I’m going to focus this report solely on the race. I have some massive issues with the organisation, or lack of, for this event but I’ll save that for another post.
Skyrunning is completely new to me but I wanted to do some races that would really test me in 2017. I’m much happier racing in the hills and mounmtains so the UK Skyrunner series was perfect to let me do this. With four races in the most beautiful parts of the UK featuring a range of mountain terrain from exposed ridgeline and grade 3 scrambles this would test me to my limits alright.
My first goal was not to die. The second was to try and get a top 10 finish, this one however depended on me accomplishing goal number one.
The V3K, which is the first round of the series takes in all the mountains over 3,000ft in Wales, also known as Welsh 3,000s. It’s been a couple of years since we were last in Snowdonia and I was looking forward to goin back.
The summits are:
- Garnedd Ugain
- Crib Goch
- Elidir Fawr
- Y Garn
- Glyder Fawr
- Glyder Fach
- Pen yr Ole Wen
- Carnedd Dafydd
- Carnedd Llewelyn
- Foel Grach
- Carnedd Gwenllian
- Foel Fras
I knew I would be slow on the more technical sections, especially Crib Goch, so my plan was to push hard where I could and just get through the scrambling sections as best I could, soak up the views and gain some valuable experience along the way. I had been suffering from an ear infection the week before and this was proving to be a bit of a nucence. You know when it feels like you have water in your ear and everything sounds like you’re underwater, it was like that and it was seriously bugging me.
After a fairly frantic drive to the start at Nant Gwynant, we arrived about 10 mins before the start at 5 am and opened the car door to a cloud of midges. After walking together to the start it wasn’t long before Victoria did the sensible thing and retreated back to the car to escape the cloud of midges leaving me ng me to be eaten alive on the start line with everyone else. What a way to start the day.
Start – Nant Peris Aid Station
Just after 5am we were off. The first little leg warmer is a climb to the summit of Snowdon. I started slowly making my way through the field, mainly to avoid getting my heels clipped by a cheat stick that a number of the field seemed to be using.
I was running nice and relaxed and taking it fairly easily. I settled into fourth place and was just enjoying the scenery. The first few miles are a nice track that climbs steadily to about 1200ft and then turns onto the ridgeline up to Snowdon.
We were in the clouds now and visibility had started to close in. I lost sight of the leaders and was struggling to spot the red course markers in the clag. I was losing time every time I had to stop and search for the flags and it wwas getting a little bit frustrating. The game of spot the flag would continue until the end of the race.
I started to get stars in the perphipery of my vision which happens now and again. I’m no doctor but I think it’s due to low blood sugar levels so I had some of my vegan sweets and carried on. It wasn’t long before Crib Goch and full vision would certainly help here. In hindsight as the race was only 35 miles I got a bit complacent with my nutrition and didn’t plan as well as I would normally do for a longer race. A 25min delay in the start of the
vegan propogander presentation race briefing meant we missed the
Nant Peris Aid Station – Ogwen Aid Station
Ogwen Aid Station – Finish
Victoria for just being amazing and coming with me. I’m just sorry that you had to sit through the rather graphic pro-veagnism presentation at the race briefing.
My coach Jayson Cavill for getting me fit enough to tackle these events and for all the help and advice. Looking forward to getting me ready for Ben Nevis.
- Scott Kinabalu RC shoes
- Scott Trail RC TR 4 Race Vest
- Injinji toe socks
- The North Face Flight Series Vent Shorts
- The North Face Flight Series T-shirt
- The North Face Flight Series Cap
- Jack Wolfskin Exolight Jacket
- The North Face Storm Stow Trousers
- The North Face Harpster Base Layer
- Petzl Nao Headtorch