Well once again its a late report. Back in December I took part in the Brecons Ultra in Wales a 45mile race around the mountains. It was a 2 loop route with very demanding climbs.
The race started at 7am in the dark with runners already wearing head torches for the first hour. The forecast for the day was dry cool morning with rain moving in late afternoon.
After 4mile along the canal banks the first climb was reached a 550m steep climb which allowed the mind games to start known that this hill will require to be climbed again later in the day with a quick drop down onto a country road than back off road and another drop down onto a fire road all the height gained was now lost. We now began the long climb back up to a pass in the mountains locally known as "The Gap" at about 600m. The decent from here was quick but great care was required to avoid injury on the many rock and stones that littered the way down this 6mile section. Having left the mountains behind we make made our way along country lane and through some farmers fields before rejoining the canal bank back to the halfway mark at 23mile in 5hrs10mins.
Stopping for 5mins to take on water and some much needed food. I set off again along the canal bank and at 27miles the first climb of the day was reach again which was turned into a very slow climb. My target of around 11hrs was still within reach but with the weather now heavy rain and strong winds the bad weather seemed to have arrived early. Trying to stay positive I pushed on and headed back up to "The Gap" for a second time with visiblity down to 20m the drop down from "The Gap" would be slow and my intention to be off the mountains before dark was going well.
Winter Darkness was now with us and there was no let up in the rain and wind I continued to push on along the country lanes and over the farmer fields and back onto the canal bank for the final 4miles to the finish. I could see 5 other runners in front of me who I would try to catch but with a failing head torch things were going against me. I had now 10mins to complete 4miles and my head torch had stopped working. I did managed to catch one of the lads in front of me and ask if I could run with him to the finish due to having no head torch but it turned out he was dead on his feet as it was his first 45mile race. Offering each other support we worked together to get over the finish line in 11hrs49mins not a bad effort given the poor weather in the afternoon. Not a great fan of 2 loop routes but this was a good ulta with a great crowd of runners that I know from other races and the Mds Forum and no doubt I will go back at the end of year again.