Friday, September 23, 2011

Commonwealth Mountain and Ultra Distance Championships

The second Commonwealth Mountain and Ultra Distance Championships were held in North Wales on 23-25 September 2011 with over 200 athletes from 24 Commonwealth countries descending on Wales for a festival of international running.

The three event venues of Llandudno (Conwy), Llanberis (Gwynedd) and Newborough Forest (Ynys Mon) played host to a weekend programme of Championship and open races across the disciplines of road, mountain and trail running, targeted at both local athletes and the visiting runners from the UK and beyond.

Welsh Athletics’ Head of Development, Steve Brace, spoke to Sport Wales ahead of the Championships:
“The Welsh Government’s Major Events Unit backed the event to gain profile for Wales and particularly North Wales. Television coverage will go out worldwide and establish Wales as a destination as well as a sporting venue. We’ve secured free to view coverage, with Channel 4 and Eurosport, as well as all the Commonwealth countries.
“The three events themselves are ideally suited to North Wales, which does tend to be under-represented in terms of major events. This is a stepping stone towards staging European and World championships, which is something we’re discussing with UK Athletics. Then there is the engagement with the local community, which should not be underestimated. There is a close club community in North Wales and we are very lucky to have excellent volunteers and local development officers across all the three counties involved.
“Our Welsh runners know the sites, and will have a lot of support on the courses, so hopefully home advantage will help. A lot can go wrong in these long distance races but the Welsh athletes are up for it. Pulling on the Welsh vest on Welsh soil – it doesn’t get better than this. This Championship will be the career highlight for many of these athletes.
“This is the second edition of this Championship (previously staged in Keswick) and it is the ideal event to bring to North Wales - hopefully with a view to integrating into the full Commonwealth Games in the future. It will bring profile to North Wales and upskill many of our officials. So there’s a whole important learning process for us.
“The support that we’ve had from the Welsh Government’s major events unit has been invaluable. We wanted to establish events that were not the norm and the 100km and ultra-distance community is a small body but one that deserves recognition.”
For more information and results from the Championships visit the official website at