Lake Vyrnwy Is a reservoir feeding Liverpool, nestling amongst beautiful hills. Apart from a few tourists, little disturbs this sleepy backwater, except for the one day a year when runners converge on the tiny village of Abertridwr for the Lake Vyrnwy half marathon.
Jasper and I ran it yesterday. We bumped into Hereford Couriers’ Tim Taylor and Steve Flowers of Wye Valley Runners and all four of us had good reason to be very pleased at the end. Christian Jones also took part, although we didn’t see him. The weather was close to ideal , perhaps It could have been a little cooler, but there was no wind. Water stations every 3 km proved very welcome.
The road around Lake Vyrnwy is 19 km long, flowing around gentle bends as it follows the contour lines, producing a pancake-flat course. A gently undulating road connects the start and finish lines with the lake perimeter road.
About 1300 runners were shoehorned on the narrow road behind the start line for the slightly downhill start. Everyone seemed to pick up the pace pretty quickly before settling into their stride around the lake.
I was aiming at 1h 40, which was 2 minutes faster than my previous PB. After the frantic first kilometre, my watch told me I was just a bit off the pace. A subtle change in my centre of balance – taking my foot fall a millimetre forward – gave a bit of spring to my step and helped me get back on track. I just kept going pretty steadily and delightedly crossed the finish line in 1h 39.30, 2nd out of 14 in my age group
Jasper was already there. He had finished in 1:33:59, which was nearly 9 minutes faster than his PB in Hereford in May. an awesome achievement. I felt very proud of him. Needless to say, for him it was a very sleepy journey home in the car.
Tim Taylor won his M60 age group in 1h 24.24, Steve Flowers was happy finishing 46th out of 1278 finishers in 1:17:32 and Christian crossed the line at 1:42:48. Jonny Mellor of Liverpool Harriers was the overall winner in 1h 04.36.