Race Date: Sunday 5th March 2023
Race Report by Brian Jenkins
Some might want to use this as the basis of a long weekend in North Wales (where they can more fully explore what the region has to offer), but yes it can be done as a day-trip (a long one admittedly).
I had done this race before (got there, done the race, and back, all in a day) back in 2019, before I joined the Striders.
The race traditionally starts on the Welsh mainland side of the Menai Suspension Bridge and crosses into the isle of Anglesey. This year there were weight restrictions on the bridge, so it was not available for the race. Consequently the race-start moved to the High Street of the town of Menai Bridge (Porthaethwy) much closer to the finish on Anglesey itself.
Once the race was underway we headed towards the bridge, but turned left just before, downhill towards the Menai Strait. The route followed the water northwest before returning to the High Street (just past the start). The race then goes out on the main road towards Beaumaris.
In Beaumaris the route goes past a few marinas, past the castle and then inland for a rural loop with an out-and-back section. Back in Beaumaris the route more closely follows the course of the Menai Strait heading back towards the bridge. The route then rejoins the main road that you came out on, and then on to the finish.
The normal array of treats for finishers (i.e. a t-shirt and medal) that were given away last time, were done away with. The new gifts were: an enamelled metal mug and a slate coaster (proudly proclaimed as being Welsh). The obligatory packet of crisps (provided by the race sponsor) was still there, and for some reason, a cow bell (which I picked-up before the race).
This is a scenic race, and the views are very much affected by the weather. During my first go at this race, it was unremittingly grey with a cold drizzle, this time, less so (despite the threat of sleet in the weather forecast earlier in the week), whilst there was that spot of rain on mile 2, conditions were ideal. It was still a bit overcast, even so, the view over the Menai Strait and into Snowdonia was as good as most postcards. The return leg, skirting the strait near Beaumaris was a particularly good bit.
The original route (with the Menai Bridge) is definitely better, but this route was still pretty good, the local support is good, and (unlike many North Wales halves) is no more than moderately undulating.
After the race we returned to the car park, and to avoid the crowds near the Menai Bridge, went down the road to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (yes, I cut and pasted that) for a Sunday lunch, and to congratulate Rob Dawson on his P.B.
The winner was Ifan Dafydd (Eryri Harriers) in 1:11:43 and Alison Campbell (of no identified club) in 1:22:20
671 runners took part in the Anglesey Half.
Full results for the Anglesey Half are available on the myraceresult.com website.