A Deganwy-based triathlete, who faced a gradual recovery from several debilitating Coronavirus symptoms, has just run the equivalent of three marathons to complete a demanding task as part of a unique “Mudder Challenge” in memory of her late father.
GOG member Llinos Davies explained her interest in extreme challenges first began during lockdown and admitted that she was trying hard to keep herself motivated and active, after a host of regular races were suddenly cancelled due to this horrific virus.
She said: “I entered so many events, including the Harlech Triathlon in April, the Gold Rush 8-mile trail run, a standard distance triathlon in June, the Tour de Mon 107-mile bike ride in August, and then, the one I was fearing most – the Snowdon Marathon.
“My father was a fell runner and took up marathon running in his late 40s. I was always in awe of him doing the Snowdon Marathon but unfortunately he died at the tender age of 58 on 24th October 1988. I thought, what better way to honour his memory, than to run this marathon at my age now of 60, on 24th October 2020.
“Covid-19, however, had other ideas, and after seeing all my events cancelled, I then developed Coronavirus symptoms at the end of March. My running took a battering as my breathing was so shallow, and it has taken me three months to recover and to be able to run at least 5k.”
Llinos says she then became interested, if not completely hooked, on potentially crazy challenges, and after receiving an email from an event organiser, signed up for a six-month series of bizarre challenges that are generally based on completing long distances.
She confirmed: “They can include swimming, rowing, running, walking and cycling, so this suited me. They also offered challenges to do with water, and repetitions of set exercises.“
Llinos added that each week a tough “Mudder” would also introduce four obstacles, of which two would be compulsory.
She said: “Each challenge is then given a different name. The first was called the ‘Grand Canyon’ in July, then the ‘Fiji’ and the ‘European Road Trip’, with this latest one called the “Marvel Edition.”
“I am pleased to say this latest challenge, ‘Marvel Mania’ was indeed a challenge of some 81 miles to be completed in just 21 days. I decided to do this by running 3 x 27 miles per week, and even managed over 8 miles on one of those days.
“So, my running is coming back slowly, and I’m pleased to say that I eventually ran a total distance of 83 miles in just 18 days, which is the equivalent to three full marathons.
“However, I’m not sure what my neighbours thought, seeing me running around my half-mile bock at least eight times each night.”
Llinos admitted that the obstacles have been quite crazy in themselves, but said it gave her a unique opportunity, and provided lots of amusement and laughter for her family and friends, with many efforts posted on social media.
They included swallowing two whole eggs, eating a tablespoon full of mustard, and other concoctions, to walking backwards and doing a bear-crawl on the hill just past her house. It also meant crawling under some netting and sliding down into a bath full of ice!
She added: “It has kept my husband busy constructing some of these obstacles, but there have been some serious moments too. Eco Warrior has really opened my eyes to see how awful litter was. This was then a new challenge to fill a bag with rubbish.
“So, armed with a couple of carrier bags and gardening gloves, I started walking from my house. Before long, I had filled the bags, when out of the blue, a thick, sturdy black bin-bag blew my way. I continued, and went into the woods behind St David’s College, but there to my horror were discarded drink cans, bottles, tins, and so many smashed bottles.
“It broke my heart, there were even old tents and chairs. It was too much for me to cope with alone, so I contacted a few friends who have helped me, and between us, we have collected about two tons of rubbish from these woods.
“Mostyn Estates have helped us by taking away the rubbish we gathered, and I am now thinking of setting up a group to help clean up our area. It is quite disheartening to see how much rubbish there still is everywhere.”
As Llinos recovered from this latest challenge, the veteran sportswoman smiled and concluded: “Even though I didn’t manage to run the Snowdon Marathon this year, or many of my other events, 2020 will certainly be a memorable year for me, and I look forward to my next challenge in November, with “Sea to Space.”