Well where to start on what has been yet another week that has flown by.
Lets start by congratulating Stephen & Alan for their superb effort in completing their 6 in 6 Hero Challenge on Saturday. To get up on a Tuesday morning knowing you will soon be setting off to do a Marathon knowing that less than 24 hours earlier you’ve already completed one is a big ask. Add to that the knowledge that after completing today’s Marathon you’ll still have 4 more to do in the next 4 days & you get some idea of the Willpower let alone the physicality required, to their immense credit they both came through & were even seen smiling as this lesser runner passed them during the Snowdon Marathon, well done guys!!
As for the Snowdon Marathon itself what a horrible weather Forecast, as I read it upon reaching the Cafe early Saturday my heart sank & remained low for nearly two hours. It was only upon jumping into the car to drive down to the start that I had a bit of a reality check ‘Paul this will actually suit you more than most, pull yourself together you idiot’.
To be fair the worst bit was hanging around at the start in the persistent rain getting wet & cold but where was that 50 Mph wind? Reality, it had blown through overnight leaving us with almost ideal conditions once the race commenced.
Looking back I’m pretty (well very actually) pleased with how I managed my own race, a few seconds ahead of last year at PyP, a minute or so up by halfway at Beddgelert & over 7 minutes up by the finish so clearly despite thinking I was going too fast between miles 6 & 13 I actually got it more or less perfect. My PB of 3:31:51 placing me 206th was my reward as well as just taking part & being part of it all. Thanks to all those who cheered me (& everyone else) on whether you knew me or simply had the ability to read my name on my race number, you were the real stars standing out in the wet & cold.
O.K. I admit I did ‘cheat’ a bit by deciding to wear my Roclite Fell Shoes, as others slipped, fell or simply backed off on the final descent I descended like a demon (for once) thinking those poor sods running down the soaked mud in Road Shoes, rather them than me!
This was all followed by our Open MIC Night & then a very busy day at the Cafe on Sunday, anyone who thought I was looking like a broken man late on Sunday afternoon was spot on the mark! That said I did manage to stay up & watch e race highlights on S4C, the winner, John Gilbert in 2:33:38 (new course record), looked un-believably strong from start to finish, what a run!
Monday dawned, do I really feel like working with Chain Saws & Logs high up in the Garden??? Finally the brain cells kicked in ‘no I don’t, lets pack for Patagonia instead’.
Packing done it was off to the Cafe to belatedly help Dorina, Gaby & all (un-known to me (honest) they had had an exceptionally busy Monday) for the final hour. Then at 8:00 pm it was off to Plas y Brenin to listen to Alan Hinkes talk about his experiences in climbing the World’s fourteen 8,000 metre peaks. Halfway through he made a comment ‘The only ones I would think about going back to are Cho Oyu & Everest’. Seed planted ‘what did he mean by that?’, can you see where this is going….. Cho Oyu has been on my mind since I returned from Nepal 3 years ago as the only 8,000 metre peak I think I’d stand a chance on (I exclude Everest because I don’t like queing & the inevitable added risk that comes with it).
I did the only sensible thing, hung around after to buy a signed book & ask him what he meant. The answer was music to my ears ‘because they are relatively easy’.
As Dorina drove us back to the Cafe I developed a cunning plan………., but first Patagonia!!