SW100 (Ultra Tour De Cymru) and SW50- 21st-23rd June 2019

UTMB 2018 6 points  UTMB 2018 4 points

The South Wales 100 - 'Ultra Tour De Cymru' - is a 100 mile ultra-trail footrace starting and finishing in Cardiff, crossing the South Wales Valleys and the Brecon Beacons!  It is a demanding test of endurance over varied and challenging terrain, suitable for the committed and competent ultra-trail runner. The route has approximately 6000 meters of ascent and is over 90% on trails. It truly is a tour of some of the most amazing sites across South Wales including ancient castles, mountain summits, breathtaking waterfalls and rolling green valleys and hillsides. 

The South Wales 50 - 'The Brecon to Cardiff Extreme Ultra Trail Race' - is a FULLY MARKED ultra following the second half of the SW100 route. Starting in the centre of Brecon, you will run to the top of Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Britain, where you will join the SW100 mile route to cross the Brecon Beacons and journey back to Cardiff via an amazing network of trails, mountain summitts, Green Valleys and Woodlands. It has has approximately 3000 meters of ascent and is a UTMB qualifying race eligible for 4 UTMB points.

 

The Route

We've searched out the best landmarks in South Wales and the BRECON BEACONS and linked them all with an amazing network of rolling runnable trails. Starting in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, the SW100 route heads North out of the city following the Taff Trail to Castell Coch.  After exiting Forest Fawr, you leave the Taff Trail and and head West along the fully waymarked 'Ridgeway route'.  On a clear day, from the top of the first climb, Mynydd Y Garth, you can see the highpoints stretched out of the entire circular route you are about to conquer - even Pen Y Fan looming in the distance!  After approximately 15 miles along the ridgeway route you turn North again heading through dramatic woodlands, then open fell to the top of the Bwlch.  From here the Maindy Trail brings you down and across the valleys of the old mining communities of Treorchy, over Maerdy Mountain then onto Hirwaun.  From here a fast section on the Celtic Trail takes you past the famous Penderyn Distillary, into the Brecon Beacons National Park, where you join the 'four Waterfalls Walk' passing under the breathtaking ' waterfall 'Sgwd yr Eira'.  By early morning you will be through Yestradfeltte Village - you now have the day to cross the main Beacons Range.  Following the Beacons Way and the more exposed summits of Fan Llia and Fan Frynych, you will drop down through the Graig Cerrig Gleisiad (Nature Reserve) to the Storey Arms at the half way point.

The route then climbs to the top of Pen Y Fan (via Corn Du) and it is here where the SW50 mile route joins the SW100.  You will cross the stunning Brecon Beacons mountain range of Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Fan y Big before the long descent to Talybont reservoir.  From here the steepest climb of the route is Tor Y Foel -  the crux of the route, after this it is (nearly) all downhill!  Heading South via the green and rolling hills through Tredegar, you'll reach the Rhymney Valle, the mountain peaks of Rhymney Hill and Mynydd Bedwellte and then Caerphilly Castle - another highlight of the route.  Skirting around Caerphilly Castle a final push over Caerphilly Mountain and Crag yr Alt brings you back to 'Fairy Tale' Castle Coch and a easy jog along the river Taff to the finish.

For a map of the 2018 SW100 route and gps file click here

For a map of the 2018 SW50 route and gps file click here  

You can download the route gps from the mapometer link above by clicking 'actions' then 'export'

Event Base / Race HQ

The event base will be at the following address.
The Cardiff Harlequins Rugby Club,
The Diamond Ground
Whitchurch
Cardiff
CF14 7JN

http://cardiffharlequins.net/

Course Following and Marking - 

The course will be marked at junctions with a combination of red/white marker tape, illuminous flags and RWC marker arrows.  Markers will be located at any junction or turning where you change direction or leave the trail.  Please remember as with any marked ultra route that course markers may be removed or tampered with, and in that instance you will need to refer to your gps track, os map or guidebook to keep you on track.  There are no Marshals between checkpoints, and so road crossings, mountain craft and ability to follow the route signs are your responsibility.  Ultimately it is the runners responsibility to navigate the course successfully, with or without course markings. We highly recommend you recce the route before.

Checkpoints

There are 11 manned checkpoints for the SW100 & 6 Checkpoints for the SW50.  The majority are indoors in community halls or similar.  We provide a comprehensive variety of food and drinks.  Details of what is provided and locations can be seen on the FAQ page on (Q17).  Checkpoints are spaced approximately every 6-10 miles.

There will be a number of compulsory clips located on the course (for example the top of Cribyn) to ensure competitors follow the course correctly, these are not manned.

Time Limits & Start Times

The SW100 course starts at 1900 on the Friday evening. The SW50 starts at 0900 on Saturday morning.

The SW100 Walkers / non-competitive, starts at 1500 on Friday with an overall cut off time of 44 hours.  

There is a 40 hour cut-off time for runners to complete the entire SW100 course.  There is a 24 hour cut off time for runners to complete the SW50 course.

The 'Walkers Start' allows for a 44 hour time limit for the SW100. For the walkers start you will set off at 3pm on Friday giving you an extra 4 hours to complete the course.  Please note that if you decide to take the walkers start time and set off to quickly you will have to wait to go through the first few checkpoints as they will open based off a walkers speed.  If you take the walkers start this is non-competitive which means you will not be elegable for prizes in the race! 

Participant entry requirements & experience

Both routes require participants to be self-sufficient, which means you must be able to complete the route as if without any support, carrying the appropriate compulsory kit and food and water beween checkpoints.  To enter the SW 100 you need to have experience in Ultra trail racing and as a minimum you should have completed at leat one 50 mile event of similar nature, examples will be asked for on the entry form.  You should be able to run comfortably and navigate at night.  You will need to be totally self-sufficient throughout the event and able to make sound mountain judgment. 

For the SW50 entrants will need to be able to navigate the route using map and road book.  It is likely you will be finishing in the dark so you will need to be able to navigate and run in the dark.  You will need the physical fitness to complete the event carrying the compulsory kit including food and water between checkpoints. There is no qualifying necessary for the SW50 but you must have gained the required skills and fitness levels to complete the course safely.  Be aware, this is a tough course with a 65% completion rate in 2016!  

Recce Runs

There are four organised recce runs. More information can be found here.

Safety Team

We have a highly experienced safety team who follow the route and are positioned around the course to aid you should you get in any diffiuclty.  They are not necessarily visable on the course, but are at strategic positions around the course - so hopefully you won't see them!  However, if you do need them you can rest assured that they are a team of dedicated, highly experienced mountain leaders, first aiders, physiotherapists and ex-military personel that can get to you quickly. 

Compulsory Kit

As is custom in these types of events there is a compulsory kit list that must be carried for your safety.  Exact details can be found here.

Registration & Briefing

All entrants will be required to attend registration and briefing at the event HQ in Cardiff at the times outlined below.

Event Provisional Timings

Friday

1200 Campsite & Race HQ opens
1330-1430 Walkers registration & briefing
1500 Walkers start  
1600-1730 SW100 Registration & briefing at 1730

1900 SW100 Start

1930-2100 Registration re-opens for SW50 competitors
2200 Registration closes
2300 Campsite closes

Saturday

0630 Registration opens SW50
0730 Registration closes
0730 SW50 briefing
0745 Bus departs for Brecon Beacons
0930 SW50 start from Brecon
1700 First 100 finishers expected 
1800 First 50 competitors expected 

Sunday

1100 Last finisher for SW100
1100 Last finisher for SW50
1115 Presentation
1200 Campsite and race HQ closes

What your entry fee includes

  • A marked route
  • Waterproof route description and map booklet 
  • Well stocked checkpoints
  • GPS tracking for both races
  • Event t-shirt
  • Event medal
  • Camping at race HQ for Friday and Saturday night
  • Toilets, showers and changing facilities
  • Post event meal
  • GPS file
  • Two drop bags on the SW100 and 1 on the SW50
  • Bus transport from Cardiff to Brecon for SW50 competitors
  • Physiotherapy, First Aid and Mountain Safety Team cover
  • Experenced Race Directors, Race Team and amazing marshals
  • 6 UTMB Points for the SW100 & 4 UTMB Points for the SW 50 


Prices

SW100 £110
SW50 £70

You can select the appropriate options when you sign up to the event online.

FAQs

A list of Frequenctly Asked Questions can be found here

T&C

Race terms and conditions can be viewed here

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