Race Report by Jez Brown
Saturday 18th July – Ras Y Wyddfa
Three Buckley runners lined up for the Snowdon mountain race, in Llanberis. Jez, Simon Edwards and Paul Stinton – all of us have done the race previously, and were looking forward to another go at one of the best and challenging races of the year.
This year was the 40th anniversary race, and the atmosphere from the outset was fantastic – the race route was slightly longer, as the start was from the village centre, where the race originally started for the first few years, until it moved to the playing field. Race winners from previous winners, and the greats of fell and mountain running were present and led a parade from the playing field to the village centre.
The carnival atmosphere was completed by a lady singing the welsh national anthem, then we were off – the leaders treating it as if it were a 5k race from the speed they set off.
The pace inevitably slowed as we reached the first climb up the road towards the Llanberis path which weaves 5 miles up to the summit of Snowdon, and the field spread out when we reached the narrower and very rocky path.
Conditions were ideal, slightly overcast and cool, which led to a bit of cloud at the top, and possibly less congestion from walkers than there would have been on a sunnier July day.
I had two aims for the day – to enjoy it, and to run all the way, and did both – it can be just as quick walking some parts of it, but I find that running to the top gives a real sense of achievement, and it can be a great challenge to do.
The path has some steeper parts towards the summit, and it was near there that the first two runners came hurtling past. The race is an international race, with teams of runners from the home nations and Italy – the first two runners were Italian and going at quite a pace.
The support going up and down the mountain was the best I have ever experienced on a race – like some city marathons, numbers had your name on, and the shouts of encouragement from walkers and other runners was awesome, and really kept me going.
The descent involves careful looking down, and lifting of the feet – shame not to be able to admire the view, but definitely necessary to take care.
The first aid tent at the end of the race is always full of runners in varying states of bloodiness and sprains. It was sad to see, just coming down from the summit, the woman who would have been second position, having fallen quite badly with cuts and bruises on her face and her race over.
All too soon the path turned off, back down the road and onto the playing field for the finish – a lot of the races that I do have about 3 or 4 people at the end, so having hundreds of people applauding and supporting you over the last half mile of the race was such a buzz.
Fab race, with good performances from the Buckley runners.
- Jez – 1.23.38
- Simon – 1.28 ish
- Paul – 1.37.17