Second go at the Transfan - this time going the "correct" way starting at Llanddeusant. Only 7 running this year, and ground conditions pretty wet and slower.
First climb went pretty badly and had various stops to take off jacket and ankle related issues - had to relace right shoe to tighten it up and as we kept climbing calf was screaming in pain. Got to the top at Carreg yr Ogof and had no option but to remove the ankle tape if I wanted to continue; asked the group to wait but only Will did so was a 3 way split from here - Andy/Ollie/John ahead and Gareth/Karen behind. Calf steadily got better from there on so the right decision.
Heading up to Bannau Sir Gaer we knew to go right of trod to get to the corner but didn't go sharply enough so added a little extra distance. Generally going ok along the ridge and found a man with a gun at the top - asked if he was a terrorist but he said "no" - big group of fairly young army guys coming up and looking longingly at either our running or our small rucksacks :-) Climb up to Fan Brycheiniog was much bigger than I remembered. Slow descent down on the rocks, and then guessing the way a bit (with compass) to find the trod down to the road. Got the trod all the way up the hill with no name and only 300 yards or so through the tussocks before descent. Got to the layby just as the 3 in front started leaving so had a long 10 min or so break for food and water.
Had anticipated Fan Ghirych to be difficult - had Mark P for company to the top and it actually passed quite quickly. Steep bit was incredibly steep and even going slowly HR was still pretty high. Overall a good ascent and gained back a few minutes on the others. Thought Fan Nedd would be easy from this side but was still a long way up. Missed the good line down through the tussocks I found a few weeks ago.
Got to the road again just as the others were leaving, this time just a short stop for water and got moving. Used compass and took a more direct line to overtook Ollie and John at the top. Discussed the route choice with Will and both agreed to go round, and O+J followed behind but were falling back. Knee feeling it a bit by now so running along the ridge felt hard! Slow up to Fan Fawr - walked from the last stream but reasonable attempt at jogging until then. Leap-frogged Andy (who went straight) - so we were leading from here on :-)
Steady descent down to the Storey Arms having warned on ankle hazards. Despite being careful still twisted the bad ankle in a small hole, but must have just held it together to prevent re-spraining. Just the long plod to Corn Du and Pen y Fan to go - walking.
Didn't know the best way down from Pen y Fan so opted to go fairly straight to the track below the lake, avoiding extra climb. Far too steep for this far into a run, but survived. Cloud came down behind us so at least visibility was good. Both of us still motivated and mentally strong to jog all the way down the track - finishing together at about 5.20. Andy pulled out at the Storey Arms, Ollie and John an hour behind us, Gareth and Karen still out when I left back for Llanddeusant (in the dark, and wet) - somewhere by the lake below Corn Du at 8.15 when we got through to them on the phone.
Very glad of Will's company today and seems we were doing well for motivation and encouragement. Don't think either of us had any low points during the run. And nice to win - good trophy to have! Thanks to Mark, Martin and Kay for organising/supporting.