John Bach

Latest posts by John Bach

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Snowdonia Marathon 2014

Posted: 27/08/2014 at 22:21

Sorry brer - could have mentioned the weather, but with Snowdonia the weather is so varied - not just does it vary so much year to year, but it can vary so much during the race itself. I recall 2008, when the organisers were close to cancelling the race - thankfully they didn't - not many marathons where you have to climb over trees which had just been blown over!! No point worrying about the weather - part of what is a fantastic event, although I really do feel sorry for the marshals/spectators who have to endure the elements. I think runners should just turn up full prepared for all weather types and decide on the day what best to wear


Snowdonia Marathon 2014

Posted: 27/08/2014 at 08:45

Hi mouser - good advice from chimney. I'd say don't work yourself up about the race - it is one to enjoy - take in the atmosphere and the scenery and don't stress out re the climbs. There are 3 main climbs - the 1st one up the Pass (goes on for about 2.5miles in total) is quite steady. Chimney is spot on re recovering on the descent on the road to the Pen-y-Gwryd - just stretch the legs out, lean forward & let gravity be your friend. I should add that after the turning by the PYG hotel the route turns off the main road and continues down a rocky track for just under a mile - not the best running surface and will be slippery if wet so need to have your wits about you! Back on to a single lane road before a short sharp climb back onto the main road to Beddgelert - a nice 5 mile'ish pretty flat stretch to Beddgelert (half way) where there is a great atmosphere - smile for the cameras!! Out of Beddgelert there is quite a long drag which catches quite a few runners out - goes up for a couple of miles, before a slight drop to Rhyd Ddu (about 16.5miles) then undulating to mile22 - Waunfawr!! There is a short steep climb before turning right and the Bwlch-y-Groes climb, which as chimney says most runners will walk up at least parts off (including runners in the top 10!!) - I've seen people walk/run up it quicker than runners who try to run all the way up it!! After the top it is a drop down to Llanberis although you need to take care on the way down as the 1st part of the descent is on grass/track and many a runner takes a tumble on that section - back onto the tarmac it is quite a steep descent into Llanberis before a run in along the high street to the finish

Thanks chimney - yes had a very enjoyable run with my club mate (very rare that I do my long runs with company and at a reasonably social time!!). I'm training properly for this one given its significance and my training seems to be paying dividends - had to hold back for my club mate on the climbs - hopefully do a few more long runs with him (including sections of the Snowdonia course)

Snowdonia Marathon 2014

Posted: 22/08/2014 at 10:24

I must admit to having considered having a go at an ultra, but decided that the desire to remain married is stronger - difficult enough trying to fit in the training to prepare for a marathon. That said I'm being a bit selfish with my preparation for this Snowdonia as I want to be the best prepared I can be this time - got my 1st post 8am 20miler tomorrow morning (usually 6am 20milers - getting back before family get up!) -including a couple of laps of the Great Orme with a clubmate, who is aiming for a top finish at the race - finishing off with a climb up the tram tracks towards the top of the Orme to kind of replicate The Waunfawr climb. Should be fun!

Snowdonia Marathon 2014

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 21:21

LE - I don't seem to be able to send you a message direct on RW - email me at & I will forward my clubmates email address so that you can liaise with him re place

Snowdonia Marathon 2014

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 21:15

LE - have had a messaged from my clubmate to say the the place is still going - I've messaged him back to say you want it - have asked him if OK for me to message you his email address to sort out the transfer process

Snowdonia Marathon 2014

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 20:21

Cheers jd - hope your 20miler goes well - 1st 20miler since March for me tomorrow!

LE - a clubmate told me yesterday he wasn't going to do the race this year (unable to get training in) - I will ask him if the place is still going

Snowdonia Marathon 2014

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 10:37

(sorry, that should be FR, not RF. Also so sorry to hear that the L100 didn't go well for you, particularly given the time and effort you put into it)

Snowdonia Marathon 2014

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 10:35

Sorry to hear that Snowdon didn't go well for you panad. I was disappointed I couldn't do the race, but as has happened many times in the past something cropped up!! I'll try again next year - it is a great event - you'll love it RF (& you will NOT be anywhere near last!!)

With you being the person who started this years thread Chrissi I am sorry that you are not doing Snowdonia - I trust you will be starting next years thread!? You'll love the Conwy half - a great event on a great course - not that I have ever taken part in the race itself - too soon after Snowdonia for me - limited to the number of races I can do and Snowdonia will always top trump anything else - particularly this year!!

After a great week in Center parcs last week, started my Snowdonia marathon training this week (a very flexible 12 week one!) - training properly for it this year, given how important it is going to be for me this year!

Good luck to everyone else with their training - hope that it goes well and is niggle/injury free!

Snowdonia Marathon 2014

Posted: 02/07/2014 at 20:53

Thanks for the kind messages - funeral tomorrow, then my Snowdonia Marathon training starts this weekend!

At least this year I now don't have to think about what number I'll be getting - the race organiser contacted me after hearing the Marathon Talk "rate your run" mention re the Snowdonia Marathon and when I did part of the course in 1993 with my late Dad - she dug out the 1993 results and asked if I wanted the same race number he had in 1993!! With an organiser like that it just goes to show why the Snowdonia Marathon is such a special event!!

Snowdonia Marathon 2014

Posted: 23/06/2014 at 07:27

Totally agree re the brutal description re TMW Chrissi, although I would also add beautiful and very well organised. It really is a brilliant event - easily the best Welsh trail race (& one of if not the best in the UK) - organised by runners who really care about those taking part (& spectating) - super value for money - the freebies/contents of the goody back must be worth more than the very reasonable entry fee. I must do event!!?

Unfortunately I wasn't able to take part in the experience as much as I'd have liked - a very emotional one for me as my Dad was very poorly and, as with the Deiniolen 10k, I was wearing his running vest, which had, on the back, the last picture of me & my 2 brothers with him before his last was badly affected by strokes (he lived, pretty much, in a locked in state for the last 5 years!). It is down to my Dad that I wanted to do the Snowdonia marathon! My 1st running experience in North Wales was in the early 1990's (just after I moved to the area) - I ran the last 10 miles with my Dad - I'll never forget running up the Bwlch-y-Groes and him asking if we were near the top - I said I was sure it was just around the corner - when we got around the corner we could see that there quite a long way to go!! I think that is the only time I ever heard him swear!! After doing my village race back in 2006 I told my wife that I was going to do the Snowdonia Marathon the next year - mid life crisis she thought, but I got myself fit, lost a lot of weight and did it - and have done every year since. the thoughts of my dad and his battle fighting the various infections he's had in recent years has always spurred me on in the race - notably on the Bwlch-y-Groes! This year's race will be a very emotional one for me, as he sadly passed away yesterday morning!!

As for the race itself, the Deiniolen 10k had probably given me too much confidence that I was in better shape than I actually was - 13.1miles and 2,000ft of climbing in the trails being bit more of a challenge. Two welsh international runners (including Snowdonia marathon winner Rob Samuel) shot off at the start and were not seen again! I probably ran more with more heart than my head in the 1st few miles and I had a bit of a bad patch in the middle third of the race. However I hung in there and started to reel in the then 4th place runner (although didn't know the positions as there were so many marathon runners on the course as well) on the last climb (which is brutal!!) and went past him in the last 1/2mile. The race PA gave me a nice shout out at the finish and said I was 4th and 1st over 40 runner, which I was very pleased with. Unfortunately after having a quick chat with the race organiser I had to jump into the car pretty much straight away, so wasn't able to watch other runners finish and chat to other runners, some of whom were aware of the position with my Dad and had been very supportive.



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