Its 6 months to go till the Dragon’s Back. Its time to see if the last 6 months of training have paid off. Its time to go for a run in Wales.
Its wet (of course), its rocky (no surprise), and I cant see further than 5 meters (oh joy, Navigation practice too). Fortunately I phoned a friend, and what a friend. She actually enjoys running in this stuff as well and greets each section of the route with happiness, the longer the better. Andrea is an enthusiastic, happy person who greets every small navigational success in this pea souper with shrieks of delight even louder than mine. She is also is faster, fitter and much more able runner than I am. Fortunately she hasn’t brought a map with her and she has to wait for me.
Its probably is 20 years since I last ran some of the more remote hills in North Wales. Its lovely to be back and I had forgotten how much I love the wilderness of it all. Every day or so the terrain changes completely from grass, rock, tussocks, cliffs and back again. The geology is spectacular and the mountains so varied, it makes the Dragon’s Back a spectacular geography lesson. Providing it isn’t examined at too close a quarter.
After four days of mixed weather, during which my long suffering family dropped me off, met me, fed me and repeated the process frequently, I barely covered 2 days of the old route I last ran in 1992. How on earth did I once cover these hills in 7 hours? What on earth made me think I could possibly do it again? Thankfully I have told so many folk about it, backing out without some serious physical impediment is now an impossibility.
So on I go, running in the rain. My joints hurt, I haven’t got enough food with me, and the snow blasting straight from the west has sandpapered my face (“mummy why is your face so red?”). I persist in getting myself crag bound and on a spectacularly memorable occasion fail to pick up the track leaving a road – I ask you. Am I safe to be out on the hills on my own? Probably not…not yet that is. But come September, I just might be….lets hope so!