2016 was a good year for Russell Bentley. The man from Beddgelert took his biggest win of his running career as he romped home in Llanberis to win the Brooks Snowdonia Marathon Eryri.
2017 has, to date, been even better. He has smashed his personal bests at the half marathon (67:34) and marathon (2:20:20) distances, and you can read his excellent blog from that Berlin Marathon PB here – with a little over 2 weeks to go until this year’s event he is arguably in even better form than 2016.
We caught up wth him for a brief chat recently and found out that the course record of his good buddy John Gilbert (2:33:38) is on his radar for 2017 and come the 28th of October he will be the man to beat.
You won Marathon Eryri in 2016, how much did that mean to you being a local man?
It was definitely the biggest win of my career. The local support has been fantastic and means so much to me. I was born in London but we have been living here for 6 years, my children were both born here and we love being part of the community. The locals give me the nickname Russell Runner and I get lots of beeps when I’m out running now.
It’s considered one of the toughness marathons in the UK, would you agree with that?
No. It’s one of the toughest marathons in the world! That final hill very nearly broke me last year, I was crawling up it and cursing the organisers I’m sorry to say!
How have the preparations for 2017 been going?
Really well thanks. After a below average performance in the Snowdon Mountain Race in July, it gave the the motivation to get serious in my training for Autumn marathons.
You recently ran a PB in Berlin of 2:20, so youre obviously in great form, how quick do you think you can go in Snowdonia this October?
I have been getting a lot of advice from course record holder John Gilbert, who is a good friend of mine. He ran in the Berlin marathon a month before he had that great race at Marathon Eryri, so I am hoping to emulate him and bounce up from Berlin. I missed the course record by 80 seconds last year, so that is not out of the question, if the weather is good and I am feeling ‘on’ that day.