As the 2019 countdown continues to the 37th edition of the Snowdonia Marathon Eryri on the 26th of October, the race organisation has released news of 2020 entry procedures.
As one of the fastest-selling events on the UK marathon scene, competition is hot for a place in this iconic event each year. So much so that, in December 2018, the almost 3,000 places on offer for the 2019 event sold out in just 20 minutes!
The team at Marathon Eryri continually strive to provide the best-possible experience for their participants, from the minute they enter, until they cross the finish line and pick up their prized Welsh slate coaster.
Therefore, to help create what organisers see as the fairest possible entry procedure for the 2020 race, entries will take the form of a ballot system for the first time ever, with applications opening on the 1stof December 2019.
Race co-ordinator Jayne Lloyd takes charge of her 16thMarathon Eryri this October and explains the decision to embark on this new entry procedure:
“We’re incredibly proud of what we offer to the running community through our event. I have been organising the race for over 15 years and have seen many changes in that time. Every year the event grows in stature, and the reputation we have for looking after our community of runners is very important to us. This covers every aspect of the ‘runner experience’, from the welcome they receive when they arrive in Llanberis, the engagement at registration, how we present our sponsors, the full race-day experience and even the impression we leave on visitors in terms of the Welsh culture, especially on those traveling here from all over the world.
“However, one aspect that all us of on the organising team feel hasn’t been as good as it should be over the last few years is the way we take entries. In a way we are a victim of our own success. We experience huge demand for places at the race and the increase in popularity of on line entries has meant that this demand grown enormously. Anecdotally we know that we could sell the 2,800 places three times over, that is the sort of traffic we have had trying to gain places on race entry day and we have failed to find a system that can cope with that.
“The way entries are taken currently is almost a lottery. It’s a race to get online for our runners and a hope that the entry-systems stand up to the incredible traffic for us. Over the last three years this simply hasn’t been effectively achieved. We have tried new systems to no avail leaving us with disappointed and frustrated applicants that have failed to get a place.
“We also have to take into account the fact that we have runners who work in the emergency services; doctors, nurses, police, fire and ambulance workers, shift workers, those who aren’t able access the internet for various reasons. There are so many people who would love to take part but simply aren’t able to get online for that 20-minute window that we currently have between entries going live and selling out.
“We understand that there will still be some disappointed runners who won’t obtain a place, but this will always happen in any entry procedure. We honestly believe that offering a 7-day window for runners to submit their desire to run (between 1stof December, 2019 at 9am until the 7thof December at midnight) offers the fairest possible system for entry for all.”
More detailed information on how the ballot will take place will be released in coming weeks and Jayne is confident the marathon will once again showcase all that the Snowdonia National Park has to offer, in terms of scenery and a warm welcome for the thousands of visitors that are expected across the race weekend, and concludes:
“Every year people return to the event, often bringing family or hoards of supporters and well-wishers with them, so for us it’s about engaging with them, providing them with great and long-lasting memories of the race and of Snowdonia. It’s also very much about putting something back in to the local community and economy over the weekend.
“We love our runners at the Snowdonia Marathon Eryri, and we want them to keep coming back year after year as they do, so we’ll continually strive to offer the best possible experience to them all, in everything we do!”