About Me

Harpenden, England, United Kingdom

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ras Rhobell Fawr (November 13, 2011)

Fell races are a nearly perfect antithesis of my running philosophy. First run up the boggy side of a very steep hill at an utterly unsustainable pace, then, just when it is looking like everyone is about to need a CPR, turn around and recklessly hurl yourself back down,  risking a race-/season-/life-ending injury with virtually every step. No meditative rhythm, no runner’s high, and definitely no time to relax and enjoy the amazing scenery. Yet, for some reason, I really enjoyed the fell races I ran this year and will likely be running many more in 2012. Here is a brief illustrated report from the Rhobell Fawr race, by far the slowest 6-miler I have ever run.

 What’s the elevation around here? Having taken most of September and October off, combined with trying to keep up with the leaders for about a mile, resulted in a very slow and painful ascent.

 Don’t mind me! I often look like I am about to collapse when I run these days.

 Descending very slowly, but still about to take what was apparently the most spectacular fall of the race (several people congratulated me on it!) I guess fell shoes exist for a reason, and the Salomon Crossmax are clearly not in that category. Incidentally, the Crossmax have been very disappointing, too built-up even in the neutral version, overpriced for what they are, and only lasted a few months. Time to check out some Inov-8s?

This is how it’s done! And by the way, what’s all the fuss about the weather in Wales?

All is well that ends well. Fellow Aberystwyth AC runner Dave Powell caught and passed me while I was down in the mud (literally), so I had to give chase. I would have cruised in with him, had it not been for another runner’s pretty intense smack talk, which made me give it one last push. After the race, the foul-mouthed guy explained with a big friendly smile on his face that he was just trying to make me pull him to breaking an hour. Funny bunch, those fell runners! I finished just ahead of Dave and my 'motivator,' in 1:00:28, ninth overall. Not great, but I had a lot of fun and I look forward to doing this again. Don’t ask me why.

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