Snowdon Ultra 50 miler
David Roy of Farnham Runners has recently the completed the ultra- marathon, the very challenging Snowdon Ultra 50 miler.
“After a 4:15 alarm and a breakfast of porridge, banana and three pains au chocolat, I joined a long snake of headtorches lighting up the path ahead toward Capel Curig. After checkpoint 1 the route traversed Tryfan to climb over the shoulder of Glyder Fach to the bottom of Snowdon, then up the Pyg track to the top and back down via the Miners track. After 7.5 hours on the move my legs were starting to complain and it was a relief when the summit of Glyder Fach was reached with its otherworldly spikey rocks. Over the plateau and descending from Glyder Fawr, I realised I was too far east and descending the wrong gully!
I managed to reach Checkpoint 5, a much needed refuelling stop after 30 miles, before the last big climb of the day up Pen yr Ole Wen. This was the slowest and hardest 2km of the day with an hour of unrelenting climb on steep ground. Half way up the sun came out and we were treated to a lovely view back towards the Glyders though it was difficult to appreciate fully at the time.
At the summit we were told the route was being changed as the threat of bad weather was growing for the evening.
Descending back into the valley I enjoyed a few miles of flatter terrain that allowed my pace to increase on track back to Capel Curig. This only left 13 miles to the finish and as my legs still had some life in them I was starting to think about pushing to try and gain a few places.
After the final checkpoint however I along with four others managed to lose the path in the darkness. Given we all had maps, several GPS devices and even one person who had recce’d the route we congratulated ourselves on this achievement and preceded to waste half an hour hacking through head high bracken and brambles before we eventually found the path again. Our sense of humour had somewhat diminished by this point so it was head down plod on to knock out the final 8 miles into the finish.
A well-deserved cup of soup and a couple of flapjacks went down very well at the finish and I was pleased with my final time at 14:48 which was a little faster than anticipated. This was a tough course but I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves the hills as the route covers some stunning terrain and is very well supported by the GB Ultras team.”