As my Brother lives in South Wales, I picked this event partly so that I could catch up with the family ( and have somewhere to stay ). A few months ago, I asked, somewhat tongue in cheek, if my bro’, Ben, wanted to join me. He declined but his other half, Sue, said that she would give it a go !
So it was, at eight o’clock on the morning of Oct. 5th, we set off from the village hall in Machen and almost immediately started the first of many steep climbs. After a little diversion ( lesson one – don’t follows others blindly ) we had lost all the altitude gained earlier which only meant one thing – a climb.
After a long slog up, made longer by another detour ( lesson two – read the instructions ) we emerged at the top of Twmbarlwm and, probably, the best view of the day…
|From the summit of Twmbarlwm|
Descending, we crossed a chunk of moorland before dropping down to Checkpoint 2 at twelve miles and a very welcome plate of malt loaf :-). As we started the climb up to Mynydd Maen, I was recognised by a group of runners who I had overtaken in the final stages of the Sandwell event a few months ago. That really made me feel like a member of the long distance walking fraternity.
Read the instructions
The next four miles or so was generally downhill into Cymcarn and Checkpoint 3. It was during this stop, that I encountered Cheddar Cheese and Marmalade sandwiches – Mmmm ( don’t knock it until you’ve tried it ).
From the valley ( you guessed it ) we climbed again but this would be the last climb of the day, we were told ( lesson three – don’t believe all that you are told ) before dropping down past a rifle range ( we were safe, it’s closed season for walkers ) and down into Ynsddu for the final manned checkpoint in the pub !
|The conquerers return|
Resisting the beery temptations, we climbed again, steeply at first but then more gradually before making the final descent back to Machen. The last mile was fairly steep ( same as on the way up, I suppose ) leaving just a short walk back the event HQ where we were met by my brother, Ben.
We handed over our control cards before settling down with a bowl of most delicious soup while we waited for our certificates to be printed with our time of 9:14 ( although the actual results show us as 9:13 ).
We had actually covered nearly twenty eight miles over some rather bumpy terrain. Sue was very happy as this was the furthest distance she had ever covered on two feet.