Or was it a Pentathlon or Quintet?
National Trust Colby Woodland Gardens 5k, Amroth, Pembs.
As usual in Wales for the start of our hols in Pembrokeshire it peed with rain at the start of this super Park Run over 3 laps of the grounds, woods and gardens of this wonderful place. Trouble was the paths are all stony and rocky and with the 2 hills per lap make it quite a tough event. Anyway > 70 of us chugged round and then I got an email that I came 1st in my age category. What does that tell us?
Dave Phillips 34.10
Sat 29/8/15 Ras Beca 5 mile Fell Race, Preseli Mountains, Croswell, Cardiganshire.
I’ve done this about 15 times now and most people do it once and say “never again”. Why? It’s possibly the hardest, daftest, most stupid thing to do on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of nowhere. The start is in a field and 75 of us stood in running water on the line waiting for the “off”. Then it was just water, mud, bogs, heather, bracken, rocks, no trail or track-just follow the bods in front (70 in my case). The recent rains had made this just a quagmire from start to finish so swimming would have been the best option. Mind you, ever tried swimming in black peat bogs?
So a half mile “water start” then the 1 mile climb to the top ridge where the views were spectacular in all directions but the rains had turned the top into a black peat bog where you were never less that ankle/calf deep in black filth.
Eventually the downhill descent started but it was so steep that danger loomed at every step.
By now I was black all over from numerous falls in the peat bogs but the worst was yet to come. The final mile is over a swamp with no real path and it was thigh deep in parts in water and swamp mud.
Eventually the end was in sight and for the 1st time ever medals greeted us at the finish.
Then a bath/wash/shower in a nearby stream.
Why Ras Beca? Google it and also Google the Rebecca Riots of 1839 and you’ll see why the winner is handed an axe as he/she crosses the finish line and smashes a gate that is in the way.
Dave Phillips 74.19.
Sunday 30/08/15. St. Clears 10k, Carmarthenshire.
TROTS running club put on their usual event that attracted 105 runners this year with a handful of those who also did Ras Beca. But again this is a very hilly course so I was glad to plod round on the lonely lanes in this part of Wales.
Much of the time I was alone except for the Ambulance guys on their bikes who kept an eye on us all.
The 1st 5k was almost all uphill then it eased a bit on the homeward half until the Leisure Centre came into sight and again for the 1st time there was a T shirt memento for all finishers.
After the prize giving the last lady finished (no one knew she was still out on the course and it was her 1st race) and there were no T Shirts left and she was distraught. “Hold on and I’ll get mine form the car and you can have it” I said. I got the biggest hug of my life so all’s well that ends well.
David Phillips 65.10.
So the Trilogy was over but during the 2 weeks I again joined the Tenby Male Voice Choir as a guest for the final numbers of their 2 concerts in St Mary’s Church, Tenby in front of large audiences so the Trilogy became a Quintet I guess. Back to normal now with the Leam Track Race on Wed and Wolves marathon on Sunday. At least there won’t be any mud.
Race reports by David Phillips.