For those for whom 26.2 miles on tarmac isn’t enough, there’s the Snowdon marathon, which adds a bit of climbing to the mix, and a bit of off-road too. Not for the faint-hearted (one year it was cancelled because of the danger to life and limb in gale-force conditions).
Stacey and Paul C-D set off to tackle this hilly race. Stacey says he took the first 5 miles uphill steadily (as you would, with 21 miles still to go), and crossed the half-way point in 1hr 23 – a very reputable time. There then followed another 2 mile climb, and at 22 miles an even steeper gradient for 2 miles, before a 2 mile (was everything in multiples of 2?) descent along a stony track, onto tarmac (painful, at that stage) and then the final run in to the finish along the street. He completed the course in a very fine 2 hours 52 minutes, in 12th place overall, but 1st vet and Welsh champion! A magnificent feat, well done Stacey! (He noticed another Croft name on the trophy – that of Tom’s older brother, Brian, who ran the course some four and half minutes faster than Stacey).
Paul found it hard going, certainly harder than his first attempt, aged 21, back in 1986! He crossed the line in 4.39, probably vowing never to run again, but, hey, next morning, he was already planning to dip below 4 hours next year. If we didn’t set ourselves targets, what would there be to get up for?
Well done to both. Whatever the speed, a race like that is tough. It’s rumoured there was a third Croft runner, who I hope will reveal themselves.