International Snowdon Race is usually held on the third Saturday in July in Gwynedd, Wales, and this year, it falls on July 20. It’s a 10-mile endurance running competition, starting from Llanberis to the peak of Snowdon. It’s said to be one of Europe’s toughest endurance challenges. In 1985, Kenny Stuart set the men’s course record at 1:02:29, while in 1993, Carol Greenwood set the women’s course record at 1:12:48. Have you ever experienced running for 10 miles in the mountains? Non-runners can only imagine that it must be exhausting yet satisfying once the runners cross the finish line.
History of International Snowdon Race
The International Snowdon Race was first held on July 19, 1976, after a native of Llanberis, Ken Jones, proposed the idea to the village’s Carnival Committee. In the first race, 86 runners participated. It was won by Dave Francis from Bristol, England, with a time of 1:12:05. The woman in first place was Bridget Hogge from Wales, who completed the course in one hour, 40 minutes, and 15 seconds. In 2010, almost 500 runners competed, and among the countries represented were Scotland, Italy, and Kenya. Now there are also Snowdon races for juniors, first incorporated in 2009.
In the International Snowdon Race, the runners have to make the five-mile climb up the Llanberis Path and return down. Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, at an elevation of 3,560 feet above sea level. It’s also the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands. Located in Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd, Snowdon is said to be the busiest mountain in the United Kingdom and the third most visited attraction in Wales. Besides, Snowdon is designated as a national nature reserve for its rare flora and fauna.
Snowdon houses several plants that are rarely found elsewhere in the United Kingdom. One of those is Gagea serotina, which is also found in the Alps and North America. It is said to have been first discovered in Wales by Edward Lhuyd. Initially known as mountain spiderwort, it is now known as the Snowdon lily in the United Kingdom. In Snowdon, birds that can be spotted are merlin, osprey, peregrine falcon, raven, red-billed chough, and red kite. Goats, otters, and polecats have been seen near or on Snowdon, while pine martens have not been seen for years.
International Snowdon Race timeline
The Snowdon Race is first held on July 19 in Llanberis, Wales.
Kenny Stuart sets the men’s course record at 1:02:29.
Carol Greenwood sets the women’s course record at 1:12:48.
A junior race is incorporated.
International Snowdon Race FAQs
How did Snowden get its name?
The name Snowdon is said to be derived from the Saxon snow dune, which means snow hill.
Can you climb Snowdon in trainers?
Trainers are not suitable, and you need waterproof boots.
Do you pay to climb Snowdon?
No, there are no climbing fees.
International Snowdon Race Activities
Join the race
Since it’s a dangerous sport, keep in mind that you’re required to have experience in mountain running or have competed in a mountain running race before you can participate in the International Snowdon Race. If you think you’re set, then nothing can stop you.
Become a volunteer
There could be volunteering opportunities in this International Snowdon Race. If you are a non-runner but want to take part in organizing this breathtaking mountain running race, you may want to volunteer.
Watch the competition
Maybe you just want to watch the race. It’s okay. You don’t have to run, especially if you don’t have experience in mountain running. You can still celebrate it. Go to Llanberis and watch the competition as a supporter.
5 Facts About Snowdon You Need To Know
There are six paths to its summit
There are six main paths to the summit of Snowdon: Llanberis Path, Miners' Track, Pyg Track, Rhyd Ddu Path, Snowdon Ranger Path, and Watkin Path.
There’s Snowdon Mountain Railway
Snowdon Mountain Railway is the only public rack and pinion railway in the United Kingdom, carrying over 130,000 passengers annually.
Thomas Johnson attributed to its first ascent
The first recorded ascent of Snowdon was reportedly by the botanist Thomas Johnson in 1639.
Edmund Hillary was training here
Edmund Hillary was training on Snowdon for his mountaineering expedition to attempt the first ascent of Mount Everest.
The views from its summit are spectacular
It’s possible to see England, Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man from the summit of Snowdon when the weather conditions are right.
Why We Love International Snowdon Race
It’s an adrenaline rush
For the competitors, the race will surely be an adrenaline rush. But as supporters, you can also feel the excitement from only watching it.
If you’re not competing in the race, you can climb up Snowdon on a walk. You can enjoy the views from the summit when the weather conditions are right.
You don’t have to join the race. You can just climb up Snowdown to celebrate the International Snowdon Race — for free.
International Snowdon Race dates