Though many people may be tired of the major UK marathons in the country, it's a fact that a good portion of these are relatively easy to access from all over the UK. London's marathon is of course one of the easiest to access in the entire United Kingdom given that it is its capital as well as England's, possessing excellent transport links by road, rail, air, and even sea. If you're planning on running in any of the lesser-known marathons however, then getting there can sometimes pose a bit of a problem. The Snowdonia Marathon is no exception to this difficulty, given that in contrast to the London Marathon, it is set in a relatively difficult-to-reach North Wales that is somewhat lacking in major motorways, airports, and general easy access.
Before directions are issued, it's probably best to get the location out of the way. The Snowdonia Marathon officially begins and ends in Llanberis, specifically a place called Electric Mountain. There is a bit of information on the official website about directions, but in terms of proximity the marathon is around 304 miles from Edinburgh 270 from London, 166 from Cardiff, 125 from Birmingham, 103 from Manchester and 66 from Chester. As you will notice once you head towards Wales there is a distinct lack of full-on motorways. Instead, you'll be relying on roads such as the A5, the A55, and the trusty A470 if you're coming up from anywhere in South Wales.
If you're arriving by car or are reliant on a GPS maps system to get you there, then the official address to enter into your Satnav or phone is as follows:
- Llanberis Caernarfon
The above address will take you exactly where you need to go (see the address in Google Maps), but here are more directions just in case you aren't reliant on your GPS to get you there.
Getting to LLanberis via road by Major City
Keep these general directions in mind:
The act of getting to the marathon should be fairly simple whether you're travelling by public transport or car. The major roads that will take you there are the M56 that joins up with the A55, the latter road taking you to around 15 minutes away from the destination. From the A55, you should be heading west along the coast of North Wales. The route should be clearly signposted (brown signs) from here - turn off a Junction 11 for Llanberis where you should head for the A5 and then the A4244.
London: Head North on the M1 towards the M6, M6 Toll, M6, M56, and A55 to A5 (Gwynedd), take junction 11 for Llanberis, follow A4244 and A4086 to Llanberis. Google Maps Directions
Manchester: Head towards the M56 and turn off to follow the A494, then the A55 to A5 where you should then follow the general directions above. Google Maps Directions.
Birmingham: Take the M6 and turn off at Exit 6. You're following the M6 to the M56, A55, and A5 where you should heed the general directions above. Google Maps Directions.
Cardiff: Head up the A470 towards Merhyr Road, following to the B4518, towards A470 again, then towards B4410. Google Maps Directions
Edinburgh: Head to the A74(M) from the A702. Continue on the A74(M) and take the M6 and A55 to the A5 where you should follow the general directions above. Google Maps Directions.
Keeping Green - Carbon Offsetting
The organisers of the Snowdonia Marathon like to encourage participants to minimise their impact on the environment that such a large event has the potential to cause. They ask that you attempt to minimise emissions by attempting to car pool, bringing multiple runners in your car instead of travelling separately. If this is not possible, then carbon offsetting is a great alternative where donations are made to the amount that is dependent on your destination. Websites like Carbon Fund give more detailed explanations of this helpful practice.
A great alternative to simple car-pooling (particularly if you're going to be the only one in your car) is a Car Share. This can be facilitate through websites such as LiftShare, the UK's most prominent lift sharing website that is easy to use and great for the environment.
Keeping Green - Using Public transport
There will be a large number of people travelling to the event via public transport, a method preferred by advocates of environmental awareness due to the reduced emissions that result from such a practice. Public transport links to Llanberis are reasonable, with the nearest railway station being in Bangor. From Bangor railway station you can reach Llanberis via a frequent bus service that connects the two destinations. If you're travelling from Caernarfon then you will also find a bus service that will get you to Llanberis.