Rhayader Running Club

1984 - 2024

Tough Guy Report 27/1/13, By Mary Morton

Ben and I turned up on Saturday to register and collect our numbers to find the course frozen solid. All the water was covered with 3 inches of ice, hard enough that bricks thrown on to it just bounced off. The increase in temp overnight melted the mud but not the ice which would require crow barring later on. We started amongst thousands of others and right from the off I was on my butt. Grass quickly gave way to slush and slurry and within 10 minutes we hit the obstacles. I am not sure of the order of these- partly because there were so many and partly because I was totally out of it at times! Before we left the killing fields there were a series of deep ditches full of the stickiest mud up to the knee and then a stretch of hurdles to jump (or duck under). We were then directed around a new feature gallipolli which was frozen solid at this point and had several marshalls smashing the ice into slabs in readiness for our return. The 1st climb was tough as I realised my legs were just not long enough to bridge the spaces between logs. Had to use the sides too and threw myself over with optimism waning. Muddy slides and lots of falls around us took us towards the slalom which was a series of impossible ascents and descents requiring a lot of shoving from behind and helpful tugging from above. Fell numerous times but worryingly injured my shoulder and got whiplash. Out of the field and into the river for a quick paddle. Next the wood and jumps, cargo nets, gates (huge made of logs)…. As the course got worn down the sides became slick and there was little purchase to pull yourself out. River slalom was tough- in and out of the river and more pushing and pulling to get me through. Back to Gallipolli- this time we went straight into the water and waded the full length and back. Feet turned to concrete but luckily my core stayed ok despite it being chest deep. Around the outside again but this time no feeling in my feet. Back into the killing fields and the FUN began…… pulling over massive A frames with NO safety net and little grip was worrying. Reached the 1st electrified section – ouch. Another series of A frames had rope bridges to cross, managed the 1st & 3rd but on the 2nd was unseated by a guy joining my line which pulled it taut and I fell off. Ben did really well and his agility was far better than mine. Dad and Adam begging us to drop out as Ben was Blue and I was grey but I was never going to do that and we stumbled over walls and by the fire/ water to reach the torture chamber. Pitch black with dangling poles forced us to our knees and led to another electric section. This time I was fried as I was repeatedly hit with shocks…but at least I was warm for a minute or 2. Through the gloom we saw the tunnels which would lead us back outside and I literally felt my way along as the tunnels got smaller and more claustrophobic. We were pleased to see daylight again and later shocked to hear that 1 guy had suffered an arrest in there and was airlifted off the course (he recovered thank goodness). Some cadets pushed jelly babies into our mouths and off again. Up over another A frame and approached the next water obstacles but thankfully they shut some as frogmen were struggling to keep up with frozen bodies…. Ben was suffering from cramp too and any crouching brought on an attack. Uncontrollable shivering slightly eased over the tyre section, more electric and a swamp (or was that earlier?) and we approached the last obstacle Viagra. The correct route would have involved a walk, climb, slide into water and climb out but I didn’t fancy the slide so I swam across instead to the last climb and first glimpse of the finish clock. A lovely lady pulled my gloves off so I could eat 3 chocolate biscuits and we went in search of dry clothes. Ben was a fetching shade of blue and the dribbling shower did little to ease this as I helped to dress him. A hot coffee was also wasted as we were too cold to hold the cups. I finished in the top half of women which made up less than 10% of the competitors.


Across Wales, 1/9/12, Race Report by Mary Morton

Friday eve I went to bed at 6:30pm hoping to get 7 hrs sleep but failed miserably. Got to Clun at 3:30 dropped bags for checkpoints and forced instant porridge down with 2 cups of tea and a cup of o-juice. Bus to the start and we were checked off once more. Plan was to walk anything uphill, jog the flats and run the downhill. 5am start in the dark. Walked/ jogged for a few miles of road before leaving along a track. I was running with Andrew & he is much quicker than me so I was conscious that I was holding him back but didn't want to overcook it. Headtorches bobbing along looked great and the dawn was breaking as we looked down on Newtown. Heading across a tumpy field I fell flat on my face 4 miles in. Not good. Through checkpoint one ok, had a banana in my waist pack and decided to eat it around 12 miles. Banana had burst and spread mush all over my kit. NOT GOOD. Got to checkpoint 2 wiped bag out and set off with sun shining brightly. We had been running with a group of about 6 others but left them behind and pushed on over the hills. Andrew had a wobble around 25M as not taken enough fuel but we were more gutted on reaching the CP3 to see the group of 6 just leaving. They had taken a main rd which had been far quicker than our muddy trails. At 3 I ate a choc bar and half a flapjack to fuel the hardest stage up plymlymon. Legs were burning within minutes of climbing as the grass is long and tumpy with boggy bits, big holes and a force gale wind. Was so scared that I would get lost but I could just see Andrew who could just see the guy in front... Hit the top and nearly cried with relief, couldn't see far because the cloud was covering but views at other points were stunning. We were with a seasoned competitor at this point who set off a different path from our plan, saying it was quicker but had a 'steep descent'. BIG mistake, he obviously had a screw loose as he appeared to jump off a cliff. Andrew and I tentatively scaled down on our bums, falling into holes and twisting ankles. Exited onto a dam which we had to cross as the water flowed over, not a great idea and think it was further than the original route so saved nowt and came into CP4 really tired. Opened my pack to swap bottles and the bloody flapjack had disintegrated too so now my kit had banana and flapjack all over it! We had planned on 2 hours per stage but we didn't leave 4 until about 1:15 so behind schedule. I changed into road shoes here as Achilles was hurting but made no difference and it was a hard slog to get going. Had to pass a scree path which was treacherous and very narrow but the views were amazing. Lots of grass fields before last CP5 where I stuffed bread pudding and tea with sugar!!! I had thought the last 8 miles were down hill....wrong, we were walking a lot of flat by now as my feet were painful and Andrew was chaffing. Glanced behind us, spotted a lady in the distance and thought NO WAY. Had to dig deep to shuffle but we did run to the finish having covered around 47 miles in 12:18. Was disappointed not to get under 12 until I saw the results sheets and saw we were 21st out of around 115.

Ironman Wales, 16th September 2012, Report by Dai James

Ironman Wales started with Ironkids on the Saturday afternoon with the kids having to run to the sea, swim 100m metres in the sea and run 800m run up to the finish line. First to race was Rosie James coming in 3rd in the girl, Cameron James was in the last race of the day and lead the race from the start up to the last corner in the run, where Cameron was over taken, but Cameron was having noneof that and sprinted for the finish line to take first place.

On Sunday Ironman Wales started with a 2.4 mile swim in the sea at North Beech in Tenby, the sea was calm and not to cold at 16oC. with 1500 other people taking part the nerves were starting to kick in, not knowing how rough the swim will be, and with the ribs still sore from being knocked off the bike only 11 day's ago. I started the swim right at the back and found some clear water to swim in until the flag in which we had to turn left, and yes I was kicked in the ribs, so it was time to find some more clear water and this time stay out of trouble in which I managed to do. The swim went well from this point on, finishing the swim in 1 hour and 18 minutes in which I was very pleased with. From the the exit of the swim it was a 1km run to the bike transition for a slight change in cloths and then it was out onto the bike. The bike course was 112 miles long, with plenty of hills, it did seem to be hill after hill after hill. Within 10 miles of the bike course I started to feel very sick, I put this down to a bug in which the wife had only a couple of day's before, this played hell with my food plan. I managed to down the gels every 45 minutes and have a couple of mars bars on route. After going pass the family in Tenby at the 70 mile mark this picked me up and I was able to push on, which was a good job, as the time cut off for the bike was getting a bit too close for my liking. So after cycling up plenty more hills it was time to get back into Tenby, rack the bike and head out for the marathon. The marathon was a 4 lap course, heading uphill (of course) to New Hedges and back into Tenby for a scenic loop around the streets of Tenby. The first half of the marathon went very well. The 3rd lap I had started to feel sick again, was I used this lap to stop at all the feed stations and change from gels and energy drink to biscuits and of all things Pepsi which went down a treat. I started the 4th and final lap feeling a little less sick and my legs feeling in very good shape. The lap went well and it wasn't long before I had reached the finish line to hear my name been read out 'David James you are a Ironman'. I had finished the Ironman in 15 hours and 7 minutes. The race was really well supported by crowds of people lining the streets from the swim, out on the bike in the towns and villages and right up to the finish in Tenby, the cheers of support was out standing, I think I smiled all the way round. I am so pleased to have completed the Ironman and in doing so have managed to raise over £1025 for the Bracken Trust. I would like thank Sue and the kids for putting up with me over the last 10 months of training, family and friends who came down and supported me over the Ironman weekend, Rhayader Running Club, Roy and Jan Davies of the Elan Valley Lodge and a big thank you must go to Pete Jenkings of INTR Triathlon club for the training plans over the last 10 months.

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