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Page last updated at 08:35 GMT, Wednesday, 27 October 2010 09:35 UK
Snowdonia Marathon route boost for Llanberis high street

Runners in the Snowdonia Marathon
This year's winner is expected to set a new course record

This year's Snowdonia Marathon will be run on a new course which should benefit business and the environment.

After 29 years of starting in Nant Peris, the race on Saturday, 30 October, will start near Dolbadarn Castle and end on Llanberis High Street.

"We used to have to bus people from the village to the start line, which wasn't very environmentally friendly," said one of the race organisers, Matt Ward.

"Also, we wanted to bring the race into the centre of the village, instead of ending out by the community centre."

To keep to the necessary 26.2 mile distance other adjustments have been made to the event, which was voted the toughest and most scenic by Runners' World in 2007.

You won't end by going up a hill at a point when you really don't want any more hills

Iorwerth Jones who has run every Snowdonia Mararthon

"There's an ancient road which goes down from Nant Gwryd to Nant Gwynant which we wanted to incorporate into the race because it's a closed road, so there's no traffic," explained Matt.

"It also adds to the historic element of the race."

The new route goes from Llanberis, up Pen-y-Pass and over to Beddgelert via Nant Gwryd before returning to Llanberis. It's hoped the extra downhill miles at the start and more direct finish will make for a faster course.

Part of the High Street will be shut for the finish, but shopkeepers are pleased.

"I think it's great," said Sue Payton of Joe Brown's climbing shops.

"Anything that brings people onto the high street is a really good thing for the village.

"We need a boost, so this is a really positive step forward."

Runner Iorwerth Jones of Glan Conwy has taken part in all 28 Snowdonia Marathons and says of the new route:

Dolbadarn Castle
The hilly nature of the course deters elite marathon runners

"It will be a mile shorter for me because I used to run from Llanberis to the start line in Nant Peris. I got soaked before I'd even started last year!

"The end will come a bit quicker, too. You'll come down off the mountain and straight to the end, without having to take a tour round the village.

"Also, you won't have to end by going up a little hill, at a point when you really don't want any more hills."

Phil Jones, who's in charge of race entries, says places were snapped up in record time this year.

"We had 1,500 runners by May. So rather than have a reserves list, we opened it up to a further 500, which will always be whittled down on the day.

"We could have easily doubled the number of entrants."

There will be runners from Denmark, Hungary, Germany and the USA competing, as well as people raising funds for charity.

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