Snowdonia Marathon – 28.10.17

35th Snowdonia marathon, Saturday 28/10/17, Llanberis.

Race report by Dave Phillips.

This was my 30th Snowdonia and they gave me race number 30. Only 2 others have done more so my name and their names appeared on the Elite List! Wow indeed!

8 of us asked if we could start early (breathing in my case) and no problems there so we started at 08:45. Many thanks to the race director and Jayne Lloyd for this. I was in in the lead as we trudged off up the Llanberis Pass for 5 killer miles in cold damp weather but in stunning countryside with fantastic views. These views continued all around the course as we were in the middle of the Snowdonia National Park. Just a fantastic place to be.

Then downhill but very soon off road for 3 miles on very rough stony terrain that made running difficult.

Eventually at 8 we were back on the flat road for 5 miles to Beddgellert and I was still in the lead-simply because no one had caught me up yet although the start was at 10:30.

Then through they came past me at 13 but it was all uphill for another killer 3 miles to 16 at Rhyd Ddu. As last year the lead car and motor bikes with cameras were just in front of the leaders so again I will/may be on Welsh TV for the 1 hour marathon programme (on Sunday night 29/10).

The next 5 miles were flattish but then as Waunfawr it is all up very steep climbs with much of it off road and on tracks, stone strewn trails, mountain slopes and so hard and steep that most people just have to walk.

At last we were on the top ridge at 23 miles but with just grass and mud tracks to negotiate life was no fun and then a severe downhill mile on treacherous neo vertical slippery mud and grass slopes where many runners kept falling over such was the severity of the slope. Eventually the grass paths became a stony track but it was almost vertical so the downward descent was almost impossible but eventually we arrived in Llanberis with the final 600 yards on flat town roads to the finish where the support was fantastic.

The organisation by Jayne Lloyd and others was probably the best anywhere in the UK and the 12  drink stations were stunning with so much food, chocolates, jelly babies, bananas, gels, sweets, cakes that you just had to stop at each one to enjoy the refreshments.

Plus as always the marshals were superb, helpful and encouraging all the way round.

Also this is the Welsh Masters AA marathon championship and although I missed the prize-giving I did win an age category medal (not sure what colour but it will go nicely with my 2 golds from Anglesey marathons and last year’s silver at Snowdon). Apparently it’s in the post to me so more later.

So a fabulous week end in God’s own country and roll on 2018.

The online booking for the 2018 marathon takes place on 1/12/18 this year (not 1st Jan) so all those who want a real toughie diary note this date. Plus it fills up very quickly.

We have booked up the same room at the Royal Victoria Hotel at Llanberis so I hope we can have a Massey Red and White party there.

Massey/Pembrokeshire Harriers results:

2210 finished with many who DNF and over 3000 entered.

Phyllis Douglas 5.12.47 – 1733rd,

Jason Douglas 5.12.48 – 1734th,

(well done mum!!).

Dave Phillips 6.22.02 – 2163rd (Running as Pembs Harriers and wearing Pembs Harriers colours of course as it was the Welsh Champs). That’s the 489th full so getting there.

Sophie Abbott 6.30.56 – 2179th.

Marlow ½ in the Chiltern Hills next Sun and my last marathon this year is the Cornish on  Bodmin Moor on 19/11. Anyone coming?? Makes Snowdon look easy!