Race Report -Snowdon Skyrace

Reports

On Sunday 8th May I ran the Snowdon Sky Race.

The race is organised by Apex Running – I recommend their other races – still space for UTS first weekend in July!

According to Garmin: 41.2km and 3,440m of climbing (that’s roughly Fordcombe Hill 43x).

Female win in 7:07 was Anwen Darlington
Male win in 5:52 was Andrew Lamontt
I came 112 our of 142 finishers in 10:15. Which was about 45 mins down on my target time. But OK for now….
[you can stop here if you don’t want a story!]
The purpose of this race was to get back to the mountains (for my mind) and get in a some rugged climbing (for my legs and lungs).
It is Race 1 (of 4) on my training plan for my ‘A’ Race – Tor Des Geants in September (so be prepared for a bit of a lead up to that)

Skyracing is a combination of mountain running and scrambling/climbing. It most definitely exposes the fact that we don’t have an hills in Kent! Every time I register for one of these races I cant help but notice the little look of surprise on the faces of the organisers when I do kit check ….. Oh, Kent…. that’s a long way … where do you train ?
The route started near the bottom of the Rangers Path at the ‘back’ of Snowdon. We went up to just below the Snowdon summit (1085m) to the Watkin Path junction, then round the Southern ridge, dropping down to the Miners track and in to Pen-Y-Pass (at 14km) and the first aid station (and a sneaky check that the shop was open). I’d climbed well and felt good. I grabbed a quick drink and began the run/walk up to Glyder Fawr (1001m) and scramble down the Y Gribin ridge into Ogwen and Checkpoint 2 (at 22km). The views were amazing along the tops and I was still moving well, but it was getting hot. However, I was half way around in terms of distance. On reflection I should have had a bit more to drink at this stage.
Out of Ogwen we took the route up the Northern Face of Tryfan…. Its is a proper slog with some secant of scrambling – I’ve attached a photo the route just below the summit – you cans the orange markers going up the crack. I suffered up here and needed a brief sit down for some water and a snack it was properly hot. Topped out on Tryfan to the usual throng of walkers, and quickly down to the Miners track (a different one!) and the long descent to the Hotel at the road junction by the Roman Camp. I needed a proper sit down here and had some soup and lots of orange squash.
We took the path back up to Pen-Y-Pass and I made it into the shop just before closing for a Calippo, which I ate on the Pyg Track up to the junction of the last big climb… Crib Goch – This is a long, tough ascent, not as bad as Tryfan, to reach the summit. The views were spectacular (another photo attached). I was really feeling it now. A steady traverse of Grib-Goch brings you out just below the summit of Snowdon. Leaving the final 4km blast down the Rangers Path back to camp. I was feeling good again for this and ran well, at pace. I figured I didn’t need Quads for the drive home!
No medals, No T-Shirts, but a free beer – which to my mind is the perfect amount of ‘Merch’ for a wonderful day out in the hills.
I learned a lot about how quickly I lost my mountain fitness (since my last race in September), the important of drinking more –  and I am excited to try out my new treadmill modifications – which gives me 22 Percent.. Im going to need it!
Race 2 is South Down Way 100 in June – Purpose: Time on feet and nutrition – before going back to Snowdonian in July for the Ultra Tour Snowdon (UTS).
[This is my first race report, so any feedback gratefully received 🙂 ]

Darren Bentham