Ultra Trail Snowdonia by UTMB - Team Fenix

We've just got back from Snowdonia, Wales after arguable one of the toughest races on the UK calendar. Ultra trail Snowdonia pits runners against the technical slopes of North Wales's national park.

Our Fenix sponsored team took on the two toughest challenges - the 100km and the 100 mile races. Below are their write up of their experience.

(More to follow as they send them over!)

Tough race which unfortunately ended for myself at mile 32. The heat has always been my enemy and certainly impacted any chance I had of a decent run at this one- at mile 16 I was cooked, but kept on till the Capel Curig section but at this point I was exhausted and knew that health could become a larger issue in the future if I made silly mistakes.

The head torches were, as always, exceptional- providing a clear view throughout the Carneddau and beyond providing me with the confidence to scramble and descend in the dark.

I usually thrive in the heat, but that blazing sun at the start of the race was really testing me. I struggled to eat, struggled to climb and got to the second aid station in a hot mess. But we turned it around, and as the temps dropped slightly, the calories went in, and the first technical 50KMs were ticked off, I started feeling like myself again, knowing that the upcoming terrain would better play to my strengths.

I was feeling strong and slowly working my way up the field until, ouch. I slipped and fell; my left ankle made a loud noise, inflated itself and despite me giving it a further 8 mile chance, my race ground to a halt, quite literally, just after the 100KM mark.

My Fenix head lamp was pure brilliance overnight. I had it mostly on its lowest setting and the trail was beautifully lit. I only turned it up for the technical descent off Siabod where its huge bright light instilled confidence as I picked my way down. No battery change required. The wide easily adjustable band was super comfy too, despite not wearing my usual buff underneath, as it was such a warm night.

After last year’s DNF I was pretty determined to get round even if things didn't go well. Was amazing to see Snowdonia is glorious sunshine, although Friday afternoon was definitely a scorcher. Myself and Andy Berry worked really well together out at the front for the first 60km until he was struck down by cramps.

I think I reached the halfway point about half an hour slower than last year but felt great through most of night. The Fenix head torch lit up the downhills far more than any torch I'd used in the past and definitely helped me make good time. By daybreak I managed to climb my nemesis from last year, Moel Hebod, with a smile on my face.

The last 50k was some of the most enjoyable trail running I'd ever experienced as I felt strong especially on the downhills. Being close to the course record on the last two climbs gave me something to push for and I was delighted but pretty broken by the time I rolled into Llanberis. Definitely one that will stay in the memory bank for a while.