WALES mountain running team manager Peter Ryder insists the race record for Ras yr Wyddfa is beatable as the event continues to gain worldwide recognition.

For the first time, this year’s race on July 20 will form part of the prestigious World Mountain Running Association World Cup series and means renowned runners from around the globe will descend on Llanberis.

That rise in standards could mean that the 44th Castell Howell International Snowdon Race 2019 could see someone break the current record of one hour two minutes – set by legendary fell runner Kenny Stuart back in 1985.

The race – highlights of which will be televised by S4C on Sunday July 21 – is as dramatic and spectacular a sporting event as anything in the UK as 670 runners climb and then descend the highest peak in Wales.

With the mountain path crowded with cheering supporters and the sound of cow bells, it’s like the Alpe d’Huez stage of the Tour de France - without the bikes.

Ryder said: "The path has gone through some alterations over the years and the terrain has changed, but I think the record is breakable.

"But you need a combination of things to happen in your favour, in terms of the weather, the ground and the paths. Kenny Stuart was a 2.12 marathoner, so that shows the pedigree of the man. That’s why he still holds the record."

Last year’s men’s race was won by Italian Alberto Vender in one hour, six minutes, 41 seconds, while the women’s title went to Wales’s own Bronwen Jenkinson in 1.20.41.

The first Welshman home last year was Rob Samuel, who finished third in 1:07:53.

The Llanberis local will be absent this year as he honeymoons in Canada and admits he will miss that unique buzz on the mountainside.