These two bodies of waters high on the Denbigh Hills are great tracks to run around if you ever find yourself in North Wales. I run around the Alwen (7 miler, undulating, bit of a killer if you are not in shape) on a regular basis. It’s a bit of a drive to get to but well worth it. The Brenig is a 10 miler with lots of smallish undulations that slowly become a proper pain in the arse the more you dig deeper into the run. You have the reward of seeing the views of Snowdonia in the distance (more running) all the way round. I have been thinking of combining these two routes into one run. This year I want to do that. 17 miles!!! though euuuchhh I’m just not there right now but if I don’t do that this year I will be bitterly disapointed. I love these places and will run them for many years.
After a few days of debauchery, running in January is always a massive effort for me. It’s like trying to start an engine that hasn’t been turned on for months. I can feel those extra pounds and every glass of wine/beer/etc swinging from now protruding gut. Today was a glorious day though and with tired legs, I really made the effort to get out in the hills for a nice, slow 6 miler. I know after a couple of weeks of solid running I will be back to enjoying it again.
Happy New Year!
This has to be the perfect weather for trail running in. It’s cold, no wind and the ground is slightly frozen. After work, the sun is about to set and I managed to squeeze in a quick 3 miler. It may have been short but this is one of the best runs I have done this year.
- This Month – 65.4 Miles
- This Year – 550.3 Miles
My wife has recently completed her first full marathon. In preparation for an event where she will run The North Wales Coastal Path, this will be three marathons in three days. You can check out her blog here.
There are times when running is just plain grim. Usually when you first start out or after an illness and post Christmas. I find running hard most of the time but every now and then you get gems like the run I had on Sunday.
We went for a 7 miler on the trails in the hills of Llangollen near a place called Llandegla where I sometimes take my mountain bike for a spin. Late afternoon on a Sunday evening after an already great weekend this was by far the best way to put and end to the…..well……weekend.
I still found it physically hard but the environment puts all that to the back of the mind and I can honestly say this is the first time in ages where I have run with a massive grin on my face. The post run buzz was great and enhanced even further when I got home after a nice hot shower to find a really good glass of red Italian waiting for me to saviour.
Sometimes running can be heaven.
I was supposed to do this route the day I smashed my ribs in. However a mate of mine persuaded me to go to a different place where I bit off more than I could chew. So it was great to finally get out to these 2 beautiful bodies of water tucked away nicely behind the Denbigh Moors in North Wales.
I got up early and the temperature was reading minus 2 centigrade. The last time I went up to these hills in the winter I got my van stuck on an icy track. I had nothing to fear it was a dry cold with no wind. Perfect conditions. I parked up near the Alwen Dam and set off in an anti clockwise direction around the reservoir. I was the only bod about at this time of the morning and I soon had a massive grin on my face enjoying the riding and the spectacular views. The route takes me north and when I start a descent we head east towards Brenig. Passing a track between the 2 lakes are some really muddy icy puddles that extend for half a mile or so. I was giggling like a little school boy as my bike slipped from left to right with every peddle but at the same time I was making steady progress.
I arrived at Llyn Brenig and followed a new man made path around the northern part of the lake. As you rise up to this tedious stretch you are rewarded with the most spectacular view of the water and the hills. I paused to get a banana down my neck and some fluids but more importantly I was savouring this moment. The route then meanders along the shore of the lake and sometimes through little wooded areas. I then crossed the actual dam and hit the main road that then loops me back to Alwen.
This is a fairly easy route I would say blue all the way round. Some parts, if it’s wet are muddy but easily passable. Some slight ascents that had me puffing but I’m out of shape at the moment but above all it was a pleasure.
Going to be doing this again in the spring.