So this Bank Holiday weekend was spent at my parent’s house near Conwy in North Wales.
With just 5 weeks to go until the Summer Fan Dance I cannot afford to miss any opportunity to train. Rain, shine, plague of locusts or whatever – it doesn’t matter.
So just after 7am Sunday morning I dragged myself out of bed, got dressed, put my trail shoes on, put a few gels in my pocket and set off from Mochdre towards the coast.
I had fully intended to take in the ‘twin peaks’ of Llandudno. The Little Orme, followed by the Great Orme. A route that would be around 12 to 13 miles. Whilst neither Orme is actually that big – the Great Orme is not even a quarter of Pen Y Fan – I figured it’d be a nice stretch of the legs.
What I had to remember though, was that we were booked on a cruise to Puffin Island, Anglesey at 11:15. No doubt we’d have to leave home by 10 at the very latest to get to Beaumaris in time. And I still had to leave plenty of time to cool down, grab a shower and scoff some breakfast before we left.
So I crossed the A55 at Station Road, turned right and headed down the lanes towards Glanwydden and Penrhyn Side and my first stop the Little Orme. This was countryside I knew well as we’d spent many a summer holiday camping in the area. And the abundance of flora and fauna only helped to fuel the nostalgia.
It’s actually only 3 miles to the entrance to the Little Orme. It’s now a nature reserve and the North Wales Coast Path cuts across it. It’s only 141 metres above sea level and it didn’t really take me long to scramble to the top.
It was windy up there but the views – just like the Orme itself – were just stunning. Looking back across the bay, you can see the Victorian facades of Llandudno, the Great Orme, Puffin Island, Anglesey, the Conwy Mountains, Rhos On Sea and Colwyn Bay.
I decided to take a minute or two and go live on Facebook. Something I’d not actually done before. Nobody was watching of course but my film would be recorded for nostalgia. Albeit my commentary was difficult to hear through the wind.
That done, I decided I was going to quickly drop down the ‘other side’ of the Orme into Angel Bay to see if I could spot any seals. It would eat into my time but it could be worth it. And it was. There were two in the seals at the opposite end of the bay. Not the seal pictured by the way – they were too far away to get a decent photo!
So I stood watching them. They were a bit far away to photograph, so I stood waiting for them to either come a bit nearer or – fingers crossed – for even more to show their whiskers.
I’d forgotten my watch so I was relying on the Runtastic app to keep track of time and distance. I fished by my phone out of my pocket. I’d lost track of time. I’d been out for an hour and covered less than 4 miles. Ooops.
I quickly Google mapped my route back via the Great Orme. It was still another 9 miles and the ascent to the summit is pretty steep in places. Even by road the gradient to the summit is as much as 26%.
I’d shot it. My life wouldn’t have been worth living if I was late. So I decided that to make up for it by runinng back via the beach.
When I finally arrived home I’d done almost bang on 8 miles. Apparently my average time per mile was 12m 48s. And the total time didn’t include the 10 mins that I’d paused the app.
It would have been embarrassing if I hadn’t enjoyed myself so much. And we made it to Beaumaris in plenty of time for our cruise.