Sabato 20 luglio. Si rinnova, puntuale come ogni anno, l’appuntamento con la Snowdon Race, classica gara di corsa in montagna che si disputa in terra gallese. L’abitato di Llamberis sarà pacificamente invaso da oltre 600 atleti per la 38^ edizione della competizione che raggiunge il monte più alto del Galles (lo Snowdon) posto a 1085 metri. Dopo aver aggirato “l’omino di pietra” che svetta sulla cima, i corridori inizieranno la picchiata che li porterà nuovamente a Llamberis. Al via i migliori interpreti inglesi di corsa in montagna, con in primis il vincitore dello scorso anno, lo scozzese Murray Strain che cercherà di difendere il titolo. Fari puntati anche sull’inglese Steve Vernon recentemente quinto ai campionati europei bulgari ed al suo compagno di squadra Andi Jones, vincitore 5 volte della competizione. In campo femminile, la britannica Pippa Maddams è al rientro dalla maternità e cercherà di fare doppietta dopo la vittoria del 2011. La gara, gemellata con il trofeo Vanoni, vedrà al via anche diversi italiani in cerca di un ottimo piazzamento. Per tutti, i record da battere sono l’ “annoso” 1h02’29” di Kenny Stuart (1985) e il 1h12’49” della Greenwood (1993).
600 runners line-up ready for the Snowdon heat…
Llanberis, Wales – With weekend temperatures expected to approach 30 degrees centigrade on the mountain, some of the UK’s best mountain runners will descend on Llanberis for the 38th Tyn Lon Volvo International Snowdon Race / Ras-yr-Wyddfa.
Anticipation of the 2013 event is as high as ever with 600 runners, including 2012 winner Murray Strain, getting ready for what promises to be one for the best ever races this Saturday afternoon. The main race will be precluded for the first time ever by the Snowdon Super Cup / Cwpan yr Wyddfa – a demonstration, uphill-only, race to the summit of Snowdon, starting at 11am on race day and featuring recent European Mountain Running Champs 5th-placer, Steve Vernon.
After one of the greatest ever races last year Scotland’s Murray Strain is back to defend his crown, and will be challenged by 5-time winner Andi Jones – whose race was ended before he reached the summit in 2012. However, the Englishman will be pushing hard to try and regain the title which he has made his own over the last few years. On the start line for Wales will be local men Alun Vaughan and Mathew Roberts, both aiming to challenge for top honours, with Vaughan in particularly good form recently.
In the women’s race 2011 winner Pippa Maddams returns after a break from the sport to have a baby, heading-up a strong England team who take on the elite runners from Scotland, Ireland and Wales in the international race.
The race, now it’s 38th year, 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.
Evidence of this popularity has once again been visible as the 600 places available online went on sale on the 15th of March. By Monday the 18th all but a few had gone and Race Organiser Stephen Edwards was able to ‘close the book’ on 2013 entries later that day.
“Once again we have been overwhelmed with the demand for this race. Little could the organisers of that inaugural race in 1976 have realised what this event would become some 37 years later. 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 the crowds of people cheering on the slopes come race day.
“With Murray and Andi back on the mountain, and some top UK and Irish runners snapping at their heels, we should be in for a fantastic race once again this year. It will also be great to see Pippa back in the women’s race too, this along with the Super Cup in the morning means that we will create a mountain running festival with something going on from 11am through until late afternoon.”
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 and is also aware that the heat could be a big factor in Saturday’s event:
“We will be pointing out to runners that hydration is very important on Saturday. There will be water on the mountain as usual at halfway and the summit, but we want to make it clear that hydration in a mountain race is also a responsibility of the runners themselves, many will be carrying water we expect and runners need to be keeping cool before the race too. I would also like to extend a big thanks to the hundreds of marshals and volunteers – the response this year has been overwhelming.”
Regarding the occasion, Edwards concludes:
“It’s amazing really. The buzz in this little village come Snowdon Race weekend is unbelievable, you have to be here to be able 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. We will have Ty’n Lon Volvo as our headline sponsor once again this year, TV coverage on S4C and the usual family festivities on the race field throughout the day. 2013 is basically going to be bigger and better than ever!”
For further race information visit www.snowdonrace.co.uk.