Black Moutains Ultra – Saturday 28th March 2015

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Our resident ultra-running nutter Les Cupis has been at it again…here’s his report of 40 miles of mountainous craziness.

The Weather forecasters were warning of high wind and rain. They were not wrong.  Gale force gusts and energy sapping hills made for a tough route over the Black mountains in Wales.  Taking in some of the Highest areas of the Black Mountains It was exposed to all the element. At time it was difficult to stand let alone run. The views were at time stunning, Other wise they were quite invisible with the rain and mist obscuring it. 

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The Route started and finished in ‘Talgarth’ Mid Wales. Taking in such places as ‘Lord Herefords knob’, (yes there is such a place) ‘Offers Dyke’ and ‘Llantony priory’ then heading into ‘Llanbedr’ this was the final check point before heading over the longest and bleakest stretch with only myself for company with 12 miles ahead of me until the next check point (there is normally 5miles between Check points)

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Starting too fast is a problem I always have and this race was no exception.  This is always my undoing, but with the wind and the rain this became very apparent quite early on and I started to struggle as early as the 15mile mark with a tricky decent off of Offers Dyke. At this point I was still in quite a good position ( about 15th overall) I knew, as always that this would not be my finishing position but I was determined to finish.

Onwards and upwards, Literally,  Up a slow 500metre climb to the top of the ridge which headed in a northerly direction back towards Talgarth, Only another 14miles with the wind still gusting and the rain still falling. ‘Waun Fach’ is the highest point on this ridge at 811mtr.  

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Having arrived at the 18Mile check point in 3hrs 30min you would think the next 22miles would be over in another 4hours.  How wrong, as mentioned earlier, I always start too fast. I paid big time as the next 22miles took me just over 5 and a half hours. 9hrs 10min was my final finishing time (26th position). The winning time was 7.5hrs and the last person home was 13.5hrs.
I really should have learnt by now. I finished and I got my finisher medal.  

What can I say about these races. They are reasonably low key with only water and a few gels and sweets at the check points, so you must carry your own provisions, Some kit list is compulsory, but the guys and girls (from ‘Mightcontainnuts’) that organise them are great people who love to take part as well as organise.

There are four races in the series, this also includes a Marathon option and a 10mile option. Don’t get complacent thinking that it is only a marathon distance. They are tough races with the lead runners finishing in 4hrs 26min and the last marathon runners finishing in 10hr 25min.

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