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Enduro Trail breaks new ground

A new chapter in trail running was opened in Wales this weekend, as the Suunto sponsored Enduro Trail Wales test event took place in Coed y Brenin.

The philosophy of the Enduro Trail Wales event is all about exploring those skills required for uphill and downhill running, on testing terrain of gnarly, rocky ascents or descents or long flowing grassy hills. The Enduro style racing format breaks the race route down into stages, enabling runners to race the stages, enjoy the transitions and have a cumulative time for the days racing.

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With 17km, 680 metres of elevation and 7 Stages (up and downhill) between 0.5 and 1.0 km in length the event was bound to be testing.

Billed as a pilot event with 30 selected runners to test the concept and format, Enduro Trail Wales’ appeal was instant, with competitor Jon Evans stating:

“Ran the pilot Enduro Trail Wales event at Coed y Brenin this afternoon, fantastic experience and faultless organisation. I predict this will get big, dirt trackers will love it!” 

Top fell runner Jason Williams had made the trip from Leicester for the event and commented:

“What a great idea this Enduro trail running is! Loved it all. Smashed every segment as hard as I could and I am pleased with my performance – will be back next year for a bigger and better event I hope!”

After a day which saw a full race briefing session, a time-trial style event start for all runners, racing in stages with transition and energy conservation in between, this was no ordinary race event.

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Race organiser Matt Ward explains more:

“When I envisaged this event I had in mind breaking some new ground in trail running. At Run. Coed y Brenin the philosophy is have a broad mix of events, that appeal to all abilities of trail runner and are most of all enjoyable.

“The Enduro Trail format is very different, it is a commonplace discipline in MTB and has a World series that has now become huge, so as with all things we do, I say ‘why not?’

“The most rewarding aspect to come out of this event was how so many runners came back to the race HQ with big grins saying how they loved the format and the stages, how it was totally different and that they had to really think about what they were doing, where they were going and how tactics came into it. 

“Overall, the feedback has been incredibly positive and that runners are looking forward to a full-blown race event next year. The date is TBC, but for sure we are excited to be able to announce that the 2017 Enduro Trail Wales race will go ahead!”

Fastest man and woman on the day over the 7 stages were Michael Corrales (21:02) and Suzzane Broadhurst (28:24), both taking away fantastic new Ambit Vertical GPS watches courtesy of sponsors Suunto. Broadhurst later said:

“Run.CyB Enduro Trail Wales. Simply put, totally awesome. Tough, exciting, technical, but mostly such fun and an honour to be part of a new and innovative event.”

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Michael Corrales © Sport Pictures Cymru

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Suzanne Broadhurst © Sport Pictures Cymru

The event was also partnered by TDL Event Services, who supplied the transponders and timing mats for the final two stages of the event. This process was also a test to develop a timing system that meant all runners’ times were uploaded within seconds of returning to the race HQ. Once again this worked perfectly, and will mean that all stages in 2017 will have full active timing for runners.

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Full 2016 Enduro Trail Wales results can be found HERE, with race images via Sport Pictures Cymru HERE.

The last word is left to the runners, who universally reacted with positivity to the event:

“So different to other races. Brought the competitor out of me – I’ve never raced so hard! Can’t wait for the 2017 event. Thanks Team R.CyB!!” – Osian Evans

“Brilliant day, challenging but very enjoyable route. As usual, very well organised. A very big thumbs up, looking forward to next year. Diolch i bawb” – Dylan Davies

“Great new concept from to bring MTB Enduro style racing into trail running. Tough day out there for me today, every climb got the better of me. Look out for the Enduro Trail Wales race next year!” – Paul Wathan

“I want to thank you for all of your hard work to make yesterday a reality, for the fab team and support that you have built up at these events, and for having such an exciting idea for trail racing.” – Alexandra Pritchard

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Winners Michael Corrales and Suzanne Broadhurst with their Suunto Ambit Vertical prizes ©Sport Pictures Cymru

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