After a little uncertainty about which event we were attending Llangollen Trail 10K won!
There wasn’t much prep in the morning for this event apart from the typical T-Shirt or Vest query? I’m not sure why we do this as vest’s always win and thankfully it was the right choice again if not for being a little chilly to start!
We arrived at the event at about 0845, parked up and made our way to collect our numbers. We then joined the queue for the toilets...Don’t worry no further information to be divulged!!
Then we returned to our car dropped off our coats, secured our numbers and completed a short warm-up around the track. At 9.20 an announcement was made asking us to go to the start line ready for a 9.30 start.
The numbers of runners at the event seem lower than the last time we visited but that may just be me as I remember being petrified of running my first 10K trail event!
The race started at 9.30 on the dot we start by running a loop of the track, we then exit onto the road where we have our first climb up behind the field we started in after reaching the peak we then dropped back into the starting field through the main gates and then follow the footpath down on to the canal. It was here I noticed I was suffering a little with my breathing, Ashley was prompting me to take deeper more steady breaths but for some reason I couldn’t, it was hurting! I thought to myself hopefully I could recover on the canal towpath before the next difficult part.
Once on the canal, we ran for around 2 miles along the towpath, here we had many local people, walkers and volunteers all cheering us on! along with the smell of toast as we passed the small café, there were plenty of reasons to smile!
Just after 2 miles is where this event gets a little more challenging, we drop down into our first field...If you aren’t confident running on uneven terrain this is where you must focus! The route is clearly signed and there are plenty of volunteers to point you in the right direction. After crossing the field, you come to the water station, and you then re-join the road and climb to the 2nd of the 3 fields you visit!
This climb I found hard I couldn’t catch my breath and did end up walking some of it, as I write this 3 days later with a streaming cold, I now know why this probably happened...
The challenge in this event is in miles 3 and 4, we’ve already navigated the first field, and we then climb up the road to the 2nd. We turn left into the 2nd field which is a farmer’s field with tractor tracks and mounds of earth fortunately today it was dry, but I imagine some days it can be a mud bath too! We head through the middle of this field towards a marshalled gate which leads us to the 3rd and final field, this field we run pretty much around the circumference of the field and the gate we are approaching is central to the field which means we have to climb to the top of this field across the tree line and then you drop to the bottom of the same field nearer the canal this time. From here you climb up to the gate where you entered the field revisiting field number 2 which if you remember was tractor tracks and lumpy earth but then you can relax a little as here is where you exit the fields turning right back onto the road and dropping back onto the canal.... yes downhill!!
The final 2 miles see you return to the starting point along the canal towpath, back up to the field where we started and following the route we got to the canal at the start of the race, yes which does include more uphill running but a fab downhill back on to the rugby field around the track to the finish! Whilst on the canal towpath Ashley did ask if I wanted to know my predicted finish time I replied no mainly because I didn’t want to mess anything up if it was a good time and I didn’t want to get downhearted if me having to walk had taken some precious minutes!
My target today was to beat my previous time, this was 01:04:59 which was in 2018 as I’ve mentioned earlier this was my first trail event and I was still a relatively new runner at that point! Today we finished at 56:49 which considering I also had the chesty thing which has now developed into a cold, I was super happy with our run!
We celebrated by visiting a local coffee shop for an early lunch date!
If you are local to Llangollen in May next year, we really would recommend this event!
It is relatively small in numbers but the organisation and event itself are superb!