Midnight Mountain Marathon, Brutal Events, Brecon Beacons 2019

July 02, 2019  •  1 Comment

This race is billed as one of the toughest trail marathons in the UK, taking in the uppy and downy bits of the beautiful but formidable Brecon Beacons.

 

One never really knows what the weather is going to be like.  Although the hottest day of the year thus far, there were forecasts of rain and thunderstorms, just to make life that little bit more exciting.  Mercifully we didn't get that but what we had instead was fog.  Visibility was down to about 30 metres in many places which meant that any chances of getting the expansive landscape shots that I normally chase were most definitely not happening.  This was in a strange way a blessing.  I had already done a story board showing more close up shots and this, as it so often does, had fallen exactly in alignment with the brief that Claire Smith, race director, discussed with me.  It meant that I didn't have that panic that every photographer in my position would be able to relate to - of being slap bang in the middle of an incredible national park but not being able to see a thing.

So I worked with what I had and tried to use the fog to create atmosphere, the sense of what I was feeling as I followed the route to Pen-y-Fan.  t's certainly a magical and surreal experience to be out, often alone, in the middle of nowhere. 

At one point, two sheep emerged from the fog and just started at me, like a pair of bored teenagers.  You can see them in the shot below, clearly turning their attentions now to someone far more interesting....

It was a beautiful but tough event to cover.  A competitor stopped and asked me quizzically how I had got to a particular spot ...definitely no short cuts or quad bikes ...

So I was beginning to feel it towards the end of the day.  It was dark and the fog was really closing in and I wasn't feeling entirely comfortable.  I knew that I was getting a lift back to HQ with the mountain medics who were on top of Pen-Y-Fan so I slogged on.  There were only a few competitors left on this section so I was pretty well done for the day.  I found the medics, and was putting my cameras away when the sweeper runner appeared. And then I was rewarded with this, my final shot of the day.  There's probably a moral to this story somewhere.


Comments

Debbie Butt(non-registered)
Beautiful words, beautiful photos... it was wonderful seeing you along the way...Once again for myself Brutal Events gave me an incredible experience and journey (I completed the Oner in April) which only increases my desire for more challenges. I wake up every morning seeing the images from the ‘Fan Dance’ ...
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