I run up some mountains! – Last place: a running first

I haven’t updated in a while, but I have been making a little progress on my list!

I managed to tick off three challenges at once on Saturday – but I worked for every one! I’ve been wanting to do a fell run for a while and I’d been looking at the cribyn race for at least 6 months thinking how awesome it looked.

I managed to find a few other people to come along with me – probably the main thing that got me there! I was pretty disorganised about it – suddenly had the idea that my normal road shoes might not cut it on the wednesday before and managed to get a pair – and a bum bag(!) – delivered the next day.

When we arrived at the race the weather was gorgeous. We signed up, paid our £4 and read the compulsory checklist (err…oops! Better next time!). The start was a gorgeous, but tough initial ascent to checkpoint 1 in beautiful sunshine. At that point I was probably about 2/3 of the way through the pack. But then…

The descent to the river was terrifying! The route descended over springy heather along the side of a drop. As I started to pick my way across the remaining runners bounded past (crazy!) I wasn’t even making walking pace so by the time I crossed the stream at the bottom the runner in front was a dot on the landscape and I started to simultaneously wish I was somewhere else and wonder whether I’d ever find my way back. At this point it started to hail.

Next, I climbed up to the ridge of the first peak, cribyn, my hand up against my face to stop the hail from blasting my face. As I made my way up to the summit I made up a lot of the distance and actually overtook two people. The sun came out again in time for the next descent, the ridge and the ascent to Pen-y-fan. I started to at least jog a little on the downhill and challenged myself to jog 25-walk 10 on the uphills.

The two people I managed to pass overtook me on each downhill section and ended up finishing just ahead, which means I was actually last. You know what though? I think it might still be my best race experience:

  • the scenery was absolutely stunning.
  • 3100ft ascent in 5.5miles is pretty fecking hardcore
  • I am so impressed that I managed to overtake people after being so so far adrift after the descent
  • I’m not even confident traversing in walking boots and this was my first fell run – first time in off-road trainers and I ran up two mountains!
  • I went with 4 lovely running club people who were totally supportive, and helped me be proud to be last
  • The amazing vegan cake selection at the end was absolutely, insanely awesome.

Honestly, I’m definitely doing more of this. Mid-way through I looked around and realised I was genuinely loving it. Ive entered some more, much more gentle, trail and fell races and actually can’t wait!

Sadly, the shoes I bought in such a rush weren’t really man enough for this beast – New shoes to follow…!

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