This was to be an interesting weekend – one in which I made several mistakes. I put these down to “fatigue”.
Saturday 2nd July 2016: Tudweiliog to Pentowyn (28 miles)
I departed from the carpark at Towyn farm, heading for the coastal path, then
left along it as it hugged the coastline. I knew that this stretch of coastline was going to be uneven and rugged. That is why I brought my red Salamons “out of retirement”. It proved to be a wise decision because the coastal footpath was very uneven and overgrown in large parts. The bad decision was wearing two pairs of socks (mistake 1), which I return to later. It was also going to be solitary and remote, evidenced (in reality) by the fact that I did not meet anyone on it until I got to the promontory overlooking Bardsey.
It was a windy start to the day as I moved along the coastline, but the weather improved significantly as the day grew. As the trail run traversed the Wales coastal footpath, I was able to view some wonderful beaches, for example, Traeth Penllich, Penrhyn Colman, Pen y Borth and of course Whistling Sands.
Thereafter, the terrain became even more rugged in this fairly solitary and remote part of the Lleyn as I ascended Mynydd Anelog, down the other side before ascending up onto Mynydd Mawr and Mynydd y Gwyddel. From these vantage points, I was able to enjoy wonderful views of Bardsey Island.
Rounding Pen-y-cil, the wind was now behind me, as opposed to coming head-on into my face. Also, at this point, I felt (psychologically) that I had literally “turned a corner”… the most westerly (northern) point of the perimeter run. After a solid 18 miles, I ran in to the delightful village of Aberdaron (along the beach) where I met Jackie and Lynne at the local bakery (Becws Islyn Bakery) for a well-earned coffee and some calories (tuna sandwiches). From here (just another 10 miles to go!!!!!), the path went cross country up onto Mynydd Penarfynydd. I carried on through this bracken covered terrain. As I passed the sign for Plas-y-Rhiw (National Trust), I decided not to follow the coastal path which paradoxically goes in land (away from the coast), but opted for the more logical ‘real coast’ long run (and it was a long run) along the beach forming part of Porth Neigwl (Hell’s Mouth). I arrived at the beach-located orange Life Buoy at the very far end where I met Lynne and Jackie. My polar watch indicated exactly 28 miles.
It may be that I don’t realise it but after 32 marathons, physical fatigue is setting in. Unprompted after this long run, I walked into the sea and bathed my legs: a wonderful moment after completing marathon 32.
PS: wearing two pairs of socks in my Salamons was a mistake because it gave rise to my first blister!!
Sunday 3rd July 2016: Pentowyn to Llanstywmdwy (27 miles)
On Sunday morning, we left our base in Pwllheli where we had been accommodated by the Jones-Evans family. I want to give a big SHOUT OUT to Carys and Cyril for their generous hospitality. Thank you so much. Diolch yn fawr iawn. On route to the start at Pentown, via Abersoch, I missed to inform Jackie of the turn to Llanengan (mistake 2). We ended up at the end of a “no through road”!!! I was annoyed with myself and a bit grumpy. I don’t think I realise it, but the physicality of this perimeter run is taking its toll on my body. I suppose one could call it cumulative, physical fatigue. Anyway, we arrived at the beach carpark at Pentowyn and I set off. It was a glorious day, free of a headlong wind and I really enjoyed the run from here to Abersoch. I took lots of video clips with my GoPro because the coastal landscape was glorious. Guess what!? I arrived in Abersoch to meet Jackie & Lynne for a quick coffee, and discovered that my GoPro Hero Session (attached to my hat) was facing the wrong way (mistake 3). In other words (as I discovered unsurprisingly on Sunday night back in Cardiff), the several video clips showed my hat with peripheral glimpse of the country / coastal landscapes in the background!!!
I took my hat off in Abersoch and decided to take any further clips with the
GoPro in my hand. As I ran out to Mynydd Tir-y-cwmwd I took a backward looking clip towards Abersoch as a cathartic act to overcome my deep frustration and stupid mistake. I ran onward along the beach and after Mynydd Tir-y-cwmwd met Lynne and Jackie on the beach at Llanbedrog. This is the place with the multi-coloured huts. I took a light-hearted video clip at this point involving a small dialogue between Jackie and Lynne. Then I cracked-on running along the shore, around Carreg y Defaid, then along Traeth Crugan to Pwllheli.
I made a mistake in Pwllheli. I wanted to see if I could get around the point. This meant crossing a waterway. It was deeper than I thought which meant that I drowned my I-phone and nano. This was a stupid error of judgement (mistake 4) and I had taken an unnecessary risk. Bearing in mind that my mantra on this journey was to keep injury free and safe, it was an unforgivable error to put myself at risk.
Leaving Pwllheli I ran along the shore to Pen-ychain. Passing the Holiday Park (and Sewage Works), the path moved in land to the main road which led to the edge of the village. I was relieved to see the final half mile sign into the actual village where I met Lynne and Jackie.
The end of marathon 33 made me realise that the physical nature of this challenge is taking its toll on my body.