|Europe in Union: Williams (Wales) with Vendali (Italy)|
Don't be fooled by the palm trees. We are really in Wales. The seaside resort of Barmouth is just a few miles from Coed-Y-Brenin - the Forest of Kings - in the Snowdonia National Park. There were two trail races on offer: a full marathon (start 9am) or a half-marathon (start 10am). We were pre-entered in the latter.
Our plan was to run together at a steady pace in order that we would enjoy the rest of the holiday without feeling unduly tired from our efforts. We achieved this by walking up the three steepest and longest hills, running the other uphills, the downhills and the flat bits. We also stopped at the two refreshments stations to take advantage of the isotonic drinks and water on offer.
About 2 kms before the finish I was feeling surprisingly strong and confident and gradually drew away from my companion and the rest of our group to finish alone with a gentle sprint up to the line.
The whole experience was immensely enjoyable. Even the weather played its part in providing optimal running temperatures; that is to say it was not too hot, as it had been in the previous three weeks. After it was all over I found myself wondering about doing the full marathon next time . . . but that daft thought quickly evaporated when I sipped my first pint of Welsh real ale.
Wales Trial Half-Marathon 2016
21.4 kms (approx)
1. M Nichols - Tonbridge AC - 1:22.10
2. A Miller - Belgrave H - 1:30:19
359. G Williams - Clayton H - 2:39:40 12M60
377. M Vendali - Italia Poste - 2:42:31 40M50
and 8 DNF's.