and we were finally at the foot of Cader Idris. From here we followed the Pony Path up to the summit. Up until the Pony Path I'd been too hot in vest and shorts but as we started the relentless climb to the top the weather started to close in and began to rain. Although a bit chilly on top it was a relief not to be running in the heat(even if it did spoil our view).
The route down was the same as the route up in reverse. As usual I managed to over take a few people on the way down and was feeling pretty good by the time I got back to the start of the Pony Path. Then though, was the flat run back through the fields and boggy forest. My legs were shot. I lost a couple of places through the woods and a couple more on the final road section through the town. I let one place go to a local hero that was chasing me down to the finish line. I reckon I could have held him off but with all the locals cheering him on I thought it would be right to let him past.
Thanks to Alistair Fell Running Pictures
Good race and I think I'll put it in the calender for next year. I like the way it starts in the town centre as it's "their" race but can't help think it would be better starting beginning of the Pony Path. The slog back to the town is a killer. I guess that's what makes it stand out as a race.
It was nice to meet up with all the usual Shropshire and Welsh faces. Also good to meet up with fellow blogger Steve from Run Forest Run and his mate Ray. Yes Steve it's a shame we were both driving, a few beers would have been nice. Might have helped numb the pain of Rays war wounds too. You will have to let me know if he does ever wright the book "comparing the abrasive nature of rocks around the country", especially if it has photos of all his research ;-)

Road Run in Vibram 5 fingers

Flat run round the lanes and tracks near my house.

I've been reading a book recently, "Pose method of running", and thought I would have a slow jog to try to incorporate some of the authors methods into my running technique. Not sure how easy it will be to adapt some of Romanov's ideas into mountain running but he seems to be banging on about the same sort of stuff as many others. Basically, stop heel striking and run fore foot mid foot.
I've also bought "chi running" which I will read next. That, I'm guessing, will probably say the same thing but in a different way.

Wrekin Training Run 20/5/10

Run up and over little hill. Jog around the side of the Wrekin then fast as I could up the flank to the summit. The rest of the run was a slow jog down the north east side and around the south side back to the truck. No logs on this occasion.

Moel Eilio Fell Race 15/5/10

AM, 8 miles, 3000ft.
Knowing what the weather can be like in Snowdon I spent the evening before studying the map and writing compass bearings on a photo copy. I didn't expect the race to be well attended with other races on in Wales and if the cloud were to come down it would be difficult just to follow the person ahead.
As it turned out the weather was absolutely gorgeous. One of those few days in Snowdon when you can see everything for miles around.
the route
The race started in a random sort of a place, at the end of a lane, just up from the Llanberis youth hostel.
It started with a few words from an organiser and a blast from a fog horn. A steady climb up a track for about a quarter of a mile then off road up to the summit of Meol Eilio. It was a pretty relentless undulating climb of about 1600ft. The views on the way up were breath taking. I'd been spending all my time looking to the left towards Llanberis pass and it was only when some body told me to have a look to the right I realised you could see across to Anglsea and out over the Irish sea.
Anglsea and Irish sea
Next was a 300ft drop then climb up to an unnamed peak then on to Foel Gron and continued along the ridge to Foel Goch. A steep 425ft descent down to Bwlch Maesgwm before the final ascent of about 700ft up Moel Cynghorion.
Top of Moel Eilio with Foel Gron, Foel Goch, Moel Cynghorion and Snowdon streaching out into the distance.
Then a Quad busting descent down the north west side of Moel Cynghorion towards the last check point on a path. There wasn't much left in the legs then but I was able to pass a few people on the shallow descent down the path towards the finish.
A great race in a great part of the world.
We hardly saw any people on route. Llanberis was packed with tourists who must have been trudging up Snowdon in their droves. Seems daft that every one aims for Snowdon when there are so many quieter just a scenic places within a few miles.

Looking forward to going back in September to have a go at the Peris Horse Shoe.

Caradoc Classic 12/5/10

AS 3.5 miles 880 feet. The second race ,of six, in the Shropshire Hills Summer Series.
Thanks to Alistair for this photo
I've not done this race before and was glad to be able to give it a go this year. Starts with a short run to the south side of Caradoc, then, straight up to the top. As usual I lost a few places on the way up, but, because of a different route on the way down, with a slightly longer run from the base back to the finish line, I was able to pick off a couple of people on the run in. For me the weather conditions were perfect. No rain, no wind but quite cold. Great to see all the usual faces and catch up with people before and after the race (hi Jim). I'm really looking forward to the next race in the series. In the meanwhile though, I'm hoping to do Moel Eilio at the weekend.

Wrekin Training Run 5/5/10

Wrekin run in the mist and rain.
Tried to push myself going up the hills and gentle jog on the flat bits. Out for about an hour and a half. Not my best run, it all seemed a bit of an effort. I could only just be bothered to carry a very small log back for the wood burner. Must try harder next time.