British ultra runner Tom Evans looks a firm favourite to add to his tally of race wins as he lines up for Saturday’s Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB 50km (UTS 50K) race.
Evans has established himself as a force to be reckoned with at the highest level of competition. 2022 saw wins for him at Transgrancanaria and the Scafell Sky Race, but perhaps even more impressive was his third place at Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB).
Western States goal
This year has seen him focusing on races in the USA – he finished second in the Black Canyon Ultras 100K in February. And he has his sights set on a return to the Western States 100 in June, the scene of one of his most acclaimed performances to date when, in 2019, he finished third in a record time for a non-American of 14:59:44.
The UTS 50K with its 62m elevation gain per km and a total of 3,200m ascent throughout the race will be an important part of Evans’ relentless preparation.
“My last 3 weeks = Trails + Treadmill,” he said on Instagram alongside a clip of his recent training, “648km run, 12,322m ascent.”
“Really in the thick of WSER training,” he shared in another recent Instagram post, “lots more hard work to come.”
UTS 50 rivals
Taking place within the stunning Snowdon Massif mountain range, the Ultra-Trail Snowdonia UTS 50K takes in several technical mountain trails, reaching the peaks at Bwlch Glas, Yr Wyddfa, Mynydd Mawr and Moel Eilio in between the start and finish at Llanberis.
And Evans will be fully aware that he will have to work hard if he is going to add to his win collection with stiff competition coming from a strong field of elite runners.
His UTMB index of 908 has him the highest ranked in the field but he is closely followed by Frenchman Mathieu Delpeuch (859), who was third to Evans in last year’s Transgrancanaria, and Norway’s Erland Eldrup (858), fresh from his victory in the 60km La sportiva Trail del Marchesato.