Welsh marathon runner Andrew Davies has proved himself king of the mountains in Slovenia.
The Stockport Harrier won the individual Master 35 gold at the 18th WMRA World Masters Mountain Running Championship at the weekend.
Davies – who finished 11th in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games in Australia last month – won his age 35 and over category on the Ratitovec Mountain within the Julian Alps Mountain Range near Lake Bled in Slovenia.
The Newtown College lecturer’s win – in a time of 1:44:04 helped lift Britain to the top podium spot on the 10.8km course, which included a 1,184m elevation gain.
Davies has always had an infinity for running on the mountains and finished ninth at the WMRA World Long distance Mountain Running Challenge in Slovenia back in 2016.
Davies said: “It was a great race. I was quite surprised at how steep it was and for how long.
“I was happy to get the win as I had a battle with a Slovenian and a Danish athlete on the way up. But with 4km to go it wasn’t as steep so I was able to gain a 30-second advantage and this was enough to get me the win in the end.
“It was a fantastic race. I did Cader Idris fell race two weeks ago and that put me in good stead for running uphill continuously.
“It’s nice to take a bit of time out from the marathons and road running and concentrate on the mountains for a while.”
Davies, who runs with his Jack Russell terrier, Scraps, as a training partner, will continue to combine mountain running with long distance road races on flatter terrain.
“I run up in the hills and on the canal path – the fell running makes my legs strong and makes you mentally tough. Scraps comes out in the morning and afternoon with me, although she goes a maximum of five miles.”