ANNA Bracegirdle will be back to defend her Snowdonia Marathon title this year – after storming to victory in 2018 in only her second ever run.

Bracegirdle, aged 26, who hails from Cemaes, Anglesey, is returning to try and repeat her stunning victory in one of the toughest, but most breath-taking races on the UK marathon circuit.

This year’s race is only the fifth ever run at the distance for Bracegirdle, which takes place on Saturday, October 26.

Highlights will be shown on S4C the following day at 6pm.

The demanding 26.2 mile (42km) course consists of 2,750ft (838m) of climbs, including the Llanberis Pass - as well as some trail track to go with the tarmac – and is not for the faint-hearted.

But that didn’t stop Bracegirdle, who is a rare thing in women’s distance running – a sub three-hour marathon runner who is neither a member of a club, or even has a coach.

The Liverpool-based radiographer, said: "I haven’t run for a club, or even trained with one, for about 13 years.

"I just like to run by myself. I quite like training on my own, although I will sometimes also run with other people.

“I don’t have a coach, either. It’s not really my motivation to win races. I just get a buzz from doing it and never feel that competitive about things."

Bracegirdle spent most of last year’s race chatting with other runners before suddenly realising most of them were struggling to keep pace with her.

"Last year was actually just an excuse to get together with friends and go home for the weekend,” she added.

“I knew I must have been fairly high up in the women’s race, but I didn’t actually know what position I was in.

"It was only in the last climb, when I passed a few other girls, and I felt quite strong, that I realised where I was. I’d rather not know where I am in the race, to be honest.

"People were shouting that I was in the lead, but it gets so noisy and you’re feeling so tired, that you tend to zone everything out and just concentrate on trying to run to the finish.

"But it was an amazing feeling at the end of the race to know that I’d won it."