Snowdonia marathon 2013



  • jason djason d ✭✭✭
    School closed early due to heavy snow. Touch and go driving home, but got the car back- just! Looks like I'll get to try out the Yaktrax, Brer! image
  • Saturday after walking dogs, Run Director'd local parkrun in the snow, went shopping felt decidedly chilled and flu'y so had a inside day and felt better Sunday. Didn't go to Benfleet 15 to support (Mrs lemmy pulled out as well), stayed in and just walked dogs... Done a bit of core work and I ain't running round the street of Dagenham in the ice so no club this week and no running until it's sensible... No point breaking anything...

    Well done all the unfair-weather runners...

    Brer, Wankles are Weak Ankles... Keep spraining right ankle so road running until after VLM.

    Happy belated birthday Trex...

  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    Promised myself a beach run today!  lol, it was a complete white out. SO SO much fun, mile after mile of perfect snow, not another person in sight. Am I mad or just a big kid?

  • jason djason d ✭✭✭

    jenf- well done on the beach run. I guess Parkrun is looking doubtful again for this weekend...

    I LOVE MY YAKTRAXimageimage They were great, Brer- never felt like I was likely to slip- in fact at times they were a little hard work- like having mini suction pads on your feetimage

    13m ML run done and dusted- hard work through blizzard conditiomns. Fun not worrying about pace and uneventful ..... until 2m from home when I stopped to watch a Transit van coming down a back road hill, thick with snow, fail to make the bend, mount the bank and land on its side! Had to clamber on top to open the door to help the driver out. Luckily, no apparent injuries and he was more concerned about his van - what a plonker!!image Left him with some onlookers to wait for the ambulance I got them to phone to check him over. Only problem was, when I ran up the hill to the van, I forgot to start my Garminimage

  • Wow JD..what a day..Superman to the rescueimage Great to hear about Yaktrax..may yet give them a try although things seem to be thawing to that nice mushy state now here.

    Lemmy, hope you get back to the training soon.

    Jenf...that sounds pretty awesome tooimage..may have to go on a little cross country adventure with headtorch in a little while. Now, where's Mr Rex got to today??

  • I had my yaktrax on last week and felt them through the sole of my trainers (normal trail trainers) and gave me a blister image

    First time that's happened

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Had a nice little run today - my first since 14 November!  We've had three large dumps of snow - Friday, Tuesday and today, but I needed to get out. 

    Thought I'd go up to my local summit and back, normally a straightforward outing involving 6.6 miles and 1300' ascent.

    Made may uphill to the edge of town on paths with people digging their cars out and happy groups of children sledging. Once I got out of town much higher up there was little evidence of people having gone this way before and coming out onto the top lane there were only one or two sets of prints, none of them recent.  This top lane only goes to two farms and unlike when there's been deep snow in other winters recently there were no vehicle tracks at all. The farmers hadn't got out?  This should have alerted me to what lay ahead.

    Coming off this lane onto a track which only led to some farm outbuildings there were no vehicle tracks or footprints since the first snow fell on Friday.  I was on virgin snow about ankle deep here.  Through a kissing gate and then I was on the open hillside where things started getting serious.

    Toiling uphill I was in snow knee deep.  Visibility was poor, about 50m, and there was no trace of the path at all  - everywhere a blanket of snow with the topmost reeds and heather covered in ice sticking out above it.  It was disorientating.

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    I was soon floundering.  Where it looked the path might be was the deepest snow.  It was soon thigh deep, and occasionally up to my waist. It was hard not to fall over which I did several times.  Very hard to get up again since the ground was out of reach of your arms.  The only way to get back up was to fall onto my back and roll around like a beetle unable to right itself and excavate a large pit in the snow.

    As I got higher the snow was falling more heavily, a strong cold wind was getting up, and my one-layer clothing system was starting to be tested severely.

    I persevered on for another half a mile but fatigue was setting in.  I now had no real idea where I was. I could be contouring the hill on any random contour and be nowhere near the path.

    Visibility was getting poorer and looking around from the vantage point of the latest large pit that I had had to excavate I realised I was in a bleak place.   I'd told my boy (who was having yet another day off school) that I would be two hours max and I had already expended 1h10 getting to this point. I was also concerned my tracks - which I was relying on to follow back down - would start getting filled in with the snow falling.


  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    So I'm afraid I leaned out of the pit and wrote in large letters in the snow "For God's sake look after our people" (Robert Scott's last diary entry, March 1912) and headed back down.  The steps I had made coming up made for good progress and no navigation worries but on the steep downhills fell over frequently, laughing helplessly.

    Great fun, and back within my two-hour goal. Arm aching a bit but no lasting damage, and I'm pleased to say I seem to be back.

  • That's some good work T Rex and sounds like a lot of fun but it does make my intervals around the local housing estate seem even more mundane!

  • Enjoyed your account TRex. Makes my foray up our local hill in snow seem like kindergarten! More mundane trip with JS group this evening ...

  • Mr 2Mr 2 ✭✭✭

    I had to run around a puddle last night - that was my adventure T Rex image

    Currently coming back from achilles tendinopathy, so doing a lot of cycling  - only up to a 5 mile run at the moment.

    And now for my estiamted time: 4.30 - I did SNOD 2 years ago in 4:27, so staying hopeful

  • 5 miles last night, little bit of slushy ice around the estate but main pavements clear...

    Trex... You need to join Antarctic Survey... image

  • Well done TRex!! watching all your runs / biking with interest but not going to think too much about SNOD until a few other challenges are out of the way. Tough Guy this Sunday may finish me off completely....

    Kandinsky- housing estates may be perfect for intervals but soooooo boring!

    Been thinking about the 'true' distance taking hills into consideration, and wondering if the fact that I am short (hence shorter stride) means it is 'harder' for me than a tall person too?

    My incessant chatter obviously wore off at club though as 6 of us now entered from Rhayader Club.
  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    TRex, you chose a great day for your comeback!!

    Just some xtraining for me today, a mega deadlifting session (pb of more than my body wt), lunges, core work!  feeling good!!! image

  • panadpanad ✭✭✭
    Welcome back TRex image
  • Well. Did my first run since Saturday due to picking up a niggle in my calf from running in 18 inches of snow. Went on a club 5 mile tempo. Splits were 5.42, 5.59, 6.10, 6.06, 6.01. Quite pleased considering there was a couple of long gradual hills chucked in. Calf seems ok too. Can't afford an injury with 2 weeks to go untill the last cross country fixture of the season with a good chance of promotion for the club.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Absolutely epic.


    Don't like to leave a job undone, so set out again today up there.  


    This timethe top lane was cleared, the last track had some vehicle tracks and going up onto the hillside there was quite a selection of footprints, including two people ahead of me!  They turned round quite quickly as they were floundering in very deep snow where the path was.  It was better a little higher up going over the tops of the rushes and heather.


    There was a set of tracks leading on, including a dog (intrepid!)  They similarly turned round.  I saw my prints from the previous day - going up hopelessly too high and contouring the hill much higher up.  At the proper slightly lower level  there was just one single person's tracks ahead.  Eventually, they too turned round, and I was on my own.  There was about 3/4 mile to the summit  Could I force a route to it?  Compared to yesterday it was a clear sunny day and very little wind - this was idyllic.

    Passed my highest point of the day before and encountered the deepest snow yet. There must be all hiden gullies in this section.  In one place to an onlooker it must have appeared that  I sank without trace for a minute or so.  (Except there weren't any onlookers.) I went in up to head height.  This was a predicament very hard to get of and involved much rolling and floundering about, eventually able to crawl out.

    Some of the snow was compact enough I could actually walk on top of it without sinking!  Not for long though.  At other times I tried crawling to even out the weight but it wasn't all that successful

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    After tremendous effort the trig point finally came into view and I made a beeline to it.

    It was a moment to savour.  Blue sky but with cloud covering the first 10 degrees above the horizon. In the NE a gibbous moon rising and the pale light of the near setting sun making the snowy vista glow with a golden light. Icy spicules of grass and heather poked up here and there above the surface.  The TV masts just beyond with rime and frost all over them could have been at the South Pole station.  I've never been alone in mountains in winter, so for me this was a real moment.

    Hang on!  Setting sun?  I'd better get down.  It was relatively straightforward to put my feet in the footprints I had made cominng up, although still exhausting.  Got a bit muddled in the lower section and by the time I reached the outskirts of town it was getting dark.  Down the final hill, laaughing all the way to my house.

    It is the first time I've come home with my laces so frozen that I couldn't undo them, and the hem and cuffs of my top with ice frozen to them. It was about -5C.

    Quick shower, a bowl of soup, and off to work.  Not long got in.

  • T-Rex Back in true Rexy style!! Epic image

    Panad we need to sort an excalibur training run image

    8 miles Tempo Tuesday, 10.5 yesterday off to gym now will do intervals on dread mill and some weights image

    Have a great day gang image
  • 5 x 1200m club reps last night for 6.77 miles in total...

    Nice one T Rex... Brave, stupid & fun... (I need to write your name down properly as I keep thinking of home baking image!)

  • loony, it sounds fantastic..we must team up for a joint loony run one timeimage

    Panad and TR40..enjoy training run guys, wish I could be thereimage

    Blimey, what a week. Snow, DIY, work and marathon training...phew. Which prat entered me into Hardmoors in 2 weeks time?image

    Hey, end in sight now though..please no more ice!!!

  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    Snow all gone here now..rain and floods instead image

    Ran 14miles today with a friend who is training for an Ultra... really can't get my head around that sort of distance!

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    You will jenf before the year is out.

  • jason djason d ✭✭✭

    jenf- did you go up for the Parkrun trial yesterday? i got as far as the carpark, before turning back because I couldn't actually walk across the carpark for the sheet ice!!!! Incredibly, it went ahead- without me thoough! I didn't even trust leaving my car in the car park to be shunted! Nice run- was it windy?image

    T Rex- The usual insanity, I seeimage

    TR40 and Lemmy- good speedy stuffimage

    brer- What a prat!image

    Today saw me doing an enforced raceimage It's an inter-club Team Pursuits where each runner sets off at 15 second intervals and the team of 5 with the quickest aggregate time wins- Good fun, but interfered with my planned 16m LR....still, club first.... The race was 6.6m through the edge of the Preseli Mountains and wickedly hilly as a result- my first (downhill) mile was my quickest at 5.28image, my slowest (VERY uphill) was 8.40!!!!image Like the climb to Bwlch y Groes, but not as long! Just to add to the interest, at a few points the road was over-the-socks deep in water from the ice and snow melt- brr! At other points there was a torrent running down the roadimage Oh, and just to make it really interesting, we had severe gale force icy winds here- I actually got blown almost off the road a couple of times on the hill tops. So how did I solve the dilemma of the long run and missed miles? I went round again, of courseimage Not quite the miles planned, but a much tougher 14.28 for the dayimage



  • Snow all melted here, so went out looking for some hills today (there's not many where I live!).   Managed a steady 10 miles off-road with lots of mud and water thrown in ... a bit of a confidence giver before next week's Charnwood Hill Race, where there is a real chance that I might be the last finisher image .... 

    JD - your run sounds challenging, to say the least.  There was a good westerly blowing here today too, but luckily I ran out into it, so it pushed me all the way back to the car image


  • Hi all, everyone ticking along I see. Somehow or other, managed 18 yesterday in fairly desperate conditions with new trail shoes which gave me hell. Innov8 Orocs..have metal studs in them. They were fantastic in the snow but in the mush/tarmac bits, they were a liability. Got well and truly splattered by a boy racer when he drove through a pile of snow in the middle of the road at high speed.Mojo well and truly down by mile 15 so stopped for a mug of chocolate at burger vanimage. All snow gone today so faced the hail and wind to complete a 10 miler on tarmac, got to try and regain a bit of pace after all the runs at such slow pace in snow (but they were fun).

    JD sounds a good trip outimage

    Hi SD..go girl, just enjoy itimage

  • Evening gang.

    JD sounded tough but good fun matey image

    Jenf ultra running buddies this thread.....B-)

    Brer good going girl image

    SD well done on off roader image

    Hilly 15 miler today last 3 miles into what felt like gale force winds. Manged 8:15 av pace, good fun. Been my highest mileage month for a while 130 so far.image
  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    JD, no I didn't do parkrun either this week, I guessed it would still be v icey up there, and I'd promised to run with my friend. Should be there next week though.

    TR40/ TRex ... lets see how I cope with SNOD, then maybe I might be tempted by an Ultra!!!

    Brer, I really like your way of regaining mojo.image

    Good luck with you race next week SD

  • I think I must be more target driven than I give myself credit for
    - every hill that I now approach comes with the thought "if I run up this then Pen Y Pass will be easier on the day"
    All snow gone in Orkney

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