Elan Valley Round the Lakes 20 miles, Rhayader Powys, Sat 4th March 2017.
The trouble with this event is that to get to the 1st reservoir you have to climb for 5 miles along and up the small mountain road to 1500 ft at Penrhiw-wen and that took me about 1hr 50 mins. It was raining with a head wind and extremely cold so I was glad that my back pack contained several waterproofs. Then at the top in probably the most exposed place in Powys you could see for miles in each direction (no trees of course as nothing grows up there), but at least a couple of miles below us we could see Craig Goch Reservoir, the 1st of the 4 we ran around. Despite the non-stop rain and wind the sheer beauty of God’s Own Country (no we are not in Wolverhampton Captain Ross Cooper) makes this annual trip (my 30th out of 35 events)well worth-while. Well just about anyway.
So on we plodded with no farms, no houses, no people except the occasional car but of course plenty of hardy sheep and red kites soaring above us even in the rain, eventually passing Penygarreg and Carreg-ddu reservoirs where at least we were on the flat, albeit it very exposed, and even the rain had just about stopped but it was very slow going –well for me anyway-and still cold.
Then at last Caban-coch Reservoir came into view so just around 4.5 miles to go and all going well ‘till 18 when it was almost all very steeply uphill back to Rhayader for the town centre finish. Bit of walking there for many of us.
Trouble is it’s almost a whole day trip with a 2.5 hour drive there, the pre-race stuff, the run itself, showers then the drive back. In the past and good old days there used to be several of us from Masseys but not for many years now so 2017? I’ll be there even if wearing my Pembrokeshire Harriers colours. When in Wales do as——- you know the rest!
Massey/Pembs H time:
David Phillips 4hrs 58 mins.
At least it will stand me in good stead for next Sat’s Long Marston marathon (8 laps of the airfield with the most boring views imaginable).Give me Rhayader any day.