Tuesday 30th October, 2018
Four Welsh athletes competed at the famous Trofeo Vanoni races in Morbegno, Italy last Sunday 28th October.
In difficult conditions, worsened by the torrential rain on Saturday, runners faced treacherous underfoot conditions at Morbegno against high calibre international fields. In the women's race, Elliw Haf (Eryri Harriers) finished in 19th place for Wales, with Snowdon Race representatives Miranda Grant and Caitlin Rice finishing 7th and 8th fastest respectively.
In the men's race, Matthew Roberts (Calder Valley) was fastest across the line for Wales in 14th place, followed by Gareth Hughes (Mercia) who was 20th and Tom Roberts (Meirionydd) who was 87th. Chris Smith was fastest across the line for the Snowdon Race representatives finishing in 5th place.
The event, in its 61st year was tinged with sadness following the recent passing of Gianpietro Botta aged 72. Gianpietro brought Italian athletes to take part in the Snowdon race in 1980, beginning a long association between Morbegno, where he is from, and Llanberis. Ken Jones, the Snowdon Race founder, who knew Mr Botta for almost 40 years praised his Italian friend's enthusiasm for the sport of "Mountain Running" which culminated in the twinning of the two villages in 2004.
Ken Jones was present for this year's event where a special plaque was unveiled before the event in memory of Mr Botta, on part of the race route, in Morbegno.