In short: Incredible day in a stunning part of the world In full: Had a brilliant day in Snowdonia. Bit worried about the weather at the start but took a punt to wear the vest, albeit aided by arm warmers. Still had to wrap up in the poncho and an added bin bag for the walk and the first two miles.
Enjoyed the walk and the atmosphere at the start although probably left a bit late. Had a slow start with a bit of weaving, but I think an easy beginning in a marathon can be beneficial. Enjoyed the closed road up to Pen y pass - great sight with all the runners. But did keep thinking 'bloody hell - hardest opening 4.5 miles ever'!
Loved the open and dramatic views on the descent, although did politely pick a bloke up on dropping a wrapper - no need and poor form unless you are near a bin, marshal etc. The 8M descent was epic! Greater technicality than I'd bargained for but it lasted so long. Seemed to overtake repeatedly, but was a bit concerned about the quad damage that would be building.
The second climb was shorter but with a less obvious top seemed to go on a little. Enjoyed the lakeside views and support in Bedgellert. The runners had thinned out a lot by mile 19/20 so enjoyed chatting to a chap from White Rock Runners.
The final climb was brutal. Started OK in Waunfar, but when you turn right in the village it gets ridiculously steep! Told myself I wouldn't walk so slowly trudged up. Quite a few runners passed me only to slow to a walk moments later. The weather had really brightened up by this point. Even some blue sky! Beautiful views back out to the see and some dramatic mountains if you glanced behind. About mile 23 the conditions underfoot rapidly deteriorated. Having sidesteps small puddles for the last three hours I found myself ploughing through muddy lakes. Brilliant to finally make the top although the short bit of the descent that was on the grass was very slippery. Saw that my watch said 7:29 average and realised that a 7:27 would give me 3:15. The battle was on! Felt renewed back on the road and, spurred on by seeing wife and in laws, overtake about ten people. Magical moment running down the home straight - even had it to myself. Delighted to finish in 3:14:18.
What a race! Loved it. It was nice to feel no real time pressure - although of course this is always self imposed anyway. Really enjoyed just looking at HR on watch and not worrying about mile splits (until the very end when at least). Beautiful views, friendly people and a brilliant blend of the personal yet also a big race feel. I would love to do it again and would recommend it to anyone. Date of review: October 29, 2015
In short: Bloody great In full: Loved every second despite the weather. Along with The Giants Head in Dorset, I reckon this is a must do marathon for people who like a challenge!!!! Spectators and marshals brilliant, kids with gels, sweets and encouragement all along the course. Some punishing hills, especially between miles 21-24 killed my first sub 5, (I did 5.07, still a huge PB). The last two miles also need to be taken carefully in the rain, as very steep and slippy. Having said that, it's a tough day out, but one completely worth the 6 hour drive to get up from North Devon. I will be back!!!! Date of review: October 25, 2015
In short: You've got to love the hills !!!!! In full: Love this race! Fourth time and I'll be back next year. The route is ridiculous. It's impossible to get an average pace as you are either going up , steeply up , down , or very steeply down !!! Beautiful stunning scenary. Well organised. The worse the weather the better!! And all for a coaster!! Date of review: October 25, 2015
In short: very tough but very beautiful. not one for a pb! In full: This was probably the toughest thing i've ever done! After the first 4 miles I thought I had made a terrible mistake entering! But, after that it was great, you will not find another marathon with scenery as beautiful and all the runners are so friendly, I had many chats along the way. Definitely not one for a PB, I was 40 mins behind mine. However, it is a great achievement just to finish and I could have cried when I crossed that finish line. ps beware of the weather Date of review: October 6, 2015