50 elite athletes are ready to compete in one of the world’s toughest races – The inaugural Snowdonia Slate Trail Ultra Marathon – which starts in Bangor on Friday 22nd February.

The 89 mile (144 Km) Ultra Marathon around Snowndonia starts and finishes at Porth Penrhyn in Bangor and follows The Slate Trail with a total ascent of almost 17,000ft (5200m).

The circular route runs around Snowdonia and takes the competitors through farmland, forest, villages and mountains, looping through many well known places such as Llanberis, Betws-Y-coed and Beddgelert as well as some lesser known places and across some tough terrain.

The race starts at 7pm on Friday the 22nd February and has a 48 hour time limit (7pm on Sunday the 24th February). Meaning competitors must average 1.9 miles (3km) per hour to complete the race. The first athletes are expected to complete the course within 24hrs.

Combined with the rugged terrain and harsh North Wales winter weather, this race is a contender for one of the World’s toughest endurance challenges. The event has been awarded 5 UTB Points, classifying it as one of the most difficult and contributing to athletes qualifying for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc a single-stage mountain ultramarathon in the Alps, trough France, Italy and Switzerland.

There are 3 checkpoints on route that all competitors must pass through within a time limit. Each checkpoint has a community hall/leisure centre that is well stocked with food, hot drinks and water for competitors to recharge and re-supply. There will also be floor space at some checkpoints for competitors to sleep if they so wish.

Competitors must be equipped with a map, compass, survival bag and first aid kit, and race organisers have warned competitors they “must be prepared to be in remote locations for long periods with adverse weather and probably on your own.”

The terms of entry for the race also state: “By entering the race you are stating that you deal with the conditions you will face in Wales in February. You are also stating that you can employ a level head in difficult conditions and not take unnecessary risks.”

Every competitor is given a GPS tracker so can be tracked where they are at all times during the race, family and friends can also watch the competitors progress online. The GPS tracker is also equipped with a SOS button, so if the athletes have a problem they can be found quickly and easily.

The event has full medical support supplied by Trail Med who have a wealth of experience supporting races of this kind and consist of paramedics and consultant doctors.

For more information about this and other events visit:
https://www.uphilldowndale.com/events/