Snowdonia weekend pre race

Posted on: 09 Feb 2019

So the best weekend of the year was coming up! I will write a separate RR because I tend to write quite a lot, so this will hopefully make it easier to read. =) 

I left Gothenburg on Thursday afternoon, I worked half the day before I took the bus to the airport. I was there in really good time, I didn't want to risk being as late as in April haha. That meant I had lots of time for coffee while waiting for my first flight, to Copenhagen. Last year I went to Llanberis by car with Jane and Anita, but this year I was on my own so I flew to Manchester and then took the train. It was a bit of a rush when I changed flights in Copenhagen, I guess I had time but you don't want to run through the airport so just a quick visit to the loo and then, of course, speed walking to the other end of the airport. At least it's easy to navigate on this airport, just walk until you reach the terminal with the right number. =) 

Touch down in Manchester right on time, and it was a familiar place since I'd been there once before, in 2016. I took the train to the city center where my hotel was, I stayed at a Travelodge within walking distance from the Manchester Piccadilly train station. A quick check-in at the hotel and then I was out again, I had some shopping planned and needed dinner. Most stores in the city closed at 20 (I arrived 19:30) so instead I took a bus to Trafford center. I wasn't really in the mood for sitting alone in my hotel room so shopping felt better. And the GBK in central Manchester was permanently closed so what else could I do to get a decent burger? =D On the bus ride I got to see some familiar places, like the areas around the start of Manchester marathon. Lots of good memories even though I was miserable for a lot of that race haha. Anyway, a cheeseburger for dinner and then a little shopping. I think the biggest bag came from Boots, I stocked up on a lot of pills haha. When they closed at 22 I catched a nice empty bus back to the city center, or at least it was empty the first 5 mins. I had managed to get the slow bus that everyone who just got of the evening shift got on. At least I got some sightseeing around Manchester, like the Kellogs factory. =D =D 

I can't believe I wasn't more tired when I got back to the hotel around 22:45, for me it was 23:45, and I should have been exhausted. Instead I enjoyed having a double bed and a spacious on my own and watched some tv before sleeping. My train didn't leave until 11 the next day so I was in no rush in the morning. Nice long breakfast and then I headed for the train station again. 

The train ride to Bangor was lovely, the views were stunning along the way. The weather started to get worse though, we had rain and hail on the way, and when I changed trains at Llandudno junction I was glad there was a roof over the platform and that I could get me a hot cup of tea while I waited. 

In Bangor I was picked up by my AirBNB-host Neil, this service was included in my stay at his place, which really made my journey easier. Neils place was on Llanberis High Street just 2 mins away from Pete's, so a great location. My room also had a view towards the lake, so really really nice. I had booked a double room with ensuite bathroom and shower, which was really worth the few extra pounds. 

After settling in I went out to meet the buzzers at the registration which was in tents this year due to some works on the cafe. I walked along the lake to get there, just taking in the stunning views. I had forgotten just how beautiful it is in Llanberis. At the registration I met Kathy and Richard outside, and then came Rob and Clair, Max, Hobs and Liz, Gaelle, Jim and maybe someone more? There are so many of us, I don't really remember who was there when. =) We spent some time collecting our numbers, going through the shopping opportunities, I got me some soft flasks, a Snowdon marathon hoodie, bag and buff, there were bag-eny, and cow bell-envy and I could have spent all of my money there but my bag was not big enough to hold everything I wanted. =P 

There were not a lot of places to stay around at the registration so we parted ways after a while. Me and Maxine took a walk along the lake, it was a really cold wind and some rain on and of, so we headed for High street and some of the stores there before it was time to go to Pete's for dinner. The buzzers kept arriving every now and then, it turned out taking the train was the winning ticket that day since traffic was a nightmare for those coming by car. But we had a great time catching up, and a great meal to carbload for the next day. I had the huge portion of beef lasagna and an apple crumble after, that I think I ate for about an hour to get as much as possible of it down. 
As been told by many before, meeting up with the buzzers is like meeting old friends you've known all your life. There is not a silent moment when we meet and conversations go high and low, everything from "what are you wearing tomorrow" to "if the government was made of Realbuzzers, who would have which post?".  (I'm very proud to have been elected foreign secretary and my Em-bassy is always open! =)) 
The party started breaking up and Pete's wanted to close up, so people headed for their beds and I left to go to the supermarket before it closed, to get what I needed for my first breakfast the next day. On the way back to my place I ran into Yves and Alan who had just arrived after long journey. 

I spent some time preparing my kit for the next day. I had brought my running backpack but I haven't been very happy with it so instead Gaelle offered me to borrow her Salomon race vest, which was brilliant! (I bought my own later!). I knew I would be out on the course for a long time, probably not making the cut off, so needed to have some fuel for the late miles, and an extra jacket if it got cold. I also prepared another bag to either leave at bag drop or give to the support crew in case I needed change along the way. Extra shirts, dry gloves, dry socks and things like that. Would not want to be wet and cold for such a long period of time that I expected to take to finish this race. 

Finally decided I was ready, and it was time to try and sleep. I think I went to bed around midnight, very happy about the late start time of the race. 

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