A difficult 10km trail run

Welsh Festival Trail 10km Run.

This event took place in Built Wells on 21st May 2017. Its was my 2nd Trail Run and I did’nt know what to expect. I got the event early in the morning and was amazed, this event was huge.

My wife and 3 year old was with me for support and my daughter was fascinated. She really enjoyed the day. At the festival there was lots to do for everyone including stalls and many farm animals on display, my kid loved feeding all of the them.

About Midday I was at the starting line, panicking as usual, sorting my running app, earphones. I also made sure that I visited the toilet beforehand not to get caught short.

Although I had participated in a couple of 10k runs, I was very nervous as im a competitive  personand wanted to complete a personal best and knew it would be difficult.

We all went off and the starting lane was very narrow and not much room to manoeuvre. I felt enclosed and just around the first corner we all had to squeeze though a farm gate and once though the gate I had hit the first grassy steep hill. Its was a grass grabber. Although only short it was so steep that you had to grab onto the grass. Many runners struggled, but luckily I was ok. I could feel the tension already building up in my legs and I hadn’t even got to the 1k marker. This was going to be a struggle I thought.

At the top I pushed on and found it more difficult to manoeuvre around others and the uneven muddy surface didn’t help. Finally we had some road to run on and to my relief it was downhill. At the bottom of the road, we took a turn past a farm house onto a stoney muddy uphill lane. Got to the top and out of breathe I was hoping that was the last of the hill climbs.

At the top of the lane we ran around the foot of a mountain in an arc shape, which meant I was running unevenly, Still narrow, many walkers were blocking me and overtaking them was concerning but I had rocky blasting in my ear which drove me onwards.

It just seemed hill after hill and then I came to the nastiest hill of all. It may have been to my advantage as I was not expecting it and therefore did not realise the harshness of the climb. I was absolutely knackered before this climb, it was rocky, muddy, steep, twisting and very narrow. I was fighting my hardest not to give up, I was not prepared to let myself and family down. The biggest issue I thought on this particular climb was the walkers as I was barley enough for one, it was near impossible to pass, but fair play, most of them tucked right up against the bushes to let me pass. By the time I could see the top my legs was burning and i could barely move, but I just was not prepared to give up. Stopping for me is a failure and all the training I had done and all sacrifices my family had made for me would have been for nothing, so thinking of them kept me going.

Got to the top, what an achievement I thought. Carrying on every stride was hurting and a little further was the drinks table. I did not stop and could not take any water. Have you ever tried to drink water from a cap while gasping for breathe, its not easy and if I stopped I knew that I would never be able to start again. Taking no water may have been a mistake, it was a hot day and I could barely run.

Thank goddess for the 7km, lifted my spirits, not long now. At this point of the run the trail was much better and wider, we were now running though a bit of a Forrest. Shortly after I had reached the 8km marker, and thankfully began descending, but it was still hard on my legs and we had to watch where we were placing our feet on this trail. 9km marker “YESSS” I screamed with joy and pain. The last 1km was down a steep uneven path and not easy and now I suddenly had found some energy but the finish line could not come quick enough, my legs was giving up.

I crossed the finish line with such pride and accomplishment as I ran the full course, which was an extremely hard run for me. What a run!!! I finished in approx 1 hour and 14 Mins, not my personal best, but I was very proud, this run had tested me physically and mentally.

Got my water, medal and protein bar and basically laid straight down on the bank, watching all the others finishing. Hugs from my daughter was a brilliant feeling, nothing beats the moment you see that your family are so proud of you. Its seems I may have inspired a little one, she wants to become a runner now.

My next event will be the Swansea half marathon, which will be the biggest challenge to date as I have never run that distance since I took up running in last October

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