It is the start of September, which can only mean one thing – Man vs Mountain. This isn’t a race I have entered but one that I play support crew for. Dan and Alan have run it each year since it started in 2013. The course is a fairly simple idea – up Snowdon and back down the other side. It is advertised as 20 miles and has a few obstacles at the end, just to make you work that bit harder for the finish line.
Rat Race Events run this event and they are getting pretty good with organisation these days. When we went to the first event in 2013, there were a few tents and a man in the back of a van with a microphone. Fast forward a couple of years and it is much larger and the organisation feels much slicker.
The boys were joined by Juliet this year – who did an incredible job. Her first mountain and I think she loved it!
As a spectator, I tend to wait in a couple of spots to see the guys run past and then we head off home but this year we stayed the night in Caernarfon and I got to see some of the course the following morning.
It was nice to relax after the race and enjoy a bit of the surroundings – the runners had a chance to refuel at a local pub. There was an after party back at Llanberis but as we were based in Caernarfon, we decided to stay there for the evening.
The next day, Dan and I headed over to Llanberis so he could show off some of the course that they run. The Rat Race organisers were busy dismantling everything at the finish, so we headed up the ‘vertical kilometre’ first.
For views, this race is pretty impressive on a clear day. Even with a bit of cloud cover, the views are awesome.
The vertical kilometre is a steep path, up the disused quarry with about 200m of climbing – in the space of a kilometre. It is a timed section – a race within the race.
This stretch is tough! Given that you have just been up and down a mountain, this is a killer on the legs. As you head up, you can see more impressive views and lots of slate.
We headed back down, along the race course and over to the quarry. This is another wet part of the course – in and out of the water. Dan mentioned something about jumping off a platform and swimming through an underwater cage. Hmm, sounds lovely.
As it is a bit of a trek home from Wales, we set off back after this walk. The course is a little tempting – if not slightly terrifying sounding in places. Not only do the 20 miles sound difficult enough but looking at the races of the runners are they see the final obstacles, really makes you realise just how exhausted they are.
A great achievement from Dan, Alan and Juliet this year. We’ll be back again in 2016!