Man vs Mountain – Part 2

This is part 2 of my Snowdon adventure. For part 1 click here.

The descent was a different proposition. Every foot placement had to be deliberate and different muscles came into play. It felt unnatural and then all of a sudden there was no shortage of runners that had been side lined by injury.  One guy was covered in blood. All over his hands and face. It looked like a pretty terrible tumble. Thankfully he was being attended to.

Also in plentiful supply were the fancy dress fun runners on the ascent. Good on them – but it was a bit disconcerting given my own efforts. But I was safe in the knowledge though that it was highly unlikely that the Honey Monster and Elvis had travelled the kind of distance that I had. Or off the back of it have to tackle the obstacles I was about to face.

Half way down the mountain I was refused a free piss at the tea room. Not having 50p change meant I had to make alternative arrangements in the nearest bush. I certainly wasn’t buying anything.

The weather continued to be glorious. Perfect in fact. And it didn’t take me long to get to the next feed station. The gels had by now become a bit sickly so it was time to grab a few more Jaffas, Haribo’s and isotonic drinks.

The bag drop was at mile 18 in a Llanberis car park. Time for a last gel and to lose the rucksack. Then it was on to the fabled ‘vertical kilometre’, a timed ascent in an old slate quarry  and it was a real quad killer.

Then it was time for the abseil. Unfortunately, there were only 6 lines off the bridge and down onto the disused railway and there was a huge queue.

Two guys ahead of me in the queue had Zoe’s Place T-shirts on. Turns out they were also raising money for Coventry. So we had a good chat about that and of course later on we’d get our photos together.

I’d been in the queue that long, the chap who I’d seen getting bandaged up us turned up. Both his hands were bandaged up and he was covered in blood. He has a nice cut to his cheek to. I wasn’t quite sure how he thought he was going to abseil of the bridge – but he joined the queue nevertheless.

Lining up in the shade for 45 minutes with no supplies or extra clothing was frankly silly. I’d begun to shiver with cold and exhaustion. So much so that, I nearly gave up and bypassed the ropes. This was actually my only complaint about the whole event. I did feel that there were some welfare issues that needed taking into consideration. It also meant that I’d shot my six hour target. But never mind – 10 minutes later I was dangling over the bridge and dropping into the railway.

A short run from there and I was greeted by my wife, daughter and parents. They’d sat there waiting for me for ages. I’d texted them at the summit but there was no way of knowing that’d i’d been caught at the abseil for an hour. I think there had been a few doubts kicking in about where I was so there was some relief to see me.

Then I slipped a life jacket on, ran into the quarry, climbed up some scaffolding and promptly jumped into the cold water. Then it was out and back on my feet for another short run to a water slide. Again life jacket on, up the steps and down you go into the lake. Then onto a few more water obstacles before the finishing straight.

On the straight there were two 7ft walls. I noticed that a number of people were getting leg ups. No chance. What’s the point of doing all that circuit training if you’ve got no upper body strength? I smashed into the wall and went straight over. However, in my attempt to look manly I promptly hit a mound of grass and fell on my arse. Much to the delight of my daughter.

The second one posed no problems though and it was across the finish line. It had taken 7 hours in total and it turns out the course was actually 22 miles that day – so the free cup of vegetable soup was a god send.

And I raised over £500 for Zoe’s Place – so all was good with the world!

MvM Finish