Title: Too Hot to Trot
I can't fault this course, it's got a little bit of everything & a whole lot of scenery. It's clear to see the thought that's been put into this route which is why I returned this year after running it in 2017.
I can honestly say It's one of my favourite 1/2 Marathons with such beauty on route & fantastic views. The journey there gives a taste of what's to come, with rolling hills, mountains & lakes in full view you can truly appreciate why our country, Wales, is so often referred to as God's Country.
The race starts on the far side of Llyn Brenig following the lake perimeter in an anticlockwise direction, it's fairly flat with small undulations & I'm running on compact fire tracks for the first 3miles or so. Water station....oh how happy I am to see you already. I grab a bottle, drink half & throw the rest over my head before heading off road on narrow tracks between a sea of Heather. I'm really enjoying this now. Six miles in, I've managed to slowly climb the little hills and now I'm feeling drained in this searing heat. Oo, water station, same routine, drink some, throw the rest over me....thoughts going through my head now......It's so hot, should've done the 10k, should be on a beach relaxing in this heat...slap myself 'man up Nige, you're halfway round.'
I reach Llyn Alwen roughly 8miles in, crossing the lake via a narrow wooden bridge, look ahead and that's a hill & a half I've got to climb but the view across the lake, the tranquillity of the surroundings (except for the odd curse from me) and the beauty of the landscape help to distract me. The next 3 miles over moorland and into the forest disappear within the blink of an eye. I'm at the last water station, 2 of my club runners with me, 2 miles to go and I remember the sting in the tail, roughly 1.5 miles slogging it up the gradual incline, I dig deep and unlike last year, there's no walking this time. I hit the peak and now I've got a downhill half mile or so loosely termed sprint, through the woods, across the road and back down to Llyn Brenig to cross the finish line 1 minute faster than last year. I'll take that in this weather. First thoughts, thank God that's done, 2nd thought, water, I need water, last thought, I'll beat that next year.
Yep that's right, I'm already looking forward to giving it another go next year. Hat's off to Joe Cooper at outfit fitness, his events are always well organised, excellently marshalled and in great locations.
The only thing I'd hope is different next year,, is that someone could turn the heat down a little before we start