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Anybody do this last year? If so what is it essential to take and what is preferable?
Did this last year and am going back for more this. I did everything wrong so plenty of learning. 1) sort accommodation. There's a functional campsite near the finish-line (=good car park too) that was £4 per night that ratrace will tell you about closer to the event. 2) Eat good breakfast. 3) wrap up warm - it was warm at the start and I was in a t-shirt and shorts and paid for it later. Tights and a couple of layers (waterproof) and gloves/hat plus trail shoes are a must. There are feeding stations but when the cramps came I thought there was a lack of salt on offer. Main thing is get ready for stacks of relentless steps (I'll be doing some stepper training this year). Its a great event though, good luck with prep.
Do a bit but I got caught out by prep and kit. Sounds stupid but bias your running to hills. This year I'll be running to gym doing a session on the stepper then running home. I tanked it last year because training wasn't right.
... Same as brassneck, did it last year, back for more this year. Probably the best event I've ever done (and the hardest).
If you've got someone to go with you (and be a driver), it's very handy, I couldn't imagine the amount of faff you'd have to deal with if you were on your own - just cause you start and finish separate places (where to park, getting kit to start/finish etc..)
Sorting accommodation is a must too - I stayed in the TravelLodge in Caernarfon last year for the night before, I would recommend avoiding it if you want a decent nights sleep. The premiere inn is next door - I'll try that this year. And it's about a 2 minute walk to the start then - very relaxed. I had planned to stay at the campsite afterwards, but after spending 5 hours running in the rain, putting up a tent (in more rain) getting in wasn't appealing - luckily we had friends in Manchester, so we drove over there (warm bath, warm house, comfy sofa - much needed). I'd recommend booking a hotel in Llanberris for after if you can't get somewhere warm.
Kit wise, I ran with a Salomon s-lab belt (for the essentials) and a camelbak (for the liquid), wore a rain proof jacket (by OMM) and tights. Was very warm to start with but thankful for it by the time I got to the ascent of snowdon (damn chilly). Should of really started without the jacket - but it was a faff to remove bag/belt to put it on and off. Will be a bit more prepared this year - I have a Salomon s-lab race vest so can slip the jacket on over the top. Hat, gloves, buff all essential.
For training, I found that the real killer was the relentless up and down for the first 12ish miles (before you start the ascent) - incredibly draining. I had done lots of short sharp steeps up and down steps in training (as I was expecting the paths to be like that), so those were all OK. But I really lacked holding pace over hilly terrain for a long time.
One more trick - learn how to deal with cramp, how to prevent it, and how to deal with it as soon as it starts to happen. I suffered massively from this (on the vertical kilometre). And a lot of people were in the same boat.
Thanks for the replies, very useful info from both of you. I'm going to look into an s-lab belt and vest. The cramp is a fear, I ran the rat race dirty weekend last year and suffered quite a bit. Peanuts i hope will be the answer to that.