On Sunday 24th September Grantham Running Club member Mark Carter took part in the Beast of Bryn 15-mile trail race that is held in South Wales near Port Talbot. This race starts and finishes in the village of Bryn and loops in a figure of 8 around 3 of the local hills and covers over 2,300 feet in elevation.
It was a tough race with some unrelenting climbs but the views of the valleys and forests on route were stunning. Apart from a brief rain shower just before the start the rain held off for the rest of the day and with constant cloud cover the conditions remained cool and dry. The route itself mostly took runners on wide trails that meandered around the hills but there were moments where they dived into forested areas where it was single track and muddy from the streams of rain water running off the hills.
Having done the Buxton Half Marathon in May Mark used that race to gain the experience of running in hilly terrain in preparation for Bryn and have focused his training in the intervening months on overcoming weaknesses from that first event. As a result he felt very prepared for this event and after a solid and trouble free run he was very happy to come in position 123 out of 216 and with a chip time of 2:44:46. For perspective the 1st place winner was Jacob Tasker of Ogmore Phoenix Runners with a scintillating time of 1:28:31.
Although this was his first time at a trail race like this having never competed at this race length or elevation before, Mark found it very enjoyable and certainly something he will look to expand on next year.
Pic c/o Run Afan Forest