'After supporting my wife and her running bestie during the race last year, I knew I would end up running this year and it proved to be as testing as I thought it would-thanks to all the crew and marshals for putting on a very decent event and also for the training day which was very well received'

'Hi all. I'd just like to thank force 12 for putting on again what must be one of the friendliest races on earth. I'd like to thank all the marshals for spending all day out in all crap weather conditions snow last yr rain this yr. Without you guys this wouldn't be possible and hope I thanked you all for doing so. Kevin Hollings, Carole Hollingsworth, Jonny Davies for worrying about my safety (not getting lost).'

Both the Beacons Trail Marathon and Beacons Ultra routes are subject to change due trail conditions and forestry works in the Brecon Beacons, the exact route or any detours will be confirmed prior to the event.

The Route

The route for both the Beacons Trail Marathon and Beacons Ultra is a very varied one that will test competitors strengths and weaknesses; flat land specialists will love the canal bits whilst the mountain goats will prefer the 'gap', and then of course there's all the 'in between' bits.

Both events take place in the heart of the Brecon Beacons starting and finishing in the delightful village of Talybont-on-Usk. From the start at Race HQ you follow the picturesque Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal toward Llangyndir. The tow path to Llangynidr is probably the flattest 3 miles you will find in Wales! The route then splits from the canal at the canal locks and heads up the Beacons way for about a mile before detouring off to take in the much appreciated trek up and over Tor y Foel before descending down into Talybont forest. Here it picks up the old coal route where originally the tramway and later on the railway brought coal from ‘over the other side’ to be loaded on to the barges for dispatch to Newport. A steady climb continues towards Torpantau before dropping slightly and entering the Taf Fechan Forest. The forest trail then starts to change into open hill, and follows what the locals call the ‘Gap Road’.

At the top of the Gap the Beacons Ultra route continues on towards the next checkpoint, the Beacons Trail Marathon however takes in a cheeky acent of Pen Y Fan (highest peak in South Wales) and returns to the Gap via Cribyn, marshalls will ensure you take the correct route

At all times the route is easy to follow in terms of navigation and is well trodden, although map reading would be useful for peace of mind particularly if the weather comes in (which is highly likely in Wales during the latter part of November!) The highest point of the route is 600 meters above sea level at the ‘Gap’ itself.

After all that height gain there is quite a bit of descending along one of the Brecon Beacons ‘classic’ routes, down to the canal at Pencelli and back to Race HQ at Talybont-on-Usk, those of you doing the Beacons Trail Marathon congratulations you are finished, those of you doing the Beacons Ultra can rest/restock at the checkpoint before departing for your 2nd loop (note the cutoff for starting the 2nd loop is 14.30pm)


GPX Files

GPX files for both the Beacons Ultra and Beacons Trail Marathon can be downloaded by clicking on the relevant route below and then from the Plotaroute page selecting the DOWNLOAD option.


Beacons Trail Marathon route




Beacons Ultra route