Sunday, 2 March 2014

Island Race by Jason Revill

On a wet and windy Sunday morning myself and Malc and 1000 others set off to tackle the Island Race, otherwise know as the Anglesey Half Marathon. Well I say Malc did it but as I didn’t actually see him it could have been anyone.
The race started on the Bangor side of the Menai Bridge. After passing over the bridge we did a slow loop of the Menai Bridge town (why do race organisers put such narrow lanes so early in a race?) to complete the first mile. From there we hit the main road from Menai Bridge towards Beaumaris. Four miles of undulations later we passed through Beaumaris town and up a steep hill to complete the out part of the race. Everything was fine until we turned round to come back and then the wind hit. The path back through Beaumaris took us right along the sea front and the best the Menai Strait winds could muster, with one poor guy getting a right drenching from a wave. The last 4 miles back to Menai were a little better with everyone hugging the wall to get a bit of shelter from the wind. Fortunately the last mile was all down hill.
Overall despite the weather this was a cracking race. You are going to struggle to find much nicer scenery and some of the views are wonderful. The only gripe is that the water stations were pitiful. All water was in paper cups and if you got half a cup you were lucky. The first station I had to miss altogether as there was a queue of 20 people as two poor army cadets couldn’t pour the water quick enough. The quarter of a banana at the end also didn’t live up the £24 price tag. But apart from that for a race mainly ran on closed roads it was a very good race and I would do it again next year.
In terms of time I knew I wasn’t going to get a PB on that course and with that weather but I was surprised that I only missed out by 20 secs so I was really chuffed to finish in 1:50:26. Malc’s chip time was 1:49:34 (perhaps it wasn’t him after all?)

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