In short: Great location, spoiled by poor organisation In full: First the good points:
There is no doubt that this race is set in the most glorious of countryside - you can only hope that the weather is good enough to appreciate it.
I was surprised at how good the support was along the course. Lots of people clapping, cheering and handing out sweets. An enormous thank you to the person at the top of the final climb handing out cups of tea!
Now the bad points:
The overall organisation was very poor. On the day the weather was dreadful, v heavy rain and strong winds. This forecast had been in place since mid week before, so you would think the organiser would have been up to speed.
The start was about 1 mile uphill and there were supposed to be be buses laid on to take you there. However, there was some problem with the buses turning around and it meant that everyone had to stand in the storm for about 45mins+ either waiting for a bus, or waiting at the start for everyone else. This meant i started the marathon completely sodden and shivering.
I don't understand why we couldn't start in Llanberis as an extra dogleg had to be added on the end to make up the distance.
The end was equally chaotic. There seemed to be no organisation whatsoever at the end so v tired runners were crossing the line not knowing what to do next or where to go. Friends and family were gathering right next to the finish so it was chaotic. This meant wandering around for ages trying to work out what to do.
When i finally found the drinks, it turned out they were in the community centre which had suffered a power cut in the morning and was in complete darkness. I appreciate that this couldn't have been helped, but someone should have been explaining to all finishers what had happened and what to do. Maybe the drinks area should have been put outside?
Overall, they should have lengthened the finish area, organised the blankets, chip cutting, coaster prize, and drinks into one long line, with family/friends allowed in after that.
I understand that the organisers want to donate as much money as possible to local causes, but this race felt like it was done on the cheep and there's a danger of putting people off next time.
In full: This was my first marathon. I really enjoyed it, and the support all the way around was really good. The final climb after Waunfawr was a bit challenging to say the least although the downhill into Llanberis was great fun. Would definitely do it again. Roll on 2010.... Date of review: October 26, 2009
In short: hard as nails, but fantastic fun!!!! In full: A great race! a few minor hiccups with the buses in the morning, but nothing too bad ( especially as i waited inside the hall until the last bus!! Full of admiration and gratitude to the marshalls and supporters! The locally produced slate coaster was a nice touch. Understand that the certificates are posted out after the event. Date of review: October 26, 2009
In short: Heaven and Hell In full: Once again i found myself on the start line of this brilliant brilliant race, Looking around that beautiful scenery (heaven) at the start with the mean and moody clouds hanging low, wet, windy and of course challenging. Although it was my third time here i was nervous as hell because i knew what lay ahead. The weather yet again was awful but brings out the determination more! All the Runners, Marshalls and especially the Spectators deserve the utmost respect for braving this awsome Marathon. Obviously i will be back next year to once again try and do battle with Waunfawr (hell) and still trying to beat my best of 3hrs 47mins. Fourth time lucky hopefully.
In short: Beautiful, brutal, brilliant. In full: This was my first marathon so didn't really know what to expect or how to deal with pacing - especially given the terrain & weather. All in all an amazing race, a test of mind and body, though both lifted by the challenges and the beauty of the course and the support and assistance from the marshals and the hardy well wishers along the route. Will definitely return, again and again. Diolch Cymru. Date of review: October 26, 2009
In short: Oh my God, so hard, but so amazing! In full: Absolutely loved this race! Only my second full marathon, but no comparison to my previous (Nottingham 2008) marathon due to the scenery, the atmosphere, the weather (!!!) and the challenge.
The only downside I would say is the disappointing finish. I rooted around and found a slate coaster hidden on a table but there was no sign of the promised goody bag and certificate.
But that's not enough to put me off doing it all again next year! Date of review: October 26, 2009
In short: The only 5 mile race with a 21 mile warm up In full: Given the number of people the race brought to the area couldn't the local authority allow competitors free parking? Date of review: October 26, 2009
In short: Still my all-time favourite (wet) marathon!! In full: My 3rd running of this great race, and the 3rd time I've got soaked somewhere round the course!! At least the rain held off for a couple of hours in the middle, but I still haven't been able to get a sight of Snowdon in nearly 79 miles of running! A huge thank you to all the marshals who had to battle with the wind trying to steal teh cups before they could be filled, and the all the supporters who keep coming out each year to stand and cheer in the wind and rain as we run painfully past them. Thanks to the organisers for switching to energy bars at the 12 & 21-mile water stops - much better than the jelly beans you had last year. If you could get them at the 8 & 16-mile points as well that would be perfect!! I'll be back next year for no. 4 - and possibly some sunshine??!! Date of review: October 26, 2009
In short: Very tough but fantastic fun. In full: I decided to participate in this race for the experience - and boy was it an experience!
The start was a shambles - not helped by the weather or lack of transport.
The race was brilliant with a 4 mile start up-hill which was actually OK.
The race reports mentioned a cliff at mile 21 and it was the toughest thing I have ever faced in a race: it was 3 miles straight up.
The cup of tea and chocolate at the top saved my life - even though the wind blew the tea from the cup.
The 2 mile drop from the top to the finish was interesting as I had to use my legs to brake to stop me going too fast.
Finish was very welcome and the support throughout was excellent.
Living in West Norfolk there was nothing that could have prepared me for the race at all except running up and down the stairs perhaps with someone throwing buckets of cold water on me. Date of review: October 26, 2009