One of Europe’s toughest endurance challenges, the 10-mile race involves running from the edge of Lake Padarn in the village of Llanberis to the highest summit in Wales and England and back down.
The first ever race was held on 19 July, 1976 after Ken Jones, a native of Llanberis put forward the idea to the village’s Carnival Committee. Eighty-six runners turned up for the race and it was won by Dave Francis from Bristol who completed the course in 1 hour 12 minutes 05 seconds.
“It was pure curiosity that sparked the idea of the Snowdon race,” explains Ken. “As a walker and runner myself I’d always wondered what was the fastest time someone could run up and down Snowdon. So we arranged to hold the race as part of the annual Carnival activities in Llanberis and the event has grown ever since with up to 450 runners taking part this year.”
In 1980 Llanberis and the Snowdon Race twinned with the Trofeo Vanoni mountain race held every October in the Italian village of Morbegno at the foot of the Alps.
“For nearly a quarter of a century the people of Llanberis have been welcoming the runners from Morbegno to their homes and by now we are very good friends,” he adds.
The Snowdon Race was televised for the first time in 1987 on S4C and today it is one of the main events of the national sporting calendar. Runners from more than ten different countries compete every year but it is also a very important event locally which helps put Llanberis on the map and is a boost to tourism and the local economy.