South Wales Traverse 28 March

Yiannis Tridimas and I completed this at the weekend, in 22:07 and 20:45 respectively. Wayne Percival did a great job on roadside support - low key but efficient. I've been looking at it on and off over the years: a bit of reccying with Chris Taylor; also ran most of it over 2 days a couple of years ago with David Waide who knows the route intimately. I've regarded it as the easiest of the classic 24h challenges, which I guess it is, but I found it pretty hard, due to the distance and the amount of levelish running.
I took in all the S Wales 2000 footers including the "missing" Nuttalls: Waun Lefrith, Fan Fraith, Fan y Big and Pen Twyn Glas being the main ones; also the rather cute Bryniau Gleision (538m) before Cefn yr Ystrad. This probably added about 30 mins in total. David Waide and I set off at 05:20, just before first light, so we could see our way over the first rocky summits. The biggest Sec 1 summits (Bannau Sir Gaer et al) were in cloud and under snow, but after that, all were clear. By Storey Arms we were within about 15 mins of Yiannis, but with extra tops and photo-opps we didn't see him until Abercynafon (and then only because he hung around for a few mins I think). Very strong wind over that section. After Cefn yr Ystrad we went our separate ways: David and I took the standard(ish) route, following footpaths (not the road) to Llangynidr then via Glanusk biridge (by kind permission of the Estate) to Cym-gu. David dropped out here due to nausea which meant he couldn't take in food (his recurring problem ). His company and excellent route knowledge was a great help on the first 3 sections though. Yiannis took a pioneering(?) route via Crickhowell. Just before descending to Blaen-y-Cwm (Forest Pit) I gave him a call - he was one hill back so I'd sneaked past him and guess the standard route won . Found the forest descent in the dark successfully but it was pretty slow. Ascent to Chwarel y Fan wasn't great either in the dark but no major probs. Then those last ridges to Gospel Pass and back went on forever. Brilliant starry night though, breeze died completely, iced-over puddles, -1deg in the valley. Had a bit of a 'mare with the final descent to Llanthony, finishing in fine style by climbing over the Priory wall having misread the map when I loaded up the GPS with the route . Downed some food, then Yiannis arrived, seemed only a few minutes later. 117km on the GPS i.e. 73 mi. 17,000 ft the usual ascent figure; Anquet (ascent characteristically high) gives 72mi / 18,494 ft for my version. Seems only an hour or so "easier" than the BGR, but then I'm not good on the flat.
I have a few half-decent photos which I'll get online when I get a chance.  Off to St Kilda shortly (Atlantic-permitting...)