international Snowdon Race


Welsh international athlete, Ifan Richards, in action at the Ras Yr Wyddfa
Last Saturday saw the 35th annual running of the Snowdon International Race, one of the toughest endurance challenges within the Principality with the 10 mile race running from the edge of Llyn Padarn in Llanberis to the highest summit in Wales before the return journey back into Llanberis.

Taking on the challenge which included 3559 feet of climbing were a team of six athletes affiliated to Meirionnydd Running Club, albeit one of the six was wearing red for the race, as Ifan Richard was chosen to represent Wales in the international section of the event.

It proved to be a debut to remember for the Brithdir athlete who met the challenge full-on as he completed the event in an outstanding time of 1hr 16.13mins to claim an overall 18th placed finish in the race as well as being the 3rd member of the Welsh team home. Also producing excellent performances were the Dolgellau-based duo of Tom Roberts & Adam Preston, completing the event in respective times of 1hr 24.27mins & 1hr 28.23mins.

They were followed by another trio of Meirionnydd athletes as Pete Nicholls of Llanfachreth, John D. Smith of Dolgellau & Kevin Evans of Brithdir came home in times of 1hr 52.33mins, 1hr 53.11mins & 2hrs 05.24mins.

There had also been another strong Meirionnydd turn-out in the lead up to Ras Yr Wyddfa as 5 athletes headed to Caernarfon for the annual Race The Train 5k Race. Using the race as final preparation for the Snowdon event, Tom Roberts led home his team-mates as a time of 16.25mins claimed an overall 6th placed finish. There was a personal best time over the distance for Ricky Francis of Talyllyn in 18.28mins whilst a duo of Meirionnydd athletes also collected age category awards. The first of these was Tony Hodgson of Llanelltyd winning the Male Over-60 category, setting a club age category record in the process, as he finished in a time of 18.42mins whilst Malcolm Taylor of Criccieth claimed victory i n the Male Over-65 section in a time of 25.55mins. The Meirionnydd turnout was completed by debutant, Krystyna Somkonicz of Llanelltyd, who completed the course in a time of 36.06mins.

A duo of Bro Dysynni athletes have also been in action recently at venues a little further afield. At the Lancaster 10k event, Dewi Roberts of Blaenau Ffestiniog set a time of 3 6.45mins, a time which ensured age category success in the Male Over-40 section as he finished in 7th place in a field of 145 competitors. Meanwhile, Gavin Griffiths of Tywyn took on the 7 mile challenge presented by the 'Scenic 7 Road Race' held in Cross Keys in Gwent, an event he completed in a pleasing time of 57.30mins.

There are two local races being held in quick succession over the next few days. Tonight (Thursday) will see Abergynolwyn host the annual Ras Hendre Wallog Fell Race which is due off at 6.30pm whilst Dolgellau will be the venue on Saturday afternoon for the annual 5 mile race. The main race in Dolgellau will start at 1.30pm with the affiliated fun run due off at 12.30pm. Further details are available from www.run-meirionydd.co.uk.