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The legendary mountain runner Kenny Stuart will start this year's Snowdon Race. Kenny will also be the guest of honour at the prize giving for this prestigious event on the international mountain running calendar.
2010 marks a very special date in respect of Kenny’s record as his mark has now stood the test of time for an amazing 25 years. His 1985 time of 62:29 for the 10 mile route from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon and back has not been seriously challenged in that period – however with the return to the route of Kenny’s historic run this year the gauntlet is now clearly thrown down for today’s elite fell and mountain runners to challenge his time.
Does Kenny feel that anyone can get close to his record mark?
“I think it will take a fast road runner with good climbing ability rather than a pure fell runner to break it. You need to be clever on the way down, but its not very technical, you just need to be able to run hard down and be confident. Andi Jones could get close, but he needs someone to push him, a group of good continental athletes and Andi could run the record close I think.
"I’m a bit surprised that the record still stands. The route is a fast one, suiting fast road runners and indeed continental runners, I am sure that it will be broken at some stage, though when I don’t know.”
Time has been kind to Kenny over the last 25 years and speaking to the race organisers this week he says that it really doesn’t seem that long ago.
“No, it’s amazing really, I don’t know where the time has gone to be honest.”, said the quiet-spoken Cumbrian, who still “keeps fit” running 4-5 times a week around his life-long home of Threlkeld.
His mind is as sharp as the day he took the historic record on Wales’ highest peak, and Kenny’s memories are still vivid
“I only did two Snowdon races, in '84 and '85, and I didn’t have a good experience on my first visit. It was a red hot day, and I didn’t feel very well, I still finished second though, so I remember that year for the wrong reasons. 1985 however was a special race, and one that I can distinctly recall.
My memory of the race that year is that about three quarters of the way up I was feeling very good, and I was with Robbie Bryson. We pulled away from the Italians and I was surprised that they didn’t go with us. Robbie was a good uphill runner, and was first to the top, I was 11 seconds behind him but I was confident that I could bring him back on the way down. I caught him quite soon on the descent and from then on it was about holding my form and pushing on. It was a great race for me that year.”
Speaking about his return to Llanberis, Kenny also has fond memories. “It will be nice to come back to the race and I’m honoured to be the starter and prize-giver this year. It will also be good to meet up with people like Ken Jones again, I’ve stayed in his house a few times and it will be nice to catch up. I’m really looking forward to it”.
Juniors will be pleased that their races return to the big day again this year. They will be organised by Gwynfor Owen and Jayne Lloyd, with support from local residents of Llanberis and Menai Track & Field. Currently it is planned they will run sections of the actual race course - just after the main 16km race will see races for U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18 year olds, varying in length all the way to a 6.4km race for the under 18’s to the Halfway Bridge and back to the finish in Padarn Park.
Race organisers say: "By having these races on the Saturday, it gives the local children the chance to compete/ challenge other runners as well as giving them the experience of running through the crowds and into the finish line line. Hopefully the experience they'll have will urge them forward to carry on running."
There will also be training sessions starting around mid-May and a race for local children on the Thursday evening before the big day.
More info on junior races here
and the main event here
. If you have any queries about the race contact Stephen Edwards on 07867 976 183 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenny Stuart back in the day.
Topic: Snowdon Race 2010, Mountain Running in Snowdonia.
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