Having travelled from home the day before, I woke up on the morning of the race to winds and heavy rain feeling sick and scared, wishing I hadn’t entered. Still I was there and felt I had to do it.
As the hour of the start drew near, it was still raining heavily but that didn’t seem to matter. Everybody was friendly and chatting away, waiting with anticipation and, in my case, terrified. I thought I was the only one who had not trained enough and convinced I was going to be the last one to finish or even not get to the 18 mile cut off which was four hours away.
The gun went and off we started – I was determined that, whatever happened, I was going to finish the race, even if I had to crawl! A mile down I met two men, one who had done this race before and an older one who was doing it for the first time. They were brilliant! We stayed together for the first 18 miles, running at a comfortable pace, not mad, and walking up the three very steep inclines, especially up the last one.
It was a hard race but my ‘new’ running mates were great and kept chatting about their running adventures, taking my mind of the race. My favourite moment was a lovely downhill at miles 5-6 and seeing Nick, Jodie and Andy. I enjoyed running with Helen for two miles around miles 18-20. It felt so good to run with a friend for a while.
The last hill was extremely steep and there was no way I would have run up it. Again despite the difficulty, all the other runners were friendly and we kept each other company, chatting, laughing and walking. It was the hardest bit but the views were amazing. By then the weather had lifted and we had lovely sunshine and clear views.
Once we got to the top, we only had approximately two miles left downhill… I really enjoyed running downhill through puddles and mud – great fun and definitely one of the highs. It was particularly wonderful running down, knowing that this would end at the finish line. And somehow I had some energy left to finish with a great big smile and a sprint.
Would I do it again? Yes. The hardest marathon I have ever done but certainly the most enjoyable. I finished on a high and two days on am still on a high. I watched the highlights last night – incredible. I loved it!!
A special thank you to my amazing supporters who appeared in various places throughout the course, giving me the encouragement I needed: my husband, Nick, and wonderful friends, Jodie and Andy, not forgetting the virtual support from Regency Runners, a group that I feel very proud to be a part of.
When I signed up, I was told that “if I you can do the Snowdonia marathon, you can do anything”, and, at the moment, that is how I feel: strong and on top of the world! My message to all, ‘You can do anything you want, just trust yourself. You don’t have to be fast to do it, just determined!’