Records were being smashed left, right and centre in this year’s run!
It’s been another huge year for the Annual Snowdonia Marathon – thanks to perfect running conditions and record amount of entrants.
The Snowdonia Marathon, which has been a yearly fixture for the past 34 years, is well known for being one of the world’s toughest. It’s reputation for brutal inclines, as well as treacherous weather conditions, has made it legendary in the running world – with many dedicated marathon runners shying away from the 2,300ft climb needed to complete the race.
This year however, few runners were perturbed as glorious sunshine and mild weather encouraged around 2,500 runners to attempt the three courses in and around Snowdonia.
This was a stark comparison to last year’s race.
Held around the same time of year – previous entrants were not so lucky with the weather – having to struggle through the 26.2 miles slug in the face of biter winds and heavy rain.
There were many notable runners in this year’s race, including former Wales International Rugby Captain, Ryan Jones as well as former Winger Shane Williams (who’s been making a habit of running races since competing earlier this year in Wales’ Ironman competition). In addition to these local legends, 73-year-old Welshman Iorweth Roberts competed in his 34th Snowdonia Marathon – he’s the only man to have competed in every single one of the events.
Despite stiff competition, it was local man Russell Bentley (who recently moved from Kent to the Snowdonia village of Beddgelert) who pipped his competitors to the post. Recording an impressive time of 2:30:05, he was a over a full minute ahead of the nearest runner, Daniel Jones, who finished in 2:36:48.
Jones had this to say:
“It was the toughest race I have ever done! I’m delighted to win and I wasn’t aware that they were closing in on me at the finish. But hey, I’ve done it. It means so much for me to win this race, I live locally and my children are growing up in Wales, learning Welsh, so today I am very, very proud!”
Setting an early lead in the opening miles of the race, Bentley showed great determination to come out on tops – building the majority of his advantage during the gruelling climb to Pen Y Pass. By the end of this incline, he was a full 40 seconds in front of his nearest rival – giving himself the time he needed to further his lead.
Joanne Nelson came in first place for with women, smashing the previous course record with a more than respectable 3:03:59. Coming close to winning last year, Joanne was over the moon that she was able to return and do so well.
A breathless Nelson told News North Wales:
“It’s an amazing feeling to know that I have won this race. After last year I thought I really wanted to come back to try and win it, and I have!”
Thousands turned up to support the runners this year, providing the local area with a much appreciated boost in business. Although the yearly run can often cause a few transport issues within the region, this year’s went off without a hitch.