Olivier Triumphs Over 131 Mile ‘Ring o’ Fire’
Last weekend, Olivier Gaillemin embarked on the inaugural ultra stage race The Ring'o'Fire, circumnavigating Anglesey along the coastal path. Setting off Friday afternoon, this 131 mile (32 miles Friday, 65 Saturday and 35 miles Sunday), 13,500ft vertical ascent stage race was memorable for the splendid scenery, the excellent running to be had as well as the moments of doubt and discomfort and sheer terror (being charged by a herd of 50 bullocks 60 miles in to the long day and having to find a Usain Bolt-like turn of speed late in the day). All manner of surfaces were run on, from long flat stretches along beaches, to the rolling grassed paths along cliff tops, to the dunes and pebbles and rocks of Holyhead Mountain - with an estuary to wade through for good measure. The feet suffered and on the last count I shall need to re-grow precisely 5 toenails.
Camaraderie is key on these events, with the race pack bunking down in village halls for a fitful 4 hours sleep between stages (those who made the cut-offs) having sluiced down in a bucket (1 small sink, 1 toilet and 2 urinal for 60+ runners are not luxurious facilities).
Day 3 was marred a tad as a painful right ankle jarred with every step but the beauty of coming over Holyhead Mountain in bright sunshine to see the finish and be welcomed in and presented with the obligatory slate medal made it all worthwhile. Only 28 competitors finished the race and I was delighted with my 10th position.
There is a deal on the price of entry until 30th September for those who are interested in running this beautiful race next year...
Posted 11/09/2012 10:22