Event 17. Snowdonian Marathon
Trip Start May 25, 2008
29Trip End May 25, 2009
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I was up at 5 for the 3 hour drive to Llanberis. I had to pick up my race number and wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to get to the start. I heard my name being shouted when I got out of the car. It was Steve and Colin, 2 of the guys from the 100 marathon club that had been in the Hebrides earlier in May. I ended up walking to start with them as it was just a mile and a half and the queue for bus was very long. The marathon was 5 minutes late starting because of the queue. Lots of others walked as the rain gently fell around us.
Race start time is 10.30am from Nant Peris, a free bus service to the start is available from event HQ in Llanberis. Buses will run from approx. 9am onwards. From the start at Nant Peris (300ft) the route follows the A4086 and climbs to the top of the Llanberis Pass (Pen y Pass 1,100ft).
It follows the A498 to Beddgelert (200ft) and there continues along the A4085 to Waunfawr. From here it is a rapid climb to about 1,200ft at Bwlch y Groes (a short length is unmetalled) and then downhill to the finish in Llanberis.
Well it was a hard one. The rain was gentle but the wind blew into our faces as we headed up the hill. The water station was a top. I always think it's odd to be at the top as it would have been better a little further on just where we start to go down hill and have a chance to catch our breath. Down hill was windy too but blew us down. In the shelter of the trees it was nice to be relatively fast. People were chatty and friendly. Steve had overtaken me on the first hill and I over took Colin later and we then leap frogged for awhile. The views were hampered by the low clouds but it still is a beautiful part of the world. Mile 21 onwards was hard as it was a steep up hill. Very exposed with the wind and rain. Down the last bit was really hard as the wind was so strong and it was rough under foot. One girl nearly knocked me over as she came flying unhappily down. I usually love the down hills as that is when I pick up speed but the wind was too strong for me to just let myself go even when we hit the tarmac road and I knew I was more sure footed. I hit mile 25 and the one thing that really got me going on strong to the line was wondering if Dave would be there as he had hoped to make it over for the weekend.
It was a relief to see the finish line. 4 hours 23 minutes and 54 seconds. 86th woman, 49th for my age group and 642 overall. The tent where they were going to serve food had blown down so we squeezed into the community hall. Foil was wraped around us and we all got coasters as our finishing medals and a T shirt.
I headed off to get dry clothes on and some lovely warming soup. I didn't see the 100 marathoners again so headed home for a long hot bath. I was so glad when I heard the news later that I was there and not in the lakes where so many people were stranded!!
19 marathons completed now in total and 3 ultras.