North West Wales

Ex-Bangor student Rob Samuel wins Snowdonia marathon

Wind and rain battered runners in the 29th Snowdonia Marathon as a local athlete triumphed in a record field.

Former Bangor University student Rob Samuel, a member of the Eryri Harriers running club, crossed the finish line in two hours 36 minutes 45 seconds.

The first woman was Kelly Morgan from Pontypridd in three hours 11 minutes 28 seconds.

Organisers said this year's event was the best supported yet, with about 2,000 people taking part.

The winner said he was pleased with a time which is his personal best.

"I started off steady, I'd decided to take it easy for the first part, and I felt fine for most of it," he said.

"Then about 18 miles I started to push on and on the last hill I felt strong and knew I'd got it so I could relax a little.

"It was hard on the way down, a bit slippery on the grass, and I fell over at one stage.

"But it's brilliant to win in front of a home crowd with everybody supportive and going crazy as you run down the finishing stage. It's unbelievable, I'm chuffed," added the runner, who now works for Heryri, a National Trust youth initiative at Craflwyn near Beddgelert.

The event is known for the beauty of the scenery as well as the challenge of running 26.3 miles on roads and mountainside around Snowdon.

Image caption A delighted Rob Samuel crosses the finish line of the 29th Snowdonia Marathon

The wet and windy conditions presented a bit of a challenge but years of experience meant they are well prepared, Matt Ward, one of the organisers, said beforehand.

"The weather makes things more difficult, but the team is well-drilled now and we've been doing this for a number of years and everyone has their own part to play... the weather just makes it more interesting, and more of a challenge for the runners.

"I think the front runners aren't affected by it much because they are so engrossed in the effort of the marathon, but the people towards the back might be affected more.

"But it also adds to the spice of the event and that's what makes the Snowdonia Marathon such and iconic and tough event," he added.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites