Quadrathlon Camp Day 1

You’d be forgiven for thinking that after a day away racing in the Fishguard Bay Ocean Race I’d be happy to have a slow start the next day. Try telling by body that. Instead it was up at 5am and raring to go. I didn’t want to leave too early for North Wales though. I wanted to see Anna first and hopefully even Morgan, and there wasn’t any rush. So, after some breakfast I decided to wash the van. I had time to wax and polish it as well. Once that was done I loaded on a couple of bikes and played with a new bike cover. I was now ready to go and Anna was awake. I made her a coffee in bed and finally set off around 9am.

Just to be clear, I didn’t make the coffee whilst in bed. I made the coffee for Anna who was still in bed. The coffee was consumed by Anna whilst in bed too. I was never in bed at any point during the making of or consuming of said coffee. You knew what I meant though didn’t you? Not that I can’t make coffee from bed, our coffee machine is no ordinary coffee machine, it is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connected so I can control it from an app on my phone from my bed or from across the other side of the world. We never use these features because they are stupid, but I could have made said coffee in bed if I so wished.

The drive up was through stunning scenery and Wales was putting on a show. Craggy mountains, bluebell covered slopes, tumbling waterfalls and dramatic gorges. Lakes sparkling in the blazing sun and wispy clouds in clear blue skies. What a day!

I arrived at Llyn Gwynant campsite to find most of the Quadrathletes out on the water for a paddle. I therefore milled around for a bit until they were back on dry land. The campsite looked perfect. It’s right on the banks of the lake with ducks waddling around on the grass.

The lake itself is hemmed in on all sides by high mountains with the main Snowdonia Massif just behind the immediate hill. As well as the quadrathletes in their kayaks, there were people pootling about on SUPS, people in inflatable canoes and others out for a swim. Elsewhere in the lake people were picnicking on shingle beaches and kids were tombstoning from the rocks. It looked perfect on a day like today.

Time for a swim

Once the others were back, it was time for a swim. We donned our wetsuits and headed in. Some were a little worried about the temperature as it was their first open water swim of the year. Not so for me as I’ve been swimming in the sea for months now and had been gradually discarding bits of neoprene with each swim. Today looked like the perfect day to take it down to nothing but the wetsuit and swim hats. It was fine, not warm of course, but a lot warmer than the sea. We swam across to a little beach. I then doubled back to some others before swimming back to the little beach again. I was a little quicker than everyone else and having not been for a paddle felt as though I had some catching up to do. So, while the others swam back to the campsite I set off on my own across to the other side of the lake before heading back to the campsite to meet them.

A little run

Back at the campsite a few people were off for a I little jog. I of course decided to join in. They weren’t going far and we’re going at a slow pace too so I headed off ahead on my own. I didn’t go too far either but did continue on beyond the point at which the others planned to turn around. I wanted to do a little more than 2 1/2 miles so continued up the hill to emerge onto the Pen y Pass road. From here I just retraced my route back to the campsite where I was finally able to check in for the week.

Kayaking in Llyn Gwynant

After sitting around chatting for a short while Jean wanted to go for a paddle so Dave and I said we’d join her. All three of us did a loop of the lake. Dave then headed in and Jean and I headed back around for another lap of the lake. This time we did some three minute efforts. Jean then headed in while I went off for a final easy loop on my own.


Satisfied that I’d now done something and still feeling under the weather it was time to get organised for camping. The showers were checked out and were up to standard. Kit was dried in the sunshine. Dinner was prepared and eaten. Cakes were consumed and I did my best to share them but no one seemed to want them! It was then time to chill in the van drinking hot chocolate and eating chocolate bars before getting ready for bed. Tomorrow the bike should get ridden!

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.