Rhayader Round the Lakes 20 5th March 16

This seemed like a good pre marathon build up race and not to far away.
Bumped into a few rivals from Wye Valley before the start, with some good banter exchanged.
The route is a circular, starting and finishing in Rhayader itself, yes there are some hills, after the first mile or so it goes steadily uphill till around the 4.5 mile point. I was happily sitting back and letting the leaders push on, as soon as you top out, to snow I may add, you are treated to nearly 2 miles of downhill! I took full advantage of this and put in around a 5:04 mile and closed down to 4th and then 3rd at about the 8 mile point.
What followed was a lot of lonely running trying to close down on 2nd place, come 17+ miles I had paid the price for my pace, and only 1 energy gel & 2 jelly babies!
With less than a mile to go I found myself back in 6th place and was also treated to another couple of hills as we approached Rhayader. Now running in pure zombie mode I managed to pick off another runner and finished in 5th place in 2:08.54.
A really great race, in amazing scenery, probably more picturesque than the Snowdonia marathon even, we had rain one minute then sunshine the next.
There is an uphill slog at the start, but it does have the benefit of some nice downhill’s, if your looking for a 20 miler, then I can recommend it. I will be back next year, maybe we’ll see some more reds so I don’t get bullied by Wye Valley!
Tom Grady