Last weekend saw the best-ever Brooks Snowdonia Marathon Eryri as 2015 once again saw the race rise to new levels of popularity with almost 2000 runners completing this iconic event.
Jayne Lloyd has been the race co-ordinator since 2004 and here gives her thoughts on the event.
“Sat here reflecting on this year’s race I am really proud of what we achieved again at the Marathon. This year was very emotional, for a number of reasons. We have been associated with Welsh cancer charity Tenovus for a number of years now and had their choir in Electric Mountain singing as usual, as the runners returned, which is always very inspiring, and they also had their Mobile Support Unit on site.
“From this we have developed links with other local charities and have met some truly inspirational fundraisers. Everybody on that Start line has their own reason for being there and it’s often not about themselves.
“Also this year with Stephen Edwards and Alan Owen running their 6-in-6 Challenge (six Snowdonia Marathons in six consecutive days) for the Hawl i Fyw cause was simply amazing. Also we had Billy King who ran his 25th Snowdonia Marathon despite battling Motor Neuron Disease a truly fantastic effort and very emotional for us all.
“The start of the race was very special this year. We had Welsh rocker Mike Peters along. We supported his Snowdon Rocks event this year this is a continuation of that relationship.
“Mike is a tireless fundraiser and inspirational speaker, and he sung track ‘By Your Side’ to runners at the start on an acoustic guitar. The song provides a soundtrack for his By Your Side campaign which raises funds for cancer care in North Wales, he was very impressed and moved by the race and the whole movement of humanity that we have here.
“Our logistics team are awesome, a well-oiled machine by now. The start and finish areas were perfectly managed and efficiently by Anthony Rogers and the members of the Snowdon Race committee, who are an amazing bunch. They don’t stop from dawn ‘til dusk and we leave the high street as clean as we found it, literally a couple of hours after the last runner has crossed the line.
“There are always many great stories that come out of the race from a runners point of view. We have people from all over the world who come back year after year, and the main reason for that is the atmosphere and welcome they are touched by.
“I was impressed by the level of performances too this year, the standard of running at the front was very high and it was great to see 2015 champion John Gilbert running such a great time and women’s winner Tracy McCartney was full of beans as she crossed the line and performed brilliantly.
“But it’s the masses that always inspire me. The effort and emotion as runners cross the line is incredible, so many stories, so many dreams fulfilled. People travel hundreds of miles for the event, and the post-event feedback this year is very humbling.
“We’re also really grateful to all of our sponsors this year. Brooks are our new principal sponsor of the race and we have worked in partnership across all aspects of the look and feel of the event. Sara and Steve have been supportive in many areas and the runners loved our new tech race t-shirts.
“We are already thinking about next year, believe it or not! There is always room for improvement and we will be once again hoping to put on a race to remember on October 29th 2016.”