by Neal Stayner
This race was payback from Selina after I convinced her to run her first marathon at the Giants Head last year. Apparently Snowdonia national park is one of her favourite places in the world so running a race there seemed a good idea. John liked the sound of a short 10.5 mile run and came along to see what all the fuss was about.
We went up Friday afternoon as the race was at 1pm Saturday. Once on the campsite we had a gentle cycle along a cycle path from Dolgellau towards Barmouth to a pub that Selina knows well. After a lovely meal and a couple of pints we headed back towards the campsite when John dragged us to another pub for a swift half ( well the race wasn't until later Saturday).
We woke on race day to rain and low cloud which didn't bode well for a mountain climb. Once we'd had a lovely cooked breakfast we were getting race ready in a relaxed mood until John realised he'd left his run shorts at home!!!!! No matter how hard he looked he had to admit defeat. Now I like to take clothing options to races top wise but for me it's always shorts so no need for a back up option, luckily Selina came to the rescue with a pair of black leggings ( she did have Wonder Woman ones and unicorn ones as well) which John had no option but to accept!!!
The race registration was well organised so once numbers were collected it was off for a coffee, so much time to kill with these late starts. It was easy to find the start as you just followed the sound of the drummers. A quick walk through a kit check area and were at the start line. 300 of us headed off up and up a road section which took us to the start of the off road section. We ran through some stunning scenery and soon the start of the mountain was in front of us. Luckily everyone seemed to be walking so not to look out of place we joined them. We got some stunning views for our efforts and soon saw the summit. A touch of the trig point, a quick selfie and we separated to make our own way down. John took off at suicidal pace but lived to be first Langport home. I trailed in a few minutes later but must admit that road climb at the start was a blast downhill to the finish and I closed the gap a bit. Selina came in a few more minutes behind me.
All in all a fantastic race, well organised and well marshalled. No medal was a bit of a let down but the memories will live on. Go on give it a go, it's only 10.5 miles and there's only one hill in it !!!!!
On the way up.
At the top. Trig stone just behind us.
Profile of the route!