2024 Race Report

Epic Challenges and Heartfelt Stories Define the XTERRA Snowdonia Trail Marathon 2024

The 2024 edition of the XTERRA Snowdonia Trail Marathon made a grand return, inviting participants to traverse the stunning Eryri National Park through ultra-marathon, marathon, half marathon, and 10k races. Discover how the event played out and who earned the coveted spots for the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship Final in Sugarloaf Mountain.

The XTERRA Snowdonia Trail Marathon returned to Llanberis for another spectacular year, and what a year it was!

Over 1,500 athletes gathered for a day of racing in the stunning Eryri National Park, with the marathon & half marathon offering the top-placed athletes a place in the invite-only XTERRA Trail Running World Championship.

The Ultra race kicked off at 6:30 am, with runners facing a grueling 57 km trail. Leading the pack was Harry Jones, who finished in an impressive 5:06:43, a full 41 minutes ahead of second-place finisher Sean Meehan. Completing the top three was Phillip Slattery. In the women's race, Rebecca Sleuth claimed first place with a time of 6:56:45, followed by Lucy Cartwright in 7:10:18, and Natasha Parks in third.

As the marathon runners lined up, the sun finally made an appearance, illuminating the beautiful mountains ahead. Just under 400 athletes tackled the challenging course, which includes 1,685 meters of ascent over 27 miles and circumnavigates and climbs the slopes of Wales' highest peak, Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). Sean Merryweather was the first to cross the finish line in 4:09:08, with female winner Emily Cowper-Coles of Denby Dale Athletics Club just 10 seconds behind him. Matthew Crolla and Ryan Gaughan rounded out the men's top three. In the women's race, Nerys Jones took second place, while race regular Tinka Vinks and her twin Saane Vinks finished together, with Saane placing first in their age category.

A special mention goes to Nigel Taylor, a true legend. After completing seven laps of the previous day's Black Diamond Yr Wyddfa | Snowdon24 event, he showed up at the marathon start line just an hour and a half later. Running in memory of his late father and raising money for Kidney Care UK, Nigel's incredible achievement was met with admiration. When asked how he felt post-race, his simple wish was for a chippy tea!

This year, we introduced an exciting new duo category for both half and full marathons. This addition allowed athletes to share their running passion with a partner. Pairs signed up and ran together for the entire trail distance. To comply with the rules, they had to stay within 15 seconds of each other throughout the course, including the segment challenges.

In the half marathon, Team Tams emerged victorious, while Team Liver-in-Pool claimed the win in the marathon distance.

The half marathon began at 9 am, featuring 400 runners on one of the most beautiful courses around. Chris Rampling from Meirionnydd Running Club won with a time of 2:03:16, followed by Australian Sam Williams in second place, and Tom Gosling in third. Helena White triumphed in the women's race, finishing in 2:19:33, ahead of Tove Hjertonsson of Switzerland in 2:22:08, and Sophia Morgan of the USA in 2:23:46.

The 10k race was the last to start, with 200 runners tackling the picturesque course. Luke Mitchell emerged victorious with a time of 47:27, closely followed by Carl Nealon in 47:48, and Oli Moore in 49:56. In the women's race, Mollie Long took the win in 53:49, with Margot Saher and Kathleen Aubrey of Helm Hill Runners finishing second and third, respectively.

Overall, it was a memorable event filled with incredible performances and inspiring stories. We look forward to an even more exciting race next year!

Tim Lloyd, Director of Always Aim High Events, expressed his delight at the success of the 2024 XTERRA Snowdonia Trail Marathon, stating, "We're thrilled to be back in Llanberis for this amazing race. It's been fantastic to share the event with so many passionate runners and the supportive local businesses that ensured our athletes were well taken care of. It was truly inspiring to see runners from across the country and beyond join us. Hearing their personal stories and motivations for participating was incredible. Many were raising money for charities, driven by causes that held deep personal significance for them.

He continued, "Our Marshals, Mountain Leaders, and staff have been incredible, tirelessly providing hydration, fuel, and unwavering encouragement to the athletes. Their dedication is deeply appreciated."

Lloyd also extended his gratitude to Gwynedd Council for their ongoing support, the Llanberis community, and the enthusiastic spectators who created the vibrant atmosphere with their cheers and bell-ringing.

Entries for the 2025 event are now open, and tickets are expected to sell out quickly. We're already planning enhancements to make next year's race even more spectacular, stay tuned for some exciting announcements!

For those interested, the full race results for the 2024 XTERRA Snowdonia Trail Marathon are available.

Race photography was beautifully captured by Mel Parry Event Images

Selected 2024 XTERRA Snowdonia Trail Marathon Results

10k open 👏
🥇Luke Mitchell - 47:29
🥈Carl Nealon - 47:48
🥉 Oli Moore - 49:56

10k female 👏
🥇 Mollie Long - 53:49
🥈 Margot Saher - 58:10
🥉 Kathleen Aubrey - 58:59

Half Marathon open 👏
🥇 Chris Rampling - 2:03:16
🥈 Sam Williams - 2:05:52
🥉 Tom Gosling - 2:08:27

Half Marathon female 👏
🥇 Helena White - 2:19:33
🥈 Tove Hjertonsson - 2:22:08
🥉 Sophia Morgan - 2:23:46

Half Marathon Duo winner 👏
🥇 Team Tams

Marathon open 👏
🥇 Sean Merryweather - 4:09:08
🥈 Matthew Crolla - 4:12:30
🥉 Ryan Gaughan - 4:19:08

Marathon female👏
🥇 Emily Cowper-Coles - 4:09:18
🥈 Nerys Jones - 4:37:25
🥉 Tinka Vinks - 4:41:45

Marathon Duo winner 👏
🥇Team Liver-in-pool

Ultra open 👏
🥇 Harry Jones - 5:06:23
🥈 Sean Meehan - 5:47:45
🥉 Philip Slattery - 6:09:21

Ultra female 👏
🥇 Rebecca Sleath - 6:56:45
🥈 Lucy Cartwright - 7:10:18
🥉 Natasha Perks - 7:10:49