Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Petzl Night Trail Wales - 10th Oct, 2015


All set to go..!
The inaugural Petzl Night Trail Wales race at Coed y Brenin took place last weekend. A concept what had been around for a few years in the form of 6,12 & 24 hour enduro races. However Matt and his team grew/changed that idea into an event what you'd expect out in Europe. The rules were easy, 3 hours to complete as many laps as possible of a challenging 3km loop with enough climb to make you legs think after the first 3 laps... The person or relay with the most laps as the clock hit 00:00 after starting at 03:00 was the winner, simple! Just to make it more interesting we set of at 18:00pm and had our head torches going within the hour, after each lap we arrived back at the start/finish area where the atmosphere was electric! We had a live DJ playing music and strobe lighting to light up the area, whilst many spectators took full advantage of the arch way and stairs around the centre to get above the race and gave us as much support as possible whilst we concentrated on running as many laps as possible before 21:00pm. For me knowing I was coming into the centre after each lap gave me the moral boost I needed to push on for another.. The support was fantastic! 

Course profile recordings from my Sunnto Ambit 3 
18:00pm struck and we were off, as we started with the reply teams as well the pace was quick! I happily sat back and just trailed off the top 10 as we raced around the first loop, a fellow team mate from Eryri ran hard and lead the solo event around the first lap. No way was I going to catch him right away, I was thinking more long term and try not to get into a race off within the first 30 minutes of the event like I often do and pay big time for it an hour later.. I tried to keep a good steady pace each lap knowing I'd slow slightly each time as my legs got tired. 
A brilliant picture of me taken by Sports Pictures Cymru! 
I caught up with the race leader towards the end of the second lap and decided to push on and try possibly put a small gap between us and with not knowing where 3rd place was I was keen to get some gap between us. Lap by lap I continued to absorb the energy of the centre what gave me the drive to run another lap. On arriving at the start/finish area on lap 5 I picked up a bottle of Mountain Fuel Xtreme Fuel from dad who was there supporting and took it around with me to sip along the way in a bid not to loose too much time by stopping at the feed station each time like I usually would. I have often looked back at my GPS data from long races and have found I have lost so much time at aid stations over the years. I'm out to try and get out of this habit now and fuel on the go! Mountain Fuel is a product what does just that, not like a lot of other brands on the market the Xtreme Fuel is a very light tasting energy drink what doesn't upset your stomach and gives you that feel good feeling along the way! 

By lap 7-8 I was starting to slow as my legs were getting heavier and my right knee started to stiffen! Knowing that 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on was still by this time chasing me down I started to loose m gap I had created over the last 5 laps. My 4 minute lead was now cut to 3 minutes and was dropping every lap! Determined to hold on I got my self to lap 10 still in the lead JUST! With around 1:30 to go before 2nd caught me, I changed my tactic for the last lap to running out of the centre to the bottom of the climb and power hiked up to the highest point of the course with the aim to rest the legs a little and use everything I had left to race down hill and along the forest track to the finish where I crossed the line in 1st place holding off Sam Orton of Eryri by 34 seconds! Another lap and it could of been a different story... 


My Lap split times.. 34km covered with 1250m of Climb involved.

Overall I was extremely pleased with my run and grateful to be back running after taking a long rest period from any form of distance running after completing the UTMB last month. I'd like to thank Matt and his team for such a great an exciting race and to all the sponsors who provided such awesome prizes! 
Great set of prizes, also included a case of local beer what I gave to dad for his support!

Top 3 Solo Runner.
Thanks to everyone who follows as always and all the support along the way! 
Paul xx 

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