Two vegan friends, Andrew Spencer Taylor and Chloe Vincent and myself Kirsch Bowker made a pact to complete the Welsh 3,000s every June, the following year we invited others to join us... and we met Lucy, Steve, Jeannie, Kate etc and decided to open the event for non vegans but to stipulate that folk had to go plant based for the day... Lucy checked Google and discovered that we’d be the first vegan ultra in the world... and so from being a raggedy bunch of mates the first glimmer of a glamorous race began!
That first year was a handful of us, the second year there were around 40 people, 2014 we joined forces with Skyrunning UK with approx 80, 2015 we had 160 signed up, more in 2016, capped in 2017 and 2018, 2019 we're just holding the Half but in 2020 it will e the biggest bestest race yet!
Many of us involved in V3K are ethical vegans, that means we follow a philosophy that abstains from causing pain, fear or cruelty to others, regardless of race, species, gender, creed etc but often when we talk about veganism we talk about what vegans cant do... we cant eat milk or dairy products we cant wear leather, we cant eat meat or fish or eggs... but what V3K Ultra does do is to allow us to show what vegans do do. A vegan plant based diet is absolutely perfect for endurance athletes as it is for everyone else and the vegan plant based diet doesn’t need to be dull or boring, what we are really keen on at V3K is incredibly good food and lots of it!! We have a large team of people Caffi V who do the catering and who create tables that are simply brimming with incredible food at the aid stations and at the finish line after party.
This isn’t why V3K started, V3K has evolved into what it is, we didnt sit round Kirsch's kitchen table concocting the best ways to convert folk into vegans because a race that so few have the ability to compete in probably wouldn’t be our first choice!
What are the Welsh 3,000s or Welsh 15 Peaks?
It's all 15 of Welsh moutains over 3,000 foot, handily they are in three sections, Snowdon massive, Glyderau and Carneddau.
It’s a grueling race with high ridges, technically difficult sections and very limited support. Entrants are required to be excellent navigators even in clag which this part of Snowdonia is susceptible to, vegan for the day at least and extremely experienced fell runners.
Starting at Nant Gwynant as the sun rises the team will first scale Snowdon before going on to climb Crib y Ddysgl and Crib Goch ridge They will then down to Nant Peris for a breather before they head up the torturous Elidir Fawr, and on to Y Garn, Glyder Fawr, Glyder Fach then down the scree and up Tryfan. They will then head back down to Ogwen Valley and their last breather before heading up the wonderful Pen yr Ole Wen, Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Llewelyn, Yr Elen, Foel Grach, Foel-fras and Garnedd Gwenllian.
Due to presure from runners who want to take part but don't fancy Crib Goch or wont be ready for the entire race, we're doing the last section across the Carneddau (no nasty drops, only one big ascent, the rest are more gradual).
This shorter route still manages to take in 7 mountains over 3,000ft
These races are only suitable for experienced fell runners over our toughest mountain terrain, certainly NOT for the faint hearted!
Runners must remain vegan for the day to take part