Hot Footing It Up Famau!!
Well what can I say? Anytime you go walking up Moel Famau, you're not going to be following this route - the Hot Foot Up Famau - it was brilliant !
Started off along the standard path from the top car park up towards the summit, then it was a dip to the left and off across the grassy slopes. The grassy slopes became thistly and nettled slopes and the path became narrow. Things took a sharp turn upwards, a real lung-buster! Heathers on the top of this first hill gave way to bracken on the way down the steepest downhill I think I've ever run on, or maybe it just seemed steeper as once again I found myself stuck behind people not willing to let themselves fly down the hill, I was forced into braking, overtaking opportunities were limited.
At the bottom I did the craziest and most exhilerating overtaking manouvre ever, as one lad infront of me cautiously entered the stream more or less on all fours, I thought jumping to the other side would be a better option, I still had a decent bit of speed behind me and there was a nice shelf to land on, so I just went for it, I jumped straight over the top of him .
After a short sharp climb up from the stream it didn't look steep this side, yet I couldn't get going, infront of me a couple of people were walking, one was running but not actually gaining on the walkers, a mix of running and walking saw me catch them, then the second big climb of the race, a steep narrow gulley full of scree - who even knew such a thing existed on this hill? Sweet memories of Snowdonia .
It was a hard climb, in places I needed hands just to give myself an extra little push. At the top it took me afew seconds to get running again, 3 of the runners I'd passed earlier passed me as they got going much quicker than I could manage. Then it turned downhill. We were back on that main path. I re-claimed one of those places, but the other two were just as quick down the hill as I was, I couldn't catch them.
28th place, out of a field of about 75. Its only a 3.5 mile course but those stiff climbs bring you down to a walk (unless you're one of the super-fit front runners), and I was actually really happy with my run. Felt much stronger than I did at Dinas Bran afew weeks ago. Warmed up this time (well, a little bit), started in the pack this time, about 2/3rds of the way back.
Lessons for next time:
Start a bit further forward again, don't want to be getting stuck behind people on the singletrack, and especially not when that singletrack goes downhill. I've got better results in me than this, but I loved this race, really loved it .
Thanks due again to Dave Parker for being there, good to see you again mate and good luck for your Trail Marathon Wales on Saturday.
School sports day was a success too .
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