If you fancy a long, challenging and scenic road race then you need look no further than the Rhayader round the lakes20.It has just about everything going for it
for the more serious road runner with long strenuous climbs along country lanes that take you on a journey past lakes,forested valleys and mountainous scenery.
This year the race celebrated its 3oth year running and as if to celebrate this milestone bright weather moved in.
The race itself started in the small market town of Rhayader and first took you on a mile loop around the town.With the cheering crouds,this had the effect of building up runners self esteem before heading you out of town and into the wilds of Mid Wales.It was now steady running for a few miles before ,although
scenic, the view turned not so good.The road ahead looked to be climbing steadily for a long, long way.The summit could be seen,but as all experienced runners
know, it is always wise to ignore this pretend summit as there will always be another over the top.Speedy front runners could be seen as little specs of colour.I
wished I was one of them.Surly they must be near the top.Best forget looking around at all so I fixed my gaze on the back of someone’s tee shirt.This helped pull
me along and eventually I crested the top of the hill and was rewarded with a panoramic view.I changed into my favorite gear, the downhill one,and started to get
my revenge on runners who seemingly effortlessly passed me going up.Great running ,it felt for me now.for about (dare I say) ten miles,With an undulating road,interesting scenic bits,. as the road wound around close to the lakes,this was running at its best for me.There were mile markers which I enjoyed counting
down and drink stations appeared regularly ,though in my good form I hardly needed.I felt like a well oiled piston engine of a sports car.Around mile 17 though,
one of my wheels came off.My legs cramped and turned heavy. I quickly went from race mode to survival mode.A road sign pointed the way to Rhayader,- 3 miles, that is just a 5k left to do I reassured myself.It turned out to be a very long 5k.I was fast being reeled in by other runners who swept by with words of
ececouragementHow did I hold them off all this way !.They looked so strong.I jogged and shuffled my way along until eventually a friendly marshal announced
“your nearly there mate half a mile”.Half a mile ? will I make it ?.Just 100 yards announced the next marshal.I’d made it !!.Around the next corner and the fantastic sight of the finishing line.I shook a few clammy hands before settling myself on the ground.Exhausted but delighted at the same time.Signes of a good hard race.