Friday, 27 May 2011

Carneddau and Vanessa Chapel

These two races are at two ends of my fell running scale.

On Saturday, I did Carneddau, which runs up the 3rd and 4th highest mountains in Wales. It was blowing a "hooley" at the summit and I was very lucky to have a Dark Peak runner in front of me who knew where he was going.

It took me over 2 hours, and I was pretty broken for the last half hour. In the end I lost about 5 minutes on the Dark Peaker who I was with at the summits. It also has about 2000 feet of descending in one go. I can't really train for this in the Peak District, so my thighs were trashed by the time I reached the flat section at the end.

I was 9th out of about only 50 runners. A disappointing turn-out for such a great race. Especially one that demands so much time and enthusiasm from the numerous marshalls who sat on the summits in the dreadful weather. Here's me looking wet and tired after only about 40 minutes. This pici is from the Al Tye's excellent photo site.

Then on Wednesday night, I did Vanessa Chapel fell race. This is a classic Peak District fell race, relatively short and mainly on footpaths. There are also many more fell runners in and around the Peak, so there were about 180 runners in this race. I was pleased to finish 16th, two places behind my Pennine team-mate Steve, who is getting better despite his advancing age (only joking Steve).

Although I'm much better and the short and less steep stuff, this is only because this is what I train. Towards the end of the Carneddau fell race, I asked myself "am I a mountain man?" The answer was a defnite "No".