WMRA World Cup leaders Douglas and McCormack were convincing winners of the 44th Castell Howell Snowdon International Race.
Over 600 runners tackled the 10 mile the out and back route which starts and finishes in Llanberis and scales Wales’ highest mountain. Light rain throughout the morning cleared leaving good conditions for the race which incorporated the fourth round of the 2019 WMRA World Cup.
Andy Douglas had already amassed a lead of around 15 seconds early on the course where the steep road section makes way for the start of the mountain Path. The Scotsman reached the summit in 40:48 with a lead of over a minute over Martin Dematteis of Italy.
The fast descending Caithness man who competes for Inverclyde AC increased his lead on the way back down to the village posting a time of 1:04.04, with a margin of two and a half minutes over Dematteis who finished in 1:06.34.
The Italian man’s twin brother was not far behind in third with both living up to their status amongst the World’s best Mountain runners and enjoying their trip back to Wales where Bernard won Silver at the World Mountain Running Championships in 2015 and Martin joined him in the winning team.
Zak Hanna was the next man home leading his Ireland team but unable to prevent Scotland winning the team event with Douglas supported by James Espie in fifth and Ewan Brown in seventh. Mark Hopkinson was the first athlete home for hosts Wales in 9th place.
Douglas’ victory came following an unstoppable run of form which has seen him win the second round of the World Cup at the Broken Arrow Race in California and claiming a team Gold medal at the European Championships in Zermatt, Switzerland two weeks ago.
Winner Douglas spoke following the race; ‘It means so much, it’s a race I’ve wanted to do for a while but it’s never quite been in my plans’.
‘It’s great to have a world cup race here and to have the likes of Bernard and Martin here supporting it is a real privilege’.
‘The World Championships will be the big aim for the rest of the year. I’ll racing the rest of the World Cup Series and then hopefully I can keep things going all the way to November’.
Third victory for McCormack
Ireland’s Sarah McCormack has won at Snowdon twice before and the WMRA World Cup leader was unstoppable this time after passing early race leader Hatti Archer of England and battling with Italy’s Elisa Sortini all the way back to the finish.
McCormack’s victory came in 1:14.49, just 22 seconds ahead of Sortini with Archer third in 1:17.17.
England were comfortable victors here as Kelli Roberts and Megan Wilson followed Archer home in fourth and seven places.
‘I did not think it was going to happen before the race, I’m absolutely delighted’ said McCormack.
‘It was a great race and Elisa was catching me on the way down. We were actually neck and neck with about a mile to go which doesn’t happen too often in the women’s field, we can get a bit spread out’.
‘We were both really working hard at that stage. I ran six minutes faster than I’ve ever have here, I’m really happy with that, I wasn’t expecting it’.
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