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Thread: Holyhead Mountain

  1. #1
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Holyhead Mountain

    I made the trip over to Anglesey/Holy Island today to take on the Holyhead Mountain Race.

    About 6.5-7 miles and around 1300ft.... a fantastically varied course... the first 3/4 mile is dead flat down a track and then onto a road, before crossing a pebble beach then heading into the cliff top paths.... round to North Stack and then over to South Stack, before traversing round for a climb (and subsequent descent) of Holyhead Mountain.

    With the exception of the final climb/descent of the “mountain” there are no real sustained climbs or descents, but I was surprised at the technicality of some parts of the course, the steepness of some of the climbs, and the final descent was absolutely fantastic... it’s a tough, fast race...

    Once the road section was over and we had begun to climb onto the coast paths, the race began to settle down, and I found myself in a battle for 8th/9th, whilst being chased hard by 3 or 4 behind as well...

    I was still fancying my chances of securing 8th place until the final climb began, and last night’s efforts at Snowdon began to make their effects known... on an admittedly steep and hot climb, I’d still usually be looking to put in a big effort and push home an advantage, but there was nothing there, and instead I was caught by the chasing group... this spurred me on and (by my own meagre standards) I flew down the steep descent, “only” losing two places.... if I’d had anything left at all, I’d have been able to take those places back in the final half mile, as they weren’t doing anything much in front of me, but I was shot, and relieved to collapse over the line in 11th... 1hr03....

    Math Roberts smashed the record and won by about 7 minutes.... in a small field of 37 I thought the general standard was fairly decent... it was reasonably tight all the way back to about 23rd place (with the exception of the winner), then a gap of about 7 minutes before the rest started to come in.

    Glad to see a bigger turnout than last year... I believe there were only 14 last year... it’s certainly worth a look, and if you can get your eyes off the terrain at your feet, the sea views are stunning...

    It also makes a good “double” with the Snowdon Uphill.... I really hope they are on the same weekend again next year, it’s one of the best weekends racing I’ve ever had (i suspect the weather helped this, even if I was cursing it at the time!).

    Well done and thank you to Cybi Striders.

    Pete
    Last edited by Travs; 29-06-2019 at 09:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Went back to Holyhead today to do the "double" with Snowdon Uphill.

    I wasn't the only one with a similar idea... Hello to BritNick's clubmate Chris Jackson of Glossopdale Harriers who was also unduly punishing himself again today.

    The start is nearly a km down a straight road... i hit this at 6min/mile at worst... the two leaders were well away even at this pace and everyone else was fighting for 3rd.

    When it settled down, i found myself spending most of the race in a pitched battle for 3rd/4th/5th, but in a mirror-image of 2019 i slipped a couple of places at the death and finished 7th... 3rd v40 (i think... it may have been 4th)

    A bit of a disappointment to drop a few places, i was 4th at the final summit... but after yesterday i again just didn't have the usual charge in my legs up the final climb, and with people behind me on the descent it was always going to be a struggle to hold them off.

    But still, a pb by 3-4mins, so shouldn't be too despondent.

    For a race which is mainly round the coast path, it is surprisingly tough and technical.

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