It's a baldy bald life!

By DrK

Day 1: ITERA Caernarfon to Snowdonia(ish)

5:45am. It was blowing a hoolie but no rain. After a very quick breakfast, we started work on getting the transition area set up on the beach. I had to find my transition box first, looking into a packed lorry thinking it better be near the front. Tim and Chris had done a great job packing and it was easy to find.

A frantic few hours were spent getting the pebble beach ready for the kayak launch. but it was soon time for the racers to get going. I had to be in transition so missed the start in Caernarfon Castle. They did two laps round the city walls and then descended on the beach. Some people were experts at getting the sit on top kayaks prepped and others were substantially less good. I saw Rosemary and her team for a minute to wish them luck.

Soon the flotilla was paddling down the Menai Straits, fortunately with the wind and tide towards Conwy. Because of concerns from the coastguard, the paddle was cut short.

Mark and I headed to Ogwen in Snowdonia to set up our transition area and then it was non-stop activity for the rest of the day. Manual labour is good for the soul. We unloaded 100's of bags and bike boxes ready for the teams to arrive. There were plenty of interested hill walkers and climbers around, some highly knowledgeable of adventure racing and others astounded at the undertaking.

The teams came through for the next 6 hours or so at a very steady trickle. I swapped the 'dib-out' point with Kim so had ample to for little wanders and coffees. Team Adidas Terrex were leading and were racing hard to clear the high mountains by dark. Tryfan is scary enough in daylight!

Rosemary and her team were a bit back but they're all very experienced racers who had a plan. They were missing out a few peaks, with some time penalties but were happy doing so. The final teams arrived in transition in the dark. Rather them than me going into the high peaks of Snowdonia at this time. Wind was high enough where I was in the valley.

It was gone midnight when everything was packed up and I headed off to bed. I was knackered. Unfortunately, the little gully that I had pitched my tent in was a wind tunnel. Not a sheltered area like it appeared to be. It was like trying sleeping in a big orchestral bass drum, where every 5 minutes a cyclic storm whipped through. It was slightly scary and not ideal when exhausted.

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