More than 2200 runners from all across the UK arrived in Llanberis on Sunday 14th July for the annual world famous On Snowdonia Trail Marathon, and amongst them was a keen #MyPursuit team from SportPursuit HQ. We had all travelled up from London for the original and best Snowdonia Trail Marathon with expectations of stunning scenery, exciting trails, and some challenging running. It’s safe to say we weren’t disappointed.
Organised by Always Aim High Events, the event sees the company revisit Llanberis, the gateway to Snowdonia National Park. Routes include a challenging Ultra Marathon with 2,275m of climbing over 60km, a tough Marathon that shares the ascent of Snowdon with the Ultra, as well as a spectacular Half Marathon and 10k. Our #MyPursuit team had runners in each race and everyone would took part came back with the same smile on their face from the breathtaking trails (in more ways than one) and the warm and friendly atmosphere.
It was such as reward to have perfect conditions after weeks (and months!) of training and preparing. We were also lucky to work with some amazing kit including Hoka One One trail shoes and performance clothing from Odlo – watch this space for our advice on what kit to use for your first ultra or mountain race.
Mark Darbyshire took top spot in the Men’s Ultra with an impressive time of 05:23:52, with Stephen Hobbs a little under half hour back in second place. Dave Phillips completed the top three. The women’s race was much more closely contested with Becky Atkinson taking the win 10 minutes ahead of Nia Albiston with Helen Pickford in third.
Next to go was the Marathon which saw 1000 runners set to take on the challenge. Adding to the reward for conquering this course, the marathon had been chosen as a GB Trial race for the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships on 16 November 2019, Villa La Angostura, Argentina. The top 2 men and women automatically qualified to be taken to Argentina to represent Great Britain. The quality of the field was exceptionally high this year and the times posted showed. The Men’s race was extremely close as we expected. The win ahead of a very competitive field was taken by Nick Swinburn of Northumberland Fell Runners in a
time of 03:18:10 with Sebastien Batchelor 90 seconds behind. Jack Wood came in third. In the women’s race 6 minutes separated the top 3. Kirsteen Welch took the honours in a time of 04:07:52 with Sara Willhoit in second and Georgia Tindley in third.
More than 900 athletes gathered under the On Running arch for the start of the Half with a little over 13 challenging miles ahead of them. The women’s race was a very close run thing with Josie Lloyd taking the win 50 seconds ahead of Laura Kayne in second and Rhian Probert, 4 minutes back in third. The men’s race was much more clear cut. Joe Dale won in a time of 01:51:19, 7 minutes ahead of Gwilym Jones in a second closely followed by John Edwards in third.
Last to head out on to the course were the 10k runners. In the women’s race the win was taken by Katie Reynolds (00:54:03) ahead of Dawn Fairclough in second. Sarah Schmidlin was in third. The Men’s race was a hotly contested race with Elliot Cox winning 50 seconds ahead of Jonathon Tyler in second and Ben Psaila.
Tim Lloyd, Director of Always Aim High Events, the race organiser said:
“The On Snowdonia Trail Marathon is one of our biggest events in the calendar and we absolutely love coming back to Llanberis, it’s our home. We love this event and it’s great to see it getting better and better
“We’re super proud to have been chosen as a GB Trial race for our marathon; not only that, we’ve been awarded ITRA & UTMB points for both the Ultra and the Marathon courses. This really shows what an incredible achievement it is for our participants to complete these courses. That being said, the Half Marathon and 10k courses are no picnic either with their own testing climbs and descents.”
Tim thanked the local community and Gwynedd Council for their continued support as well as all of the spectators, marshals and volunteers who made the event such a success.
Full race timings for the 2019 On Snowdonia Marathon can be found at tdleventservices.co.uk and race photography was provided by Mel Parry Event Images. For more information on 2019’s race and to check out the rest of their calendar, visit alwaysaimhighevents.com.
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