The race runners will use the Llanberis Path for most of the ascent. Photo: Denis Egan CC-BY-2.0

The race runners will use the Llanberis Path for most of the ascent. Photo: Denis Egan [CC-2.0]

Organisers of a fell race want Wales’s highest mountain closed to walkers while the event takes place.

Safety concerns about crowding led the International Snowdon Race’s Stephen Edwards to say the 1,085m (3,560ft) peak should be shut during future races.

Mr Edwards said runners and walkers would have to share the same route after a change of course meant a 250m section along the Snowdon Mountain Railway would be out of bounds to runners.

A field of 600 is expected for the race this Saturday, which is being run for the 38th time.

Organisers said: “In the past few years we have had the permission from the railway to allow runners to reach a certain point at 55mins and they can run up the railway to the summit and then a diversion down the railway to the finger stone for 15mins.

“This year runners will be all running on the railway up to summit and will be running up the steps and to the summit anti-clockwise and then down the side of the mountain and down the footpath, not railway.”

Mr Edwards told the BBC: “I’m a bit concerned about the popularity of the mountain, packed with people.

“It’s a concern really trying to get everything spot on with the health and safety and making walkers aware that there’s a race on Saturday and also making the runners aware that there are walkers on the footpath: that it is open and it isn’t closed at all.”

Helen Pye: 'Stay in Llanberis instead?'

Helen Pye: 'Stay in Llanberis instead?'

“I will be asking the [national] park if we can close the mountain because if you don’t ask you don’t get. Most probably ‘no’ will be the answer but who knows in the future?”

Snowdonia National Park Authority asked for walkers to consider walking a different day or avoiding the mountain on Saturday.

The authority’s warden on Snowden, Helen Pye, said: “We’re asking people who plan to walk on the Llanberis Path on Saturday, to be aware of the 600 runners and their supporters, who will be sharing the path at the same time.

“Due to the high volume of people we’re expecting on the mountain on Saturday, we’re asking people to do one of three things.

“If you’re coming to support the runners, make sure that you are stepping aside when they run past you and remember to applaud their efforts.

“Instead of going on the mountain, consider visiting Llanberis itself – there are plenty of attractions there for all ages.

“Or, why not go walking on Sunday when the paths are quieter?

“By following one of the suggestions above, our hope is that people will enjoy their visit and avoid serious accidents at the same time.”

National park bosses also urged walkers to take account of expected temperatures for the weekend.

“As the weather forecast promises very hot weather on Saturday, Snowdonia National Park Authority encourages everyone to take plenty of water, hat and sun cream with them and to take extra care of children,” it said.

The runners will use the Llanberis path and the race starts at 11am on 20 July.

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