The 42nd running of the Jewson International Snowdon Race once again provided high drama on Saturday as over 600 runners from across the world took part in the event.
Grey skies and low visibility on the mountain added to the spice for the runners as they embarked on the challenging 10-mile race, which can be traced back to 1976 when a small group of competitors ran from the centre of the village of Llanberis to the 1085 metre summit and back.
The race began at 12pm and culminated some 80 minutes later. It was Italy’s Davide Magnini and Salomon UK and Ambleside athlete Annie Conway who emerged victorious in the men's and women's events.
20-year old Magnini follows in the footsteps of fellow Italian greats such as Fausto Bonzi, Martin May and Marco DeGasperi, who have won this classic race. Conway, the World Long Distance Mountain Running Champion in 2016, adds her name to the roll call of women’s winners which features the greats of the sport including Carole Greenwood, Angela Mudge and Mary Wilkinson.
Magnini claimed his first win in an excellent time of 1hr 6mins 43secs, in some of the worst conditions on the mountain in recent years. Behind him, Chris Farrell finished with a time of 1hr 7mins 43 secs, whilst Tom Adams’ excellent descent pushed him into third in 1hr 9mins 15secs.
Speaking immediately after crossing the line Magnini said: “I am very happy, it was a hard race for sure. I was thinking of the record to the summit, but when I went under the railway (Clogwyn) the wind was just pushing me back.“
Annie Conway majestically raced back into Llanberis, taking the International Snowdon Race womens winner’s crown in a time of 1hr 20mins 16secs. Scottish athlete Louise Mercer came second in 1hr 22mins 27secs and Katie White claimed third spot in exactly 1hr 23mins.
Commenting one her win, Conway said: “It was a bit tricky on the descent and I took a tumble just before the Tarmac, it was like slow motion, but I just got up and carried on. I’m really pleased, this is one of the classics and to win Snowdon means a lot.”
The day also saw over 200 junior runners take part in a range of races for under-10 to under-18 athletes. Many of the future winners of the main race have come from these races and the event was fantastically administered by the Cyngor Gwynedd Council team headed-up by Alun Jones from the Sport for Life / Chwaraeon am Oes programme.
Speaking after the event, race organiser Stephen Edwards was once again delighted by the day’s events: “Today was a challenge in starting the race that two hours earlier, and this year the weather was against us a little, especially on the higher part of the mountain where the visibility was very poor. But the marshalls and volunteers, including the rescue teams on the mountain did a great job as ever.”
Full Snowdon Race race results are online at the TDL Events Services website. For further race information visit www.snowdonrace.co.uk