Snowdonia Marathon celebrates 30 years

Angela Mudge

Now in its 30th year, the Snowdonia Marathon Eryi - which takes place on Saturday 27 October 2012 - is regarded as one of the toughest and most picturesque marathons in the UK and can proudly boast some great battles and performances over the years from some of the UK's top mountain and marathon runners.

Names such as Jeff Norman, Martin Cox and Lizzy Hawker have graced the event, with Norman's time of 2:28:02 from 1985 surely ranking as one of the great marathon performances in the UK from the last four decades.

2012 will once again see some world-class athletes taking to the start line alongside a record field of 2,200 competitors, including multiple world champion Angela Mudge (pictured running cross country back in 2003!) who starts her first Snowdonia Marathon, returning champion Kelly Morgan, 2011 men’s winner and local favourite Rob Samuel and Welsh internationals Richard Gardiner and Math Roberts.

National Trust Wales have avidly supported the Snowdonia Marathon since its conception 30 years ago, and to mark the special anniversary 10 charity runners from all over the UK will be running on behalf of the National Trust, raising money for the Snowdonia Appeal to fund vital conservation work. The event also continues to deliver in supporting the local community and environment, not only physically but also financially, and after donating £11,000 to local causes in 2012 the race has now donated over £62,000 since 2008.

Race-day also sees the continuation of the highly popular junior races which will take place in the village centre, finishing on the same high street location as the marathon. 

Race Director Jayne Lloyd said: "We have so much to shout about once again this year. I can honestly say that in the eight years that I have been organising the race we have never had so much to get excited about, whether from a sporting, community, celebrity or charity stand-point. We are seen as one of the premier marathons in the UK now, and demand for places is getting higher every year. We don't really want to grow the event much further in terms of entry numbers so we are now looking at the experience and enjoyment factor of the event.

"The evening before the race should be special, with the likes of race-legend Jeff Norman, Lowri Morgan, many friends from the last 30 years and our valued local supporters and partners attending an informal gathering in Llanberis. It's a way of saying thank you to people, but also an opportunity for us to underline how important the history of the event is and some of the characters that have helped form that history over the years.

"The marathon has grown to a stage now where we are constantly assessing what we do. We bring thousands of runners to the area generating huge amounts of income; the runners love the race, they love the area and the incredible welcome they get. We'll be running the junior races again on the morning of the race, the Gwynedd area and particularly Llanberis has a long heritage of producing world class young runners, Colin Jones and Alun Vaughan are just two who come to mind, and we consider it a duty of events like the marathon to help in the development of these youngsters. 

"It's also about putting something back in to the local community. It is them who cheer on our runners, who stand in the freezing cold wind and rain smiling and clapping them on. It is they who tolerate the inconvenience of our traffic management during the race and who give us the support we need to make this event work and we as organisers are very grateful."

Further event, sponsor and press information can be found at the Snowdonia Marathon/Marathon Eryri website, on Facebook and Twitter @marathoneryri