The Brooks Snowdonia Marathon Elyri: Saturday 28th October 2017

It was the 35th time this famous marathon has been run. It’s been voted the best marathon in the U.K., for more than a few times. Although I didn’t run this year, when I did it, it was the most interesting, wild, beautiful and challenging Marathon I have ever done. To most runners it’s not one for worrying about going fast or getting a P.B., it’s about a great experience.

This year Bath AC runner Daniel Jones returned to Llanberis to take the men’s title in 2.36.54 whilst Northampton athlete Hayley Munn produced a stunning performance in the women’s race in 2.57.34, taking over six minutes off the course record.

The Marathon basically has three big hills: Hill 1 – long and steep for miles to Pen y Pass which you can chug up, you can see that hill in the photo above. You then turn off onto a trail road/track and it’s a steep downhill for miles. Hill 2 – is a steady climb, on the road for miles then it’s the last hill, Hill 3 – at around mile 21. It does’nt last long but it’s so, so steep everyone around me was walking. Finally, the hill ends but it is very, very, muddy, and steep downhill which also frustratingly prevents you running in some places. You then turn of the track and come into the town into the finish line to the rapturous applause of the huge crowd on the Llanberis high street. We got a Snowdonia Marathon Slate Coaster and a Cotton T shirt at the end.

Men’s top 5

1 Daniel Jones 2:36:54 Team Bath AC

2 Matt Hobbs 2:42:34 Pudsey and Bramley AC

3 Paul Jones 2:43:45 Shrewsbury AC

4 Gareth Petts 2:45:30 Whitney RR

5 Will Russell 2:46:24 Hercules Wimbledon

Women’s top 5

1 Hayley Munn 2:57:25 Northampton RR

2 Andrea Rowlands 3:01:38 Eryri Harriers

3 Sarah Cumber 3:13:43 Halifax Harriers AC

4 Jessica Parry-Williams 3:15:51 Les Croupiers RC

5 Emma Wookey 3:15:57 Lliswerry Runners

Full results via the TDL Event Services website here 

Entries to the 2018 Snowdonia Marathon Eryri are live on the 1st of December 2017, with the 2018 race date Saturday 27th of October

Further info via the Brooks Snowdonia Marathon Eryri website, on Facebook and Twitter @marathoneryri

The Centurion Running Autumn 100 Race: Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 October 2017

By Akgun Ozsoy

After a year, I was at Goring again for Centurion Running’s Autumn 100 race. My goal was finishing my 3rd 100 miles under 24 hours and earning that “One Day” buckle. Last year I completed A100 in 25:17 and then did a very slow SDW100 (28:18) in June. This time I promised myself not to talk about problems I have had before -and during- the race because after running several ultra marathons I have realised that these are all inevitable parts of this sport. Simply if I wanted to tackle these issues, I should have been prepared well in every aspect.

After SDW100, I did two very hilly races. Ultimate Trails 110k (19:43) in July and then 10 Peaks Brecon Beacons (21:24) in September. In addition to several long runs before A100, I guess circuits classes which I have been attending almost a year did a big impact. These workouts are great for core strength and endurance.

I was very excited before the race but my confidence was high as well. This year my wife and daughter came with me too and I asked them to come back to the Village Hall before 10am on Sunday.

We had a brief chat with Iain Stewart while waiting for the race brief. This was his last race for grand slam and I think this is a big challenge. Congratulations to him by the way.

My plan was simple. Completing 50 miles 10 hours and then every 25 miles in 7 hours. I started the race at a steady pace and arrived Little Wittenham almost in 2 hours. Another goal was consuming less food in order to avoid stomach problems. So at each CP I ate very few things which I am familiar and left immediately. The first leg was completed in 4:15 as last year.

Rather than sitting in the Village Hall for long, I aimed to leave as soon as possible. Last year I spent more than a hour in total at this warm and cosy CP so I just taped my feet and left in 10 minutes.

The 2nd leg was my favourite one. Small towns in between trails among the forest and then the picturesque Swyncombe. Brigitte Groves was in North Stoke CP and the team here was marvellous again. Thanks for the picture and the warm soup again.

I managed to complete 50 miles in 10 hours but I think the critical part of the race started at this point. I pushed myself hard during the 3rd leg and always tried to run more and more. Just ignored the wind and focused on the trail during the night. Did not waste time at Chain Hill as well and left in a minute after picking up few grapes only. I tried Jack Daniel’s fudge at Bury Downs, of course, they were great. And the infamous last leg! I already knew that the Reading sign and the Reading CP was not close so enjoyed the quiet trail along the Thames. The volunteers at this CP was great as well with their Hawaiian shirts but I left after a couple of minutes because the clock on the wall was reminding the time. On the way back, the night section was over I was feeling well. Did not spend much time at Whitchurch CP as well, left just after getting two grapes in seconds.

I ran the last 4 miles very well and at the end, I arrived Goring in 23 hours 41 minutes! All hard training sessions were for this moment and I was very happy while receiving the special buckle. Thanks to Nici Griffin, James Elson and all volunteers for organising such a fantastic event. Special thanks to my wife Reside Ozsoy and my daughter Suna. It is very obvious that when your loved ones are waiting for you at the finish line, you are running with a different enthusiasm.