2 Croft Runners out of 266 took on the challenge of the Roman Run on Saturday Sept. 1st. The run started in Silver Street in Brecon and finished 16 miles later in Cyfarthfa Castle in Merthyr Tydfil.
The run started on road and was flat for a very short time before taking on many harsh inclines with very few declines before hitting the Brecon Beacons path along the Roman road. Once turning off the luxury of tarmac we were faced with a very uneven rocky path climbing steep in parts to the the top of the gap.
There’s something magical about climbing up into high mountains, and they don’t get much higher this far south. Pen y Fan — at 886m, the highest point in southern Britain — is just a stone’s throw away from the trail as it slips through the notorious ‘Gap’ between Cribyn and Fan y Big.
When reaching the top of the ‘Gap’ passing through the amazing mountain rescue team distributing water, we were faced with a uneven rocky but steady decent back to the road.
From the start to this point my race had started fast, possibly too fast when it came to dealing with the inclines ahead of me. I ran all the road but once faced with the uneven rocky path along with some harsh inclines I started to struggle. I found myself dropping into a walk at parts. Once at the top I managed to open up a little, gaining some time back before hitting the tarmac where I finally managed to open up and gain even more time back. Between here and the finish we were up against a fair share of downhill with the odd short incline back to Pontsticill. From Pontsticill we had a harsh incline out of the village before descending again towards Vaynor. Unfortunately the route did not continue down to Vaynor as they turned us left down over a narrow bridge before veering right up a long incline which was rapidly draining my tank. At this point I had gained back 12 paces and was running on the forever strong and incredible fellow Croft Runner, Gemma Mallet’s tail. Unfortunately for me Gemma had extra in the tank and pulled the gap away from me as I broke into a walk to get to the top.
We now turned right onto an off road trail across country before our final descent down the outskirts of the well known Gurnos estate. This was a long descent crossing over a roundabout and continuing down until our final turn to the finish. The finish was set in the beautiful grounds of Cyfarthfa Castle with the lake to the right hand side of you and the finish line up ahead of you. The remains of the fuel tank was used to get up the final short incline to cross the line.
First lady home was Melanie Williams of Brackla Harriers in 2.10.44. Gemma took second in 2.14.43, Myself third in 2.15.21. Unfortunately for us this was a charity race so no prizes for second or third this time.
The Roman Run is a great run £19 unaffiliated/ £17 affiliated. Finisher receive a t-shirt, mars bar, water and Macmillan are serving hot drinks, chocolate bars and packed sandwiches for all finishers. The atmosphere was lovely and the route was beautiful. Would definitely give it another go