On Saturday the 6th May Quest Adventure Race Series brought their first ever UK event to Betws-y-Coed. Adventure racers from all over the UK, France and Ireland descended upon Snowdonia National Park on Saturday morning and took to the trails of Snowdonia Forest Park to run, cycle and kayak their way through one of 3 demanding and scenic routes.
The majority of participants took part in the Sport route of 42km which saw them start with a run through the trails around Betws-y-Coed; they then biked for 13km through Gwydir Forest and arrived at the kayak stage on Llyn Geirionydd. Another trail run which took in beautiful views around Llyn Crafnant and onto the final stage of cycling which included challenging hills and the final straight run back into the village of Betws-y-Coed and the finish line at Cae Llan. First across the line was Niall Smith (2hrs 16mins) followed by Kieran Cosgrove (2hrs 17mins) in second place, Damien McConnell came third (2hrs 22mins). The first female home was Regina Sheehan (2hrs 47mins) followed by Breega Smith (3hrs 6mins).
The Expert route was an extended version of the Sport route for the more adventurous. The winner of this 53km route was Dessie Duffy (2hrs 48mins) with Killian Heery (2hrs 49mins) coming in second. The first female to complete the Expert route was Angelique Bueler (4hrs 21mins) followed by Anne Marie Lowry (5hrs 12mins) and Lauren Graham(5hrs 13mins) in third place.
Richard Gwyn won the Mini route (1hrs 39mins) and Heidi Boyton took first in the female category (2hrs 20mins).
After the race Cae Llan was the centre of activity where competitors were treated to a well-earned massage, some hearty food and custom designed medals and t-shirts.
Event organizer Oliver Kirwan said, “We have been working with Conwy Council, Betws-y-Coed Tourism Association and other local stakeholders to bring Quest to the area and we have had an absolutely brilliant day here – as have our participants. Everyone has been commenting on how awesome the course was. Events like this are brilliant for regional towns, not only do they bring tourists but they showcase the best that Snowdonia National Park has to offer. The race would not have been possible without the help of the people and businesses of Betws-y-Coed, the marshals and local support. We very much look forward to returning next year with more adventure racers and new comers to this beautiful area.”
Sarah Ferguson, Chair of Betws-y-Coed Tourism Association, “We are very pleased to welcome Quest to Betws-y-Coed. We know that those travelling to and participating in the race had a wonderful day. Quest offers those who enjoy the outdoors and challenging themselves a great opportunity. It’s great to bring new visitors to the area and we look forward to welcoming Quest back in 2018. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t tried adventure racing to think about entering this great event next year and discovering our wonderful National Park in a whole new fashion.”
Dates for Quest Betws-y-Coed 2018 are yet to be finalised but will be published here in future.