Four hard men from Couriers stood on the start line, already soaked and freezing from the gale blowing across the Brecons, but even this hors d’oeuvre gave no real taste of the delights to come. With every straining step up the Troed, which rose mightily before them, the violence of the wind, gusting at their rear, grew more severe, knocking them sideways and forwards and freezing feet and limbs. On the ridge, it was worse if anything, knifing into the runners and taking their breath. For once, even non-descenders were relieved to reach the precipitous fall into the valley below.

Such was the severity of the conditions that the organiser, Dick Finch, had wisely decided to shorten the course, despite it being a counter in the Welsh Open and South Wales series as well as a trial event for the Welsh Regional Champs. A number of highly experienced, tough competitors dropped out, feeling that it was too risky to continue and indeed, notably among the more senior contingent, there were some worrying casualties of the freezing afternoon.

Results are not yet to hand but Neil Lewis and Mike Link had a battle royal of the ace descenders,finishing well up, Neil winning out with his uncanny ability to make the wind work for him at high speed. Kev, uncertain that his bulk would keep him on terra firma, hog-loaded with a ballast of 3 pasties, a pie and a tranche of his auntie’s plum duff. Perhaps Steve H should have followed his example. As it was, he was airborne for much of the time on the mountain, not always going in the right direction. Sporting a fluttering black bin bag, which appeared to bear the legend, “Hereford Council. For Refuse Only” and a strange proboscis-like head covering, he was mistaken for a gigantic bat by one runner: “That ain’t no pipistrelle,” this fellow cried. Someone else assumed that with his mixture of flight and scampering feet, he was back on the old emu jallop. What rubbish! In any case, he was not fast enough to catch Clara, who is even lighter than the old boy and was seen flying at much higher altitude