Many races have been cancelled during the coronavirus outbreak - but that little fact didn't stop one Powys athlete taking on a major mountain challenge.

Mountain runner Heidi Davies, who’s from Llandrindod Wells and is living in lockdown in the mountains of northern Italy, recreated the cancelled Malonno Flettatrail 2020 race in her own back yard.

Heidi moved to Malonno in October, to train and to teach English in schools. Now, she can’t do either properly.

Heidi said: “All the races for the foreseeable future cancelled? No problem - just race around your backyard!”

Heidi describes Malonno as the “the home of mountain running”. She first took part in the Malonno Flettatrail race in 2017 and has since gone on to win it.

She said: “There’s been a mountain race here ever since 1964. But this is the March 2020 edition of the classic mountain race Malonno Flettatrail - like you’ve never seen it before!”

Heidi’s video, which she uploaded on Youtube and posted on her social media accounts on Sunday, March 22, shows her holding up cardboard signs for all the checkpoints in the race, including the start and the end points, as she makes her way around her backyard in Malonno.

At the end, she’s handed the winning trophy and celebrates by wearing a Welsh flag over her shoulders and drinking mountain beer.

Last week Heidi wrote on her blog, The Piano Runner, about her experiences living in the mountains of Northern Italy in lockdown - before similar strict measures were put in place in the UK.

She said that she was “stuck in one of those dystopian future films full of doom” but with the setting not being quite right. “I’m just so glad I’m in lockdown in such a beautiful place here in the mountains in Malonno. At least here I can still go into the woods and follow the paths up into the mountains where I know I won’t meet anyone,” she wrote.

However, soon, Heidi won’t have that privilege. She said: “As of Sunday we’re not allowed to leave the house at all except for food or emergencies so now I’m not able to train outside on the trails or in the mountains, but making use of the small space I’ve got outside and the steps leading up to my front door.

“We’ve all got to do our part and stay at home to make all this be over sooner. I’m using the time to sharpen up my Italian skills!”

What advice do you have for everyone back home as the UK enters lockdown?

  •  I'd say that everyone has got to take really it seriously and really respect the rules on staying at home and social distancing.
  • Really appreciate the chance to be able to still go out and exercise now because it may develop and the rules may change like they have here.
  • And try to distract yourself and keep yourself busy at home. Don't be thinking of the negatives and all the restrictions all the time but see this as an opportunity to perhaps try something new. Start a new hobby, learn a new skill, keep yourself busy and as active as you can; even just running up and down the stairs or digging out your old skipping rope.