More than three decades in and the Brooks Snowdonia Marathon Eryri just seems to be getting bigger and better. Saturday 28 October will mark the event’s 35th staging and looks like it will witness its largest turnout to date with organisers increasing the field from 2700 to 2900 to keep up with demand.
The marathon is known for its picturesque and challenging course and is thought to be one of the most stunning 26.2 mile races on the UK calendar. With an elevation of almost 3000ft the race is one of the most brutally tough too.
2016 saw Joanne Nelson secure the ladies title with a blistering performance and course record of 3:03:53, almost one minute ahead of Eyri Harriers’ Andrea Rowlands (3:04:58) with Merrell athlete Tracy McCartney coming third in 3:09:27.
In the men’s race, Russell Bentley of Kent AC took the lead at the 5-mile climb up Pen y Pass and held on to win in 2:35:05. Daniel Jones of Team Bath AC followed him in 2:36:46 with Rob Bridges of Manchester Triathlon Club coming third in 2:46:08.
Bentley has confirmed that he will return for next week’s race and, in current form, he will take some beating. 2017 has seen him set PBs at both half and marathon distances and in the lead up to the race, he claimed that the course record is in his sights: “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.”