I was feeling pretty good up the hill and although it got steadily steeper i knew i was going to plan to make up time on the down hills. Despite this the real killer is the number of false summits as it has a habit of making the mountain seem never ending. I have all respect for Martin Like as there was some particularly colourful language being directed his way. All in good spirits but nonetheless colourful. Turning up the mountain and watching it get steeper and steeper was a daunting sight. I knew at this point this was going to be where the race was won or lost. The term “win” was taking on a massively different context for every competitor. At this point a 12hour finish seemed massively far away and i was just focused on getting to the top of Tor y Foel. My legs were burning as one foot went in front of the other. A small drop appeared and then a final small climb and the top was reached. The mist limited the view to well 5ft, but the jovial nature of the marshalls spurred me on and i knew i’d cracked the mountain. It was at the back of my mind that i had to do this one more time.
My walk run strategy was pressing me on and i was reeling in other runners. My quartet shooting for 12hours i assumed were long gone but at the top of the gap i was proud as i had forced myself to run some of it. At this point it was dark and the final descents would be in the pitch black! Thank god for my brilliant head torch. You want to go quick in the dark you need one of these. The marshalls can testify to this as one very kindly got my head torch out of my bag and must have assumed my fingers were dead so turned on the torch, unfortunately straight into the eyes of the other marshall. After a brief joke they bid me well down the mountain side. I had already hit a point now of feeling great. I knew i would finish and the 12hour mark was back on my mind. So sprint down the hills i did and what do you know i passed the quarted i had been running with. They all said “we were wondering how long you would be” they bid me well and off i went. At the bottom i grabbed some water and continued on down the narrow path and onto the roads for the final push.
In picking out my best moments it’s impossible to express the camaraderie of this race. Everyone was smiling throughout and keen to see each other succeed. Every achievement as good as the next from 6hr16.59 finish time to those making the determination to simply try. One of my fondest moments aside from sprinting down the rough descents was the friendships made and seeing the quartet of Pete Horvath-Howard, Richard Gee, Julie Lewis and Terry Lewis all coming in under 12hours. Fantastic that we all managed it. It was as great to see Jonathan Bacon come home in 11hrs 36.30 a brilliant last 5miles Jonathan.