Brecon Beacons Mountain Trail Races 52, 35 and 26 miles (6th June 2020)

The Brecon Beacons Mountain Trail Races are three marked linear running races crossing the Brecon Beacons. There are three race distances to choose from : a 26 mile Trail Marathon from Brecon to Hirwauna, a 35 mile Ultra from Llangynidir to Hirwaun and the ultimate test The Black Beacon a 52 mile ultra from Hay on Wye crossing the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons to Hirwaun. 

The Routes

The 52 mile route - The toughest af all the races 52 miles and 3860m of ascent!  This works out as 74 metres of ascent per mile, putting this on a par with the Dragons Back (76 meters of ascent per mile) in terms of relative ascent!  Starting at midnight in the Market town of Hay-on-Wye at the Northen end of the Brecon Beacons range.  From here you head up onto the Black Mountains with the first peak of Hay Bluff and a stunning highlevel rolling ridgline traverse over mountains summits before joining the Ultra 35 mile route at Llangynidir.

The 35 mile route - Starting in the small village of Llangynidr at the Northern boundary of the Brecon Beacons National Park.  The route heads out towards the central Brecon Beacons with some excellant running. The first summit is Tor Y Foel followed by an stunning climb past waterfalls to the top of Craig Y Fan Ddu.  From here you join the Beacons Way crossing flatter ground to Fan Y Big. The route then drops down the gap road, as it is joined by the Trail Marathon runners on there ascent from Brecon. 

The 26 mile route - Starts with an amazing climb up the North Ridge of Cribyn follows, and then up 'Jacobs Ladder' as you head up to summitt of Pen Y Fan, the highest peak in Southern Britain.  A short run across to Corn Du, you then head down past the Storey Arms Centre to cross the A470.  Fan Frynach follows after an excellent climb through the dramatic Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad Nature Reserve.  From here the routes pick up the Beacons Way footpath to the summit of Fan Llia. before the long descent into Ystradfellte and the fast runnable forest trails of Waterfall Country.  Finally you pass under the Sgwd Yr Eira Waterfall - the highlight of the route. The last three miles take you along the Celtic trail to the finish in Hirwaun on the southern edge of the National Park.

Route statistics

The 52 mile race has 3860m of ascent
The 35 mile race has 2500m ascent
The Trail Marathon has 1630m ascent

Event Base

The event base and finish is at the following location: 

Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun,
Lawrence Avenue,
CF44 9ES 

The event base has the following facilities; 

•        Parking for participants
•        Toilets 
•        Registration office
•         Onsite refreshments

Race Timetable (including Start, Coach Pick up and Registration Times)


02130       Coach collection for the 52mile runners from Hirwaun
2230         Registration for the 52mile runners in Hay-on-Wye    
2330         Ultra 52mile race brief Hay-on-Wye
Midnight    Ultra 52mile race start Hay-on-Wye         


0530-0630 Registration for Ultra 35 at Hirwaun
0630         Coach Collection for Ultra 35 Runners from Hirwaun
0730         Ultra 35 Race Brief Llangynidr
0800         Ultra 35 Race Start Llangynidr
0730-0830 Registration for Trail Marathon race in Hirwaun
0830         Coach collection for Trail Race
0940         Trail Marathon Race Brief
1000         Trail Marathon Race Start in Brecon
2000         All Courses Close

Entry Options and Prices

There are three race distances available for competitors. There is also the option of adding coach transport from the finish to the start. You can select the appropriate options when you sign up online.
Ultra 52 Race only (£70 includes live tracker) *NOTE only 50 entrants for 2020*

Ultra 35 Race only (£40)

Trail Marathon Race only (£30)

Coach Transport (£10)

Compulsory Kit

There is a compulsory kit list that must be carried.  You must carry the following: 

Full body waterproof clothing (top and bottoms), spare warm mid-layer top (this must have thermal qualities and must be in addition to what you are wearing at the start of the race), warm hat, gloves, whistle, mobile phone (fully charged), compass ('real'compass, watch or phone not acceptable), emergency foil blanket, basic first aid kit, torch, water bottle / bladder, food suitable for your requirements, rucksack/bumbag/hydration vest to carry the kit in, gps unit/watch/mobile phone with route gps trace on it, waterproof drybag/plastic bag/bag liner to keep your spare layers dry. For the Ultra 50mile runners you must carry a second spare headtorch as you are running through the night and an emergency survival bag instead of a blanket. 


A map and gps of the route is avaliable:

Here for the Ultra 52 Race route.

Here for the Ultra 35 Race route.

Here for the Trail Marathon route.

(To download the gps file, click on the mapometer symbol at the top of the map. Then when on the mapometer link click on the 'actions' tab on the left side of the menu bar. Then select the 'Export' buton and follow the prompts.) 

Checkpoints & Cut-off time

There are 8 manned checkpoints for the Ultra 52, 5 manned for the Ultra 35 and 4 for the Trail 26 race. They will provide refreshments, water, energy drink, sweets, biscuits, crisps, etc.  There are also 3 manned Mountain Safety Points (2 for the trail race) which are on the top of the mountain passes and summits to help guide you around the course and ensure you have a good day! 

The time limits are as follows

For the Ultra 52 is 20 hours (8pm).

For the ultra 35 race is 12 hours (8pm). 

For the marathon race is 10 hours.

There are also generous on course cut off times!

Terms and Conditions

Race terms and conditions can be viewed here  


For the Black Beacon 52 mile Ultra:


For the 35 mile Ultra and Trail race:

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