As an endurance athlete you will discover what you’re truly capable of as take on THE ROC and switch between each discipline in a unique format to complete the 115km challenge. Ex Royal Marine commando PAUL HAWKINS knows all about endurance triathlons, a professional Ironman athlete, winner of the Outlaw Triathlon among many other titles, Paul took on THE ROC last year and has kindly put a pre-race prep talk together to help with your final preparations.

I have competed and successfully won both the sprint and standard distances at abersoch, but this race is a little different. First of all it is swim-bike-run-bike-run. Secondly the run is up the highest mountain in Wales, on the toughest route!

The swim- is fairly straight forward enough. However it is a sea swim and nature dictates, so prepare yourself for all sea conditions. As an early season race it may very well be chilly, so a neoprene swim hat underneath your race cap, or a second swim hat for that added insulation will suite you well.

The bike is beautiful, as it makes its way down the coast, through Beddgelert and up to the foothills of the start of the Watkins’s path. There is nothing major in terms of hills, but I would hold back a little to prepare yourself for what is to come on the run. TT bike is definitely recommended, also two water bottles for hydration. I use Clif shot blocs as fuel and take one packet before the start of the run.

The run! There is no doubt you will not run all of the run. It is hard, steep and rocky. Preparation is key and ensuring you have the right kit with you is very important.

I served as a Royal Marines commando and very accustomed to mountain and arctic warfare, and have full respect to Mother Nature and what it’s capable of. It may be all sunny and calm at the base, but the top will often be another story and may catch you out. Especially in April, and can change on a penny. Carry extra layers, fluids and fuel, and some solid footwear that you are confident to descend with. I use inov8 talons which provide good solid grip and confidence.

The climb is very steep in places. Take your time and break it down into small chunks, and keep the fuel going on board. The views (hopefully) at the top are amazing, last year’s race it was cracking the flags and scorching, so get some good photos at the top as you will need your phone with you anyway as part of the kit list.

The descent is just as tricky, and very rocky on places. Try to relax on the way down.

The cycle back is where you can really push on hard and empty the tank. Before you start ensure you have a fresh drink bottle or two. Riding after a run like that will feel strange on the body, so build into it and again keep the fluids and fuel going in. Again I use Clif shot blocs, working off one packet per hour, topped up with electrolyte drinks.

The final run on the beach is the last bit of suffering, but the atmosphere on the beach will bring you over the line and bragging rights for along time.

This is a tough challenge, and not to be under estimated – but easily one of my favourite events I have done in my triathlon career and hope to come back one day again.

114km and 3,560ft elevation with a total ascent of 5,825ft
A totally unique race from sea level to the top of Wales’ highest mountain and back again.

A unique opportunity to focus your physical & mental strengths by indulging your competitive impulses in this inspiring new race. From the start line on Abersoch’s stunning beach you can see Snowdon’s imposing summit and for those ambitious adventure driven individuals who have yearned for the chance to race from the country’s most revered beach to the top of the country’s highest most famous mountain & back, this challenge is for you.