Race Report – Wales Brecon Beacons 40 – Might Contain Nuts DNF

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Distance – 40 miles (I DNF’d at mile 22)

Food – 4 Protein bars, 5 9Bars, 1 Liquorice stick

A Sean Connery famously said in the movie ‘Untouchables’ – “Alright, enough of this running shit.”

I DNF’d today with a big smile on my face.  I loved my run but I ran out of food.  I didn’t feel hungry at the start but only 4 miles in I was eating and had so many food bonks that by mile 22 (checkpoint 3) I had eaten everything I had taken with me.  Given it was an unsupported race, there was no way I could have made the additional 18 miles with no food.  … and it was really really hard – fair play to the organisers ‘Might Contain Nuts‘, ok the weather was rotten and the ground unbelievably wet, but they put on a seriously gruelling, beautiful race.   Best bits included:

– Meetings some friends at the start, was great to see some familiar faces and some TransAlpine friends – it’s been a while since I had a good old natter about that race.

– Fronzen fingers.  I’ve been cold before, Davos springs to mind.  Not this cold though, I could only move my hands as a single item, I had no fingers.  Trust me, some of these pictures, as poor as they are(!), were really difficult to take.  I was wearing gloves that had a removable thumb section so you could use your phone, I always pull it off with my teeth and on more than one occasion nr the top of Pen Y Fan I was pulling it so hard and it wouldn’t come off only to find I was biting my whole finger – but I couldn’t tell as they were frozen.  My thumb is now sore!

– Bogs. Oh dear god.  3 times i went in almost waist deep.  After checkpoint 2 (and 1 -2 was very wet) the bogs were insane.  I’ve never been on this sort of terrain, some of my Serpie friends who do cross country may have but I can’t believe to that level of severity.  The photos just dont do justice how ice cold and deep those bogs were heading upwards to Pen Y Fan (south Wales highest point at 850m). I felt fit but progress was soooo strained.

– Getting lost.  I didn’t!  But I was in about 10th Place at mile 13 and saw 2nd and 3rd place scramble up a steep hill just next to me.  Seems all races suffer from invisible arrows!   They were not the only ones who got lost that day.

– quick thanks to the staff at checkpoint 3. I pulled out and they quite literally could not have been more helpful, and nothing was even wrong with me – they still offered a car heater, blankets, you name it – brilliant show, thanks.

6 Replies to “Race Report – Wales Brecon Beacons 40 – Might Contain Nuts DNF”

  1. Was just about to ask how you got on… It was brutal out there today, the MCN events are challenging but today was something else. I too lost the use of my hands and nearly dropped at CP4 but managed to pull myself together for a 10hr finish. Great to catch-up at the start with your new celebrity ‘CTS winner’ status 🙂

  2. Wow, that forest looks like something out of Lord Of The Rings. Love how you stay so positive even when you DNF.
    Following your blog makes me contemplate moving back to the UK. Seems like there are so many awesome races there. I’m finding more and more great events here in Norway too, but few ultras and not many trail races.

  3. Does not sound like the race I ran. Yes a bit wet and windy but not really that cold. Cannot believe you ate that much in 22 miles. I only had 2 thin thermals and a very light cag plus my thinnest gloves? Yes I was glad to be running down out of the wind each time a squall came through but it wasn’t that bad. Bogs- a bit wet and annoying but tame compared to the Peninne bogs I sometimes train through?

    1. Hi Karen. I was not cold – like you had two dry fit layers, it was just my fingers and toes. I’m always susceptible to a bit of frozen fingers when it gets cold but I did suffer badly that day! I’ve ran a lot of trail mountain races abroad and lots of coastal UK trail races and I can say I’ve never ran though bogs like that, I’d have to disagree and say they were bad! I did at least find the experience amusing 🙂
      Yes I ate a lot – my blog is called the hungry runner. Should have taken some vegan sandwiches 🙂

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