I thought seeing as I’ve been a Croft member for a couple of years now, it was about time to do my first 26.2 mile challenge, so chose this one on the Isle of Anglesey, the most north westerly part of Wales. A stunning clear day with a cool breeze and amazing views of Snowdon made this race all the more worthwhile. The marathon was also run in combination with the half marathon and the 10k as part of the island’s festival of running, held every year. Celebrity appearance by Colin Jackson, who sent several hundred of us on our way on a course mostly on “B” roads pretty much covering the southern part of the island.
Having run out of the local showground the course cuts through a number of villages on its way to the beach. Support along the way was friendly with what looked like numerous scout groups providing water and energy drinks at stations every few miles. After the coastal road you turn inland up onto the main A5 leading back to the showground where a man with a loud hailer cheers you along. I was quite surprised (and caught out) by the number of steep climbs along this highly undulating course. Add this to the fact that I ran the first half of the race too hard, it made the last few miles very tough.
We should all take heart from the fact that the race was won by someone in the M50 age group with a time of 2hrs 53. At least four MV 40s came in the top ten. I came in 25th place, 3hrs 26 mins (it looked considerably better than that at the halfway point!) I would do this again seeing as it was organised so well and in such good spirit with a relatively small field, but don’t do it for a PB.