Coronavirus has pretty much wiped out the 2020 racing calendar, but in recent weeks, we have seen the emergence of some events, albeit in a new format with measures in place to help reduce the risk of infection.
Scandinavia has had multiple events, we have witnessed events in France, Switzerland and even the USA.
So, it’s a great relief to see the 2020 Ultra-Trail® Snowdonia (UTS) taking place with very strict protocols and an ‘invitation’ only 50km, 100km and 165km.
Michael Jones of Apex Running Co is a runner himself, so, he has understood the need and desire to race, but also abide by government guidelines and provide a safe race – a thankless task one may think!
The 50km has a 14-hour cut-off, the 100km 33-hours and the 165km a whopping 50-hour limit. Needless to say, 3 very tough events in a tough and challenging part of the world.
The 165km event will see 10 women and 30-men toe the line with the Wainwrights record holder, Paul Tierney heading up the field. Most participants are UK based, but the event does have entries from Sweden, South Africa, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Philippines, France and Hungary.
The 100km event has 9 women listed, headed up by fell and mountain running legend Nicky Spinks. Harry Jones is the stand out name in the men’s field of 22-runners.
The 50km event has a very interesting line-up with Georgia Tindley, Carla Molinaro and Kasia Osipowicz the leading names amongst a field of 14 women. Damian Hall fresh from setting a record on The Pennine Way heads up the men’s field of 22.
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The events, are designed to bring Alpine style racing to the UK on a scale of the UTMB. Each of the three events are extremely challenging and bring 3300, 6700 and a whopping 10,000m+ of vertical gain for the respective 50/100 and 165km distances.
Originating in 2018, the 50 and 100-mile races were an instant success and with huge demanding, three races are now on offer providing a distance and challenge that all can undertake. But as Jones’ says, ‘Beautiful beyond belief. Savage beyond reason.’
The UTS 165 is the stand-out and flagship event offering a stunningly brutal and beautiful tour of the Snowdonia National Park. Starting in Capel Curig, the route takes in the most notable peaks of north Wales.
UTS 100 has technical trails, epic views and is a highlight tour of north Wales.
Arguably, the UTS 50 is an entry level race but still requires respect for the challenges that Wales and its mountains can bring.
Route information is available here and relevant GPX downloads are available.
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