Another start of a weekend, another strange hotel in an unfamiliar town and another race in the morning.
This weekend started with a four hour journey to Bristol on Friday night, staying at a Premier Inn, en route to the Brecon Beacons for the Maverick Races Powys half marathon trail race.
Instant coffee on Saturday morning at 0645hrs with half a chocolate-coated flapjack. 1.5 hour carpool with a friend to the event start. I sat in the car after registering to stay warm, wondering what other competitors were carrying in their running packs. I decided to tie my waterproof jacket round my waist and leave the pack in the car. The race itself was small but well run: the Maverick inov-8 Original Powys was advertised as a trail half marathon with 850m ascent, in the Brecon Beacons. The reality was over 1000 metres up, starting with an immediate hill, all set in beautiful countryside.
I managed to take a wrong turn early in the race which cost me a few minutes, but stayed on track after that. As the race progressed, the field of runners thinned out further and I spent longer periods of time running either on my own or with one or two others in my line of sight. I’d studied the route so knew when to expect uphills and downhills. When my legs burned with lactic acid build-up uphill, I’d keep the pressure on if I knew the train would flatten out soon.
I pushed hard and refused to lose positions to others on the flat or downhill final section. Consequently I was rewarded with a respectable finish time on the first page of results. Worth the trip!