RUN247 / Running News / Trail Running News / Ultra-Trail Snowdonia 2024: Third time lucky, intense heat and an extraordinary weekend

Ultra-Trail Snowdonia 2024: Third time lucky, intense heat and an extraordinary weekend

Katherine Brook
Trail running writer
Published on
Endure 24
How Far Will You Go? UK's Biggest 24hr Trail Race

After two years of starting the Ultra-Trail Snowdonia 100m race and not completing it, British runner Mark Darbyshire was shocked to not just win the race but go under 24 hours (23:41:13) and set a new course record!

Mark won his first UTS 100k race in 2021 but it hasn’t been such a smooth journey for the 100m. In 2022, runners were taken off the mountain mid-race due to bad weather and in 2023, Darbyshire DNF’d.

“Having raced some of the 100m course twice before I knew how brutal it was and what to expect,” he said. 

“Last year I made the mistake of chasing early and my legs gave out just past 100k. This year, the plan was simple: get to Beddgelert in good shape and then hopefully push from there. 

“I think I was 40 minutes slower than last year but the plan worked as I felt great when the sun came up on Saturday morning. Absolutely delighted to win and pretty shocked to go under 24 hours. I thought that sub-25 might be possible if I had a good day.”

Ultra Trail Snowdonia 2024 UTMB 100m race Mark Darbyshire
Mark Darbyshire sets a new course record to win the men’s 100m race at Ultra-Trail Snowdonia 2024 (Photo – Ultra-Trail Snowdonia/UTMB).

Hot hot hot as Welsh weather sizzles

The sun was shining down on the runners throughout the whole weekend of UTS races, and while some people – like Mark Darbyshire – are ‘fair weather’ runners, others were expecting cold, boggy conditions.

Lina El Kott Helander, one half of the sister duo who placed 2nd and 3rd in the UTS 50k, said she was expecting ‘cold, rough trails’, like she’s used to in Sweden, but instead got ‘intense heat!’

“I was searching for water to pour over myself wherever I could. But the weather did mean we could see beautiful views,” shared Lina.

Winner of the UTS 50k race, Norwegian runner Henriette Albon said she really felt the heat on the second climb up Snowdon.

“I found some streams to drink from, which helped quite a bit. After that it was just a matter of getting to the finish as quickly as possible. 

“It turned into quite the grind in the end (and I actually had a couple of handfuls of salt at the aid stations) but I was chasing my time goals and managed to keep pushing all the way. Extremely happy with my time on the course, especially as it was a little longer than last year and the heat made it quite challenging.”

‘Snowdonia made for an extraordinary race experience’

Henriette Albon

“Having attended university in Bath in my 20s, being married to an Englishman for the past 9 years, and staying with my sister in law who is based 20 minutes away from Llanberis made it all the more special racing in this corner of the world,” says Henriette.

“The course was spectacular with a good mix of fast runnable trails and more technical descents and ridges. From running through magical dark forests to trails next to blue water pools and chasing ridge lines, Snowdonia made for an extraordinary race experience.”

Ultra Trail Snowdonia 2024 Results by UTMB Henriette Albon 50k Race
Henriette Albon wins the women’s 50k race at Ultra-Trail Snowdonia 2024 (Photo – Ultra-Trail Snowdonia/UTMB)
Katherine Brook
Written by
Katherine Brook
A copywriter and journalist by profession Katherine is a passionate trail runner and often to be found challenging herself across the UK & Europe. 2024 will see her take on a triathlon challenge.


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