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Runners on your Marks 14/02/2014

When entries open on March 1st for the 39th International Snowdon Race, organisers are expecting a scramble for the initial batch of places. Last year, all the race places were snapped up in just four days.

For the July 19th 2014 race, the entry system will first open to 200 runners who have previously ran it within the last five years. Then a further 450 runners will then be able to apply from the 16th of March. Entries as usual will be via a link on the race website at www.snowdonrace.co.uk

Organiser Stephen Edwards who has been inundated with enquiries for the 2014 event since the turn of the year, said:

"We fully expect to be overwhelmed with the support and demand for the race when entries go live. Little could the organisers of that inaugural race in 1976 have realised what this event would become some 38 years later!"

He added: "To be honest we could take thousands of entries for this event, but the mountain and infrastructure just couldn't cope on a busy summer's day in July. Snowdon is now recognised as the UK's busiest mountain and that is part of the attraction for those runners who get that 'Tour de France feeling' as they ascend past the crowds of people lining the course and cheering come race day."

The race, sponsored by Tyn Lon Volvo, is considered as one of the greatest in the world of mountain running, and attracts some of the best racers in Europe. However, the event has grown over the last four decades to be one on the bucket-list of mere mortals across the world, as just completing the 10-mile race from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon and back is something thousands aspire to, but only hundreds achieve, year-on-year.

Edwards is keen to point out that the event is now much more than just a race, with major sponsors, attractions and a sense of festival which almost brings Llanberis to a stand-still on its traditional third-weekend of July race date.

He said: "It's amazing really. The buzz in this little village come Snowdon Race weekend is unbelievable, you have to be here to understand that. This race means so much to the area and the people of Llanberis, they are proud of the race and what it portrays to the thousands of visitors that come here for the race and the weekend."

In scorching conditions, the 2013 race was a superb event, with five-time winner Andi Jones making it number six in front of a large and appreciative Llanberis crowd. The Englishman should be back to defend his crown in 2014, as will the ladies winner from 2013, Ireland's Sarah Mulligan. The main race will be preceded again by the Snowdon Super Cup/Cwpan yr Wyddfa - an uphill-only race to the summit of Snowdon starting at 11 a.m. on race day.

Photo: Andi Jones approaching Snowdon summit in 2013 and on his way to winning his sixth Snowdon Race. İRay Wood

Topic: Snowdon Race 2014, Ras yr Wyddfa, Mountain Running.


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