North Wales is ready to shine as Commonwealth champs are unveiled

Posted in Dishing the Dirt by Matt Ward on Wed 09 Feb '11


The Moel Eilio ridge from Snowdon

The exciting news of the 2nd Commonwealth Mountain and Ultra Distance Running Championships coming to North West Wales, was reported on MST a few months back...

The championships were finally launched today (10 Feb) to the beautiful backdrop of Llanberis, North Wales, and will run from the 23rd – 25th September. The Welsh Assembly Government’s Major Events Unit have been instrumental in bringing the championships to the region through a considerable public sector partnership investment.

With an array of international athletes gathered at the Electric Mountain venue today, the events and festival of running that will take place were fleshed out. Those gathered included the Welsh Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, former Welsh rugby international and now Head of Major Events at the Welsh Assembly, Arthur Emyr, Welsh Athletics CEO Matt Newman, and even former-Olympian and champion of North Wales events and culture, John Disley.


Welsh internationals Iain Ridgway (left) and Richie Gardiner, with Welsh Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones and launch host Angharad Mair

Minister Jones stated:

This event is yet another example of how Wales is really making its mark as the host of major international sporting events. I’m delighted that the Assembly Government is a partner in the event and that our involvement has made this ambition a reality for North Wales.

The Welsh Icons site reports:

The event is also funded by Conwy, Gwynedd and Ynys Mon County Borough Councils and is fully supported by the International Association of Ultra runners (IAU), the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA), by the sports Governing bodies Welsh Athletics and UK Athletics. This will be the highest profile international athletics event staged in Wales since the athletics component of the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.

Llanberis, Newborough Forest on Anglesey and Llandudno will host the events which include a 24 hour race (Friday – Llandudno), 12km (men) and 8km (women) mountain races on the Saturday (Llanberis), and a 55km trail race on the Sunday on Angleseyand trail running. Exact details on the courses to be used are, as yet, undisclosed, however MST made conversation with prospective organisers and the mountain route will likely take in the Moel Eilio range, to the west of Snowdon.

Welsh Icons go on to say:

Part of the weekend will see a full programme of slightly less demanding open races across the disciplines of road, mountain and trail running targeted at both local athletes and the ‘running tourists’ from the UK and beyond. The British Junior Mountain Running Championships will also be integrated into the event. A series of community and children’s activities and events will be scheduled in the period leading up to as well as during the event weekend.

It was pleasing to see the organisers had also ensured that the sporting aspect was not neglected at the launch, as Welsh internationals Richie Gardiner (trail race), youngster Ricky Challoner (mountain race), Ifan Richards (mountain) and Iain Ridgway (24 hour race) were on hand at the press conference that followed the official statements from the Minister and three CEO’s of Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey.

Gardiner said:

I am extremely proud that such a great championships os coming to Wales. For me the 55km will be new territory, as the marathon is my distance. However, I am very much looking forward to representing Wales a such a big event.

CEO of Welsh Athletics, Matt Newman was rightly proud of what should be a tremendous showcase for Wales, and North Wales in particular, concluding:

This festival of endurance running follows on from recent Welsh Athletics success at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and we are delighted that a Commonwealth Championships is now being hosted on home soil. We are looking forward to an inspirational weekend of athletics.


WA CEO Matt Newman

Reactions so far
  1. Malcolm Patterson Feb 10, 03:45 PM

    I think the mountain races are 12km (men) and 8km (women) ?

  2. Matt MST Feb 10, 11:35 PM

    You’re right Malcolm. I knew that, but believed the press detail!


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