12TH JULY 2005
Well done both, fantastic running
take care on that journey Clare, set to be a wet day.
Well done Snowdoners - time for pie now to recover
Morning all took us longer to run 18 miles of the Gower marathon course yesterday than either of you took to run the whole Snowdon marathon
Looking at peoples Strava data from last years race it seems to be 28.2 miles long as well so I think we're in for a very long day in a couple of weeks
Think I will hide away for a while......
Lol ... Don't be silly Nutty, you are a star and you came over brilliantly on the TV
Wide awake again. Thank you all for your kind words.
Here's my attempt at a race report.
I went to registration to collect my number only to find that my name wasn't listed with the other women. Had a bit of a panic thinking I shouldn't have been there at all but was reassured that I had a number based on my finishing time last year. Met JD for tea in Pete's Eats where the only thing really suitable for pre race food was lentil and chick bean curry......
I arrived at the start when I discovered the battery on my garmin was low. It lasted just over 2 miles before going completely flat. Hence I ran the race not knowing the pace I was doing so was thrilled to have got sub 3.10 which was my target.
The cameraman on the motorcycle kept me company all the way round, updating me on how the others women were doing. He also gave me water when I missed a water station.
I stopped for a pee half way round and walked most of Waun Fawr as can be seen by the tv coverage. My legs were shaking and it was quicker to walk than run! Stopped at the top to admire the view, which was truly amazing. Got told off by some walkers for not running!!
After the first lady passed me, I was determined to push on despite feeling very light headed. I thought I flew down the tarmac towards the finish but you wouldn't think it watching it on the telly. Finished smiling, a bit different to last year!
I was presented with a slate wine rack for getting second lady. It is lovely but weighs a tonne. Luckily two blokes from the b and b I was staying in offered to carry it for me warning me not to stop and chat on the way back. Someone cornered me before I had left the room!!!
Celebrated in true style with cottage pie and chocolate cake!! As I said previously, I seemed to spend the whole weekend chatting to people. The support is fantastic all along the route.
I think it will be safe to venture outside tomorrow after all....
lovely pink top you had on Claire - celebrate and bask in the glory you well deserve it. You doing it again?
It really does look like a lovely race, I'm so glad the weather was kinder than it has been the last couple of years.
thanks Sue. All the numbers were pink in memory of the little girl who had gone missing so I wore pink too. Was glad I didn't just wear a vest as it was cold on the course.
I don't think I will run it again. The downhill parts are very hard and I am not the best at those. So many other races to do.....
You were brilliant on the telly Clare, you came over really well.
It looked like a beautiful day for it, the views must have been amazing. I would love to walk the route, stopping for sandwiches, coffee and cake and looking at the views, it would be gorgeous. Running it though? Ha ha ha.
Observed lesson in school for me today. Should be OK, I know my material pretty well, but you just never know what will happen with students... Be glad when it's over.
Observed lessons are always a stress, you know your stuff so you will do good - I'm sure you will be happier once it is done though!
Nutty the celebrity! Well done you
Hi Nutty. Well done for your 2nd place and fantastic time at Snowdonia on Saturday. I watched the tv coverage in a hotel in Abergavenny last night and spotted you many times and just about understood some of the Welsh coverage I did text you, but not sure you still have the same phone number! Anyhow well done again and keep up the good running. You've really come on and jumped up a level since going back to Wales
My Snowdon Marathon ….
It all started last April in London. I had a torrid time as my breakfast battled my intestines and I stubbornly refused to stop. The experience left me deeply traumatised.
Something had to be done to lay the ghost of marathon horror to rest and I was convinced I would find the strength I needed training for Snowdon. I did four long runs in preparation, an 18 mile, a 20 mile, a 22 mile and a 17 mile run. The first three were hilly and the last flat-ish. None went well. I walked in the first two runs, nearly gave up 14 miles in to my 22 miler and walked again near the end of the 17. This was not good.
What was worse too was that whenever I ran with Nutty I was trailing badly. Last year I had been bouncing along in front, this year I was trailing like an old dog and at speeds that were nowhere near what I had once been capable of. It’s a funny old thing running, some of my shorter efforts were working out well, I even had enough energy to keep up with superstar Chris Fulcher for the first 1k of a cross country, but were I to run over 8 miles I would struggle every time.
Still, like Ron Jeremy, there was no stopping Snowdon coming on cue and I found myself on the start line last Saturday knackered off my face.
It had been a great week with the kids, the youngest had been up most nights, I am a little bit soft so they both sleep in with me and consequently I had really copped it. Add to this a frantic day in work Friday, late night drive to North Wales and pre-race fuelling that was half a pizza, not my choice, eaten whilst driving. Lets say my final preparations could hardly be better.
I registered and got to the B&B by 10:30. Therein lays another disaster. I had booked a quad room in Llanberis Lodge as I do every year. The Lodge however were in dispute with the hotel next door with whom they share their water and electricity supplies. No water or power meant that in the end I was 5 miles outside Llanberis and sharing a small bed with my son Adam. Top stuff !
On the morning of the race I was very worried. Chris Parker had sent me a text goading me about how cold it was going to be. I am naturally warm but have no desire to freeze my knackers off. Plenty of brave souls would start in vests and shorts but I opted for a jacket and some lycra in addition to my club vest and shorts.
At the start Nutty was already being filmed. I tucked myself away at the side and waited for the gun. I started gently and watched as Jason D’s trademark green shorts disappear up the road at a rate of knots. Even Nutty was pulling away. I stretched out a bit and soon caught her. Three of us climbed to pen y pas together, myself Clare (Nutty) and Jason S. I struggled a bit to hold the pace fearful that if I did put too much in to it I would blow (up) even before I would be destined to.
We were soon over the top of Nant Peris and on the decent. Nutty went surprisingly quickly for someone who is not too clever at descending and we were soon off the road and descending further on a rough track. At this point there were no other ladies in sight but sadly as we all know Nutty is a little bit less than stable off-road and we were soon caught.
Before long we were back on tarmac. Tarmac is Nuttys home turf. She put the pedal to the metal and was off leaving me wheezing in her wake. I had hoped to run at her pace much further but sadly over the distance I am not in her league. I decided that I would settle for plodding along and enjoying the views.
In previous years I have felt in attacking spirits between Nant Peris and Beddgelert. This year was different though. I had no idea how fast I was going as I had only worn a regular watch at which I had resolved only to look occasionally. I concentrated on keeping myself together and go
going no faster than I thought I could sustain easily to half way. At half way I would execute the second part of my plan and run really slowly up the second big climb before refusing to bust a gut until the last nasty ascent.
Half way came in 1:31. I was only about 40 seconds slower than last year but whilst last year I was bouncing this year I was kaput. Kaput but improving though, if that makes sense.
I shuffled up the few miles of climb out of Beddgelert ignoring anyone who overtook me but still overtaking myself. At the top I got a bit of a move on but found the headwind really nasty. It was so cold in fact that for a bit I put up the hood on my jacket. It was at this point that all I could think about was how glad I was that I had the extra gear and how sorry I was for the folks without.
From here, which is about mile 16, to mile 21 at the start of the last climb I undersold myself. I took it really easy and got overtaken by a good few people. All I could think about as I watched the mile markers was my surprise that I had not yet blown up. I gently toked on my lucozade sport and counted my blessings as I tried not to think about the bristling headwind.
So, there it was on my right, like a gigantic misshapen stone and heather covered tit. The bastard mother of climbs rose like a monolithic pustule from the … Lets just say there is on last nasty hill to go and I have just arrived at it.
Half a mile of climbing, a right turn, the sign for 22 miles and a feed station. I checked my watch, 2:37 ish in. I was hoping for a sub 3:15 finish but had left this broadly to chance. I had not blown up so far but was convinced this would happen on this, the last heartbreaking climb. Still, it would not be over until I threw the towel in and I figured that if I did not look up it might somehow be less painful.
As I shuffled upwards I became aware that I was actually overtaking. I got to a cattle grid and started to realise that I actually felt ok. What was more, that there might actually be some go in me if I pulled my finger out. I disengaged my shuffle mode and started to run.
So successful was the running that soon as I reached a disused quarry I was forced to unzip my jacket. Soon I was over the top with only the perilous descent in to Llanberis to go. I now however had another problem. The elastic waist of my jacket had been holding my shorts up, my shots were laden with unused gels and an emergency bar if Cadburys Caramel. As I passed spectators I jettisoned my cargo like Richard Branson desperately trying to make the Irish coast in his balloon. ‘Bin this for me please’ I shouted as I finally managed to keep the shorts up and freeing my left hand in the process.
As I descended, and now that I was making some sort of reasonable effort, I stated to get hot too. Before long my jacket was in a bush and I was bouncing down the tarmac. I whipped in to Llanberis high street and sprinted for the finish to the realisation that I had huge untapped reserves of energy; in a way I was a bit like Louis Hamilton would be were he to finish a Grand Prix with half a tank of fuel : a bit of a chump.
And so it was 3:18. More than ten minutes slower than Nutty, my second slowest time on the course, but I could not fault it. I felt fine, and still do. I can do stairs, I can run walk and bend which is more than can be said for some faster people I know. Also I feel relieved, relieved that the ghost of that awful run in London has been laid to rest.
What is more I ran all the way, even up the last barsteward hill.
Stoked ! That’s what I am, Stoked !
The only lingering question now is do I run London in April or do I do a marathon that might actually be nice ? Wyndemere for example ?
Enjoying the stories on here after a long long absence! Well done WA, Seren & NR. Will you be on 'Strictly..' or 'I'm a Celebrity...' next Clare??!!
I was having an okay race until reaching top of last hill when I started swaying & got caught in mid-air by a passer-by just as I was about to flake out. He led me to the mountain rescue truck where I had two cups of sugary tea, a caramel digestive biscuit & then got back on the move again...running down the hill to the finish like a loony!
I still can't decide whether I'll do it again....had a fantastic laugh in the b&b with some Spaniards who were competing so maybe I'll scrap the running bit & just enjoy the festivities ....or watch Mrs Gra V who finished very comfortably & could have gone around again from what I could see!
There seem to be lots of different photography companies involved....am looking at FellRunning ones now but they are quite close-up & close to the finish so little sense of the scenery to be honest....the ones that have been e-mailed to competitors seem better to me.
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