Paul’s Blog – Posted 08/03/16

Two weeks to go & still no idea what to do on My 50th, must sit down later & sort this out!

With snow lying lower down last weekend there was plenty of running going on in North Wales if enjoying the white stuff on the hills didn’t tickle your fancy.

Runners were out in force at the Anglesey Half Marathon, congratulations to Eryri’s Alun Vaughn who won in a new PB in under 1:10.

As for me Sunday saw Dorina & I driving over the Moors through light snow towards Wrexham for it’s own Half Marathon. In cold but calm conditions the race kicked off at 10:30 with Dorina cheering me on after devizing the ‘stick the Gel in the glove’ carrying technique. To my immense surprise My Garmin watch was telling me that for the first 7K I was running sub 1:15 pace which I was stupid enough to believe (must be the speedwork I reasoned) until passing the 4 mile marker I did the Maths & realised the Garmin was misbehaving badly! Guilt seemed to sink in & it then started giving me accurate stats, plenty of mental arithmetic later I realised a PB was possible but it was going to be a close run thing.

After 1:28:06, two stitches & plenty of exchanges of places with runners of similar ‘talents’ the PB was won by 18 seconds as I crossed the line 24th out of 284, all very pleasing but where does that leave me in relation to dreams of a sub 3 Hour Marathon?

Well to be precise with plenty to do! I could argue the hillier than expected course (if Garmin is to be believed we climbed 244 metres & not the 131 metres mentioned on their web-site) must have affected my time a little but in truth I am simply not yet fast enough for long enough so once My sore calves loosen it’ll be back to horrible speedwork between now & the Manchester Marathon in 5 weeks time.

Of course the ‘real’ runners (with all due respect to us hard working ‘road’ runners) were elsewhere (although Russel Bentley seemed to be everywhere) over the weekend. To be precise they were in Dolgarrog on Saturday for the Pipedream Fell Race. Now as any Fell racer will know running on Fells is extremely hard work but also needs the ability to navigate & or realise when following the guy in front is not always the fastest way around the course (indeed one of Kean’s claims to fame is that he did win a race once by not following the guys in front!). That said you wouldn’t usually expect the race record holder & last years winner to make a nav. blunder so following him would seem a good call (if you could stay close enough to even see him that is). Not so, what happened Math? it’ll be a while before you live that one down! With the leaders being led astray by Math Roberts Mark Davies kept a cool head followed his own instincts to cross the line in first. Tropical Fruits apparently grown in Dolgarrog!! were awarded at the prize giving afterwards, surely they gave Math (finished in a still credible 4th) a Banana skin. Well done to Phil who finished in 20th, can’t wait to hear if you followed My recce route we did the week before or Math’s alternative (think it might have been the latter).

Looking ahead I have now booked & committed to the Cullins in September & googled Tim’s warm up climb for My trip to the Alps in July. The Rochefort arete & the Geant on Mont Blanc (apparently ideal prep for the Eiger later in the trip). Now could be the time to start focusing on putting on a harness & start some needed training on something similarly exposed! Hope I won’t still be saying that in 3 Months time.

Now what about that Birthday thing…………

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