Magic Roundabout – Rachel Nelson

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While the emergency services were called out to the Hay festival to pump out flood water, I was high up on the Begwyns, in the teeth of a gale, horizontal rain and February temperatures! My family took one look at the cars stuck in the mud at the car park gate and dropped me off – “see you later, phone us when you need us”! and left me to trudge the mile up to ‘HQ’ in wellies and waterproofs with my small rucksack on my back!
It is ‘home from home’ for any Croft Ambrey runner. Imagine Oaker Coppice to School Wood stripped of trees and bracken, all sheep-grazed turf, and grassy tracks which follow the contours of the heath. Whatever the weather is on the day, be prepared for the extreme when you get there –it is very exposed!
There were about 4 hills on the course, one particularly long gradual slog, one short and sharp and one stinker – but then, nothing to touch Yatton Bank! The Book festival brought runners from clubs across Britain and beyond. I met another couple of ‘first – timers’, and one lady who had been racing 30 years (and never seen such awful conditions!) so there was a good range of experience as well. It was an amazing and epic experience, I can’t quite believe I actually did it!

( Rachel finished 62nd out of 87, and 8th lady out of 19, if I remember correctly – excellent!)

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