Three Race Challenge
Two members of FODAC , Jo Edwards and Gemma Hewitt took on the challenge of completing three gruelling races within 24 hours over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of January. The races were all classed as fell or trail running meaning they involved footpaths, woodland, open fields, lots of hills and, in the case of Fan Dance, open moorland.
The challenge started at 2PM on Saturday the 7th with the Kymin Winter Race, a 4-mile race starting and finishing in Monmouth and involving 1200 ft of climbing with a double ascent of the Kymin above Monmouth followed by a fast descent across fields and muddy footpaths.
This was followed by a 45-mile dash to the Storey Arms Activity Centre in the Brecon Beacons to check in for the most challenging of the three races, the Fan Dance High Moon. This follows a route originally devised for SAS selection and involves ascending a total of 2900ft over 11 miles in the dark. All competitors have to carry survival gear as well as a map and compass. Just to add to the challenge Jo and Gemma also had to contend with fog, so testing their trail finding abilities to the full. With a start time of 6PM Jo and Gemma were able to reach complete the course by 9:30 before returning home for a few hours sleep.
Instead of a well deserved lie-in, Sunday saw an early morning start in order to drive to the Cotswolds for the third of the races, the Kelston 10k which started at 9AM. As the name suggests, this race covered 10km and involved further 900ft of climbing, this time over muddy sections of the Cotswold Way. Jo and Gemma finished around 10:15 with a very credible 4th out of 11 and 43rd out of 62 in their age groups despite the extreme exertions the previous day.
They climbed a total of 5000ft over 21 miles in a total of 22 hours and 15 minutes.