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First run up Mount Snowdon

Three days until the ERYRI 25 kilometers at Ultra Trail Snowdonia. So time to run up Mount Snowdon for the first time. 

It’s cold, it’s windy and the rain keeps coming down. This is the Wales we were expecting. I can’t say it’s a pleasure, but the weather is the weather; not something I can change. This morning Sara and I had a laugh when we looked at the forecast on the website of the BBC. Today is supposed to be rainy, cloudy and sunny. It kind of looked like the weather (wo)man just combined all possible icons in one graphic. The truth is; it’s raining, but we can see and feel the sun behind the clouds.

We can handle the rain. It’s the cold wind that’s making this run unpleasant. Although run … we’re hiking a big part of it. This has to be an easy run, so we’re hiking uphill as soon as it starts to be steep

Old Western movie

So far this run has been beautiful. We were out of Llanberis in no time, passed the train station that makes you feel like being in an old western movie and ran up the hill towards the start of the Llanberis path. That path is the longest and easiest climb up Mount Snowdon. It’s also the path I’m running up this Saturday. And it’s the path that scared me a little when I saw the profile of the race. We’re climbing almost 900 meters within the first 8 kilometers. 

Now, hiking up here, it feels totally different. There are a few steep parts of more than 35 percent of increase, if I have to believe my AllTrails app, but most of it is very accessible. Some parts go up so gradually that Sara suggests to run the flats, which I’m happy to do. 

The path itself is a combination of gravel and big, flat stones. On our left and right the older sheep are running away from us, while the little lambs are running with us, to the delight of Sara. 

A lot of nothingness

The higher we get, the less happy Sara becomes. The rain and wind is getting harder and harder, and colder and colder. I check a few times, but every time she says she wants to go on. With about half an hour to walk the path has become a small rich with a deep drop-off to hour left. We’re now fully exposed to the wind and can’t see where we’re walking to. The top of Mount Snowdon is totally covered by the clouds. 

Sara starts to shiver more and more. She still wants to go on, but I decide not to. I know her too well. If our mission is getting to the top, she will get to the top, even if that’s not the wisest decision. She’s a tough cookie. But we’re not here to reach the top. We’re here today to have an easy walk in preparation for Saturday’s race: the ERYRI 25 kilometers at Ultra Trail Snowdonia. So we decide to turn around. The view we have here will be as good as the view on the top; no view at all, except for staring in a lot of white nothingness. 

Snowdon beer

To get warm again, we run down for most of the time. Back to the foot of the mountain, back to where the sun shines, back to the little bar on the corner, where we treat ourselves to a nice beer; a Snowdon Craft beer

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