A Beddgelert man was roared on to victory as he took advantage of perfect weather conditions to win the 34th Snowdonia marathon.
Russell Bentley, who relocated to Beddgelert from Kent, recorded an impressive time of 2:35:05 seeing off nearest rival Daniel Jones on 2:36:48.
Bentley showed his supremacy in the early miles setting a steady pace on the climb to Pen Y Pass establishing a lead of 40 seconds. Despite pressure from Jones and third placed Rob Bridges in the middle stages, 35 year-old Bentley held his nerve to be the first to cross the finish line and collect the Snowdonia marathon Eryri trophy.
Mr Bentley said: “I am so pleased. But that was tough. It was the toughest race I have ever done! I’m delighted to win and I wasn’t aware that they were closing in on me at the finish. But hey, I’ve done it. It means so much for me to win this race, I live locally and my children are growing up in Wales, learning Welsh, so today I am very, very proud!”
Joanne Nelson was first place for the women clocking a time of 3:03:59 for Darwen Dashers RC.
Nelson showed her fluidity and strength at mile 24 as she stretched her lead to more than one minute as the finish on Llanberis High Street approached.
Racing to the win in a superb new course record of 3:03:59, Nelson was ecstatic as the realisation of her achievement became reality.
She said: “Wow! It’s an amazing feeling to know that I have won this race. After last year I thought I really wanted to come back to try and win it, and I have! Plus I have taken the course record too. It just feels so good. The race is just fantastic, the course, the weather today was brilliant too and the support all the way around is unbelievable.”
Race organiser Jayne Lloyd thanked all those involved as she looked forward to next year’s event.
She said: ““Every year the support gets better on the route, every year I am astounded by how much effort people put in to make it happen, and every year I think that we have the most awesome bunch of runners in the world taking part. Diolch o galon!”