Sunday, 26 July 2015

Snowdon International race 2015

Last weekend saw my first attempt, at the famous Snowdon International race down in north Wales. Considered as one of the greatest in the world of mountain running, and attracts some of the best racers in Europe. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, there was a race exhibition of photography and film, showing some great footage of past races of classic photo moments. The first race of the day, was the 'Super Cup'. An elite uphill race of Snowdon, and was invite only, hoping to get mine in the post next year. The winner was Maximilian Nicholls in a time of 43:36 and only 19. The main race started at 2pm, but we were gathered in the field from about 1:15pm,(the usual start), so we could be paraded down the village to the high street, for the 1975 start, which was about a half mile down the road. I think this made the build up to the race a bit more exciting as the streets were lined with spectators cheering on the past winners and 600 odd runners down to the start line. Although this would effect the times by 2-3 minutes from previous years. So Kenny Stuarts record time which as stood since 1985, would be safe for another year. I dont think the 1hr 2mins he ran that day will ever be broken. The tv cameras were out in force and highlights of the race can be viewed on the bbc iplayer, although in welsh.

Coxy looking fresh before the race.
 Snowdon stands at a height of 1085m, but mostly pretty runnable. The worst part of the race was actually the tarmac road leading up to the start of the hill side, with a incline of a ridiculous degrees, which would be intresting coming back down this, when your legs are like jelly and the feet are on fire. I set out at a steady pace, and just tryed to keep running most of the course, apart from a little section near the top, where it really kicks up and was reduced to hands on knees power walking. With being my first race, and a bit unsure of what was in front of me, i wasnt wanting to push to hard to the top, in order to save something in the tank for the decent, turns out i felt pretty strong, and made it in reasonable time to the top, (55:47) which was cold and misty and didnt want to be hanging about up there to long. Im not sure the amount of walkers with dogs up there actually knew a race was on that day, and there would be 600 people in vests coming there way, very frustrating when trying to run down a sharp rocked path at speed. Liane went up in the train to the top, to try and get some summit photos, but she only saw the front runners and had to come back down before i got there.

Emanuelle Manzi of Italy first to the top and winner.
The concentration was high for the decent, and i picked my way down the track with care. There was a few casualties of bloody knees, and the English girl, who was in second place at the time, pushing hard, took a nasty fall and split her head open, she ended up going down on the train. When i reached the bottom of the mountain, the dreaded tarmac road awaited, as predicted, my legs were jelly, feet blistered and on fire, but i pushed on until it leveled out, by this point, the crowds of people shouting with the cow bells 'come on coxy' were a welcome sight, it was like being back in the french alps. I tryed the good old sprint finish, to try and catch the guy in front, but the legs were spent. I came in 48th out of 603 runners, with a time of 1:25:45. Most of the top places being taken up, as you would expect by the international teams. The female race was won by Sarah McCormack, running for the Northern Ireland team, in time of 1:20:56, pretty impressive to watch, and 33rd overall.The race has been sponsered by Volvo for the past 3 years, and i heard that it cost around £40 000 to make the race happen. Prizes were handed out by Kenny Stuart and John Wild, who are probably the best there has ever been, along with the first winner of 40 years ago, Dave Francis.
Full results :,
Photos taking by Liane Dobson.
Sarah McCormack on the podium.


1 comment:

icounty2012 said...

Coxy was probably as surprised to see me there (managing, not racing) as I was to see him. It's a few years since I've run it, but his description brings it all back with the descent needing 100% concentration to avoid tripping or bumping into walkers or their dogs, and the first part of the tarmac road coming back is particularly memorable, especially with heel blisters.

It's a great weekend though.

Mike Pearson