International theme is strong for 2014 Snowdon International

Posted in At the Races on Mon 30 Jun ’14

© Gwynfor James / Sport Pictures Cymru

Andi Jones on Allt Moses

After a hiatus of some years without a true international flavour, continental teams and global individuals will be present for the 39th Tyn Lon Volvo International Snowdon Race / Ras-yr-Wyddfa on the 19th of July.

Anticipation of the 2014 event is as high as ever with 600 runners, including six-time winner Andi Jones, getting ready for what promises to be one for the best ever races in less than three weeks. Preparations for one of the UK’s premier mountain races are once again in full swing, with a festival atmosphere guaranteed in Llanberis.

The race, now it’s 39th year, is considered as one of the greatest in the world of mountain running, and attracts some of the best racers in Europe. However, the event has grown over the last four decades to be one on the bucket-list of mere mortals across the world, as just completing the 10-mile race from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon and back is something thousands aspire to, but only hundreds achieve, year-on-year.

The main race will be precluded once again this year by the Snowdon Super Cup / Cwpan yr Wyddfa – an invitational, uphill-only, race to the summit of Snowdon, starting at 11am on race day and featuring the 2013 World Mountain Running Championships silver medalist Emma Clayton.

Englishman Andi Jones will be pushing hard to make it number 7 at Snowdon, a record which surely will never be rivalled, in one of his last races before he relocates with his family to Qatar. Looking to take on Jones will be athletes from Spain, Malta, New Zealand, Italy, Japan and multiple World Championship representative from the USA, Ben Nephew. On the start line for Wales will be local men Alun Vaughan and Mathew Roberts, both aiming to challenge for top honours, with Vaughan in particularly good form recently.

In the women’s race 2012 winner Tessa Hill returns after a triumphant win two years ago, and will take on Sarah McCormack amongst others.


Tessa Hill

Once again teams from the home nations will also toe the line with top males and female athletes from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales in the international race.

Evidence of the general popularity has once again been visible as the 600 places available online went on sale on the 1st of March. Within 7 days all but a few had gone and Race Organiser Stephen Edwards was able to close entries by the 10th of March.

“As ever, we have been inundated with entries, and even since the closing date I have had numerous requests for entries for the race, even though the event is full. Little could the organisers of that inaugural race in 1976 have realised what this event would become some 39 years later. Snowdon is now recognised as the UK’s busiest mountain and that is part of the attraction for those runners who get that ‘Tour de France feeling’ as they ascend the crowds of people cheering on the slopes come race day.

“I am particularly delighted that we have been able to attract some more countries to bring their athletes over for the race this year. With runners from the US, Japan, Italy, France, Malta and Spain as well as there usual strong home countries and Irish teams it should be a real international affair this year, this along with the Super Cup once again in the morning means that we will create a mountain running festival with something going on from 11am through until late afternoon.”

The Super Cup race will once again include some of the UK’s top mountain running talent, as GB internationals Emma Clayton and 2013 Super Cup winner Olivia Walwyn go head-to-head in the women’s event. In the men’s race GB international Rob Samuel will look to go a few places better after his 5th place finish in 2013, as he takes on the likes of top English talent Tom Adams, Adam Osborne and Japan’s Yurijo Iida.

© Ray Wood Photography

Olivia Walwyn with her Super Cup trophy!

Edwards is keen to point out that the event is now much more than just a race, with major sponsors, attractions and a sense of festival which almost brings Llanberis to a stand-still on its traditional third-weekend of July race date:

“It’s amazing really. The buzz in this little village come Snowdon Race weekend is unbelievable, you have to be here to be able to understand that. This race means so much to the area and the people of Llanberis, they are proud of the race and what it portrays to the thousands of visitors that come here for the race and the weekend. We will have Ty’n Lon Volvo as our headline sponsor once again this year, TV coverage on S4C and the usual family festivities on the race field throughout the day. 2014 is basically going to be bigger and better than ever!”

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