Back for it’s 40th year, Snowdonia Marathon Eryri is a very special marathon. Organised by the Llanberris community for the community, it could well claim to be the toughest UK road marathon (though others such as the Langdale Marathon would also lay such a claim).

The route starts by taking you up from Llanberris and over Pen-y-Pass before dropping down and round the other side of Snowdon through the villages of Beddgelert (which marks the half way point and the start of the middle climb), Rhyd Ddu, Betws Garmon and Waunfawr.

“The” Hill!

This maraton is “Undulating”. With Llanberris pass to start and a long climb out of Beddgelert at half way point, your legs are thinking you’ve tested them enough. But it’s at Waunfawr that the true challenge of this marathon is revealed/

As you take a right turn the road kicks UP and on weary legs you have a 270 metre climb before you descend on a steep, rough track back into Llanberris. Your legs battered, your toes squashed, you then do the glory run along the High Street to the finish.

In total you climb 838 metres (2749 feet), making it a flat equivalent distance of 29.32 miles.

Elevatiuon profile for Snowdonia Marathon Eryri

Best cuppa

Just before you descend, however, is one of the marathon’s highlights, the feed station at the top of the last climb is party time, this year it was pirate themed and they serve far more than just water and energy drinks. I supped a hot cuppa and enjoyed a chocolate brownie to fuel my last two miles.

At the finish you’re presented, not with a medal, but a slate coaster, this is my fourth (I’m building a nice set) and it was in Gold to celebrate their 40th year. A fabulous marathon, made so special by the landscape, the community support, the terrain and the many wonderful runners you meet and chat to along the way, including, this year, a rhino!

If you like running marathons, this has to be on your “Must Do” list. I will be back again for my fifth coaster next year!