Sunday, 6 May 2012

Welsh Ultra Running Series, Round 4, Ultra Brecon 40 Summer Edition

It’s just under a week to go until the final round of The Welsh Ultra Running Series, The Ultra Brecon 40 - Summer Edition, with arguably the toughest route of the series. With point differences tight in both the mens and womens leader boards this particularly demanding route in the Brecon Beacons will be the perfect arena in which to battle it out.

We are also delighted to say that once again it is part of the UK Ultra Running Championships so for some there is a double incentive to perform well. For others it may be you first attempt at an ultra marathon and we would like to welcome you aboard. If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch at and we’ll do our best to help.

The Route: The route is a pretty demanding one both in terms of hills and in places conditions under foot. There will be some sharp (and long) rates of ascent and descent with possibly some slippery sections present in places. Almost the entire route (over 95%) is off road though there are some very short sections of tarmac where it is impossible to find an alternative. The majority of the route consists of open hill but there are sections of cinder track, fields and stony sections which can all be slippery and boggy at certain points. It is very much advised that you should have decent off road tread on whatever footwear you decide to use. Poles may be useful for those that have some experience of using them, as there are some severe gradients in places.

We will aim to sign the route as best as possible especially at key junctions. This event is not designed to be a navigational one, but it is recommended that you have a basic idea of map reading,

Please note that if you took part in round 2 from Talybont – much of the route is different including the start / finish leg so you might want to check that out on the maps provided.

Checkpoints: There will a number of manned checkpoints on route most of which will have plain bottled water available in 2 litre bottles. CP 3 & 5 are on the mountain and so there won’t be water available here – this will be clearly marked on the route map. It will also be the case that the marshals at all checkpoints will need to record your number as you pass through. It is requested that you have your number clearly displayed at all times. If you do get asked for your number by a marshal, please don’t get ratty if you aren’t displaying it properly. This information is recorded for your safety. If you number is obscured as you don’t want to pin it on your clothing, please don’t make a number up as it gives the organisation team a massive headache if we have to scour the hills to find a missing person who happens to have finished hours ago and is enjoying a pint in the pub - this has happened in the past!

Food and Water during the Event: It is up to individuals if they want to add their own hydration supplements to the water provided. Just to clarify; competitors must take care of their own food from the start. The spirit of the event requires one to be self sufficient. Make sure you have enough food to last you the endurance. It has been know for the odd competitor to sneak in a bacon roll at Storey Arms. However this shouldn’t be relied on as a strategy as the bacon roll hut isn’t always there!

Time Restraints: It is anticipated that all competitors (except retirements) will have completed the entire course by 10 pm, but if any are still any ‘die hards’ still out on the course at this time, they will politely be asked to retire.

If you must retire before completion of the event, please do so either at a checkpoint or inform a member of the ‘Might Contain Nuts’ team of your actions so that you can be accounted for. Please do not just disappear without notifying a member of the organisation of your actions as we will assume that you are missing in action and send out a search party.

Weather Conditions: Most folk are probably aware by now that after all the talk of drought, it has been an extremely wet April and our reservoirs are overflowing and conditions underfoot can best be described as ‘soft’! The weather around these parts can change by the hour as last years competitors will no doubt be able to confirm – sun for the first half of the field home, driving wind and rain for the second half! We tend to find that mountain forecast the best, but be prepared to keep looking at it closer to the time as it like the weather changes! 

Compulsory Kit: Competitors will need to sign a disclaimer to say that you are carrying all compulsory kit during the entirety of the event. In addition to this there will be random checks at the finish. Please do not put us in the embarrassing situation of telling you that you can’t race or your result is null and void because you have not got the correct equipment. Please remember that in addition to compling with our event insurance, the kit requirement is there for your own safety.

The compulsory kit list is here and you might note that some items have been relaxed slightly since the arctic conditions have left us. That said, the route does cover exposed sections of open hill in places and the weather can be very changeable – there have been some pretty heavy hailstorms / rain and strong winds over the last few weeks. We would like to stress that the compulsory kit is there as a bare minimum and is by no means exhaustive. You need to adapt your kit to match your experience and expectations and the conditions on the day. 

*Note there are some items which will depend on the conditions on the day – so you need to bring these along and be prepared to use them.

Maps: Maps will be in the form of a double sided piece of A3 waterproof paper. (Obviously you can fold it to whatever size you like) To clarify, this isn’t a navigational event, but the map by useful to pace yourself and work out your water strategy etc. There will be signs or tape at strategic points i.e. junctions.

Registration & Kit: Registration consists of a little form filling, although you can download them here and fill them out beforehand which should make things a bit quicker. We would very much appreciate it if you could register the night before if at all possible.

Registration requires 2 forms: 1 x Registration Form, 1 x Compulsory Kit Declaration

Download Registration Form here

Download Compulsory Kit List Declaration here

How to get to the Event HQ: Map directions

Registration Friday Evening: Registration will be available between 7:00pm – 9:00 pm at Talybont Outdoor Education Centre.

Registration Saturday Morning: Registration will also be available from 6:30am – 7:30am at Talybont Outdoor Education Centre. We will start the event 8:00am sharp so please give yourself some time to park and register.

Parking: There is limited on site parking available for both nights for those staying at the centre. However, in addition to this we have permission to use parking in the form the cattle market which is approx 200 meters up the road on the right hand side if coming from the A40. This will be signed. Please allow 10 mins to walk back to the centre after parking.

Please DO NOT park cars on the pavements and in the road outside the centre and along the road to the village. Residents of Talybont and the Police have been very supportive of our events and we would very much like to keep it this way.

HQ & Accommodation: The Old Railway Station makes an excellent HQ. It also has accommodation where the standards are much higher than would normally be expected of a typical bunkhouse. Take a look here if you need any more info.

Might Contain Nuts Retail: Might Contain Nuts will have a limited range of items available to buy during the registration period on Friday night at Talybont Outdoor Education Centre should you wish to do so. A few of you have already mailed through some requests for kit which we will bring along on the day.

Start: Race briefing is at 7:55am at the start line which is in the lane behind the HQ. The start time is 8:00 am

Finish: Where you started!

Prizes: Prize Giving will be in the HQ centre at approx 4pm.

Food & Beer: We’re delighted to announce that Ian Luff from the “Luff Bus” will be taking on the catering for both the Friday night and Saturday morning and finish. Some of you will remember Ian from the balmy weather during Round 1 of October last year and it looks like he’s bringing it with him again on Saturday. Perhaps it’s a ploy to sell more cold drinks! ‘Luffy’ is renowned in mountain bike circles for his Tortillas and Welsh Rarebit so you might want to bear that in mind as you scale the heights of Cribyn at mile 32! The bus is elsewhere on this occasion but I’m sure the culinary delights from the kitchen at the centre will tickle the taste buds! If you wish to partake then it would be wise to have a few quid handy …. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

There are a couple of pubs nearby. There is the WhiteHart about ½ mile from the centrewhich we would recommend.

In summary: We hope all of the above makes sense, but please don’t hesitate to contact if you have any questions or queries. It would be appreciated though if you can do this sooner rather than later as the 2 days before the event is very much involved with setting up the course – Thanks!

Be nice to marshals (they have given up their valuable time to support you). If you do have any grievances then please speak to the Race Director who will do his utmost to resolve any problems (Matt).

Remember to smile!

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