Black Mountains Trail Race: Race Report by Adam
Leading up to the race we had high temperatures, low temperatures and the weekend before floods so it was hard to guess the sort of conditions to expect for the Likeys sponsored race which took place on Sunday 10th November. We were in luck with a morning of beautiful sunshine and temperatures which were just right for running.
The race HQ was Crickhowell High School where the Likeys pop up shop was in full flow with Emily and Ant helping people choose last minute essentials for the race as well as nice bits of kit for their training and future races. Likeys will be 'popping up' regularly at local races in the future and also those further afield so look out for us and come and see us for kit, advice or even just a quick chat.
After the normal registration admin and fumbling with safety pins the competitors made their way to the start line and after a slight delay to allow for a couple of embarrassed stragglers we were off.
We were lucky to have beautiful sunshine to go with the Autumn colours
My plan was not to go off too hard and to see how I was feeling before potentially pushing the pace later in the race (the lazy runner's approach). Mike Pfeiffer who was also running for team Likeys completely disappeared off the front but was not leading as others had gone off at a pace that Mike was sure would be unsustainable. This is an out and back course with a turnaround near the church in in the lovely quaint village of Llanbedr. Before the final climb to the half way point the leader passed me followed shortly by Mike who was looking fast.
Mike from Team Likeys pushing to take the lead
I had a good second half and was happy to run the second half 5 minutes quicker than the first (helped by the fact that there was less elevation gain going in that direction). I pushed it on the final climb and descent to the finish and it was nice to see Lyndsey, my partner, there. I was really pleased when she informed me that Mike had won the race so I went to congratulate him and pick up my finishers bottle of beer. Before heading back to the race HQ for a slice of home-baked cake! There were also showers and hot drinks available which was great.
Nearing the final descent to Crickhowell
I had recced the course with Lyndsey and so already loved the range of terrain and views but now know it also works really well as a race route. Ruth the race director (and owner of Element events company) seemed really happy with the way everything went on the day (and that it was over). From my point of view the race was on a beautiful course, had great organisation and really good facilities. I'm already looking forward to going back next year to try to beat my time.
Many thanks to Ruth and her team for a scenic and great fun race.
Keep an eye out on the Element website or Facebook page for entries for 2019.
- Adam Holder