What an amazing day this has been for me and thank you everyone who has supported me, here, on FB and GarminConnect. Apart from the 5K RfL last year this is my first proper race and I felt so very nervous about the whole affair. I've only ever done one Parkrun and although it was good I like running alone with the freedom to go when and where I want, so the thought of running with so many people felt quite daunting and I was very grateful for the company of one daughter and 2 yr old grandchild to the start line. I dutifully placed myself somewhere in the middle between the 2 hour and 2.5 hour flags as I was hoping to finish in around 2hr 15mins. Off went the starting gun thingy and we slowly started edging towards the start line. Said 2 year old immediately threw a strop as I set off because she wanted to run with Grandma! But soon all was left behind and the shuffle turned into a jog as we set off over the bridge. The air was cool and the sky full of grey cloud but it was the most perfect day for running. The start was slow and there were so many people running together that there was very little room for manoeuver down the narrow streets at the start. Once out onto the open road things became a little more relaxed and off we headed to Beaumaris. There was a clear view across the straits to the snow capped mountains and I was so pleased that all those people who had traveled miles to come here could at least see how beautiful it is here today. For a short while I ran alongside a lovely lady from the Wirral while we had a bit of a natter. Such a pleasant diversion. For me this was a perfect opportunity to run along this route as it's certainly quite treacherous when there are cars on the road so although I know it so well it was lovely to be able to run it without the need to flatten myself against a wall or zig zag across the road for the sake of visibility (only done twice on a quiet Sunday morning!).
Before I had even reached the halfway point a young man came flying up in the opposite direction as if he had wings on his feet. Such a determined look on his face as his lovely long stride carried him past us like a whirlwind. I was awestruck! I later found out he finished in 1:09:43!
So on past the beautiful Beaumaris Castle where I got cheered on by a friend I haven't seen in years! Then turning up the hill to do the loop back towards Beaumaris again. Lovely to see flocks of birds twisting and turning low above the water and an unseen sun casting a light on the mountains so the white tops shone out to give a most stunning view. I do so love this place Amongst the sounds of feet on the road and the sounds of people breathing I felt myself carried along by this tide of humanity, t-shirts depicting the many different causes close to people's hearts. On past the gothic towers of Plas Rhianfa with the smoke breathing dragon and onto the home stretch. The jingling of those little blue cow bells was getting louder as was the cheering, searching for familiar faces in the crowd and an overwhelming feeling crossing the finish line. Yes! So, so totally on a high!
Unofficial chip time is 2:02:20 so way better than I had expected. Plus I got a 10K PB of 56:44. Still grinning, still amazed and finding it hard to believe.