The idea for this sowed itself soon after my return from the Alps but with August being our busiest month even I had to accept that it would have to wait until September. My plans were further delayed by Auntie M aka Marion going on an un-booked holiday to visit family down South. So two options got pencilled in Wednesday 11th to Friday 13th this would mean dragging Marion back early but if the weather window favoured this option so be it. Or preferably week commencing 16th September.
Marion worked on the weather & so I decided w/c 16th which looked more favourable & needing the Monday to prepare plumped for Tuesday 17th as the start of my planned 3 day journey.
Monday came & went with a bit of a late hiccup almost de-railing my well founded plans which had included a recce with Dorina to pre-book accommodation, just as well we did because options were very limited. Tuesday dawned cool but bright & at 9:15 I waved goodbye to John & Marion at Bangor pier & was on my way. There are rumours that shortly before my departure I was seen exiting the Ladies loo, you can trust Marion to keep a secret…..
Day 1 – Bangor Pier to Nefyn
The start of the route was not great, a hill followed by suburban streets, poorly marked from a runners perspective & despite a pleasant & more direct new woodland route (guidebook out of date here) more tarmac than anyone would want. I had to stop & consult the guidebook 5 times before the long but straight forward run into Caernarfon began. Just after I ran past Caernarfon castle my first planned rendezvous with John & Marion saw me tuck into a Yogurt, a Banana & take on fluids. 13 Miles done in a little over 2 hours, good pace despite the nav. issues.
I moved onto mile after mile of tarmac but at least the coastline scenery became ever more delightful. After approx. 9K of the dreaded tarmac I finally hit a kilometre of turf, thank god, until the tarmac took over once again to lead me to my next re-fuel at Dinas Dinlle. Here Marion & John were in a severe state of vexation ‘Paul, the ice cream parlour is closed!’, did I give a s…? A further 8 miles was behind me & I soon ran on towards the pre-known worse section of the entire route.
Leg 3 began with a less than pleasant 2K of tarmac but this was nothing compared to what it leads to, 10K of running alongside the main A499! At one point I missed a slight turning which would have seen me running on a parallel section of tarmac, thankfully at this point there were traffic cones up against the kerb so whilst I was actually running on the main road itself the cones offered some semblance of protection, here I am grasping at straws. All this aside can someone please replace this section with something more coastal, even the guidebook says ‘you might want to get a taxi’, in the words of JM ‘you cannot be serious!’ Finally I turned off the main road onto you guessed it, more tarmac, which soon led me to re-fuel point No. 3 at Trefor’s harbour. Joyously & with a degree of relish (presumably still smarting from my lack of ice cream parlour sympathy) Marion informed me ‘the toilet is closed Paul’. 9 more miles or so done but more importantly the vast expanses of tarmac now firmly behind me.
Leg 4 is where & with good reason many would regard the real Llyn Peninsula starts. As soon as you leave the harbour the terrain changes & the coastline becomes glorious. I contoured a delightful small headland before heading inland for the steep but surprisingly pleasant climb up & over Bwlch Llwybr Arrordir before a traverse led me to a quad killing descent down a tarmac road which thankfully soon gave way to more mountainous paths with the sea lapping the shore below. The run-in to Nefyn from here was undulating & pleasant, in the town itself I took a slight wrong turn but a quick consultation with the map soon led me to my awaiting support team. A further 9 miles covered, Day 1 was at an end.
From here we drove to my pre-booked overnight accommodation where after a full fat coke I quickly showered before ‘enjoying’ an over-cooked Gammon steak whilst Marion & John chose the better looking & probably better for me, Lasagne.
The Day’s Stats:-
62.86K (39.3 Miles)
7 Hours 42 Minutes
1,025 Metres of ascent (3,362′)
I’ll leave Day’s 2 & 3 tales for another day but can I just say a thank you to anyone who followed the run on Facebook or Twitter, Dorina did show me all of the tweets after I completed the run, they were warmly appreciated.