Running around Trawsfynydd
Anna and I were heading out for the evening on Sunday, so I didn’t hang around long in Colwyn Bay after the races.
I did however stop off for a run on the way home. I stopped at Trawsfynydd Lake as that was a good halfway marker on the drive and I’d never ran here before so fancied checking it out. I’d intended to run for about 50 minutes so headed off into the blustery wind with my new Montane Trail Running tights on. Don’t worry, that’s not a lead in to some horrific chaffing incident, they were actually quite comfortable and mentioning them gives me a chance to add an Amazon affiliate link to them should anyone wish to buy some (or anything else from Amazon for that matter!)
I wasn’t sure how far it was all the way around the lake so the plan was to run for 25 minutes, see where I was and then either continue all the way around for a complete circumnavigation or turn back. The first part of the run was into a tough headwind. The going was slow but it was a nice enough day. There was little in the way of sunshine any more and even a few spots of rain from the heavy grey clouds overhead. It was cool, grey and windy but good for running. There were some signs for a cycle trail that seemed to go all the way around the lake though so I started following those. I passed a few walkers and headed off along a combination of single track, gravel trails and quiet road around the lake in an anti-clockwise direction. This took me past the Power Station and and then out through wooded country side.
With a total surface area of 4.8 km² (1,180 acres) the reservoir is slightly bigger than Wales’s largest natural lake, Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake). It’s a beautiful spot with lots of wildlife to look out for including Otters, Osprey and rare birds in the woodland sections.
After a couple of miles I was feeling OK as I crossed the impressive dam at the end of the lake, complete with signs telling people not to abseil from it. The road came to an end here and I headed out onto a hillside trail that meandered its way to the far westerly point before turning to head in a SE direction. Here the terrain pointed upwards for quite a steep climb. I hadn’t been expecting that. On it went with a number of false summits.
I kept telling myself that I’d stop at the top to see where I was and make a decision on whether to continue around the lake or turn back. The top always seemed to be just one more little climb away. Eventually I made it though and had now been running for just over 25 minutes. The perfect time to make a decision. The run back from here would be quicker thanks to a nice downhill to start with and a tailwind back to where I’d started so total run time would be less than the planned 50 minutes. I couldn’t see much from the top though so continued on just a little further to see how much progress I’d made around the lake.
This meant descending the hill on the other side a little. As the lake once again came into view I could see the power station and the café where I had started pretty much opposite me. It looked as though I was almost halfway around. I’d run over 3 miles in just over 25 minutes and with what looked like just a little further than that to go to make it all the way around I had a decision to make. It wasn’t a difficult one to make. I was already partway down the hill so turning back would have needed a bit of a climb. Continuing on for a complete circuit sounded like much more fun so I kept going in the anticlockwise direction around the lake.
By 30 minutes I was at the bottom of the hill and back out onto tarmac road. At around 35 minutes and 4 miles into my run I rounded a corner to discover quite a big corner of the lake that I hadn’t seen before. Not only had I not seen it but I’d have to run around it. Maybe this would take longer than I thought! The next part of the run took me along flat quiet roads to the SE corner of the lake where I emerged out onto the main A470 for a bit. This was a little downhill run alongside the main road before I turned off into the village of Trawsfynydd where another steep climb greeted me. I climbed up through the village (which seemed to be populated solely by teenagers on mini-scooters) and then back down the other side and back out onto a A470. I followed this for a while before turning left onto a little muddy singletrack into a strong headwind and back towards the shore of the lake.
I’d now been running for an hour, a little longer than planned, but there couldn’t be far to go. The path weaved its way through little lakeside woodlands, over a few little bridges, up and down a few little rises and then felt as though it was heading away from the lake again – surely there wasn’t another large area of lake I hadn’t seen. No, it turned left again soon afterwards and took me along a few more little trails before emerging at a boat yard with just a short rise to the car park where my van was waiting. Phew, I’d done it.
It may have taken a little longer than the run I had planned but it was nice to have made it all the way around. I’d told Anna I’d be home at 4-ish though. That prediction was based on a 50 minute run and I hadn’t figured in time getting changed or the fact that I was driving slowly thanks to the wind and the ski on the roof. The extra 20 minutes or so on the run had added to that as well so it was likely to be an ETA of 4:30 instead. I let Anna know and headed back towards home without getting changed out of my running kit.
All was well at home and amazingly Morgan was out of the house. He had gone out ‘fishing’ with some friends. For someone who barely leaves the house other than to go to school this was quite an occasion! Mind you, he hadn’t taken any fishing tackle with him, just a packet of Maryland Cookies so I don’t think he really had much intention of doing much fishing. Apparently they did fish for a while then headed around to the beach, took shelter in the dunes, lit a fire and cooked the bacon they had taken as bait!
Despite the slightly longer run than planned I had plenty of time to shower and chill before heading into Aberystwyth for dinner at Byrgyr and then an entertaining evening of ‘Songs and Stories’ from Rob Brydon.
A good day!