Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Snowdonia Marathon

Brutal course.
Weather tough too - constant, horizontal rain (gave up wearing my
glasses!) , sometimes chucking it down, coupled with gusting winds
strong enough to blow you off the mountain....

...All went well until final hill (200ft to 1200ft climb and then descent
to 100ft) at mile 23, feeling strong, but the path became a rocky
trail and I developed huge blisters on the forefoot. Final downhill
was treatchourus - slippy mud, people falling over or being blown off
the path! Had to abandon plan of a fast finish and go into survival
mode, and inch my way to the bottom. In places I gave up running on
the path and bounded downhill in blinding rain across grass thickets -
barefoot running "using the force" as it were.

Had a great time, was given "star" treatment by the organizers - who
even specially put in a velcro strap thingie in my championchip bag -
perhaps next year they will have a "barefoot" division! Met a nice
young man from Singapore to share some mid-section miles with,
amoungst all the toughened welshmen! Best hospitality I have had on
any race in the UK. Extremely friendly organizers, crowds and
spectators. Perfect organization, but not a race for the barefoot
beginner - some very rough sections, so in all:
And some of the biggest blisters I have ever seen!
The BBC wrote an article about my plans to do this race, and then a follow up article to see how I fared.

PS My blisters went down in a couple of days - the skin simply re-attached itsself!