Report from OAC’s Matt Broughton:
I ran in Saturday’s Snowdonia Marathon. Not sure who votes for these things but it was voted this year as the best Marathon in the UK.
Apart from the cold and sharp head winds in some sections of the course, the weather was excellent and helped to show-off the beauty of the area.
I ran it last year (report here) in a time of 3:46:15 and although I knew it would be difficult considering the course and despite a few training set backs, I hoped to get around in 3:30.
About the first six miles is uphill to Pen-y-pass next to the Snowdon visitors car-park which is the first of three challenging climbs. I kept reminding myself not to go too hard in this early part of the race and knew I could at least make back some time on the few miles of descent that follows.
Despite my calves becoming quite tender everything seemed to be going well but I knew I was running towards my limits and just hoped I could hold on to the nasty climb at mile 20 – where I knew a lot of time would be lost.
At about mile sixteen I started to slow and feared I’d gone too hard but I stuck with it and a mile or so before the 20 mile mark I got a second-wind and started to take back places.
Halfway up the last climb I suffered with leg cramp which seems to be a re-occurring problem and I knew that 3:30 was just out of reach. When I finally reached the summit I decided to try and make the most of things and push on for the final decent into Llanberis. I finally crossed the finish line in 224th position with a chip time of 03:38:19.
At the end of the day I am really happy with my result as a big improvement on last year’s time.
An excellent race in stunning surroundings. Just means I’ll be wanting to return next year to shave off another nine minutes.
Highlights from the race were televised on Sunday 28th on the Welsh channel S4C – available to watch online from S4/Clic.