Documentary Film Treatment

Where Legends Tread

This is the treatment and trailer for a film pitched to Welsh TV channel S4C. The film is a documentary of 6 ultra-marathon runners who come to Eryri (Snowdonia in English) to participate in the gruelling Eryri 50 race.

Each has been drawn to the challenge by the infamously demanding terrain that the race takes place across. We explore how their reasons for pushing their body’s limits in this environment are more profound when facing the allure of achieving something extraordinary in an extraordinary setting. Eryri is their inspiration, their motivation and their fiercest competitor.

Their stories unfold alongside 6 stories that live within the historic Landscape they’re running through. This is the story of a select few bidding to carve out their own legend in a landscape that’s littered with them.

"Finding out a bit about yourself is the real goal"

- Henry Williams, Eryri 50 race creator

A Legendary Setting

Eryri is a land that is rich with myths and legends. It is a land of fairies, dragons, river monsters, giants and kings. Every village, every stream, every mountain, has a tale attached to it. Yr Wyddfa (Mt. Snowdon) is the mythical tomb of a giant called Rhita Gawr, slain by King Arthur. He likewise is said to have died in Eryri after he was ambushed in his final battle in Bwlch Y Saethau (Pass of the Arrows).

There are stories of lake monsters, fairies, princes who fled to the new world as early as the 12th century, a bridge built by the devil after being tricked by a magician and many more. We found so many stories attached to the race route – we couldn’t possibly tell them all.

The Cast

The runners

Louise Phillips (& Ginny Lawson)

Fear got Louise to the start line; a newfound friendship with Ginny on the way around drove her to the finish.

Alasdair Moffet

The bigger and grander the stage the more enticing the challenge for this Snowdonia loving Scot.

Ceri Norton & Dad – Dermot Norton

Most runners plan and train for months before taking part in a race like this. Local girl Ceri gave herself a week, deciding to join her dad and enter just 7 days before the race.

Mike Aisbitt

Running gives Mike the headspace he needs away from a stressful job and busy family life. He started 4 years ago vowing never to run further than 10km.

Becki Penrose

Few turn up to run this race alone: most choose to run in twos or more. Becki however has her own goal in mind and courageously sets about it, ‘solo’.

Robert Jones & Dylan Webber

Both from Betws-y-Coed, Robert and Dylan know this landscape better than most. They’ve grown up surrounded by it. If ever there was a race made for them, then this is it.

The Cast

The storytellers

John Ogwen

Born in Bethesda – one of the checkpoints on the Eryri 50 course – John Ogwen is one of Wales' most recognisable actors. Someone who understands the landscape, history and stories of Eryri better than most. A BAFTA Cymru Special Award winner, John has starred in and championed many prominent Welsh language productions over the years.

His love of Eryri, combined with the rich, compelling tone of his delivery, make him the ideal narrator for our story.

The Locals

Legends have been passed down from generation to generation here. There's none more fitting to tell these tales than the local people of Eryri themselves.

Throughout the film, we will intersperse the race footage and the runners' stories with 'locals' who will tell one of 6 of Eryri's greatest legends that originate from different locations on the course.

The Legends of Eryri

Our 6 legends line the Eryri 50 course: recounted by the locals who know the stories best, they tell of the Landscape's deeper power and of the inspiring accomplishments of those who have, over the years, called this area home.

Yr Wyddfa (Mt. Snowdon)

The Welsh name – Yr Wyddfa – means “the tumulus”, which may refer to the cairn thrown over the legendary giant Rhita Gawr after his defeat by King Arthur. In Welsh folklore, Yr Wyddfa’s summit is said to be the tomb of Rhitta Gawr, a giant who, legend has it, wore a cloak made of the beards of the kings he’d slain. He was killed by King Arthur.


Dolweddelan castle is the birthplace of Prince Madoc, son of Owain Gwynedd, one of the most significant rulers in the country. In 1170 Owain died, creating a violent dispute between his 13 children regarding succession. Madoc and his brother Rhirid were so angered they decided to take a ship from Rhos and sail westward. Legend has it that Prince Madoc found America, over 300 years before Columbus.

Upon arriving in the New World, his sailors inter-married with a local Native American tribe. For many years, the rumour of Welsh-speaking Native American tribes was widely believed.

Pont Aberglaslyn

Pont Aberglaslyn has a bridge that, legend has it, was built by the Devil on the understanding that he would receive the soul of the first living creature to cross it. When the bridge was finished, he went to the local inn (Y Delyn Aur) to inform the magician Robin Ddu that it was ready.

Robin went to inspect the new bridge with a dog he lured from the pub with a fresh-baked loaf of bread. Upon seeing the bridge, he remarked that it might not even take the loaf’s weight. The Devil demanded that the magician throw his loaf onto the bridge to prove that it was strong enough. Robin threw the loaf onto the bridge, and the dog chased it across, thus cheating the Devil of a human soul.


In the 13th century, Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, his ‘Faithful Hound’. On Llewelyn’s return, the dog, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. Llewelyn, alarmed, rushed to find his son finding his cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood.

Thinking it had killed his heir, he plunged his sword into the hound’s side. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry. Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf that Gelert had slain. The prince – filled with remorse – is said never to have smiled again.


Llanberis was the home of a legendary strong woman, Marged Ferch Ifan. A harpist and wrestler, who was the subject of songs and tales that describe her abilities. She was said to row large loads across the waters of Llyn Padarn and Llyn Peris. Naturalist, writer and antiquarian Thomas Pennant described her as “Queen of the Lakes”.

Dinas Emrys

Located near Beddgelert is Dinas Emrys, the lofty mountain home of the Welsh red dragon. In the fifth century, the Celtic King Vortigern chose the area as the site for his castle. Every day his men would work hard erecting the first of several proposed towers. But the following day, they would return to find them collapsed in a heap. Vortigern was advised to seek the help of a young boy – who turned out to be Merlin.

For as long as the imperious Yr Wyddfa has stood, legends have been carved out in its shadow. From the high mountain passes to the lakes and forests of Eryri, tales and characters have emerged that intrigue, inspire and mystify. This is a land where legends are made. A land with a deeper power that calls to others, challenging them to discover its irresistible magic, and in doing so, learn something about themselves.