A Sheffield businessman put in a marathon effort to win a prestigious mountain race.
Stuart Walker, who runs the Accelerate outdoor shop in Attercliffe, was among several hardy runners to take part in the first ever Scott Snowdonia Trail Marathon in Wales.
The race took competitors on a tour of Snowdon and began with a steady climb on trails away from Llanberis before dropping down and heading to the bottom of the Llanberis pass.
From there it was a simple matter of ‘up and over’ Snowdon, on the Pyg Track and back downto Llanberis to the finish.
Stuart, from Attercliffe, said conditions were tough with wind, rain and freezing temperatures at the summit.
He added: “There were plenty of challenges, not just the ascent or the slippery rooty sections, but for me the road sections were tough as these aren’t normally my favourite.”
“I deliberately started slowly and gradually worked my way forward during the first section of the race.
“When the full and half marathon routes split I was in a group with three other guys but we soon heard that there was a lone runner five minutes out in front.
“Another guy and I got a gap on the others - despite a nervous minute’s wait at a level crossing - and ran together till Bedgellert, when I pulled away a bit.
“I think the gap in front was 15 minutes at Pen-y-Pass but I knew the mountain was my best chance and tried to run as much of the climb as possible.
“I had no idea if I was catching up or not so it was a bit of a surprise when the marshals told me the gap at the top was down to 60 seconds.”
Stuart took the lead just after the summit and ran fast to try and extend his lead.
“The last section through the woods was painful and felt never-ending,” he said. “I couldn’t see behind me so was worried I’d be caught, but finally I saw the 400m to go sign and believed I was going to do it. Crossing the line was a great moment and it was really nice to share it with my wife and the other Team Accelerate-Scott guys.”
He won in four hours, four minutes. Fellow Accelerate-Scott members took part in the half marathon event.