Gwent XC League – Brecon

Julian Boon, Pete Woodward, Richard Dennant and Alan Robertson congregated at 5 Acres under a grey sky & set off for Brecon.  After passing through Abergavenny & the rain was falling, when Alan piped up from the back: 6 degrees & 50mph winds in Brecon, just the sort of morale boost they needed! Coming up the hill to Bwlch the rain turned to sleet & the obvious insanity of this mission was evident but they soldiered on & after a circuitous route through  Brecon found the XC course: a bleaker muddier, sludgier, soggier, windier scene it would be hard to imagine. After battling their way through the eerily dark Leisure Centre, where a staff member over a walkie-talkie was discussing the condition of a hypothermic young girl: “well she’s still conscious”, to the pavilion for registration. The poor teenagers were struggling to stay upright in the wind!
Simon Dimmer was waiting the pavilion which was packed with more hypothermic runners in space blankets being given Oxygen – this was looking less & less like a good idea! After registering & changing they made their way outside & huddled in the lee of the leisure centre with all the other runners till called over for the start. There then followed 5 of the slipperiest, sludgiest miles, run in some of the windiest conditions they had ever experienced. The mud was full of holes so it was impossible to know where your foot was going to end up.  It engulfed the feet & tried to hold onto them, then when on a firmer bit of ground, the wind was taking your breath away & blowing you sideways or backwards. Come back May Hill.  All is forgiven! Roll on Dursley.

Pete Woodward was first Forest of Dean finisher in 50th place: running just over 5 miles in 39:13.  Jools was next: 139th 45:02; Simon 157th  47:24; Rich 171st 49:41 & Alan 175th 50:08.  The team are back to third in their division.

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