Brecon to Cardiff Ultra (70km)
This was another DNF but actually due to getting lost at least three times. On one occasion I was more than a mile in the wrong direction until a race marshal spotted me and drove me back to re-join the route.
On race day I awoke with a slight headache and feeling an unusual tension in the body. I put a couple of Paracetamol in my pocket just in case but the headache soon went. The left foot and knee were quite sore very soon after the start but I decided to persevere. As I reached the top of the ascent and the temperature dropped noticeably, the left knee started to react to the cold. It wasn’t until I reached the drop point and changed from the Peregrine 8 (trail shoes) to the Ghost 11 (road shoes) that the knee started to feel more comfortable. Most noticeable about the second half was the gentle downhill more or less all the way. My breathing was particularly unhelpful throughout the first half; it felt like I was mildly hyperventilating the whole time i.e. I wasn’t getting any value from the air I breathed; it was just straight in and out again. The scenery was picture card beautiful in places. There’s plenty of potential in the route to complete the race in a good time though the weather could be a key factor.
I was always expecting to finish just within the time limit so I set out at an appropriate pace to achieve this. Being lost several times meant I was unlikely to reach the final checkpoint in time but there was still a chance so I persevered. Then I found myself lost again about three miles from the final checkpoint and it was all over. I’d jog/walked about 37 miles but the battery on my mobile phone was completely discharged and by now it was well passed the cut-off point. Eventually I managed to meet someone who phoned the race director for me. Very unusually, my left knee was very swollen and I’m still recovering five days after the event.
The Brecon to cardiff Ultra follows the Taff trail. The first half is hard trail; the second half is road. Ascent = 3106ft Descent = 3415ft