The Welsh CA 12 Hour 5th September
With the cancellation of the KCA 12 I decided to race the Welsh 12 Hour. Apart from the racing for 12 hours, I had to consider the issues of accommodation and support for the race. There was slim pickings for accommodation to cover the three days so I opted for camping at The Castle Knights Campsite in Usk, Monmouthshire.
I enquired about support with the race organiser, he informed me that there will be a neutral feed station for unsupported riders, this will come into play on the mid-morning circuit at 100 miles.
The course R12/16 is based around the town of Raglan, racing mostly on the A40/A449 with early morning legs out to Monmouth, Usk and a long trot up to Hereford and back on the A465 via the Hardwick roundabout Abergavenny.
I spent most of Saturday on a recce, checking out the HQ, the start and dropping of some bottles and feed on the route up to Hereford. I was fortunate to find lay-bys at roughly 50- and 75-mile points with litter bins so I could dispose of the bottles and plastic bags.
Back at the campsite, the owner offered me an upgrade from tent to cabin, so I had a bed for the night.
Sunday, up at 0400. On route to the HQ, I had one more bottle/feed to drop off, at what would be the 32-mile point. Signing on at the HQ, I met my feed man Gareth aka The Melon Man, a legend at the race for handing up slices of melon.
The Sun was just about waking up for my start time of 06:27. The A40/A449 were quiet for the early morning leg out to Monmouth and then down to Usk. First bottle pick up went well, then it was up to Hereford on the draggy A465. Second bottle northbound to Hereford was still in place as was the third at 78 miles on the return leg.
Back down on the A40 it was getting busier on the dual carriageway, and it was warming up too. The start of the mid-day circuit at 90 miles was a 25-mile loop with mix of dual carriageway and B roads between Abergavenny and Mitchel Troy. On the slip road to Mitchel Troy was the feed station, So I was taking on feed every 25 miles.
It was proving to be a quick day with a northerly breeze, flowing traffic and sunshine. I hit the 15-mile finishing circuit at the 200 mile point with just over two hours to go. I took on one more feed to take me to the 12 hours with a finishing distance 240.89 miles (20.075 avg speed) a PB.
The Welsh CA 12HR is a cracking race and even on top of the travel and the logistical headache I would still recommend it.
Thanks for reading