As soon as i finished on that rain lashed street of Llanberis, all i could think about was next years race, if they had provided a debit machine there and then for next years race, i would have rushed to the car and coughed up straight away.
The race was the only one i have competed in this year, i am no longer hungry or competative in my training, and was surprised that i posted a time of just over six hours.
I was half expecting to not finish at all, my halfway time of 2-29 was a big surprise, five years ago i was doing my 20mile long runs considerably faster than that, and i was able to run up Beddgelert hill comfortably, the first time in 19yrs, a very strange experience indeed.
My only training for the entire year has been one 15 mile run, and the rest has been general keep fit runs, never approaching 10m.
Can i go sub4 on the marathon again ? Who knows, its down to how much training you put in, and whether i can regain my speed, which ive certainly lost in the past two to three years.
Theres one thing i do konw, is that i will be there New years Eve, debit card in hand, dreaming about the finest marathon in the Uk.
There are little highlites that make the Snowdon Marathon so special every year, and if their missing it goes noticed, and leaves a little sadness and regret.
The regular water station around the corner at 20.4 miles, just before the six cottages with the scruffy gardens, that was missing, it's been there every year since my start in 1995, and not seeing it, with the millions of yellow sponges over the road, and very encouraging water crew, WAS NOTICED WITH REGRET.
You arrive in Rhydd Ddu, knowing that the water station outside the pub, would have the wonderous local eats, chopped up Mars bars, jelly babies, and the occasional BaraBrith, but no, those damn messy High5 energy gels, that if your not careful will cover you in slime.
The magnificent Waunfawr water station, was on top form as usual, with everyone coming out to help, with the familiar faces you see every year, yet at the top of the hill by the corner as you head up towards Bwlch Y Groes, the three regulars with their hands of boiled sweets were missing, and when you reach that stage in the race,usually extremely tired, you feel a sense of loss, however small that those nameless friends were not there to wish you luck and provide the sugary supplements.
All was not lost, because that kindly man was there right on schedule, walking up the steep hill by the mile23 cattle grid water station , with his mixing bowl of wonderous sweets, jelly babies, sugar jellies and the occasional Foxes Glacier fruits.
He has been there every year since I started way back in 1995, you half expect to see him every year, and if he does not show up, you feel a sense of loss.
These people are what make the Snowdon Marathon so special, to most runners in the field, they go unnoticed, but when you have taken part for 19yrs, and have seen their smiling faces every year with their energy giving gifts, they are sorely missed if they do not appear.
I cannot put a name to any of these people, but when you see their absence, it does not go unnoticed, they may not realise it, but it is their very support every year,that makes me return to do the marathon.
Did I finish the race in the torrential rain, with a heavy heart,
You may laugh, but yes I did, friends i love to see and thank for their loyal annual support, we're not there, and that makes me sad.
Managed to get around in 6 -12, which considering my lack of any training,with only one run over ten miles in the entire year,was quite satisfying,even though it's my slowest time ever for the distance.
I was so concerned about conserving my energy and not following the rest of the field,that I came through halfway,in a snail space 2-29.
It was only at 19 miles that my legs became so tight that I had to walk the rest of the way, and I was able to put my new waterproof to a good testing from 19m onwards,when the heavens opened and remained open.
It will be 20th next year, and I may consider training properly for it once again, but I reached the cut off by 1-54pm, which was a surprise, I half expected to fail to reach the 2.30 time.
Only two criticisms, about this years race, one was that there were one or two water stations missing at the 20-21 mile section, and secondly no mars bars or boiled sweets from 15 miles onwards.
Plenty of those messy and useless High5 EnergyGells, they had a box of close on a hundred they had opened at Waunfawr school, and when I told them how much they cost, they were surprised.
In all, an enjoyable marathon, with the knowledge I can go the distance off vertually no training, but hang on a minute, lack of mars bars and boiled sweets in Waunfawr village was the only disappointment, for yet another superb race.
Cannot wait till Jan 1st to get my entry in for my 20th