Snowdonia Marathon – 27.10.18

Race Report by Dave Phillips

Well having done 31 of the 36 Snowdon marathons this one was one to remember. Nice that they gave me race number 31 but that didn’t help too much with the difficulty of the event. Only 2 others have done more than me.

The official start time was 10:30 hrs but quite a few of us started early at 09:00 hrs and off we went uphill for the 1st 4 miles to Pen Y Pass on the closed road but what a killer this was in near freezing conditions. There was snow on the ridges and the coldest wind imaginable plus hail stones that kept bombarding us.  At 4 miles we took a very rough stony track until 8 miles when we took to the road again and then it was flattish (sort of) to 13 at Beddgelert then more trouble.
It was all uphill again for nearly 3 miles to Pitts Head at 15 and by now the wind was so strong and cold that many people had pulled out. Others were complaining of aching and torn back muscles trying to keep upright in the wind.  Then it was quite flat to Wawnfawr at 21 but then the real problems started with the most severe uphill drag on the road and rough trails to the top ridge at Bwlch Y Groes at 24 miles. Never before have I seen so many walkers in a marathon! No one could run this.
From 24 it was along the top ridge on rough trails/tracks/grass slopes ’till 25 when it was almost vertical downhill on grass slopes, gravel paths, mud slopes until the bottom at 26. Then a quick jog through the town to the finish.
Was I glad to finish number 498!
Usual T shirt, slate memento and a Snowdonia water bottle for all finishers meant that the memories will be there for ever even if you wanted to forget it all.
The good news was that Ian O’Donnell flew past me at 15 and had a good time so well done Ian.
Guess I’ll be back next year-in fact we have booked the Royal Victoria hotel yet again so a no brainer really.
Just seen the results and never have I seen so many DNF and the last person came in at over 8 hours-in the dark but they do keep the course open until the last person finishes. mind you once up on the top there is no other way down so you are bound to finish-or stay up there all night!
Massey result:
Dave Phillips. 6 hrs 43 mins.