In short: It's so good i'm back for my 17th attempt In full: For somebody who has a guaranteed entry to the London marathon every year but does not want to do that race ever again i would rather do what for me is possibly the finest marathon on the Uk calender.
My first Snowdonia Marathon was way back in 1995 and so far ive run four different courses for this stunning race.
I even ran 8 miles of the cancelled 2002 event and this year 2011 will see me do my 17th consecutive Snowdon.
The reason i like it is because you have no idea what the weather will be like.
Three years ago it rained so hard that it was dancing off the road at Nant Peris but it kept you cool during the race and anyway i was dressed accordingly and loved every moment of it.
Marathons are challenging enough but when they go through some of the finest scenery anywhere in Britain and have a few little hills spread around the course to make things interesting it makes for a very interesting event.
Next year is the races 30th anniversary and only one competitor Iorwerth Roberts has done every race from its begining in 1982.
This will be number 17 for me with my usual number 108, well its the only number ive ever worn for the race and its almost my own personal property by now.
I am really looking forward to this years event and with the new course introduced last year it is slightly easier than the previous course but 26.2miles is never easy anyway.
Just remember entries go online on January 1st next year and with it being the 30th book early to avoid disappointment. Date of review: September 1, 2011
In short: Not even the rain could spoil this run! Great organisation and support. In full: Well marshalled, great views, and a real challenge. The best thing was the support from the locals - every village or hamlet had people out encouraging us. You can't beat running between a lake and a steam train! I would heartily recommend this race and I am determined to get a set of 6 finishing coasters! Date of review: August 10, 2011
In short: If you run one marathon in your life this is the one! In full: this was the 2nd time I have run this race and eve though I trained harder I found it tougher - the weather this year was better though with thunder and hail at the end it was good to get back! yet again the support, refreshment points and the very hardy race watchers kept me going when things were getting tough. Don't be scared by this race, enjoy and revel in its challenges and beauty. Eryri am byth! Date of review: January 5, 2011
In short: Stunning In full: 1st Snowdon, and 8th full mara, sub 2.30 runner who enjoys the challenge, this is a tough course, and a great mix of hardened runners and 1st timers (fools!!). Wet weather, as can only be expected this time of year, and perhaps 3 areas to improve, tent for athletes to shelter at start, water in bottles, the cups not big enought, and the bus fiasco, same as last year. Stunning race, great support for a rural event, crossing the Bwlch (Pass), was amazing, eat your heart out Lance! Beautifull views in all directions, and a sting in the tail at the final climb, be prepared! Shall be back. Date of review: November 9, 2009
In short: The best race in the world.Only 2 small changes could improve it . In full: Change 1.Get rid of the bus service as it just irritates people and a 15 min walk to the start should be small beer to people entering the toughest road marathon on Europe. Change 2.The coverage on S4C is very Welsh-Centric and grates somewhat on an Englishman who has run the last 5 races and praised the race to the hilt and could be said to confirm English stereotyping of Welshman as having a huge chip on their shoulders. Date of review: November 8, 2009
In short: Shame it clashes with Beachy Head. In full: When they moved this event to a Saturday back in 2007 due to the 25th anniversary, I've elected to run Beachy Head Marathon which is one of my favourites. Decided to give Snowdonia a go this year instead after an absence of 3 years, and don't regret it.
Snowdonia laid on the usual October weather of heavy rain, cold, and windy conditions. After registering on the morning, I foolishly elected to wait for the shuttle bus for the 1.5 miles lift to the start rather than walk it due to the rain, and got a good soaking when we had to wait in the queue for an hour. We turned up for the delayed start shivering and drenched.
Nothing like a steady ascent for the first 4 miles in a marathon to shake of the lethargy and chill, but the weather was still providing a good challenge as the rain and wind persisted.
As there's a good descent from miles 4 to 12, you can then get into your rythym, but it's important not to go haring off as there are still a number of testing sections to come on this course. A two mile uphill drag between miles 13 and 15 left many people walking, but this is where you can start to work your way through the field if you've held back on that earlier downhill section.
If you lift your head and ignore the rain, you can immerse yourself in the glorious scenery that's all around. It's easy to forget to look when you are being battered by the weather and are being worn out by the hills, but you are missing the point if you fail to enjoy the surroundings.
Suitably distracted, you can then run/walk the 3 miles ascent to Waunfawr, and hope your quads survive that wreckless descent for the final 2 miles.
This is a gloriously difficult marathon that tests the runner throughout. Although the area has that isolated wildness, the route is well signposted, brilliantly marshalled, and strongly supported by the villages enroute.
Free hot drinks at the finish, and showers etc, meant that you could get cleaned up and refreshed quickly. The slate coaster is a unique momento to remind you of your efforts.
Thanks to everyone who contributed in making this a superb event. I'm sure the bus issue will be resolved by next year whatever was the cause, and this will then be a faultless event in my book. Date of review: November 7, 2009
In short: Scenic, friendly, challenging but very rewarding In full: First marathon for both me and the misses. Loved every minute of it (apart from the lead up to the start). Hills are long and weather was challenging (just like good old Cumbria really) but just added to the feeling of achievement when you finish. Thanks to all the supporters and marshalls around the route, who must have been freezing, but didn't let it detract from their enthusiasm. We'll be back! Date of review: November 7, 2009