This will be short and sweet – unlike the actual time it took me to complete the half marathon yesterday.
Public service warning – this does contain some rather disgusting photos of me running…
I will not regress over the injuries and the such before the event, but needless to say despite the world seemingly determined to stop me starting an event this year I am pleased to say I not only got to the rather wet and muddy start line vaguely intact but I also actually managed to finish it in reasonable shape.
If that shape was a sweating, soaked to the bone middle aged man in muddy lyrca.
I have wanted to do the Snowdonia Half Marathon for roughly a year after hearing that you got two medals for the event – one for finishing the overall race and one for running up a 1/7 hill after 4 miles, without stopping. Being a bit of a hoe for a medal that’s what pushed me towards the fact that come midday on Sunday I was stood, soaked to the skin, huddled in a crowd of random man in lycra at the muddy start line.
It’s fair to say I was under prepared for the event, having only completed one double digit run this year and with my aversion to hills it meant that even before loftgate I knew it was going to be a tough day out. I had benchmarked my trail half marathon time from last June as something I would be happy to get in or around and at 2:08 I thought that would be slightly optimistic considering the hills.
Did I mention it was hilly?
Also did I mention the rain? The type of rain that I think noah had to put up with back in the day.
Off we plodded and I settled into a reasonable pace, passing a few at the start as I started towards the back – always good for the confidence I find, and ‘quickly’ through the mist, rain and fog discovered the first hill was approaching. It’s fair to say that I have never, ever run up anything as steep in my life and never ever want to again. Nothing prepares you for how steep it is – steeper than normal stairs, in fact it’s not steep its f’ing vertical. I doubt I could drive up it and definitely couldn’t bike up it.
Proud to say I ‘ran’ up it – as in attempted to run up it, but it was more of a fast walk on the spot – so slow was I that one bloke walking overtook me on the slope. Mentally probably the toughest section of an event I have ever done and that includes the shouting at cows thing last year. Stupid cows. But bling is bling and I wanted double bling.
At the top of forest hill on the route profile it looked like it levelled out – however it didn’t, I struggle to remember any section of the race which wasn’t up or down in some way – often with the downhills hurting just as much as the uphill sections.
Cutting a long and slow story short I plodded on till 11 miles before my shoulder / back started to ache some more and voice their displeasure at the fact that the physio said I was ok to run. Nothing too bad, but it meant me stretching my arms quite a lot on a downhill section – think the marshals thought I might have been attempting to take off with the helicopter movements I was doing.
Happy to finish in one piece, again no issues due to the Udderly smooth cream on the sensitive parts– especially considering I ran in my tri shorts to ensure they don’t pose problems in later events. Also upon reflective pretty happy with the time of 2:02 and a top half finish. As ever just happy not to be last!
Nice to run in my 9bar gear for the first time and got some approving looks from it – I had two bars an hour before the start and it definately kept me going through the hills and one on the drive back home meant I was in reasonable shape by the time I got home.
Couldnt do stairs though.
Also quite impressed with my heart rate readings – considering whilst running I don’t normally get above 185 when I am flat out pushing, amazed to see that accordingly to the recordings at some point I hit 219, not even sure if thats possible.
Inspired by lots of folks doing Manchester marathon – I fancy a bit of that action next year, early bird discount means it’s £40, bargain for a bit of early season bling.
Plus its flat