Snowdon horseshoe record (Running)

I stopped off in Snowdonia on the way back from my 8th and final Msc module for another crack at getting the record for this great little run. With it being my final module every evening was spent in the pub, not ideal preparation for athletic pursuits. I reasoned that I had ran up Cader Idris on Friday and felt very fit, and pub activities after that were merely an extension of previous nights, so it was worth a shot today.

Right from the start I felt grim, none of the bouncy agression in my stride that had been there on Friday, just heavy legs and an unending queesy feeling in my belly. By halfway up Crib Goch I had decided that I would retire and have another go tomorrow unless my time to the top of Crib Goch was as good or better than a month ago. I felt so weak that I was sure I would be slower than before, but to my suprise the watch read 29 minutes to the top of Crib Goch, exactly the same time as before. I decided that it was at least worth a go, and pushed hard on the descent to the col then on up Crib Y Ddysgl. I got a much better line here than last time, and hoped that improvements in route would be all I needed, as I certainly didn’t feel any fitter than before! On the summit of Snowdon I was two minutes up on before, although I thought it was three (I was just under 50 minutes, but all I saw was 49!), which gave me enough hope that I could get the rest on the descent off Snowdon and on over Lliwedd. On the climb up Lliwedd I realised that I still didn’t have a definitive answer on which summit was higher – a local had told me the East summit, but the OS map said the West, so I visited both again. I couldn’t remember which summit my previous split had been taken from so wasn’t sure whether I was bang on record schedule or a minute and a half down, so kept pushing all the way down to Llyn Llydaw and the final sprint home. By this point it was clear I would either just get it, or just fail to get it, so I didn’t let up the whole way down, finally touching the gate a minute inside the old record* of 1hr 26. Phew!

Crib Goch

Crib Goch

Split times below

Pen Y Pass 0

Crib Goch 29.18

Crib Y Ddysgl 43.48

Snowdon 49.54

Lliwedd W Summit 1.05.17

Lliwedd E Summit 1.06.53

Pen Y Pass 1.25.08

  • The Snowdon Horseshoe has much less of a written history than the Cuillin of people running fast times on it, which is a shame as it’s a great run. This figure of 1hr 26 was based on what the rangers at Pen Y Pass had told me, and was set by Phil Jones, or Phil Conwy (I’m not sure which, as I’ve been told two different names) sometime in the 70s. It seems entirely possible someone may have run faster previously, so get in touch if you know of someone who has…