Report by Sibeal Waldron
Way back in October last year when Naoise had just completed the Dublin city marathon a crazy idea took hold….why don’t we sign up for the Snowdonia trail half marathon.
My husband had done the Snowdonia marathon and it was one of the toughest races he had ever done and was going back to take on the ultra version.
Anyway we signed up and in January talked a lot about all the mountain runs we were going to do….I managed to only do about 2 of the planned training runs. Naoise did 5 (I think). But off we went on July 14th on the ferry to Holyhead very unprepared and naive about the challenge ahead.
The race starts with a climb, ends with a climb and has a massive climb in the middle (see naoise’s elevation map from her garmin)
The start of the race is mainly on road but starts to climb almost immediately, then there was a nice downhill to gate that said it was only 4.6km to the summit. At this point I was thinking it’s not going too badly. Less than 5km to the summit didn’t seem that far….I was totally and utterly wrong. The steepness of the climb and the niggling calf injury I had combined to make a very slow ascent. Then we crossed into the clouds and it got a bit cold which made the last part of the climb seem to go on forever!
Then finally the descent. I felt great and flew down passing people the whole way. I was feeling good and happy that I’d make it back in a respectable time but I was again very wrong….instead of turning left to go around the lake it was a right turn up into the slate mines. Lots of steps and uphill my niggling injury turned from a niggle to a pain and that last climb was one painful step after another.
Finally the last descent where I was met by my two boys at the finish line.
It was by far the longest and most challenging half marathon I have ever done but the views were great and the camaraderie was amazing. Not sure I’ll be back to do it again but I’d recommend it to others to give it a go.
Naoise Waldron 2:35 (6th female)
Sibéal Waldron 3:23