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Snowdon International Race - 20th July 2019

12 July 2019

It’s almost that time of year again… that time when hundreds of fell runners from the four corners of the earth flock to Llanberis to take part in the Snowdon International Race!

Now in its forty-fourth year, this iconic race is a major event on Llanberis’ events calendar, which brings in great economic benefit to the area and one that is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. The event itself is quite an occasion; between 600-650 runners brave the mountain, the young people also have an opportunity to take part in a race to the Mountain Gate and back, as well as many stalls and activities being held at the Finish line, just outside the village centre.  

Such a famous race on such an iconic and popular mountain has its challenges. On race day there can be as many as 3000 walkers and spectators on the Llanberis Path, with that amount again on the upper sections of the mountain. The challenge facing the race’s organisers is ensuring that runners and walkers do not clash, especially in the narrower sections; mainly between Bwlch Glas and the Summit Trig Point (where the PyG / Miners join on to the Llanberis and Snowdon Ranger Paths and then up towards the summit). To try to minimise the risk of injury and congestion, runners are asked by the organisers to keep to the left of the path and their advice to walkers is to be vigilant and exercise due care, especially when it comes to unleashed dogs on the path. Keep an eye out for runners and let your fellow walkers know if there is someone on their way up or down behind them!

As always, we ask that everyone adhere to the countryside code and please take their litter home with them; this includes organic waste such as orange peel, banana skins and apple cores! The temperature on the mountain is much lower than what you would find in your compost bin at home and even these biodegradable materials can take a few years to decompose on the side of the mountain!  Not only does littering impact the pure natural beauty of the area, it is also extremely harmful to wildlife; please respect the area, not just on race day, but always.

The Snowdon International Race is one of Snowdon’s main events, but there is a growing amount of organised events being held throughout Snowdonia. To try and strike a balance between the organisation of a successful event, whilst at the same time protecting the environment and being considerate of local people and other visitors, the National Park Authority has published an ‘Organised Events Guidelines. The hope is that event organisers will get in touch with the Authority, who can then provide expert advice, which will help ensure that groups can complete their challenges without having an adverse effect on the environment or be detrimental to other people’s enjoyment of the area.

So, if race spectatorship is your thing – then there is no better place than Snowdon to appreciate a good fell race! However, if you are thinking of reaching the summit on this day please bear in mind that it will be extremely busy between 2.30pm and 4pm so you might want to head up earlier or later in the day (bearing in mind the additional kit you would need to do this safely e.g. a head torch and some additional layers). For advice on how to stay safe in the mountains please visit the Snowdonia National Park Authority website’s Mountain Safety Page For your information, Snowdon can and does get very busy on weekends, public holidays and during the summer holidays (especially on race day).  If you’d prefer to enjoy the mountain or the wider area during quieter times (i.e. outside the ‘peak season’ such as during the week or outside the summer holidays), or for alternative mountain routes for you to enjoy instead please visit the  Snowdonia National Park website for more information and advice on how to do so safely, or give the Warden Team a ring on 01286 872 555.

Bethan Wynne Jones (Area Warden - Snowdon)