Running Up that Hill

Snowdonia trail

Coming from a flat country like Denmark, you don't get many opportunities to run up mountains or for that sake any significant hills writes Christian Friis,

The increased opportunities for traveling to different trail races in Europe is something this writer have used for the past three years to the full extent. This summer it was the Snowdonia Trail-Marathon and Half Marathon.


From the start in Llanberis - both the half and the full marathon snakes it's way up on the narrow trails towards Snowdonia. The first couple of miles the trail is gently rolling upwards. After about three miles the two courses split, and I am little bit surprised that I ran with a lot of marathon, and now I am all of a sudden quite alone on the trail. I catch up to a few runners, and a few runners catch me as well.


Soon the real ascent starts, as well as the weather starts to cool, and the mist from the nearby rolling clouds starts to make my hair and clothes wet. Although having not grown up with hills, then running up them, is the favorite part for me in a mountainrace. I have finally figured out, that sometimes it is also okay to walk, as you might save some energy, and be even faster than the people around you who continues to “run” up the mountain.


Reaching the top, it was now so windy that I was glad that I had brought my buff that took the worst cold from my neck, it was not yet cold enough to bust out the jacket, but some of the other runners opted for that choice.


It was now time for the descend, and as much as I like running uphill, I despise running downhill almost as much. That is if it is a technical downhill, of course I know how to run straight down a hill, but if there are too many uneven surfaces, then the 30 years of knowledge my legs have acquired since they started running will tell me that I need to be careful.


So, I am a bit too careful going down the mountain, and I see a few runners pass me with ease, while I am just looking forward to the less technical spots where I can speed up.


I make it safely down, without being passed by too many, and I can begin to hear the finish line getting closer...only to realize that there is a short extra loop of three miles, that takes you up over another hill, and finally the finish line is in sight.


Snowdonia Trail Half Marathon, is one of those races you wished had lasted longer, some might say that I should have just run the full marathon, others will probably know what I mean.


Back at Llanberis the full trail running refreshment treat is waiting, almost every trail run I have been to have had excellent post race snacks, and Snowdonia Trailmarathon is up there among the best with snacks as well.


Next years race is July 23rd., registration opens October 14 and you better get your entry in, they do sell out.


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