Sunday, 25 September 2016

Jemma Takes on Snowdon- Man Vs Mountain 2016

Man Vs Mountain 2016- Almost Getting to the Top of Snowdon

Last year I marshaled this event taking the finishers pictures and many happy faces of the achievement for completing Man Vs Mountain. (Often known within the OCR community as MVM)  I made it an aim for me to do 2016 as chances of me able to recover from this and give my best shot for Coast to Coast was slim. Though note last year was a lovely day patchy cloud but on the whole a sunny day.  Fast forward to the race, the notice at registration saying very wet weather.  Mandatory waterproof taped seam bottoms and jacket will be checked before getting our race pack.  This is going to be a re run of Man Vs Lakes and that was 26 odd miles of rain.  Where we decided to stay for our weekend away had very patchy signal on our phones.  Finding a few text messages about the winds and rain to be prepared and extra bag kit checks.  Started to get nervous, making way to the start point we was advised by MC Keith the waves are been held back by half hour as had to change course we wouldn’t summit Snowden due to the rapid heavy winds and our safety.  I 1st decided to wear just my shorts which been running for best part of the spring and summer season with calf guards.  Sonico compression top and purple UA vest top.  With the weather changing by the min I took out my full length Reebok leggings and put them underneath my shorts and ditched the calf guards hoping I had made the right decision I went off to the start line and met up with Luzanne.
The idea was to try and keep a consistent run wherever possible and use my fast power walk for the hill to make sure wasn’t wasting energy.  The run up to the start of the climb up Snowden wasn’t too technical felt ok with the pace was keeping and bumped into a lot of Rat Race regulars which was nice to mix up the running.  Got to brow of a hill heard what I could describe as a random 90s Jukebox (aka phone in a bag) and found this was Tee fellow Team Muddy Race girl which seem to catch up to in a few events this year.  She was taking it easy with the back end of the flu and running the Unknown the weekend after I can understand her taking the backseat and enjoying the views. 
As the started to Climb Snowdon the path was set out was a large loop we had to do and return back.  Large rocks and gravel seemed to be endless and my thanked myself for wear my trusty Race Ultras for the cushioning which was well needed.  Though on some grassy parts where it was waterlogged I could have done with more grip.  But comfort was key in this race.  The wind had really picked up and the puddles started to appear on the paths with the traffic from all the racers those going to the highest point marker and those on the return made things tight.  Everyone was saying well done to each other and sprits was high.  Finally coming to that highest point marker I saw a wedding party have a glass of champers to celebrate hats off to them running in wedding attire no small feat.  My own return back those puddles had now was starting to form streams just shows the amount of rainfall we had.

Making way back to the finish line I know had to drop my backpack off so can complete the Vertical Kilometre.  I opted to keep my Scott jacket on which by the 1st feed station really needed it to protect myself from the elements.  This part of the course I kept my head down and power walked up.  Getting to the top I managed to pass a few people giving me a small boost that not that slow.  Heading back down where I came was presented with the lifejackets for the water jump which I opted out as started to feel as would cramp up and not been a strong swimmer.  Again with the abseil into water I opted out for the same reason.  Getting to through a few pools which I could wade in was ok but the last 25 meters was a swim and no way round thankfully was a rope to use and pull myself across.  The current was very strong and that panicked me a lot and found hard to breathe but managed to get through that.  Collecting my backpack a few obstacles later I had finished I felt glad and ready for my soup.

6 and half hours to get up and down a partial mountain plus extra running feel have achieved a lot and already booked in for 2017 I going to summit Snowden and never know might even beat my time (only hope).  Rest and Recover for the big one Coast to Coast 2016 in a weeks time.