Snowdonia Marathon 2012

Camaraderie Rules :-D

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16/08/2012 at 17:42

Just a quick one for you guys. it's the first time i have entered this race and I am getting mixed opinions about kit. I am normaly a road runner, and even when i do trail running I do them in my road shoes. Seeing as some of the race s off road and is in October and is bound to be heavier trail than my local tow path or forest and the walkers paths in the peaks what shoes would you guys and gals reconmend. Will road trainer be okay, or do i need to look at using my trail shoes or maybe a hybrid. 



16/08/2012 at 18:41

Tom road shoes are definitely the way to go in my opinion as the majority of the race is on road.  there are 2 sections that are off road, the first is a stone/gravel track, the second part is at the top of the last hill and is a mixture of stone track and mud, which although can be v slippy in road shoes (and plenty of people go over) it is only very short.  I suppose if you would be comfy wearing hybrid shoes for the long road sections you would benefit from some extra grip in the mud though..

16/08/2012 at 20:45

Evening all

Tom- basically it is a road race- just be prepared for a wobble on the final descent- or is that just me???

panad- sorry to hear you won't make Chester

Back from my visit to HM The Queen and Lego Darth Vader. JD Junior had a great time and I managed to fit in my runs (withy a bit of jiggling and juggling) before anyone woke up and before we went out for our evening mealsI ate far too much, but did manage to keep it fairly healhy- avoiding the cooked breakfasts in the hotel for example, but think the scales won't be my friends this Sunday- lol! One good point from the calorie point of view was that  we were in a  family room and all in bed by 9pm with no tv, no lights and hence no alcohol (mini JD is 5). This and the 58m logged whilst away should have limited the damage... Great to run on different routes too- Windsor Great Park and the Long Walk were great (although found the surface of the Long Walk a bit hard on the joints- nice to get back to soft tarmac). Thames Path up to Eton Dorney was great, but diversions then because of Olympic venue. Tried to do a MLR in opposite direction towards Maidenhead, but abandoned this when the Thames Path became about a foot wide for several miles between very vicious stinging nettles- decided at this point to swap the morning long run and evening short run around as I couldn't get any consistent pace going!! Great times though  

Edited: 16/08/2012 at 20:46
17/08/2012 at 02:25

You can't be knighted yet, jason.  You haven't won a gold medal to my knowledge.

Part the third, and trying to keep it shorter

At about mile 70 a complete change of scenery with a long road stretch alongside the M2 as it crossed the Medway.  On this section I decided to get going and put all my 'group' behind me once and for all. At the next CP at mile 76 I thought I'd done it with no-one in sight as I left.  The next 10 miles or so, the second half of the night, was completely on my own. 

Mile 82 was a major CP in a cricket pavillion with hot food and a dropbag where I had put a change of socks and my road shoes (for comfort on the remaining stretch which was mostlya  hard surface).  Removing old and putting on new pairs of Injinji socks is a laborious business!  I found I had developed a number of very nasty looking blisters.  I punctured them all with nail clippers, dried my feet, and put on clean socks and the road shoes.  The idea leaving here was to get up to a good road running speed but I just didn't seem to have the energy and my feet were getting sore. I was nearly 2 hours behind schedule now.

The sun had come up and soon it was another hot morning as I toiled along the most undulating part of the course from miles 82-87.  A cruel section.  About mile 86 I heard  approaching feet and along came about 5 people running along nicely in single file - 'throat' and the girl in the black strip, the two brothers, and one member of one of the other pairs.  All of them went by never to be seen again.  I had a quick chat with 'throat' as he came alongside.  I was embarrassed to learn that he had had part of his throat removed and had to keep clearing it continuously otherwise he would choke.  Fair play to him that he can still run 100 miles.


17/08/2012 at 02:45

The last 13 miles seemed to take forever.  I was really digging into the last reserves of my last reserves and keeping a constant eye on my watch. I was making slow progress and my original 26-hour target, already increased to 28 hours by mile 82, was further increased to 29 hours by the 90-mile CP.  Very brisk walk, jog, very brisk walk, shuffle, was how the last 10 miles went by.  It was all I could manage. Didn't stop at the last CP, mile 96 - no time.  Another runner, a lady came into view, but she overtook me again with the help of someone pacing her.

It was about this point as I was crossing a field of spinach that I met a couple of day-walkers coming the other way.  The wife enquired of me whether I was going to Canterbury. I suddenly felt small and inadequate.  No, I wasn't going to Canterbury.  There was no way I would ever make it to Canterbury (where the NDW continues to beyond the race finish).  I toiled on around field edges and through rough grass.  The sun was really hot now and I was moving straight towards it.

Then a man dressed in white came towards me at great speed.  Was this an angel? Had I already passed out of this life?

No, it was the Race Organiser.  He had decided to come out and hustle back all the remaining back markers. 'Run ahead', he said.  "I'm right behind you".  Well, I had to put in an effort.  Into the next village, along a couple of residential streets (where I overtook my LDWA friend - how had he got ahead?) onto a green and there the finish arch.

I was completely finished.  I went through that arch in tears.  29:44:00.

17/08/2012 at 09:21


T Rex- YOU deserve a knighthood, sir! Once again a massive achievement, in terms of both running and recounting the adventure!

17/08/2012 at 16:47

Hi all, have been away running and doing some tourist type stuff hence the silence.

Good to return to another great write up from T Rex, and a superb achievement. 100 miles- .

Jason, the child in me is very jealous of legoland, the adult, jealous of the mileage clocked up whilst there. I only managed an average of about 6 miles a day whilst away.

Cross bay challenge was tough. Also forgot my garmin, so with a combination of no timing device, and a tough course I decided to take it easy and try and enjoy it. The opening miles were into a harsh wind, and rain that felt an awful lot like hail, but put my head down, and tried and failed to use other runners as shelter. I'd started a fair way back so was going past quite a few at this stage.

I think I remember turning after around the  5 mile marker, and heading towards the estuary. Water not too deep, midway between knee and thigh at deepest point, and I didn't really notice the cold too much. Was a hard slog across, but ended in a happy return to "dry land" (wet sand). I came out the water at the same point as someone who had been running in front of me for a fair while, checked the time with them, it had been about 55 minutes since she crossed the start line, and as the 6 mile marker had been before the crossing I though I was doing pretty well.

Anyway, onwards I went, pretty much keeping pace with the same runner, thinking I'd found a good pacing guide, but got a bit disheartened during the 7th mile which felt rather long, until I realised there had been no 7 mile marker, and I hit 8 still feeling good. More water and more sand, and it seemed we were heading back to land, but we turned out once more around mile 11. This gave us another offensive mile or so into a headwind, before turning for home. Mile 13 hurt and seemed really long, as did the extra 0.1 in the end. Left my running buddy I guess about three quarters of a mile out. Sprinted over the line.

A glance at someone else's watch suggested a gun time of about 2:10. Chatting to those who hadn't forgotten their garmin I think the average measured distance was around 13.6. Also turns out the 6 mile marker was closer to 5.3 or so. I'd been told they'd be out a bit, but wasn't expecting that much!

Chip time was a few seconds under 2:09. The winning time this year was 15 minutes slower than last years winning time. I think last years winner was somewhere in the top 10 this, about 20 minutes slower than 2011. No complaints from me for the long course, better value for money and more fun.

Having enjoyed myself so much at this pace, and after a little thinking whilst running this week I think I'm going to be aiming for 4:30 rather than 4:00. Ok it's slower than what I originally said, but I suspect I won't be in sub 4:00 shape (at least for SNOD) so I'd rather run something more realistic, and possibly not hate every part of it.

17/08/2012 at 17:27

Great report, Tom.  Sounds bleak.  You can't compare your speed there with a road run, though!  No shifting sands in Snowdonia, for one thing.  But at least the weather sounds about right.

My report isn't finished yet!  They rarely do finish with the race finish, and this one is no exception.


17/08/2012 at 20:46


TREX cracking reading you should write a novel

TOM 1759  nice write up from you to

CHRISSI thanks not alot but not given up on snod yet if i can do it very slow its better than not doing it

upto 3 miles now & 8miles bike& 1hr 30 ngym

17/08/2012 at 21:47

Tom- great run and report. Giving T Rex a run for his money there. Only thing is, you need to work on getting lost frequently and hallucinating regularly to truly compete with the maestro. Oh, and lose a tent or two as well

6.4m recovery this morning for me- soaked. 10m with 7m tempo tonight- even wetter. AGTFSNOD12

18/08/2012 at 10:54

5m for me this morning, 10 planned for later with strides. Tomorrow is my longest run of the campaign at 24m

Seem to have lost my holiday excess

Edited: 18/08/2012 at 10:55
18/08/2012 at 19:13

Cut my run short tonight due to lack of time- ran 8 instead of planned 10- not sorry though- blooming hot out there. Still, change from getting rained on!

Anyone else out there?

18/08/2012 at 23:13

Yep, I'm here.  Must have sweated gallons in my 8-miler at lunchtime.  Very humid.  First run since last Sunday and everything seems to be working.

North Downs Way 100  Part the Last (but not necessarily the Least)

So I got to the finish on the village green in Wye, Kent in a state of physical, emotional, and moral collapse. There was a finish area gazebo that offered no shade - I was in a serious state of overheating.  Managed to get all my returned drop bags, etc, together and some one put a cup of tea in my hand.  Before I had chance to do much at all I was asked to get on the (one) return coach going back to the start at Farnham.

Everything was misty, salt was stinging my eyes, and I had to try to get myself together to get on the coach.  No food taken on - there didn't seem to be any.  Organisers were more intent on packing up and putting everything in their vans.

We'd only got a half a mile down the road when my addled brain registered I had a bag missing.  It was my running rucksack. Coach driver didn't want to go back -  apparently they had been waiting quite a while for me as it was.  Rang the RO.  Was anyone going to Farnham and could take my bag there please?  "No.  Send me an email and I will post your bag back to you."

Not ideal, but I'd get it back soon enough.

A few more miles down the road and I had a sickening thought.  In that bag was my cash, cards, and worse, my car key.

18/08/2012 at 23:18

I thought (other than running the 100 miles) that things had gone a little too smoothly, TRex...

18/08/2012 at 23:27

Back on the phone to the RO but there was really nothing he could do that day.  He would post my bag to any named address in the morning.

The hour and a half's journey was spent in a stupour.

Got back to my tent in my new-found friend's back garden to ponder the situation. It is the classic problem of how to re-unite a car with its spare key a long way away.  Or perhaps other people never have this problem?  I first tried taking the car to the key but lost and stolen keys do not qualify for free recovery with RAC - they wanted about £360 + VAT for the service.

So it would have to be get the key to the car.  I could get Mrs T Rex to post it but that would mean waiting in my tent until Tuesday for it to arrive.  And besides Mrs T Rex was very unhappy about the whole business - she finds some of my weekends away a bit of a trial.

My friend (from the NDW thread) lent me some money to buy a return train ticket so I slept comfortably that night and returned next day (Monday) to dismantle tent, etc.  I went for my car, parked in the station car park, only to find it ...

18/08/2012 at 23:39

... hadn't been clamped. That was a relief!  Even though my ticket had run out at midnight on Sunday.  My friend had nipped over to have a word with the station manager about it first thing that morning.

Got home late that evening and next day, Tuesday, my bag arrived, so finally everything together under one roof (mine).

19/08/2012 at 00:28

Various of the group overtaking me in the last 15 miles went on to finish between 8 and 38 minutes ahead of me.  The South African chap in blue either dropped out or was timed out at mile 50, the cartographically-challenged Italian at mile 67.  The squaddies got as far as mile 43.  My 'LDWA' friend, whose running abilities I was questioning (to myself) in the middle of the night, and ahead of whom I had walked into a drainage trench, was the last finisher finishing 1 minute after me.

I found out to my horror that this 'walker' in actual fact holds the world record for running the most marathons in a year.  In the calendar year 2011 he completed 114 .

19/08/2012 at 00:30

Didn't get lost much at all, you will be glad to know.  I possibly added 2 miles to the route by taking 'deviations'.

Next up Ridgeway 85 next Saturday.  Bring it on!  ONLY 85!!

19/08/2012 at 09:56


T REX you novel is coming along nicely

all have a good day today whatever you all doing

19/08/2012 at 11:19
Haha I thought that was you on the bus T Rex!!! I was virtually sitting opposite you and you commiserated with me on my DNF It's been a long time since I saw you last and after running 90 miles (in my case) and missing the cut off I didnt feel much like talking or really wasn't sure if it was you or not. You clearly didn't recognise me either great effort to finish David and a great account of how it went. It was a really tough course wasn't it!! My training left a lot to be desired hence my DNF. My race report is here for those interested

Done my first SNOD Training run this morning (and first run since last weekends exploits. 12 miles in the searing heat even at 9am! Game on

And hello to everyone on the forum. Sorry for my absence but life has been hectic of late....
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