I’m going to try to document the races I do this year, I’ve gotten out of the habit since the Tour Divide.
Wales in winter, it was either going to be wet or wet. Oddly, it was snowy, quite snowy.
A trip down to North Wales knowing you’re going to be out running a mountain marathon in thigh deep snow is one spent in contemplation. Thinking about where the controls could be across a vast area of proper mountain terrain. Wondering have you brought the right layers for four hours of running with 30 mile an hour winds predicted . Figuring out where you were going to get food afterwards, and sagely knowing that it would be Petes Eats, why Wilf’s of Wales. The important things in life.
The trip down to Capel Curig for the first round of this years Kong Mini Mountain Marathon series was spent mostly watching the cars thermometer oscillate between freezing, and ok. A quick stop at registration before the 20 minute walk to the remote start off the A5…not that remote. The map was the usual mixture of obvious controls and some “probably going to be slogging through knee deep powder” decisions that had to be made quickly as weather was due to close in early on in the day.
A tactical late start had me out following a mostly beaten path by the runners ahead of me. Positive to this were a day with little to no real navigation outside of making choices on mostly hard packed trails. The negatives being when the line was obviously poor and decision time came around: slog through the snow on an optimal line, or run a bit further.
Either way, just under four hours passed and I shuffled back to the control centre in 9th place in senior men, but much worse for wear than I’ve been in a while. A lack of hunger resulted in a little bit of a bonk during the last hour and a minor navigation error cost me a control. One control equalled five places in the finishing order.
With the next round being in the Lakes in April we should be running in better conditions. but I wouldn’t count on it. It’s not like mountain marathons are supposed to be easy.