The 2nd annual Betws-y-Coed Trail Challenge took place in the woodlands around Llŷn Elsi on Saturday. In the space of just a couple of years, the race has proved hugely successful. The field has doubled in its second year and the race is now accredited and marketed as an official Help for Heroes event.
Some of Britain’s finest Trail runners took part with England’s Carl Hardman taking first place with a time of 35 minutes and 34 seconds followed by team mates Tom Merson (36:25) and Gary Priestly (36:48).
England dominated in the women’s field too with a win for Kendal’s Sarah Tunstall in 40 minutes and 25 seconds followed by Al Lavender (41:17) and Emma Macready (42:19).
The newly introduced 5K race was well supported with some great young talent sweeping the board. The men’s race saw a convincing with from Eryri’s John Spill in 22:17 more than a minute clear of Brecon’s Luke Davies (23:18) with another local runner, Cai Linton of Menai taking third place in 23:31.
The ladies field was also largely dominated by young talent with Heidi Davies storming in in 24:49, a truly impressive run for the Brecon athlete who finished fourth overall! She was followed by Jazmine Maddocks of Cannock and Stafford AC (30:49) and Nicola Davies of Thornbury (31:48), a great run as she was also first veteran runner.
A further addition this year was the Canicross race where runners and dogs run together attached by a harness. Participants came from across the UK to take part with first places going to James Slack of Canicross Anglesey (42:58) and Louise Mitchell, Cani Sports Edinburgh (48:48).
The race has had a huge amount of support from local businesses who realise the value that such events can have to the local economy. Magnox supported the race for a second time, this year sponsoring a new prize for the first runners to the top of the hill – Brenin/Brenhiness y Bryn. Speaking after the official presentation, Trawsfynydd Site Transition Manager Chris Skaratt said “Magnox is committed to being a good neighbour in the communities in which it operates. It was great to see such a fantastic turn out of trail blazers here today in such an awesome setting. Well done to all who took part.”
Bryn and Emma Parry, Co-Founders of Help for Heroes sent this message of support: “We were privileged to be invited back to the heart of north Wales for the second year of the Betws-y-Coed 10K Trail run. It takes in stunning scenery, epic climbs and breathtakingly amazing views and is becoming a favourite amongst Help for Heroes runners. H4H is all about ‘doing your bit’ and this event is a wonderful example of people, like Jon, Alison and Jayne, having a good idea, rallying support and being truly passionate while they raise money for a wonderful cause. We’d like to thank them and all the runners for their support".
Race Coordinator Jayne Lloyd was delighted with how the day had gone “Areas as beautiful as this are attracting more and more sporting events and it’s great to be able to do this ourselves as a local concern supporting community members and businesses. This year a lot of people have travelled here just for the race which is fantastic as it gives us a chance to showcase the inspiring scenery around Betws-y-coed whilst confirming that we can put on events of a very high standard. ’’
Next year’s race will take place on November 7. Online entries will open April 1.
*All photos credited to Gwynfor, Sport Pictures Cymru*