Looking out of my office window at home it looks like a beautiful winters day here in Snowdonia. The paperwork for today is almost done & I am in a quandry. Should this afternoon be taken up with Chain Saw duties in the garden to help make sure Home & Cafe’s supply of wood for the Spring is in place (sensible) or should I go for a beckoning run through one of the Coed y Brenin’s marked runs (not so sensible). Better still have I got time for both (sanctionable)?
This is in the context of having completed the Anglesey CTS on Saturday & then being on Pot Washing duties for most of Sunday, the really sensible thing to do would be rest but lets face it that is just a little bit boring.
We were blessed with surprisingly good weather on Saturday, stiff breeze but good sunshine much of the time allowed me to take in the beautiful Anglesey coastline which made the hard work very worthwhile.
I was feeling pretty good until the 22 mile mark or so when I began to realise that the normal road section on the return to Holyhead Mountain had been forsaken for a cross country route across moorland & muddy fields. In truth the route change is a good one but that mud as well as the small climbs more than took their toll, I was actually wanting to get to the looming mountain for a ‘rest’. Reaching the trig at the top with the encouragement of the Marshalls ringing in my ears the old legs (if not the lungs) came back to life to give me what at least felt like a flying descent passing the best part of 20 or so competitors in the other race categories on the way into the finish. Clearly I may well be crap at descending in a true Fell Race but it’s all relative in the wider running world.
My goal had been a top ten finish, I felt I was 11th but hadn’t realised that a couple of guys ahead of me had pulled out so when I was presented with the ticket saying I’d come 9th I’m pretty sure I let out a little whoop. Less than a minute behind me was a chap called Ben Meakin, we’d chopped places with each other a couple of times at the halfway point, he was also delighted to be in the top ten so we congratulated each other with a warm handshake.
Other memorable moments were being overtaken by Ben Farnsworth (tree trunk thigh muscles) & Virgil Barton just before the 9 mile marker, I thought they were miles in front, clearly they had got lost together early on but despite losing the best part of 10 minutes still managed to come in 1st & 2nd respectively, that’s just not fair! Great performance from Mel Price, first female & third overall & finally my thanks to Mark Rabaiotti (I think it was you) who was tracking my heels & chatting with me for the first 15 miles. When Mark pulled in front for the second time I thought there’s another place gone for good, but a decent 2nd wind allowed me to turn the tables & not look back (well just the once), missed the chats on the way back.
It is about a 10 minute hobble back to the car from the finish, I was hoping this would be a wind down for my tired legs, stepped into the car, both legs cramped, pedals wouldn’t allow me to stretch them out, I was stranded & too tired to figure out all I had to do was move the seat back, Idiot!
Sunday dawned, legs fine, heels like walking on welded nerves but the girls were ever so kind to reward me with those Pots all day to help me loosen them up.
Looking at the results on Endurancelife’s web-site the biggest congratulations has to go to Gary Porter Jones of Eryri Harriers who totally dominated the 10K race with a huge winning margin of over 7 minutes, well done Gary & of course all those who ran, Marshalled or simply just supported the event.
Finally, no one was awarded 7th place so that’s it I am now claiming I was 8th!!