Wednesday 24th October, 2018
After missing the race in 2017 due to injury, Russell Bentley returns to Llanberis this weekend to try and re-capture the title he so emphatically won in 2016 at the 36th Snowdonia Marathon Eryri, writes Matt Ward.
Last year saw 2016 runner-up Daniel Jones race to victory as Bentley could only watch whilst nursing an injury that he had picked up racing at the Trofeo Vanoni just one week before the race.
"This time last year I was on crutches, after a bad fall in a mountain race in Italy." comments Bentley, "I was angry with myself for not being able to attempt to defend my title. I just had to watch from the sidelines, cursing to myself!
"It took me a while to get over the injury, and the disappointment, I am so excited to be fit and healthy this time!"
This year the 37-year old has had a much safer build-up to the event with strong marathon performances in Berlin and Chester in September and a 68-minute half marathon clocking just two weeks ago at the Manchester Half Marathon event.
He continues, "Winning this race in 2016 was the catalyst to my becoming a marathon runner. It is such an iconic event, runners all over the country talk about it and have respect for anyone who has managed to finish.
"Snowdonia is the most beautiful part of the UK, and this event is a perfect showcase for the stunning landscapes."
With age, Bentley has learnt that the 26.2 mile distance is to be respected and is happy that come what may on Saturday, he will be out on the roads of Snowdonia enjoying the race, as he concludes;
"The marathon is such a tough event, especially when you put a mountain at the end of it! I would love to finish feeling like I've given my best and have executed my race as well as I can. If that gives me 1st place, then great, if not, I will still be happy I ran a marathon!".