Having missed this well organised late spring event last year due to injury I was keen to return this year to kick start the new triathlon season. The short (400 metre) pool based swim attracts plenty of new and inexperienced entrants and with a gently undulating 24k bike leg to follow nothing is too testing. Likewise the slightly longer than normal run section (6.3 km) is not particularly challenging – an ideal event therefore for novice and experienced athletes alike. Cool conditions prevailed throughout so I was glad of the extra Club tee-shirt to both retain body heat and advertise the Club! Not a particularly large entry this year meant a pretty smooth and trouble free event and one I would certainly recommend to newer Club members for consideration next year. For the record I managed round in approx an hour and a half, enjoyed the occasion and instead of the usual selfie have instead attached a much more interesting picture of the bike used!
Llanbedr to Blaenafon Fell Race
A classic A to B ‘grassroots’ fell race taking in three major peaks in the South Wales Black Mountains.
15.8 miles / 4500 feet ascent
25.4 km / 1372 metres ascent
Llandbedr to Blaenafon Fell Race. 30th March 2019. By Rachel Tate
In my usual manner; a great friend suggested a race and I happily signed up for the challenge and merry adventure. The Llanbedr to Blaenafon Fell Race is a linear route across 15.8 miles, with 1375 meters of ascent. The race took three hills; Crug Mawr, Sugarloaf and the deadly Blorenge! It was outlined as ‘Hard’ and it certainly lived up to its name!
With a relaxed start of 12pm we had a long brunch with the hope of stockpiling some energy for the race and avoiding the normal lunch hunger pangs. My friend runs for the Hay Hot Footers and had arranged a car shuttle with other team members. Martin came to pick us up at 11.15am and the banter commenced, by the end of the car journey our names had flourished to Naked Martin, Salty Rachel and Bashful Bethan. It was a great start of a friendly (for me) ‘organised run’ that other people were racing in. I had a ‘complete’ rather than ‘compete’ ethic for this event as my training hadn’t prepared me for this particular challenge. It would give me a good indication of my current fitness level for my later challenge in October; The OMM.
The race started in Llanbedr and soon started the ascent to Crug Mawr. The terrain was rough but predominately dry. The path zig-zagged through wooded areas that provided some much needed shade. The first hill felt good and we retained our position of about half way in the ‘organised run’. The decent was quite steep and covered some areas of dried bracken, the best technique was to act like a deer and bounce down the hills to minimise cuts and potential trip hazards that the dried bracken created. By this time my feet were burning, I gleefully ran through every puddle to cool my feet before the ascent of the sugar loaf. The ascent to the sugar loaf was another test, a slow plod got me to the top of quite a crowded hill. On the way I was over taken by a guy in board shorts! At the summit lots of people were enjoying the view and commending our activity. I took the opportunity to have a gel and accept some water from a kind lady on the top of the sugar loaf; people are so lovely! The decent was magnificent! I got my second wind and felt super strong. Bethan and I ran down into Abergavenny enjoying the route that took us through dappled woodland. We managed to overtake approximately 10 people and caught up with the guy in board shorts. When we reached the drink station, we were told they had run out of jelly babies. How was I going to complete the next hill without a sugar fix? My legs felt empty! The guy in board shorts revealed his super hero cape and offered me a handful of tangtastics! They have never tasted so good! After the drinks station its up, just up! There isn’t 1 meter of flat, or flatish terrain, its up and its super steep! This is where the race starts; your endurance is tested. I found the only technique was to plod, keep your legs moving by taking small steps up the little staircase that had been worn away. Just look at your feet and keep moving. Unfortunately I would look up every so often and discover that I had covered little ground, I felt like Dorey from finding Nemo….just keep swimming! Eventually I reached the top with Bethan, who was still looking super fresh! After another 50 meters of walking to recover my legs after the final summit, we sped up to a trot and managed to maintain a good plod to the end of the run. It was a beautiful and brutal run. I would recommend it to anyone who has the motivation to plod around the hills with like minded people.
We completed the run in 3 hours and 20 minutes (behind the guy in board shorts and approximately middle of the pack), my prize was legs covered in scratches, the super feeling of completing a run with a great friend and the realisation that I love sitting still, drinking cold water and eating salty crisps! But we know, those things aren’t nearly as satisfying if they aren’t preceded by a mini adventure.
ClumberPark Duathlon 23rd March
Always a great way to start the competitive season (apart from last year when the event was postponed due to snow and ice ) and both sprint and standard distances available. The longer event doubles as a World Age Group Qualifying event so usually attracts a quality field but still retains a down to earth appeal. Weather was kind if a tad nippy on the undulating but very scenic bike leg while both flattish run legs are confined to the parkland paths. As usual the event was extremely well organised and delivered so can be well recommended for consideration as an early season starter next year. DD
Hi all, really sorry I posted this info on Facebook but forgot to put on the website. Turbo session resumes tonight and both swim sessions resume next week X
The duathlons are back. These are designed to keep people active during the winter periods, they are great events to assist with training.
For those of you that don’t know what it consists of we start 9am prompt with a 5km run from the top car park in the Goyt Valley, this run takes you along the old railway line before turning right to go off road and finally turns right up the steepest hill known to man!!
The bike ride is then roughly 18km dropping down the road to the reservoir, left towards Derbyshire bridge, left up to the cat and fiddle road, left down into Buxton, left up Carlisle road, left up long hill and then a final left back down the goyt road to transition.
The final run is a flat out and back 3km along the old railway line that you previously ran at 9am!
You can do this event as fast or as slow as you like, some people only do the runs, some only do the bike and others complete the event as a relay.
The best thing about this event is we don’t charge a penny for it. All we ask is that you offer a gold coin donation (basically a pound) if you would like to. We time the event and time the splits for people as well and it is a great event to keep coming back to and try to improve your time.
Water, sweets and racking for bikes are provided. Transition is watched at all times by our marshal. We hope to see you there.
When the duathlon competitors have set off we send the kids on a short 1.5km fun run. They are joined by one of our members and we emphasise the fact that the kids are out there keeping active and having FUN! Again there is no charge for this.
Everyone from a club is welcome. This is a training session and not a race!