The route 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.
The start of the 2013 Beacons Ultra takes place in the heart of the Brecon Beacons starting and finishing in the delightful village of Talybont. The race starts on the picturesque Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. 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 follow what the locals call the ‘Gap Road’.
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 the beginning of the second loop at Talybont (if you've still got some 'go' left!). There will be a checkpoint here which will determine whether folk want to or intend to attempt the second loop. If they wish to do so they must achieve the 2.30pm cut off time to be allowed to continue. Competitors arriving at the checkpoint after this time will be asked to retire!
Route area map can be viewed HERE
Registration will take place on Friday night between 6.00pm and 8.30pm (at a venue to be confirmed) and on Saturday between 5.30am and 7.00am at Henderson Hall, Talybont which is the start and finish area. This is a same location as previous years and is situated on the edge of the village of Talybont.
The Race starts at 7.30am on Saturday 16th November alongside the Canal approx 100 yards from the Hall.
Participants must complete the first 'loop' of the course by 2.30 pm. Participants must complete the entire course by 10.30pm. Participants failing to meet these cut off times will be retired from the course.
*Means of hydration -
*Enough food (no shops on route!)
*Full waterproof cover (trousers and top)
*Fleece (or similar warm upper body layer)
*Basic first aid kit including antiseptic.
*Spare batteries for above.
It must be emphasised that there will be random spot kit checks before, during and on completion of the race. You must have all of the above on you at all times.
All the above items are available for purchase from Likeys who will happily advise you as to the best choices based on your budget and aspirations – www.likeys.com
Please also understand that the above is the bare minimum and many individuals may wish to add their own kit requirements to that outlined above. This is especially relevant if the weather conditions are harsh.(i.e…. the temperature in 2008 dropped to minus 8 at night)
Car... For those travelling by Car, Talybont-
Bus... There is a regular Bus service to Talybont from both Brecon and Abergavenny, although not early enough on race day. This is only of use for Friday night arrivals.
Train... The nearest Train Station is Abergavenny which is accessible directly from the North, or via Newport for anyone travelling from the South. The Bus station referred to above is about ½ mile from the Train Station.
For those travelling some distance to the event, there are some excellent places to stay in Talybont or within close proximity of the village. So for details of Camping, Caravanning, Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, Hostels, Self Catering, Holiday Cottages etc, go to…….. http://talybontonusk.com/accommodation.
The Route 2013 (TBC)