On Sunday I ran the Anglesey Marathon. We and some friends – my running partner Graeme and his family – rented a cottage and made a bit of a weekend of it. Jude and I used to visit Anglesey quite often around the time we got married, but I’d forgotten just what a beautiful island it is. On Saturday we all visited Newborough beach, and after eating a lunch of fish and chips by the sea we went swimming. It was a bit on the cold side, but it was such a warm sunny day we couldn’t resist the lure of the waves.
The marathon itself, on Sunday morning, was a really good experience. I had already heard that the course was quite hilly and that proved to be the case. Graeme and I had driven around the course on Saturday but what had seemed quite gentle inclines from the comfort of the car proved somewhat more daunting after 20 or so miles of running.
I started much too quickly, clocking a sub-8 minute second mile, and paid dearly later on. My Garmin 305 began to play up – on this of all days – at around the 7 mile mark and from then on in I just had to keep going at what seemed a realistic pace. From about mile 12 I began to tire, and it became a real struggle as I hit the serious hills from mile 23 on. I was briefly reduced to a walk, but then fell in behind a girl who was relentlessly slogging up the hill and managed to keep going in an “if she can, I can” kind of way.
I finished with a chip time of 4 hours 21 mins and 6 seconds – slower than I’d hoped but pleasing nevertheless. Graeme and I hope to return next year to see if we can better our times and to enjoy another lovely weekend in the country.