Interestingly this race was described as a PB course despite having more than 500ft of ascent, and there was quite a decent turnout with over 2200 runners and a few elites too (the eventual winner was from Kenya!).
The race had a start time of noon but being advised to get there early I was parked up for 9.30am. This was a good call as the place was rammed by 10 o'clock.
Over the past couple of days my legs have been really aching since attempting to run up Pendle on Wednesday - I will manage it one day! I had posted a decent time at Preston parkrun the previous day so managed to convince myself that aching legs were not an excuse for a poor run.
Anyway off we went from Conwy Castle (a very nice castle too) and over the bridge in the general direction of Llandudno. I had planned my split times bearing the hills in mind and was aiming to get a PB by 10 seconds.
The first two miles were nice and flat. Mile three saw me spit my dummy out for the first time. Sand! There was a section a mile long of running on the beach. I managed to keep to my splits but the effort to do so was hard work!
Just after mile four the hard work started. A full lap of Great Orme, which starts with a long steep climb. I found it extremely challenging and stopping did cross my mind several times, but I was passing people somehow and this kept me going. The panoramas around this section were fantastic following the coast with views towards Anglesey and snow-capped Snowdonia.
My splits were slightly worse than I planned but mile 8-9 was payback time, a long downhill. I managed to get in just under a 6-minute mile which for me is rare, passing loads of folk who were shouting "It's not a sprint, it's a half marathon!" I'm sure you can imagine my response.
After conquering Great Orme we then re-joined the route out, up to around 10 miles I felt strong until the dreaded sand came again! I just could not get a decent grip (time for new shoes I think) and I managed to get a stone under my foot which was starting to hurt.
I knew that I had to maintain 7 minute miles to get a PB so despite the pain I somehow kept going. This was by far the most I have ever had to push myself but it was worth it. The finish was just after the long bridge where I was really running on empty.
I kept looking at my watch and thinking being so close to my PB I had to keep going. I could see my dad and Nicola in the distance and pushed on. I crossed the line with a time which later turned out to be 1.33.19 - a new PB by 21 seconds.
Despite what the website says this race is not a PB race and I really do not know how I achieved this, I will never criticise flat courses such as Blackpool ever again!
It was a great route though with some fantastic scenery. I would thoroughly recommend this race, definitely entering again next year, hopefully a few will join me...
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