34th Snowdonia Marathon – 29.10.16

Race report by Dave Phillips.

Well I’ve done some stupid things in my life but this was almost at the top. With a right knee waiting for its operation, plus I opted last week NOT to run the UK’s flattest marathon at Abingdon because of the knee what did I do last w/e? Go as I’ve done 28 times before to Snowdon for the marathon.

They gave me race number 29 on my bib and for my friend Iorwerth Roberts he had number 34 as he has done them all.

However sense did prevail a tad and they let me start off at 0845 not 1030 (together with a colleague Kim from Stratford who could hardly breath). For me it was going to be a race walk/jog/plod with a heavily strapped leg. Can’t miss a Snowdon can you!

By 3 miles I was in the lead having passed an 80 year old walking round for the 7th time with his dog. They had started at 0800 hrs.

The 1st 5 miles are all uphill and a real drag up the Llanberis Pass and in real damp misty clouds. Then off road for 3 miles which was hard going with not too much flat terrain. Then back on the road again to the half way point at Beddgellert and I was still in the lead until a motor bike with a cameraman on the back passed me followed by the leader. Now in 2nd place-hmmm!

Soon the main runners were flowing through passing me in droves as I one leg hopped along towards the dreaded 22 mile mark at Waunfawr where all motion stops as we all walk to the 24 mile point. They don’t come much harder than this hill.

At 24 the road ceases and it’s an uphill rough and tumble on grass, rocks, streams, tracks to the top ridge then all hell set in.

From 25 it’s all steeply downhill with much of it on neo vertical grass and mud slopes and my leg just couldn’t take it as it hurt so much going downwards. So bum slides, sideways jumps, backward walks were the order of the day and the last mile took about 35 mins.

Eventually there was the finish and a huge Massey flag waving at me. Thanks all for this and for the friendly MF reception at the finish area.

The good news was that the race was on camera and on TV C4 Wales on Sunday night and there I was twice for all to see on one leg-albeit in my Pembrokeshire Harriers vest. Had to do this as it was the Welsh Masters Champs.

Massey/Pembs time:

Dave Phillips 6hrs 53 mins.

UPDATE 3.11.16 – just heard from the Welsh AAA that I won the silver medal in the Welsh Masters in the 70+ age category. So that’s 2 golds and 1 silver with the Welsh Masters in marathons.