Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Counting contours, Ras Y Gader 2011

Top right is Penygader, our turn around point

As you may have guessed from the number of posts about Gader Idris(Cader Idris), this is one of my favourite places and races.

The race is a strait forward  out and back course of 10.5 miles(16.9 km) and 3000 ft(0.9km) of ascent. Here is the race map . Starting at sea level, from the town of Dolgellau, well marked and marshalled (no navigation required), just a trot up to the trig point and back down again. Simples.
Dolgllau, the start and finish line

Simple yes, easy no, not for me anyway. The amount of ascent and descent  is much higher than any of my local runs or anything in the Peak, also much of the course is pitched stone and rock  .

from the start its a sharp tarmac climb out of Dolgellau to the only level part of the race. A mile or so of easy running, which goes through shaded woodland, around Llyn Gwernan and then across the boggy meadow. Even after seeing the runners in front struggle with the marshy section, we all did a little comedy dance.

comedy moment in the boggy meadow 

Onwards and upwards

#63  navigationally challenged,  backmarker,  MV 40+ and  numpty. Stephen Burt.
In spite of having "special needs", Stephen manages to enjoy a happy and active life

Moody mountain

From the Car park at Ty-nant  it is all up hill. 750metres upwards in 3km, give or take a bit. I don't use GPS or have any digital mapping for this area,  so all measurements are thanks to Ordnance Survey map OL23 and a piece of string.

Enough of facts and figures, that's not what fell running is all about. Much as I enjoy looking at maps and pondering routes. Its sections like this that float my boat. the steep climb and the 'brain out, brakes off' dash back down. I am not fast or fearless enough to be a great descender but I love it. Going with gravity not against it, a bit like falling without hitting the ground. 

Yep! going up has its own rewards but downhill is where the fun is at.

One up one down

One of the faster runners enjoying the descent off Penygader.

After the drop off the mountain, it was jelly legs and mardy bums all the way back to Dolgellau.

Other  highlights;

It was  good to see  fellow blogger, John, aka Lightning of http://mytrainingandracing.blogspot.com/ and also to meet Mrs Lightning.
All the very best for your plans for this year.

All runners received a commemorative mug.

It didn't rain.

A lovely cuppa tea and a scone.

Back to facts and figures;

This was the 21st Ras Y Gader . Happy coming of age!

Lloyd Taggart won, with a time of 1hr 21min 27sec. Only 9 seconds short of the record.

I finished 4 minutes slower than last year. Taking 2hr 16minutes (oh dear! Again, I really must try harder).

More Gader results and links to race photos from the excellent Mud Sweat And Tears site.

Many thanks to all who made the 2011 Ras Y Gader possible. See you again next year.