Pembrey MT10 – Welsh Middle Distance Trail Running Championships

Aled Smith has kindly written a report of the Pembrey MT10 Trail Run race. This was attended by four members of Taff Ely Tri (Aled Smith, Adrian and Helen Colley and Gerwyn Malpas). It sounds like a great event. Well done all.

So onto Aled:

It was set to be a great race, the weather was perfect, overcast not too cold with a few sunny spots now and again and not a breeze! It was an 11am race start, which definitely beats getting up at stupid o’clock in the morning to travel to other races, it was heaven!

Helen and Adrian Colley, Gerwyn Malpas and myself all signed up on the day, which I regret doing now but more on that later! We had all heard a great deal about the race, but none of us had actually done it before so the excitement of doing something new was definitely there.

It was a well-attended event and from what I’ve heard it keeps on growing each year, just 4 people shy of 400 on the start line. It was hard to judge what time to aim for in this event as I had never done it before and didn’t know what the course was like. When we were under starters orders they gave a brief description of the course and said it was ‘undulating’ with sections that look as though a battalion of tanks had driven through it, they were definitely not lying!

The hooter went off and as usual I went off like a bat out of hell, doing sub 6 minute miles for the first mile and a bit, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep that up! Having never run on this type of terrain before I found it very difficult on the small narrow trails, and ended up with a few cuts from branches and wondered how I didn’t go over on my ankles! Around the halfway point there comes the undulations, by that they mean a few 20% muddy sandy hills with a bloke at the top shouting encouragement which didn’t make things better when your calf muscles are screaming for oxygen!

Just after the half way mark I was doing around 6:30 minute’s miles, hitting 10k in just over 40 minutes, and then came the flat part which should mean the fastest section, right? Not for me, I had no power on the flat and kept dropping places and time, minute miles hitting the 7:30’s, not a happy bunny! The next section of the course was bliss, the nice stretch along Cefn Sidan beach. I got onto to the beach and felt my legs burst into life and got my head down and into a rhythm, I made up 10 places from the start to the end of the beach section, getting back into the low 6 minute miles again, but the damage had already been done! The last 2 miles was across the section where it looked as though a battalion of tanks had been through, it was an absolute bomb site, up and down on ankle breaking track, but it was great fun. Coming out of the forest in sight of the finishing banner it would have been rude not to have a sprint finish with the guy who was in front of me the whole way!

Finishing times;

Winning time – 58:29

Myself; 1:12:19 – Gerwyn; 1:16:08 – Adrian; 1:27:23 – Helen; 1:41:07

This event was also coupled with the Welsh Middle Distance Trail Running Championships, however, in order to qualify to compete in the championships you had to register a week before! Turns out that if I had signed up a week previously instead of doing it on the day I would have been Welsh u20 Trail Running Champion, never mind hey!

Great day out with great company and definitely the best running event I’ve done, would highly recommend it, a tough and thoroughly enjoyable course.

Aled Smith