Report from Liam Dunne: I travelled down to Wales with Charlotte for the annual 41st Snowdon International Mountain Race. This is the second time I have done this event, the first time being five years ago in 2011 and I’ve being threatening to go back ever since. The race starts in Padarn Park in the centre of Llanberis. There is a real carnival feel to the event with all the locals coming out in their droves to watch and support all runners taking part including the elite teams from England, Ireland, N.Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales lining up at the start.
The race simply consists of 10 miles: five miles and approximately 3,500 ft of ascent to the summit of Snowdon and then five miles back down to the finish in Llanberis. The weather around the country was pretty good almost everywhere last Saturday, except Wales. This made conditions difficult for the competitors especially on the fast rocky decent.
My hill training in preparation has been pretty poor but I was hoping for a similar time to my last attempt of around 1 hour 20 mins. I set off at a fairly easy pace and the plan was to push hard for the last third of the ascent, but about two thirds of the way up my calves started to tighten and I was struggling. I was getting passed by quite a few other runners and I knew it was going to be painful on the decent. I reached the summit in about 54 mins and with the wet slippery decent I wasn’t on for my predicted time.
The route down was a lot more congested with walkers and runners than I previously remember and with everyone looking down to negotiate the slippy surface it caused a few collisions, and I was no exception, as I collided with one of the Northern Ireland female competitors as she was making her way to the summit.
With tired legs and bad conditions there was also lots of runners hitting the deck but I managed to stay upright. The last road section off the mountain is exceptionally steep and hard on the body but on the flat return along the road through Llanberis the crowds (including Charlotte) were lining the streets to the finish and offering fantastic support despite the bad weather.
I got to the finish a bit slower than expected in 1.23.36, 66th position overall and 5th MV40. I was happy enough just to get down and finish without falling and I will be back again, hopefully in better condition.
First to the finish and overall winner was English team debutant Chris Smith in an incredible time of 1.05.47 and first woman home was last year’s winner Sarah Mulligan of Ireland in a time of 1.20.51.
Full results on: http://tdleventservices.co.uk/race-results.php?event=2337
The highlights were shown yesterday evening on Welsh channel S4C and I managed to squeeze into a couple of camera shots. For anyone interested in watching the event it may be repeated again soon.