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Thread: breidden hills

  1. #51
    Senior Member LissaJous's Avatar
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    A fun outing, and probably the nicest wine I've ever had as a race prize! My housemate Kait says thank you very much.

  2. #52
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    Very enjoyable race today. Possibly at the easier end of the AM scale, due to most turnings being marked, and (unfortunately for me) quite a lot of it being runnable, but still a tough prospect, and especially some of the descents were challenging. Absolutely lovely part of the world, my first time in that area and won't be my last...

    Went into this race (and the remainder of the year) treating it as a training run, looking to just push hard and try to maintain it. The first couple of km up a forestry track spread the field out before the first steep climb. In a change from the norm, I found myself picking up places on the descents, especially the steep ones, so perhaps the summer of doing the roughest toughest races is paying off a little.

    Unfortunately my good work was wiped out when I missed a turning and had to clamber up about 30 metres of steep forestry, full of felled and dying trees. Coming straight after the toughest descent, this tired me, and it took me a couple of minutes to pull myself together, losing me possibly 2 minutes all told.

    Fought back and threw myself down the final descent (the best part of the race), picking up most of the places I lost. Had a fantastic 3 way race back down the forestry track with a guy from Mercia and another chap, coming a narrow 2nd in a mid-pack 3-way sprint for glory. Unfortunately the final mile was not quite steep enough to completely let yourself go, and had to put real effort in to keep the pace high. The guy just in front of me was struggling on the initial steep descent, but when he hit the slightly easier track he turned on the gas and I couldn't pass him, but it was all smiles at the end... In fact it was nice to do a much shorter race than usual, and actually have something left to give at the end!

    1 hr 19 which I was reasonably pleased with. Was secretly hoping for 1:15 but was expecting 1:20 to 1:30....

    Maybe next year without going wrong, a bit of course knowledge, and fresh legs (trained hard all week including Saturday) and I could take a few minutes off. But when you see the winner going round in something like 58mins it puts my modest ambitions into perspective.

    Hello to Tindersticks, nice to chat before and after. To come "down south" when there's a host of races on your doorstep, not to mention after doing Langdale the day before, shows proper dedication for the sport, and puts my moaning about heavy legs from training firmly in the shade...!

    Pete
    Last edited by Travs; 09-10-2016 at 08:31 PM.

  3. #53
    Great write up Pete, it was nice to meet you pal.

    Take care and no doubt I'll see you out and about.
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

  4. #54
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Heading back to this one on sunday. Anyone else doing this?

    First race in the excellent Shropshire Winter Champs. Hoping to complete enough races for a full score this winter, after only doing 3 last time out.

    Quite a runnable race in the main, with an excellent final descent off Rodney's Pillar then a long sprint finish down the forestry track. If I can stay on the route this year, and have a good run, hopefully there's potential there to knock maybe 5mins off last years time.

    Then a short trip to the Breidden pub for a chicken stir fry...

  5. #55
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    Great race today, Shropshire races are always superb and thriving, with 89 starters on a busy weekend with big races elsewhere, and the Long Mynd Hike just around the corner. Always great to see the same regular faces, although as an 'outsider' to Shropshire I don't necessarily know many people too well...

    On a personal note it was by far and away my best performance on the fells, in terms of hard racing and relative proximity to the leaders. On a 7 mile/2500ft course, managed to knock close to 10 minutes off last year. Everything seemed to go really well. Got into a group that was moving well, including several locals, and the first lady , and spent most of the race swapping positions according to our relative strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately I lost time, as ever, on the most technical descents, and picked up most of my advantage on the climbs.

    Spent most of the race awaiting the cavalry-charge to come past me, and regain my rightful place firmly in the middle of the field, but it didn't happen and I held my own to finish 23rd from 89, which by my own standards is very good, but it was more the manner of my run which I was pleased about. There are also many things I can still improve on... my descending on the steep rocky sections is still poor, and I really should be able to maintain a higher speed over the rough boggy flat sections, so another year of hard work and can hopefully knock off a few more minutes next year and push towards the top 15 or 20.

    I'm not one to put too much emphasis on what gear I was wearing, but my new Mudclaw Classics were superb on the mud and the technical stuff, although the hard stony last km was not fun at all... and due to the slightly relaxed kit requirement, I gave my Pete Bland bumbag a race debut, and it was pretty superb, although for full kit requirements I'd probably stick with my race vest...

    Looking forward to the next visit to Shropshire which will be the Cardington Cracker, another tough prospect...

    Pete

  6. #56
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    Looking forward to this on sunday. First race in the Shropshire Winter Series, and i believe the finale of the Welsh Championships.

    Hoping to get the winter series off to a flying start. Possibly won't be able to improve on last year's 23rd, what with it being a champs race, but hopefully can take a bit of time off.

    For anyone looking to get an AM under their belt, either for experience or as a qualifying race or stepping stone to something else, i'd wholly recommend it. Most of the route is runnable, but it's still a tough course. The first couple of km up a forestry track soon splits the field up, then it's every man for himself up the first (main) climb.

  7. #57
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    So the route has changed since I did it in the 80's and 90's? It used to start at the Admiral Rodney pub between Crewgreen and Criggion, up through a field and then into an uphill mud bath through a wood before emerging onto a short road section to the foot of Bulthy Hill. Then there was a couple of km of forestry track at the end, rather than the start.

    Actually, the original course started at the Hand & Diamond pub in Coedway, and involved a cross-country section over fields at the start and again at the finish, with a total distance of 10 miles. I think it was moved to the Admiral Rodney in 1989.

    In any case, I agree that it is an excellent AM race.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
    Jorge Luis Borges

  8. #58
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Yes it must have changed. 7 miles now. It's starts and finishes at the bottom of the forestry track at Criggion, next to the village hall/community centre.

  9. #59
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    Another great Breidden Hills race today. The final Welsh Champs counter, and as ever, the opener for the Shropshire Winter Series, so a bumper turnout of over 100.

    The drive over was particularly fraught, the M6 and M54 were like streams, and the rain just didn't seem to let up. Conditions on the hill weren't too bad, very damp obviously, but it was the conditions underfoot which were the problem today.

    Usually this race is very runnable, with sections of the first main climb being the main part which reduces you to a walk. Same with the descents... apart from an awkward descent off the 2nd climb, the rest can generally be taken at something approaching full-pelt. But today the runnable climbs were difficult due to how slippy they were, reducing me to a walk when I should have been running. The first descent, which is usually an absolute flyer, was treacherous, and I actually lost control for about 30-40yards and had to veer off into the heather to regain control.

    As for the race.... started brightly and was in the top 20 going up the first climb, but then lost places to the bottom of the 2nd climb, and was probably outside the top 30 by then. But with technical difficulties over, I set about making some places back, and hung on for 28th in 1:08

    So a minute faster than last year, but 5 places worse off. Considering the conditions and the fact there was a bigger turnout and a champs race, I shouldn't be too disheartened. But as usual I'm never satisfied. Generally went well, and everyone else faced the same difficulties, but the tricky descents caused me all sorts of problems today, which seemed to be brushed aside by those in front of me.

    Hello to DaveMole, thanks for marshalling.... and to Athers, nice to meet you and well done... I haven't seen the results yet but I expect you saw me off by a good 4 or 5 minutes.

  10. #60
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    "Bumper turnout of over 100"?

    I have just looked in my results archive: of the five Breidden races I ran between 1987 and 1994, the lowest number of finishers was 145; and there were 223 in 1987. I think this reflects the increasing size of the calendar, with far more alternatives on any weekend than there were 30 years ago.

    I agree that the second descent (off Moel y Golfa) has some awkward sections (where I used to lose several places). But I always took pride in running the whole of the first major climb, up Middletown Hill, which is probably why I got ahead of some good runners who then passed me on that second descent.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
    Jorge Luis Borges

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