Ultra Trail Snowdonia 2022: Route, live tracking & how to enter

Ultra Trail Snowdonia (UTS) features three races all of which are now part of the UTMB World Series. The 50 km, 100 km and 165 km races are run over challenging technical mountain trails providing competitors with Alpine scale mountain running. 

UTS50, 2021 – Picture by Andy Milton

Date, start time & live tracking 

The UTS165 is off first at 11am on July 1, with runners taking in the major peaks and trails of the Snowdonia National Park. The UTS 100 starts at 4am on July 2, and features the highlights of the mountainous parts of northern Snowdonia. 

The UTS 50 is the final race to get underway, starting at 11am on July 2 and following similar trails to the two longer races. 

All competitors will be issued with tracking devices and dot watchers will be able to map the progress of each runner.

Dot watchers can follow the action here:

UTS 165 – Friday 1st July 11am Start

UTS 100 – Saturday 2nd July, 4am Start

UTS 50 – Saturday 2nd July, 9am Start

UTMB Running Stones

As part of the UTMB World Series, completing any of the UTS races will help with qualification towards the UTMB Mont-Blanc and the UTMB World Series Finals. 

UTS 50 finishers 2 x UTMB Running Stones 

UTS 100 finishers 3 x UTMB Running Stones 

UTS 165 finishers 4 x UTMB Running Stones 

UTMB World Series schedule 

UTS Race Route  

UTS 165 is made up of two loops from Llanberis, with a north loop followed by a south loop – both of which are run anti-clockwise – and with an elevation gain over the 165km course of 10,200 metres. There is a 50-hour time limit on the race. 

UTS 100 runs anti-clockwise from Llanberis too, taking in countless stunning trails, technical ridges and epic views over its 100km route that has 6,600 metres of elevation gain and must be completed in 33 hours. 

UTS 50 features a challenging 62m elevation gain per km – a total of 3,200 metres throughout the race, taking in several technical mountain trails, especially around the Snowdon horseshoe. The race must be completed within 14 hours. 

UTS100, 2021 Picture by Evan Davies

Facts, Tips & FAQ 

Competitors who choose to take poles must carry them for the duration of the race. It is forbidden to start without poles and collect them during the course of the race. No poles are allowed in drop bags. The use of poles will be forbidden in certain zones along the route marked by specific signs, for safety or environmental reasons. 

Listening to music using earphones only, is tolerated, so long as it is safe to do so. Earphones must be removed when approaching or crossing any roads, at any checkpoints and when approaching and passing any Safety Team members. 

Personal support is allowed for UTS 165 and UTS 100 competitors at specified refreshment posts and only in the zone specifically reserved for this use. Support is restricted to one person only. Assistance given by a team of professionals, or any medic or paramedic, is strictly forbidden. No assistance is allowed, at any point along the race route, during UTS 50. 

All race distances offer approximately 1000m+ of elevation gain per 16km distance.  

Many sections of the route are very rough underfoot, with long sections of rocky terrain, which can be very slippery if wet. There is very little soft ground or tarmac featured on the routes. 

The routes feature short sections of easy scrambling at a non-graded difficulty, but where there is some exposure and you may need to use your hands to steady yourself. Specifically, these are Mynydd Drws-y-Coed on the Nantlle Ridge (which the 100 and 165 races traverse) and the Pen yr Helgi Du Ridge (which the 165 race crosses) in a west-bound traverse. 

How to enter the UTS 

Entry to the UTS 165 and UTS 100 are open to anyone over 20 years of age on the day of the race. The UTS 50 is open to anyone aged 18 or over on the day of the race. 

Entries for all distances in 2022 close at midnight on Tuesday 21st June, unless race capacities are filled in advance. Entries are made exclusively on the internet and there will not be a waiting list. 

Race capacities in 2022 are UTS 165 – 300, UTS 100 – 600, UTS 50 – 600. 

To register for the UTS 165 and UTS 100 races, runners must have proven experience in running long distance trail running races. For UTS 165, runners must have a valid performance index in the 100M or 100K category. For UTS 100, runners must have a valid performance index in the 100M, 100K or 50K category.  

2022 registration fees are as follows: UTS 165  – £209, UTS 100 – £159, UTS 50 – £109. 

UTS records and past winners

The UTS race routes have changed each year as the series has developed so there is no official record as such. Added to this, the format changed with the 2021 season so that the races that had previously been marked in miles are now marked in kilometres – hence the winning times appearing to have been hugely reduced when in fact it is the distances that have changed. 

Past winners 

2021 

UTS 165 (km):  

M – Josh Bakker-Dyos 28:51:43  

F – Alice Sheldon 45:09:55

UTS 100 (km):  

M – Mark Darbyshire 14:25:47 

F – Sarah Staveley 21:41:03

UTS 50 (km):  

M – Harry Jones 06:13:22 

F – Lauren Woodwiss 7:54:18

Who is taking part at UTS 2022?

It’s perhaps not surprising that a UTMB World Series race attracts an international field and this is certainly the case for the 2022 UTS with entries from all over the globe. Past winners such as Mark Darbyshire – who won the UTS 100 in 2021 – is stepping up to take on the UTS165. He will be joined by a number of elite runners from across Europe. 

More detail will be added to this section as entries are confirmed. 

UTS kit list

The challenging nature of each of the races requires a comprehensive kit list. The mandatory list is detailed here although the race organisers also recommend additional kit, details of which can be found on the official website. 

Failure to carry mandatory kit will result in punishments ranging from time penalties to immediate disqualification. 

UTS 165 & UTS 100 Mandatory Equipment: 

  • Pack suitable for carrying mandatory equipment throughout the race. 
  • Suitable footwear – note that road or barefoot style shoes are not acceptable. 
  • A map will be supplied at registration and competitors must carry that map and a compass and are expected to have the ability to use both effectively. 
  • Mobile phone (fully charged at start) with international roaming allowing for its use in UK. The phone must have security numbers loaded. The phone must be on at all times during the race and must not be in airplane mode. If a smartphone is used, live Run application should be installed and activated. An external battery is highly recommended. 
  • Personal cup 150ml minimum, suitable for consuming hot drinks/soup (bottles or flasks with lids are not acceptable). 
  • Plates and cutlery to eat. At the aid stations, cutlery will be provided. 
  • Capacity to carry minimum 1.5-liter water/fluids. Note: When leaving some aid stations, it will be mandatory to leave with 1.5-liter of fluids. 
  • 2× fully functioning torches, BOTH with spare, separate batteries (i.e., a power-bank or similar only counts as ONE spare torch battery). Recommendation: 200 lumens or more for the main torch. 
  • Survival blanket (minimum size 2m x 1.4m) or bag (bag preferred – EXAMPLE). 
  • Whistle. 
  • Self-adhesive elasticated bandage which can serve as a bandage or strapping (minimum 100cm x 6cm). 
  • Emergency food reserve. Recommendation: 800kcal (2 gels + 2 energy bars of 65g+ each). 
  • Jacket with hood which will withstand bad weather in the mountains and made with a waterproof* and breathable** membrane (e.g., Outdry) (*minimum recommended 10,000 Schmerber. **RET recommended inferior to 13). The jacket must, imperatively, be fitted with an integrated hood or one which is attached to the jacket by the original system designed for that purpose by the manufacturer. The seams must be sealed. 
  • The jacket must not have sections of fabric which are not waterproof, but air vents fitted by the manufacturer (under-arm, in the back) are accepted. It is the runner’s responsibility to judge, with these criteria, if their jacket fits the regulations stated and is thus suitable for bad weather in the mountains. However, during a check, the judgment is made by the person or steward in charge of the check point. 
  • Waterproof over trousers with taped seams. 
  • Long-legged trousers or race leggings OR a combination of legging and socks which cover the legs completely (they can be carried in the backpack in case its use is necessary).  
  • Warm hat (‘Buff’ acceptable). 
  • Warm gloves. 
  • Additional warm second layer: a warm second layer top with long sleeves (cotton excluded) of a weight of a minimum of 180g (men’s size medium (M)) OR the combination of a warm long-sleeved underwear (first or second layer, cotton exclude) of a minimum weight of 110g (men’s size medium (M)) and a durable water repellant (DWR protection) windproof jacket*. 

[The wind-proof jacket does not replace the obligatory waterproof jacket, and vice versa. ]

UTS 50 Mandatory Equipment: 

  • Pack suitable for carrying mandatory equipment throughout the race.  
  • Suitable footwear – note that road or barefoot style shoes are not acceptable.  
  • A map will be supplied at registration and competitors must carry that map and a compass and are expected to have the ability to use both effectively.  
  • Mobile phone (fully charged at start) with international roaming allowing for its use in UK. The phone must have security numbers loaded. The phone must be on at all times during the race and must not be in airplane mode. If a smartphone is used, live Run application should be installed and activated. An external battery is highly recommended.  
  • Personal cup 150ml minimum, suitable for consuming hot drinks/soup (bottles or flasks with lids are not acceptable).  
  • Plates and cutlery to eat. At the aid stations, cutlery will be provided. 
  • Capacity to carry water/fluids of 1 litre minimum. 
  • 1× torch in good working order with spare cell/batteries. Recommendation: 200 lumens or more. 
  • Survival blanket (minimum size 2m x 1.4m) or bag (bag preferred – EXAMPLE). 
  • Whistle. 
  • Self-adhesive elasticated bandage which can serve as a bandage or strapping (minimum 100cm x 6cm). 
  • Food reserve. Recommendation: 800kcal (2 gels + 2 energy bars of 65g+ each). 
  • Jacket with hood which will withstand bad weather in the mountains and made with a waterproof* and breathable** membrane (e.g., Outdry)  

*Minimum recommended 10,000 Schmerber.  

**RET recommended inferior to 13. 

  • The jacket must, imperatively, be fitted with an integrated hood or one which is attached to the jacket by the original system designed for that purpose by the manufacturer. The seams must be sealed. 
  • The jacket must not have sections of fabric which are not waterproof, but air vents fitted by the manufacturer are accepted.  
  • Waterproof over trousers with taped seams. 
  • Warm hat (‘Buff’ acceptable). 
  • Warm gloves. 
  • Long-legged trousers or race leggings OR a combination of legging and socks which cover the legs completely 
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An experienced runner with numerous trail and ultra-marathons in his legs from races ranging from 30 to 110 miles. Racing and training has been focused mainly, although not exclusively, on the North Yorkshire Moors and East Yorkshire Wolds. As a journalist and sports industry professional for 40 years, Chris continues to love many sports but admits that trail running has become more of an obsession than a hobby.