Ten Peaks Brecon Beacons Long Course
Saturday 14 July 2018
55.3 miles (89 km); 15,748 feet (4,800 m) of ascent
The race has always taken place in September but this year it was moved to July. This meant that the early morning start commenced in daylight rather than the first two hours being in darkness. For the faster runners it was possible to finish in daylight too. However, the enhanced visibility was offset by the July heat. Even on the tops after sunset it was too warm for comfort.
Starting from the Talybont Reservoir the course heads west to take in a number of peaks south of Pen y Fan and ultimately to the twin peaks of The Black Mountain. It then heads back east but about a mile or so further north to take in different peaks on the return trip including the rollercoaster ridgeline of Corn Du, Pen y Fan, Cribyn, Fan y Big and Bwlch y Ddwyallt prior to the final descent back to race headquarters.
Normally there is a fair amount of wet boggy ground but with the recent weeks of hot and dry weather there was barely any damp ground at all. The day was hot with clear skies giving no respite from the punishing sun making it hard to push too hard. Indeed, the strategy for the race was to carry as much water as possible between checkpoints and the normally reliable streams around the course were depleted and just had semi-stagnant puddles unsuitable for drinking.
Most runners were from Great Britain but other nationalities included Australia, Canada (the winner of the race), Ireland, France, Spain and the Netherlands. There was a drop-bag facility at the Storey Arms checkpoint which could be accessed both on the way out and the way back.Free camping was available on Friday and Saturday night.
First Man: Galen Reynolds; 10:52:11
First Lady: Mary Gillie; 7th overall; 13:21:57
Steven Jones: 31st; Dark Peak Fell Runners; 18:48:44
There was also a short course option missing out the western part of the long course loop giving a route of 36 miles (58 km) and an ascent of about 3,000 metres (about 9,842 feet). Of the 84 starters 72 made it to the finish giving a finishing rate of 86% for the short course (compared to a rate of 65% for the long course). The fastest man on the short course was Rob Forbes with a time of 5:52:24 and the fastest lady was Beth Pascall with a time of 7:16:27.
© Dark Peak Fell Runners 2018
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