This 50ish miler on 12 October 2013 wasw the third in the Might Contain Nuts series of ultras in Wales.

Tiff Hanley, Paul Blundell and Martin Loveless finished joint 59th in 12:18:52.

Paul reports,

Wye Valley One Way 50

This should really have been called the Wye and Élan valley ridge and valley (with lots of ascent) one way 52.
Tiff, Martin and I managed to get up in time for the 6am coach to the start, and were fairly near the front of the queue for the 2 toilets(140 entries) at the start.
The organisers didn't wait for those still in the queue and started the race prompt at 7:30.
The toilet queue social had revealed that the race was actually 52 miles so with that in mind we set off up the first hill, and up, and up. As we got higher, it naturally got colder and I pulled my sleeves over my hands and gps. Having reached the top we started a long glorious descent and fell into the trap of following the next runner and not monitoring the concealed gps nearly enough.  Too late, we and a lot of other runners realised we had come about a mile and a half too far down, so then had a frustrating climb back up. Ho hum! Soon after we had a choice between a river crossing or a 1km diversion to use the bridge.  We opted for the river crossing and I think that may have caused my blisters later in the race.
Into the Elan valley alongside a reservoir it all got a bit flat so we probably ran too much, catching people as we did. Tiff was having an issue with her knee so she took some painkillers.
The next checkpoint revealed that we had another steep ascent, so poles out.  As we climbed we realised the route involved going around the end of the reservoir before returning to the Wye valley. When I say valley, we seemed to stay very high for a long time not seeing much of the Wye.
We did eventually drop onto road and the start of the trail marathon, running along the Wye, but with a lot of road to contend with, Martin was starting to really struggle with his Achilles injury and me with blisters and heel rubbing issues, Tiff seemed to be coping well. We saw four runners ahead, one was slowing badly, two shot off upon seeing us and we caught and ran with the other, before he got ahead again in one of our walk breaks. We made a slight unscheduled diversion along with the runners ahead meaning a bit more distance and road when we could have been running over a field. We caught the runner ahead and struggled into Builth Wells.
We stopped at the checkpoint to sort ourselves a bit.  Martin and I were finding it very warm.  The other runner ran off and we started the next ascent. We had expected it too be hard but it went on forever; thank goodness for the poles, we were certainly not expecting climbs like these!
We were hoping for a long gradual descent back to the river, but it seemed to go up a bit, then down a bit again and again before it did go down.
Around now at 40 miles, Tiff came into her own and really got going and Go she did, Martin and I puffing along behind struggling to keep up.
Martin was in a state by now and we persuaded him to take some Ibuprofen, this worked like magic leaving me to be the one trailing along behind.
This resurgence didn't last long as we chased Tiff into the impending gloom, taking out about 10 runners including the one we had run with earlier as gradually we ran through more and more forests with twists and turns marked by glow sticks. Bridges and roots, dodgy stiles, countless gates, then disaster and on a turn, and Martin got cramp.
Luckily this didn't last long and we eventually arrived at the last checkpoint. It was so dark and drizzling that head torches came out and on the rough tracks, even Tiff slowed slightly. I wouldn't say marking of the route was brilliant and the last 5k was covered in a rather embarrassingly long time.
We finished in about 12:15,and we all hurt.....a lot, but that just makes it more of an achievement.
I reckon we actually did more like 55 miles....

You can see Paul's pictures here.

And here's a link to the race website in case you want to find out more.

 

 

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Last updated 15-Oct-2013.

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