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Winter Trail Wales goes virtual for 2021

With the Coronavirus pandemic still firmly established the UK, the inevitable decision of the postponement of the 2021 Buff Winter Trail Wales has been made by organisers at Run Coed y Brenin.

As one of the most popular winter trail running events on the UK calendar this will come as a disappointment for many regulars at the race, however as race organiser Matt Ward explains there were a number of factors to be considered.

“As with any event at Coed y Brenin we need to consult closely with the team at Natural Resources Wales who manage not only the land that the race runs on, but also the visitor centre and car parking facilities at Coed y Brenin. With NRW  understandably still in a position to be unable to issue event permissions it was always going to be a difficult situation for us as organisers  to hold the event.

“When we add to this the fact that Wales (and the UK) is currently under very restrictive measures – indeed in Wales we are in a full lockdown at the moment – and the possibility that we could well have a similar measure in place in January at the time of the event, the most logical decision all-round is the cancel the event now, giving everyone plenty of notice”.

As with many events this year the eventuality of a virtual race is an option. To date no Run CyB events have followed this route in 2020, however as Matt explains this was a logical option for the Winter Trail Wales race.

“At that time of year (mid January) there are very few trail races and each year the race fills up super-fast as it’s a great target for runners after Christmas and a nice goal to keep motivated in the winter. So we feel that a kind of hybrid virtual race would be great for everyone’s motivation and mental health in January.

“Full details of the Winter Virtual will be released in mid-November, with entries live on December the 1st, and we hope to have a couple of interesting options for participants. Importantly the money raised will also be very helpful for the Run CyB events funds, which have been hard-hit in 2020, plus we hope to be able to make a donation from the virtual event to the South Snowdonia Mountain Rescue Team, who likewise have not had the usual income in 2020 that they would expect from their event and race support that they supply in the area, at a number of events.”

Matt concludes, “I hope our WTW regulars get behind the Winter Virtual in January and we can continue to serve the trail community with some motivation in early 2021 in what is a difficult period for us all. Diolch o galon pawb!”

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