Man Vs Mountain 2020

8:00am - 6:00pm 05 Sep, 2020
Man Vs Mountain 2020 Starts In

Plan for Man Vs Mountain 2020

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Caernarfon, United Kingdom

Man vs Mountain: Time to conquer Snowdon

Man vs Mountain is an epic welsh mountain adventure race starting at sea level in the stunning Caernarfon Castle. The track twists and turns for 22 miles up to the summit of Snowdon in the United Kingdom and down the other side into Dinorwic Quarry.   

Next comes a series of punishing obstacles such as a 25m river swim, jump into a disused quarry lake, and then abseil down the side of a sheer rock face. It finishes with the infamous Vertical Kilometre for you to tackle before you can cross the finish line victorious.

This intense mountain race for Man Vs Mountain is a touching and inspiring event. Pushing runners to their limit along the journey, money is raised for the Children With Cancer UK charity. 

Beginning at Caernarfon Castle, the trail snakes its way up the side of the glorious Snowdon mountain right to the summit. From there you will have a long sprint back down overcoming obstacles left, right, and center until you finally, triumphantly, cross the finish line. The average length of time to complete the 22mile race is 5 and a half hours. As you climb you will reach an ascent of 5055ft but not before a short pit stop for water and snacks. 

Modern technology offers live satellite streaming,  where your supporters can cheer you on all the way from anywhere in the world.The event is well equipped with directional signs throughout the route along.  There are paramedics and mountain safety support on hand. All participants will be awarded a medal upon successful completion of the race. Following on from the race there will be an afterparty in which all racers will be entitled to a hard-earned free beer.

‘The Man Vs Mountain race is not for the faint-hearted, this race will require endurance, strength, and dedication to complete the run and crush the challenges Snowdon will throw at you.’

Your experience at Man Vs Mountain

The start line is overshadowed by the fairy-tale like opulence of Snowdon’s Caernarfon Castle, expect to take a few moments to admire your surroundings before it’s time to take off!

Everyone is cheery at the beginning, and there’s a lighthearted, breezy mood. All runners are in this harrowing race together, so it’s great when everyone gets on well at the start.  The first mile is very cheery because it is dead flat and there’s time to acknowledge where you are and admire the scenery. 

Intro over, it’s time to get serious. Many people start the incline, popping in their earphones and beginning to seriously power up the steep 13 mile stretch up towards Snowdon’s mountain ranges.

Checkpoints emerge at various spots on the way up so you can grab a refreshment however, it’s best to keep on trudging for fear of seizing up. Eventually there is a bit of a downhill stretch, relief sets in, only to realize you have to go up again as you make your way to the steepest part to reach the summit by lunchtime. 

The terrain is slippery and steep, but when you see the summit photographer, all troubles melt away for a picture. Finally it’s time for food and water, then get ready for the downhill sprint. The downhill trail is busy, but it’s a great opportunity to get up some speed and get ahead of the pack. Beware though, you may get injured if you go too fast! 

After getting down the other side, it’s time for the road run to Llanberis, then an uphill vertical kilometer climb through the slate mines in Llanberis and trail run back to the town center. 

Once you are back in town, it’s time for the fun part of the race and you can get ready for a swim! You can see the finish line from here, some describe it as a mental test, but there’s so much more to do! 

The Rat Race has a dive board jump into a natural cavern lake, an abseil then a slide into the lakes and some swimming. Wearing a mandatory life jacket can hamper the swim, but the top of the slide will be the best view of the whole entire race. 

Sprint to the finish after the cold swim but there’s one final obstacle you must be able to handle. A rope climb is drunkenly managed and so entertaining for others to watch as you get photographed at the finish and receive the well deserved medal. Sounds easy, right?

Best views at Man Vs Mountain

Am, everywhere you look! The summit is epic if it’s clear enough to gaze out. If it’s misty or foggy then it adds another dimension to the scenery. 

Then there’s the run beside the tourism railway on the way to Llanberis, which is amazing, both to try and outrace a train and to become part of one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world. From abandoned stone cottages to clear blue water, every moment finds you admiring nature. 

What to wear

Layers! Light jackets, leggings and shorts with vests and swimmers underneath. Jacket thrown off at the top of the summit for downhill and then all outer garments gone for the swim. 

What to pack

Good music tunes and earphones for the 13km uphill.
Proper high end trail shoes, this ain’t no fun run!
Running gloves
Hydration bladder of at least 1L
Survival bag, or blanket.
Hat and sunscreen

Buy tickets 

You can buy tickets for the Man vs Mountain via their official rat race website. If you become a rat race member then you can have early access to all event tickets. 

The cost of a ticket will set you back £109-160 per person, depending on whether you can snag an early bird ticket or not. There are discounts for booking as a pair or in a team of 5 people. All fees include the use of the GPS tracker.

Man Vs Mountain Event Schedule

Friday – September 4, 2020

2pm-10pm: Registration opens in the Beerstalker tent in the Event Village. Food is served until 8pm

Saturday – September 5, 2020

5.30am-7am: Bus drop off and carb loaded breakfast spread is put on in Beerstalker Tent. 
8.00am/8.15am/8.30am/8.45am: Waves of people take off at the Start Line – Caernarfon Castle, North Wales.

A 13-mile uphill road run inland towards Snowden mountains.
Hike to the Summit of Snowden
Trail run back down Snowden.
Road run to Llanberis.
Llanberis slate mine vertical kilometre.
Steep descent to Llanberis town centre.
Rat Race – 25 m water obstacles and swimming. Including, 20ft water jump, abseiling, water slide into lake.
One last rope climb.
Finish Line in Llamberis town’s centre.

1.00pm: first finisher expected
6.00pm: last finisher expected and event closes. 

After 6pm: Post Race Social continues in the Beerstalker Tent , serving epic food and beers for all.

Man vs Mountain takes place on Saturday, but many arrive at the area on Friday for registration.

Top Tips

Walk some of the hills: At some points it’s easier to power walk up the steep hill at the beginning rather than try to run at it. 

Get your legs ready: Partake in some serious leg training in the lead up to the event. 

Fuel up: Pack some energy gels.

Man Vs Mountain History

Man Vs Mountain is a modern classic event, introduced by local York based company Rat Race Adventures in the UK.  This events group likes to design obstacle courses around natural environments that are already steeped in challenging and exciting trails and rugged fun. They add a little bit of sustainable flair to top off the wonderful settings they provide for adventurers. 

They aim to challenge intrepid adventurers while also giving them a great weekend away in North Wales. Since beginning these events they have had to cancel parts of the course due to bad weather and this year moved the start line as the castle was being renovated. They work to reduce environmental impact, and 2020 sees them attempting to remove single use plastic cups, encouraging entrants to bring reusable ones. They equip all adventurers with a satellite tracker.

So far, the race has managed to raise over 1million pounds for this deserving charity and children throughout the UK suffering from cancer have hugely benefited. The charity raises funds to put towards type specific and specialty treatments so that the brave children battling cancer can finally start living.

Things to do in Snowdon

Caernarfon is a town steeped in history and royalty, hello there’s a castle, and there are many activities to keep visitors amused. North Wales is without a doubt, a very beautiful part of the UK. The town of Caernarfon is both coastal and countryside, offering a range of outdoor activities and water sports. 

Snowdon is obviously a huge tourist attraction but around the town, you can also enjoy hiking, cycling, paintballing, golf, and many woodland adventure activities. Moving towards the waterfront there are opportunities for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and canyoning. Around Caernarfon and surrounding areas, there are ancient castles and historic ruins to explore along with national parks and several museums.

Step into a Christmas card when you visit the crafty little village of Beddgelert. Take a self guided tour of a copper mine, walk the river, enjoy the craft shops, check out the wood carvings and eat local welsh cuisine and drink beer and local (yes local) wine. 

There are beautiful scenic railways dotted all around the area and at Gypsy Wood Point there is a miniature railway park that the whole family can enjoy. There are goats, ponies, pigs, a train ride around the park, go karts and ride on diggers as well. 

What to eat in Wales

Mmm, what is Welsh cuisine you might ask? Rich bistro food to feed the soul, while escaping the cold weather comes to mind. Think welsh lamb ciabatta, homemade fish cakes, smoked haddock, roast welsh beef topside, Sea bass, ham hock terrine.  

Toffee puddings and brandy baskets are on the dessert menus along with fresh scones slathered in cream and local jams. Local ales, wines and ciders all finish these meals off good and proper.  

How to get there

The starting point for Man Vs Mountain is in the town of Caernarfon in north-west Wales. The closest airport to Caernarfon is Chester Airport which is 64miles away. Other options include Liverpool John Lennon Airport at 89miles and Manchester airport at 98miles. 

Where to stay

The whole area around the town of Caernarfon is filled with getaway accommodation like bunkhouses, self-catering, B&Bs, hostels and hotels.

Stay in a gypsy caravan? Ok, you got it! Super eco friendly with a composting loo and compact show, the Anglesey Gypsy Caravan has a view of the Snowdon mountains and is 3 minutes drive from a top local restaurant. Walk to local beaches and forests or just sit on the little teeny verandah and pretend you are a hobbit. 

How to get around

For transport from any of the airports to the town, you are able to get buses and trains, or if you prefer you can hire a car. There is a bus service directly from accommodations to the Man Vs Mountain race site. The event doesn’t have a dedicated car park so using the local bus shuttle services is preferred. 

Do you like running but not the average marathon? Read more about Marathon des Sables in Morocco and Marathon du Medoc in France.

Photo credits: Man Vs Mountain

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