46th Castell Howell International Snowdon Race Ras Rhyngwladol Yr Wyddfa 2023

Race Preview

Llanberis, Wales – The 46th Castell Howell International Snowdon Race Ras Rhyngwladol Yr Wyddfa promises to be one of the best-ever in 2023, as world-class athletes join almost 600 runners in Llanberis as they embark on the 10 arduous miles of this famous mountain.

This year’s race will take place on Saturday 15th of July and will also play host to the British Home Countries International championships where senior men’s and women’s teams from Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland’s go head-to-head, adding to the international flavour of this race which can trace it beginnings back to 1976. The race will also include the British Mountain Running Championships in 2023, meaning that the men’s and women’s elites races should see some fierce battles on the slopes of Yr Wyddfa.

Long-term headline partner Castell Howell, renewed it’s headline sponsorship earlier this year meaning that one of the UK’s leading independent food wholesalers continue to support the race through to 2025, which will also be the 50th anniversary of this iconic event on the Welsh sporting calendar.

2023 also sees leading running and cycle brand SCOTT Sports come in as apparel and footwear sponsor with a brand-new 3-year deal.

Now in its 48th year the Snowdon International is considered one of the greatest in the world of mountain running and attracts some of the best racers in Europe, and will be televised on terrestrial TV via S4C and also be available on the BBC iPlayer, with the highlights programme once again produced by North Wales-based production company Cwmni Da.

Away from the elite side of the race one runner will make history once again in 2023. Malcolm Jones from Tremadog ran in the very first race in 1976 and has managed to complete every race since, a simply incredible achievement. Therefore, Malcolm will be running his 46th Snowdon Race Ras yr Wyddfa this year and makes history as the only person to have competed at every event.

Other features on the day will be the traditional junior races starting ten minutes after the main race at 2.10pm for 10-18 years, these will once again be support by the Eryri National Park and will be organised by the Byw Iach, Cyngor Gwynedd Council team. Registration takes place from 9.30am -1.30pm at the community centre.

Men’s Preview

As ever the Welsh teams will be looking to perform well on home soil. Tom Wood is once again part of the elite line-up after his excellent 7th place in 2022 and fellow Welshmen Gavin Roberts and Rhodri Owen will return in 2023 too, after performing strongly in the Welsh vest last year. After the late withdrawal of local athlete Tom Haynes, Eryri Harrier Sion Edwards will be making his Welsh debut after impressing recently on the roads and mountains. In the under 23 race Wrexham athlete Ifan Oldfield will also be looking to impress in his debut at Yr Wyddfa.

2023 winner Ross Gollan returns after his sparkling performance last year, attempting to make it two wins in two years, and is joined by a strong Scotland trio including 2019 race-winner Andrew Douglas, Alexander Cheplin and with Alasdair Campbell completing the Scottish foursome. Youngster Ritchie Gardiner will be representing the Scots in the U23 race.

The English team is one of the strongest fielded for a number of years, as they look to take away the team prize they have won on many occasions. Dan Haworth, Ben Rothery and Grant Cunliffe have all been in very good form in 2023 and will be joined by Chris Richards fresh from a second-place finish at the British Championships in Scotland. Ras y Gader 2023 winner Finlay Grant and Will Tighe will compete in the U23 race for the English, with Grant expected to also be pushing for a podium spot in the senior race.

Italy have a strong history of success at the event, and will be looking to make it three wins in the last four editions of the race, after the wins by Davide Magnini (2017) Alberto Vender (2018). This year Alessandro Rossi and Isacco Costa travel to Wales to see if they can add their names to the list of Italian mountain running legends to win this race.

The Republic of Ireland have a rich history of success at the event and recent Twilight Gwylnos winner Killian Mooney will be leading the charge for the Irish. He will be joined by 2022 14th-placer Matthew McConnell and Tim Johnston who finished 21st in the 2019 race.

Completing the international teams are Northern Ireland, with Adam Cunningham returning once again following a strong performance at the World Championships in Innsbruck in June. Joshua McAtee, Andrew Tees and James Millar make up the quartet.

In the men’s open race we can expect to see 2022 third and fourth place finishers Nathan Edmondson and Michael Cayton be once again in the mix for honours.

Women’s Preview

The women’s race 2022 Wyddfa third-placer Holly Page returns and is joined by recent British Champion Nichola Jackson and fell-legend Vic Wilkinson in the English vests. Unfortunately, former winner Sarah McCormack is a late withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland team but this still leaves the Yr Wyddfa 2023 race looking to be a mouth-watering prospect in the women’s event.

Wales once again have a strong team with Joanne Henderson running in Welsh colours after her 10th place finish in 2022. Joanne is joined by Bristol and West runner Katrina Entwistle who has been performing strongly on the South Wales mountain running scene. Ffion Price, Kate Maltby and Katie Reynolds complete the Welsh women’s team.

With some strong performances already in 2023 and after her brilliant 3nd place in 2022, Holly Page returns for Scotland. Kirsty Dickson, Megan Crawford and Catriona MacDonald, make up the Scots quartet meaning that the Scots women will also be once again very strong in the team race.

Italy’s Beatrice Bianchi is the sole Italian female entrant and makes her Wyddfa debut in the famous Azzuri colours.

The is no doubt that the English women’s team will once again be challenging for the top spot of the podium. Sharon Taylor finished an excellent 5th in 2022 and will be joining Nichola Jackson, Vic Wilkinson and GB international Phillipa Williams on the start line in Llanberis, making for a very strong English women’s quartet at a race in which they have tasted success many times over the years.

The Republic of Ireland team will be weakened by the absence of McCormack, however Michelle Kenny, Lisa Hegarty and Aine Gosling will be proudly sporting the green vest for the Irish.

Esther Dickson returns to the event once again in 2023 representing Northern Ireland and will be joined by Naomi McCurry and Alexa James in their starting line-up.

Race organiser Stephen Edwards is confident that the race will once again not only produce some great racing, but also be a great showcase for the event and the Eryri National Park.

“The buzz in this little village come race weekend is unbelievable, you really do have to be here to be able to understand that. This race means so much to the area and the people of Llanberis. To think what it has become all those years after that very first humble race back in 1976, is incredible really, and I’m really looking forward to seeing he stars of international mountain running once again battling it out on the mountain.

“From a media perspective we have the usual TV highlights package on S4C and will be using Facebook Live to broadcast the finish of the race. We as a voluntary organisation also put hours of work into organising the community aspect to this international event. Local business gets involved every year and thousands of spectators turn out to see the runners, so it really is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Equally we really couldn’t put the race on without the continued support of sponsors Castell Howell and new sponsor SCOTT Sports, along with Snowdon Mountain Railway, the Royal Victoria Hotel, S4C, Cwmni Da, Welsh Athletics, Oren, Steel Scaffolding, Sports Pictures Cymru and all of the Snowdon Race committee and Llanberis community. That is what makes this race so magical – it’s an international event, with a local feel, and long may that continue”.

For further information visit https://www.snowdonrace.co.uk