Endurance life Anglesey 18/01/2014
Well that was interesting ...thought I was reasonably fit and marathon ready but Anglesey gave me a spanking good and proper. An amazing route over Holyhead mountain heading south along the coast before looping back on itself to face the big lump of rock again. The thing that made it live up to its name as an endurance event however was the conditions ... it was a proper mudfest! Those of you familiar with the meadow in Plymvalley Parkrun might be able to put it into context if I say think of the meadow at its muddiest and it was like 15 miles of that ... And that was the easy bit!
Setting off today in rain which was a feature of over half the race, my feet were soaking within the first few minutes, a couple of miles of gradual uphill to the foot of Holyhead mountain and then the 500 ft climb which ensued. The first checkpoint was at the other side of the mountain at mile 4. I seriously considered how much of a wuss I would look if I pulled out at that point. Let's just say I wasn't feeling the love. And so it continued until about mile 14/15. Legs like lead trying to extricate my feet from the mud which dominated coastal path.
I think at that stage I had a revelation, stop trying to fight it and just go with the flow and enjoy it for what it was. The second half of the race whist certainly no easier, seemed to slip by ... a bit of walking and chatting and a bit of running ... Happy days, until the slog up and over Holyhead hill faced me again ( treated with some gusto I may add, even managing the equivalent of a sprint up the final section of road/track leading up to the hill). It was then nicely rounded off with a mile and a half of downhill scrambling/running/trying to say upright back to the finish.
The end result 27.2miles in 5hrs41min, suitably tired limbs and a big grin (ish). Plenty of scope to improve on my time, ideally with better conditions underfoot. So would I recommend it to anyone else? ... Hell yeah!!!
Looking forward to the next Endurance Life marathon at South Devon already