|Snowdonia Marathon route|
|Team Buff UK kit ready!!|
|My dad and I before the start|
I always start this race full of confidence no matter what my fitness. No nerves, just excitement, expectation and and a knowing that this is where I belong. The race plan was a simple one. Stick to 8 minute mile pace from the start and hold on, hence a 3:30ish finish. The only thing stopping me was the small matter of not having run this distance or that speed for over a year. But I didn't let trivial details get in the way of a good plan.
We set off in the pouring rain having enjoyed the frontman of famous Welsh band (apparently) The Alarm. The course descends for a mile before leveling off and then rising slowly at first before quickly climbing for 3 miles up to the top of Pen-y-pass. I reached the top at 5 miles in averaging 8:30 mpm pace. Pleased with that. The next few miles are all down hill and before I knew it I was back below 8 mpm pace. Get in I might actually do this. Of course getting excited at 8 miles into a marathon is not advised and there was a long way to go yet. I ran on in the company of two MK lakeside runners Stephen and Rob who were also pacing for a 3:30-3:45 finish. Chatting with Stephen kept things nice and relaxed and made the miles flyby.
The pace felt mildly sustainable at this stage but I had no idea how my body would hold up beyond half way. What I was relying on was the residual fitness from my summer of ElliptiGOing. We hit halfway in the small town of Beddgelert full of beans soaking up the great atmosphere and the rain. 1:44 and right on the button in terms of pacing. All I had to do now was hold it. Let the mental battle commence.
|Dad taking in the snowdonia scenery!|
However at first I wasn't particularly on pace and my garmin suggested I was running a 8:43 current mile. Damn that won't do and soon after two guys looking strong passed me. That won't do either. It was decision time. At this point it was the furthest I'd run since Snowdonia last year. So no recent form to rely on but I'd been here before so what was stopping me from doing it again (other than my mind and tiring legs). So back to 'that' decision. I told my legs that they had to pick up the pace and they actually responded. At first with a grumble but I had the two guys ahead in my sights who were passing everyone else up this long climb so I just focused on them and worked hard. And it was pretty much the same story for miles 16-22. After seeing my family at Mile 16 and feeling good I just continued plugging away and took advantage of some downhill sections. My legs were really feeling it now but it's a marathon so just accept it and push harder.
|Children and mum waiting at Mile 16|
|Crossed the road to greet my wonderful family|
|Why not enjoy the moment I say!|
|My fifth Snowdonia marathon coaster!|
I'm already looking forward to Snowdonia 2016 which could be something a bit special....
Entries open 01.01.2016 00:01. And will sell out in 48hrs guaranteed.