Ed: Helen & Cedric currently at their peak after the Llanelli Waterside Half Marathon are not looking for easy options as they tackled the hilly San Domenico 20 miles on 20 March. Helen reports:
Sunday saw the most beautiful day in the Welsh Valleys. Cédric drove down from work in North Wales for the San Domenico 20 and I travelled from South Wales, so we met each other in Merthyr Tydfil. Even at 8am the sky was blue and the sun was out as we headed to the start area to collect our race numbers, although there was a little chill in the air. The race was a 20 miler mainly on the Taff Trail and organized by South Wales running club San Domenico, ideally in preparation for a Spring marathon, hence most of the participants being seasoned club runners. We began from Merthyr College and after a 2 x 1 mile loops we headed off down the Taff Trail towards Cardiff for about 6 miles. The Taff Trail is a walking/cycling route that begins in Brecon and 55miles later arrives in Cardiff Bay, so therefore theoretically overall it is downhill, but I would say this part of it was ‘undulating‘ (and that’s being nice!). Most of the Traff Trail follows route 8 of the National Cycle Network.
After 8 miles of these undulations we arrived in the valley of Abercynon, where we left the Taff Trail and were faced with a steep climb for about a mile and a half. After another few miles of hill work we arrived in the village for some flatter running before picking up the ‘out’ course to make the neverending uphill route back to the start/finish line. Again this is another beautifully scenic course but a tough one due to the hills. However, Cédric set a new PB of 2.37.15 beating last years time by 10mins, and being my first attempt at a 20 miler, I finished in 2.57.06.