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Snowdonia Challenge – Set a target in North Wales this year

Published on 4 Jan 2013 by Gwion Llwyd

Snowdonia Challenge

How’s that New Years resolution working out? If running or getting fit was one of yours, here’s an idea, Snowdonia Challenge. Why not enter a race of some kind. Set yourself a target to aim for. Invest in the idea by planning a holiday around the event. It’ll give your family something to look forward to as well. Book the time off work and tell your friends about your plans. That way you’ll be committed and less likely to find an excuse for seeing it through. Here are some options in North Wales for you.

Coastal Trail Series – hard – 19th January 2013

Snowdonia Challenge Coastal Trail SeriesYou’ll have to be quick for this one as it’s only a couple of weeks away. But if you’re already in training and looking to kick start 2013 with a bang have a look at the Anglsey Coastal Trail Series. The Marathon and Ultra races are naturally only for the well initiated but the Half Marathon and 10k course are promoted as one of the best in the cross-country trail series. http://www.endurancelife.com/

Anglesey Half Marathon – modorate – 3rd March 2013

A half marathon event organised by the excellent and very professional team at Always Aim High. If you’re new to long distance running or, you’re preparing for a full marathon later on in the year this one’s perfect. Run across the iconic Menai bridge and enjoy beautiful views over the straights towards Snowdonia as you follow a costal route undulating gently towards Beumaris. http://theislandrace.com/

NITro North – easy – 9th March 2013

If you fancy trying something a bit different, this night time run up Moel Famau near Denbigh might be the thing for you. At 3.7miles this certainly isn’t the most physically demanding Snowdonia Challenge trail race I’ve listed on here but I cant help but think that you’d need a fair amount of courage to run along muddy mountain tracks in pitch darkness with nothing but your head torch to lead the way. The website is a bit rubbish but I’m sure they’ll send you some more info if you email them. http://www.thisonecounts.co.uk/

Harlech Triathlon – moderate – 12th May 2013

Harlech TriathlonProbably the friendliest mini triathlon in the UK. I’m hoping to have a go at this again this year so there’s no need to worry about being at the back of the group. I’ll be there to keep you company. If nothing else, the £40 entry fee helps our community swimming keep it’s doors open to local schoolchildren. Seeing as the council has given up on the idea. http://www.harlechtri-entries.org.uk/

Abersoch 10k Run – easy – 1st of June 2013

This is one for all the trendy runners out there. If you’ve got all the gear this 10k run through the middle of fashionable Abersoch is the place to be seen. The spectacular finish sees runners hurdling breakwaters as they sprint along the beach before crossing the finish line by the yacht club. http://www.abersoch10k.com/

Etape Eryri – hard – 16th June 2013

If road cycling is your thing, you have to be in Caernarfon on the 16th of June. Last year was the inaugural year for this event but there’s no doubt in my mind that these cycle races around the mountains of Snowdonia are going to grow from strength to strength. If it’s good enough for Dave Brailsford to recommend, you know, the bald one in charge of the Olympic cyclists, then it must be pretty good. http://etapeeryri.com/

Race The Train – easy – 17th August 2013

Another one for the not so serious perhaps. This great day out sees runners of all ages board the narrow gauge steam train at Tywyn which in turn climbs up the beautiful Dydyni valley towards Tal y Llyn lake. From here, the idea is to race the train back into town. The camaraderie and family atmosphere of this fun day out ensures all the runners finish with a smile on their faces. http://www.racethetrain.com/

Snowman Triathlon – extreme – 6th October 2013

It’s to late too enter the famous Slateman Triathlon. Places for that one dried up very quickly after the 2012 race. But the kind people at “Always Aim High” have set up this third in a series of gruelling triathlons based in North Wales. This might be the hardest Snowdonia Challenge on this list. If you’re stupid enough, I mean brave enough, to want to swim 750m across a mountain lake in October, you’ve come to the right place. A 70km cycle will then take you over the Chrimea Pass near Blenau Ffestiniog. (I once had a car that couldn’t make it up that hill.) Then its just a short 9km sprint up Moel Siabod. Moel means smooth mountain in welsh which I guess is better than a pointy mountain. http://snowmantri.com/

Snowdonia Marathon- extreme – 26th October 2013

Snowdon MarathonYou know how you can get those route profiles showing you how the road undulates up and down as you go round the course. Well the Snowdonia Marathon profile looks like a dental impression from a rabid dog. Two huge canine type peaks at the beginning and end with some rather nasty incisors in the middle. When you’re half way up that second canine or Bwlch y Groes, that 750m swim across a mountain lake might not seem like such a bad idea. http://www.snowdoniamarathon.co.uk/

Conwy Half Marathon – moderate – 17 November 2013

Back to the coast for this one. Thankfully it’s a little flatter by the sea. The Conwy Half Marathon is another one of those events that seems to grow from strength to strength each year. Helped I’m sure by the brilliant unseasonable weather they seem to enjoy. Again, a good one perhaps if you’re new to running and want to set yourself a target at the end of the year. http://www.runwales.com/events/conwy-half-marathon

If you’re tempted by any of the above, drop me an email and I’ll see if I can find a North Wales Holiday Cottage nearby. If the dates don’t quite work for you let me know when you can make it and I’ll have a look if there are any other events running at that time.

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