KIMM race report

An uncomfortable nights camping at base camp led me to question the efficacy of my sleeping bag / mat arrangement. Managed to overcome the urge to nip in and buy a new sleeping bag from the KimmLite shop, but did succumb to proper coffee vendor … it seems somehow wrong to start the KIMM with a latte but heh …

DAY 1 … Our late start gives us extra faffage time but it is soon time to head up to the start line. Weather fine, spirits high and at last we get to see the map. A quick five minute planning session and we’re off.

The day unfolds and the controls pass by, so far so good. We take it in turns to navigate, discovering interesting limestone features such as sinkholes along the way. Hour 3 and we have a bit of a dip. It’s an uphill slog, its getting cold and misty and energy levels are low.

At one place we find ourselves alone in our small patch of Wales (BT), the mist swirling around. However, a bag of mixed nuts and raisins soon brings us round and we’re suddenly climbing to the top of Fan Brycheinog (easier said than done).

Now a conundrum … just enough time left to nip off and get that extra control (CH). Get there and can’t find it … aaaahhhhhhh. Clock is ticking … it’s amazing how the brain deteriorates with fatigue and lack of energy, we’re in the wrong place of course. Find it and head for home, still not sure if we’re going to make it in time.

Join the long line of finishers and end up trawling through ankle deep slurry (see photo). Reach the finish with 10 minutes spare and 220 points.

Do lots of stretches at campsite, these attract funny looks but stretching while still warm makes a huge difference the next day. Settle in to our palacial tent and get the brews going. Soup, noodles, beanfeast, noodles with water palette cleansers and ibruprofen after dinner mints with whiskey nightcap.

In bed by 9pm. Awake by 2am … cold. Wish had succumbed to new sleeping bag at KimmLite shop. Resort to space blanket for extra warmth. Not recommended … very noisy!

DAY 2 … 6am, no bagpipes … shame. Get brews on and then porridge. Put on cold wet socks and shoes … nice. Time flies and we are soon panicking to get ready … risk the loo queue and just make it to the start in time. Back out along the slurry trail from yesterday and out onto the moors.

Route selection is made easier with the previous days knowledge of terrain and our fitness. Decide to get the points in early. Hill fog makes the navigation tricky and have to fight urge to follow others ahead.

Approach Fan Brycheiniog as the sun begins to breakthrough. Get some amazing views of the mountain tops through swirling cloud (see photos below) which makes our ascent of the steep path up onto the ridge more bearable.

Pretty much downhill from here but still some tricky navigation as the mist returns. One hour left and I go bounding up to our penultimate control and fall spectacularly on slippery rocks into the stream. Soaked down one side but nevermind, it’s still 3-1 to me on the falling over stakes. The last control is a sneaky sinkhole, what fun the course planners must have.

A last spurt of energy and we’re jogging down the track to the finish … 30 minutes to spare but nowhere to go. 190 points. Haven’t seen the final results yet but we’re really pleased with ourselves. My knees just about held out and we managed the entire weekend without arguing!

Some words from KIMM virgin Susie … ‘I didn’t realise how many nutters there were out there. And I MAY consider doing it again.’

Spent the night at spa hotel for massage, sauna and nice dinner … half a bottle of wine each and we’re both a bit frazzled. Go to bed and fall asleep almost instantly.

DAY AFTER … Get up several times in night and almost fall over getting out of bed. The legs are rebelling. Takes several hours after getting up to be able to walk without a limp. Have strong urge for full Welsh breakfast … do not resist urge!

Check results on laptop on way home and are pleased to discover we moved up a few places on day 2 and finally came 69th out of 249. Both very pleased with selves and already talking about the LAMM and the next KIMM.

It was great fun as always and we had a great time. The organisation of an event like this must be very complex and Jen and her team have done another excellent job. Thanks.

Well done too to Simon and Sara Moran who we shadowed on day 2 and met at the finish. Hope you enjoyed your first KIMM and maybe see you next year.

taken from the official KIMM Reporting website

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