I started my training slow, building up the miles slowly whilst fitting in some hilly long runs when family and work commitments allowed. I was set back a few times by injury and illness along the way but managed to persevere leaving me feeling in good shape a week before. Then Man flu struck me the Tuesday before the event and my confidence evaporated.
After a restless night I woke up on the 23rd and washed, ate/drank, got ready and did the final preparation to my kit, all whilst ignoring the excited dread feeling in my stomach, then made my way to the start. The sun was shining as I stretched out and soaked up the amazing atmosphere. Then we were off. The first 6 miles were hot, uphill then boggy. Running through knee deep mud wasn’t in my training programme so by the water stop at the 6 mile mark, my legs were blown.
I ran the next 5 miles at a steady pace to loosen the legs and gather my thoughts for the impending ascent. The sun was out in all its glory from about mile 13 making a hard task even harder but i plodded on and eventually found myself at about the 17mile mark, the incline stage of the race.
This stage involved getting up to pen-y-pass where we then joined the pyg track up to just below the summit and boy did this hurt. My legs and lungs were screaming but the beautiful scenery and comradeship of fellow runners helped me keep moving. A cloud shrouding the top as I neared it helped me to get up and over the final bit so I could throw myself (not literally) at the downhill to the finish line.
This section was tough as the ground is very uneven and my legs refused to work as they normally do but I managed to get down to cross the finish line after 6 hours 43 minutes and 30 seconds vowing never to do it again.
It managed to be brutal, beautiful and exhilarating all at the same time and highly recommend it to everyone.
So I will hopefully see you on the mountain next year (as you run past me) as I’ve just signed up to it again.