Brecon Beacons Midnight Half

Emma Wright and Melanie Niven have written a report on the Brecon Beacons Midnight Half Marathon.

So in November last year a fellow Cotswold Allrunner suggested we did the Brecon Beacons Midnight Half Marathon. She suggested this but actually didn’t participate herself (she knows who she is!) So on Saturday 29th June 2019 it was just us as we arrived at Talybont-on-Usk at 4pm ready to commence possibly the toughest trail race we had ever done! 

After the safety briefing and spending much time looking at and admiring the full marathon runners, we were ready to start. An oppressive heat at 5:30pm but we were ready to start and hill number one was particularly challenging running over cobbled stones with many people trying to get past us. We decided however to take it calmly and steady and to stick to our game plan of just getting around. After the quick ascent we reached the reservoir which was absolutely stunning and it was at this point we decided to take our first picture, meeting some fellow runners. 

We pressed on climbing and continued to admire the breathtaking view making steady progress. The ground was expectantly tricky with stone and gravel paths. There wasn’t any marshals but the route was adequately signposted and there were no worries about getting lost. We were soon at 5 miles and before we knew it reached 7 miles and the turn around point with marshals there desperately making sure we knew to turn around and not end up on the full marathon route! 

Mel and Emma

A quick snack of jelly babies and salt and vinegar crisps we set off again, crossing a quaint little stream and then into the thick dark wood, hearing the sound of a woodpecker somewhere in the woods. Another climb now before a much welcomed descent. 

We were back at the other side of the reservoir and enjoying the scenery again but even the ongoing descent was hurting now. We kept each other going and felt we were ok to keep walking the hills. 

Back over the cobbles was our last challenge, before we were welcomed by fellow runners and drinkers at the local pub. We were very happy now but the last 200 metres still hurt. 

However we got there and was pleased with getting through it. 

This beautiful race in the midst of the Beacons was so stunning and everyone was particularly friendly. Clear instructions and easy parking made our only challenge those mammoth hills. Every step was worth it though with a great chunky medal and t shirt for our efforts. We finished and headed off to Ebbw Vale McDonalds…. we know how to live it up!