The inaugural Snowdon Slate Trail Ultra-Marathon, which took place last weekend, was won by Robert Morris in a time of 20 hrs 59 minutes and 48 seconds.
30 runners completed the 89 mile course within the 48 hour time limit, with four athletes, Robert Morris, Greg Crowley, Lee Mahon and Sean Fenwick all completing the course within 24hrs. The first female runner to complete the course was Belinda Southwell in a time of 34 hrs 51 minutes.
The favourable weather conditions over the weekend probably made things a little easier for the competitors, but take nothing away from the fact this race had been categorised as one of the toughest in the world.
The race started in Bangor at 7pm on Friday evening, with competitors having to pass through a number of check points en route, which incorporated vital food stations and the option for runners to take a quick nap if required. All the competitors were equipped with essential survival equipment and GPS Tracker enabling race organisers to track the runners progress at all times. Emergency medical and rescue teams were on standby, but thankfully weren’t required.
The Slate Trail, which starts at Porth Penrhyn in Bangor, follows the unique slate heritage of North Wales visits places including Bethesda, Llanberis, Beddgelert and Betws-y-Coed. The trail provides a wealth of variety and some of the less-frequented but beautiful parts of Snowdonia, passing through all the major mountain ranges, offering a range of experiences from mountain to forest, lake to river, from the valley to the sea. All along the trail are fascinating things to be seen and experienced.
The Trail was completed in November 2017, thanks to funding from the National Lottery and the volunteers who spent four years linking up existing paths to create the Trail. It’s estimated the Slate Trail could bring an extra £1.5m a year into the local economy thanks to the tourism boost of the new walking trail.
A spokesperson for the race organisers ‘Up Hill Down Dale’ said: “All the runners are safely in on the Snowdonia Slate Trail Ultra. A massive thank you to all our crew and helpers, and a huge well done to everyone who completed and also those that have some unfinished business with the Slate Trail Ultra! Entries for the 2020 event open next week!”
The first 3 runners Robert Morris, Greg Crowley and Lee Mahon