4 completely bonkers squirrels made the annual pilgrimage to Wales (5th year) for the Buff Winter Trail Wales half marathon held at Coed y Brenin. This was despite weather forecasts of freezing temperatures and snow. They were joined in Wales by Michelle's friend Adrian.
Michelle made an early attempt to scupper her competition by feeding them home made Victoria sponge cake which closely resembled rock cake. She hoped that the additional weight would slow them down but didn't account for eating two slices herself! Pre-race nutrition sorted (which included a McDonalds on the drive over - eeek!) it was off to bed.
Overnight rain guaranteed a muddy trail but luck was in as the weather was dry (albeit cold) on the race morning. Michelle and Ashley were well prepared with multiple layers and running bags full of food, ready for a mid-race picnic - yummm... Their race plan was clear - run, have fun, chat, eat food. Paul and Andy had slightly more serious race plans - they wanted to survive! There was suspicion from the females that the boys were holding back on their true colours - not a picnic nor multiple layers in sight.
The race is a very undulating race through the Coed y Brenin forrest. The trail takes on track road, open grassland, rocky and rooty (Letchworth is good training for the later!) tracks through the trees. The scenery is beautiful. It is well worth a visit even when there is no event on as there are permanent marked running trails at the venue.
Buffs (the race momento) and numbers collected it was time for Matt (the race director) to set us all off...
Andy and Paul sped off into the distance up the first hill (the race starts uphill) never to be seen again... Michelle and Ashley joined forces with Alex (from Aber running club) and started what was to be nearly 3 hours of continuous chatting and taking photos :joy:
So you may be thinking, what was the miracle...?
Well, first Squirrel to the finish line was...
Andy! In a time of 2.37.31 (4 minutes off his own pb but not quite fast enough to beat Michelles :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )
Paul was next in 2.56.29
Michelle, Ashley (and Alex) in 2.59.05 (with phones full of photos much to Paul's dismay!)
It was time to celebrate with more rock cake before heading to the pub...
Ashley is already poised ready to sign up for next year and is planning on weekly hill sessions between now and then.
Photos (and cake recipe) available on request :joy:
Sounds awesome and awful! Congratulations guys! One extreme to another from last week?!
Please send photos to me for the press report.
Thank you! Paula x
Yes it was a miracle number 2, me finishing.
It's such a fun event, once run I have been hooked. So still slightly injured, I ran it easy to avoid the injury getting worse. Super weekend.
True Athlete's guys - Well done.