This is one of the tougher Half Marathons which I compete in, and one of the most scenic and enjoyable to run.
I first ran Conwy Half in 2016. The route runs along the road adjacent to the Conwy River as it proceeds towards Deganwy beach and the West Shore Llandudno, from there it goes along church Walks towards Llandudno Pier, then around the Great Orme taking in views of the Isle of Anglesey, Puffin Island and the surrounding North Wales coastline, then back to Conwy and the finish line.
The route is undulating to start with, and then starts to ascend as you hit the Great Orme at 7KM, until you reach the highest point at 13KM, and then you have a very fast down hill for 3KM (descending ~120m), and then following the same undulating route back into Conwy to the finish.
The weather this year was cold, and pretty damp. My target time for the race was < 1:24:00 based on the elevation, and knowing I’d done a couple of other races the previous weekends, so I set off wanting to feel comfortable, expecting to slow the pace once I hit the elevation on the Great Orme.
The first 7KM felt very comfortable, and running a few seconds per KM faster than my planned pace, I started the ascent of the Orme ahead of my target pace.
The slog up the Orme was hard, with my pace lowering by 1 minute per KM at the slowest part (slowest KM was at 11KM and 4:48/KM). Once at the top pace steadied out, and then it was time to hit the down hill (and hopefully not smash my knees up in the process)
Once back down to the bottom, the final 7KM were the same undulating KM’s as the outbound section, so it was a case of getting my head down, and pushing through. By 20KM, I realised I was close to getting a sub 1:22, so pushed as hard as I could, and managed to come in at 1:21:54!