Huw Jack Brassington's triathlon tale

Published: 03.05.2024

With only 12 weeks left until our Craft Snowman Triathlon & Duathlon event, now's the perfect time to seize the opportunity and be a part of this epic experience!

Huw Jack Brassington's journey is a testament to the event's lasting impact, having returned not once, but twice, to conquer its challenges. Check out his story below.

As he gears up for 2024 edition, the question remains: will you be alongside him at the starting line?

Ten years ago, I turned up to the start line of the Snowman Triathlon with bad hair and flimsy road shoes. Perfect combo for a race that culminates up the mountain of Moel Siabod (872m)!

In my defence, I was relatively new to triathlon and didn't even know that "fell running" was a thing. Clueless would be an understatement. It was the penultimate race in the Always Aim High Events Adventure Triathlon Series and, somehow, I'd managed to narrowly win the first two races (Slateman & Sandman), so I was really feeling the pressure. Tim Lloyd, the race organiser, saw me racking my bike and casually asked if I was planning on running in the floppy tennis shoes I was wearing. I told him that I was, and he smiled and casually gave me his shoes! "Ella fu di angan hein boi" ("You might need these") - a pair of wicked looking Salomon Fellraisers that looked like half a T-Rex (BIG luggs). I gave them a wiff, they passed the test, and I accepted them gratefully and didn't fully appreciate the gesture until about an hour and a half later when I reached the turn around point on the run up Moel Siabod with someone breathing down my neck. I turned and started the descent. It was a revelation! They chomped down the wet mountainside, sticking like glue. What a ride! Lifechanging!? I bombed it down to win and, more importantly, fall in love with fell running. Without Tim's kind gesture that day, none of that would have happened, so diolch Tim!

After that win, I was given my own set of Salomons ;) and they started supporting my races. I've been lucky enough to have raced across the world, from the world champs in Beijing to the Coast To Coast in New Zealand, but this race is still my favourite. One of the toughest races out there and Dyffryn Ogwen is one hell of an arena. Even the new Game of Thrones has found it! (They rudely interrupted my reccé two weeks ago, filming a siege for the next series! The dragons are much smaller in real life.)

So 10 years later, I'd been looking forward to racing the Snowman again for ages, I found myself on the start line again, and it started out swimmingly.

With the foreboding shadow of Moel Siabod looming over us with the promise of things to come, around 100 of us blasted off into chop whipping over Llyn Mymbyr. With the wind gusting 25mph+ it was a washing machine and great fun. High cadence, all-power-no-panache! I love this kind of no-nonsense swimming, and to my surprise I clambered out of the 750m swim in first place with over a two minute lead and what felt like half the lake sloshing in my ears!

The first half of the bike was fast, flowing and right up the gorgeous guts of Cwm Ogwen. Just as I was passing Ogwen Cottage, I heard an onimous crack from my time trial arm rest,and two minutes later, it was hanging off!! No bother, being a top cycling nerd, I pulled a Graeme Obree (look him up. Absolute legend!) and donned the Superman.This worked fine until I came across the 17% gradient on the old roman road on the far side of Dyffryn Ogwen. Powering up on my TT setup (54/25) was not ideal, but I just managed it on a reccé so I just gave it full beans. Just as I was starting the first gentle slope, BOOOM! My handelbars pretty much came off! Needless to say, I spent the second half bricking it, thanking my lucky stars for my misspent youth riding no-hands with the cool kids. I probably should have stopped😅

I somehow made it back without having to brake, change gear, or turn! The run, halfway up Moel Siabod and back, was a glorious release after the stress of the bike.The desscent is a gnarly roallercoaster with one hell of a view, and it sets this race apart. What a ride!

I made it back to win in around 1hr44min and swifly fired my mechanic (me).

Huw’s Instagram: @huwjackbrassington

Images below from 10 years apart

Sportpictures Cymru 5000 SPC 6341

Craft Snowman 2024


04 Aug 2024

Price from


Plas y Brenin, Capel Curig


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