Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Welsh Adventure Racing Series - Final Newsletter

Welcome to the first in a fantastic new exciting series of The Welsh Adventure Racing Series!

First of all a “BIG THANKS” to you for taking the plunge and signing up to what promises to be a truly epic day out!

Despite living in the area for years, over the last few months we have had the pleasure of exploring (and discovering!) some of the more intricate parts of the Brecon Beacons.

We very much encourage new folk into the tremendous sport of adventure racing. As you probably already know for this event there are 2 distinct categories to choose from:

Non Navigational Class:

The aim of this option is for participants to work their way around the course from start to finish following the route which will be marked at key points and intersections. There will be checkpoints to pass through along the route which you must visit. The aim is to complete the course as quickly as possible. The maximum time allowed to complete the course will be 12 hours.

You will be issued with maps to help guide you along with useful information such as emergency phone numbers.

* Note: Don’t be phased or necessarily tempted to follow other groups / individuals who are part of the navigational category as they will have different objectives!

GPS devices can be used.

The quickest time wins!

Navigational Class:

The aim is to gain as many points as possible in the allocated time. For this event the time span is a maximum of 12 hours. Any time over this limit will incur penalties of 5 points per minute. It is also necessary for those taking part in this class to visit the compulsory checkpoints in numerical order. Failure to visit a compulsory CP’s at all or in order will incur a 200 point penalty. How many and in which order you visit the optional CP’s per stage is your decision. You cannot visit a optional CP on any stage until you have transitioned via the compulsory checkpoint i.e. a running checkpoint on your bike. There will be a total of 50 CP’s available. CP’s will carry points ranging from 10 to 100 depending on their perceived difficulty! 

GPS devices are not allowed.

The highest score wins!


Please see here for further information on the event format of both classes:

Note that there have been some last minute changes to the last stage due to tree felling activity in the Taf Fechan forested section. The transition will be slightly further up the road and the set route for the non navigational category has been changed to accommodate this.

Kit List:

Whilst we hope that it is a lovely day (although too warm brings it own set of precautions) we can’t guarantee it especially as some parts of the event are in and around the highest mountains in Southern Britain. As such there is a minimum kit list requirement as follows:
Compulsory Kit List:
  • Backpack or suitable means of carrying required kit (as listed below)
  • Food and means of carrying water.
  • T – Shirt, shirt or equivalent.
  • Additional Layer (Can include waterproof / windproof jacket)
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Shorts, leggings, or equivalent.
  • Whistle
  • Compass (which can take bearing)
  • Space Blanket or Foil Bivy
  • First Aid Kit
  • Footwear with adequate grip for potentially slippery off road conditions.
  • Bike tools, pump, puncture patches, tubes etc.
  • Map (supplied)
*Please note that whilst the above is compulsory, it and the advisory list are by no means exhaustive. Please make sure that you are confident of coping with the conditions and or in the unlikely event of a canoe capsize.
Advisory Kit: (Depending on conditions)
  • Waterproof Trousers (depending on conditions on day) 
  • Buff and or Hat
  • Sunscreen (depending on conditions on day)
  • Sunglasses (depending on conditions on day)
  • Gloves (depending on conditions on day)
  • Thermal and or fleece top (in addition to compulsory long sleeve top) 
  • Hydration tablets or similar
  • Money 
  • Mobile Phone
  • Spare socks
  • GPS (NOT a substitute for a compass also NOT for navigational class!)
  • Camera
  • Whatever you feel will make your experience all the more enjoyable!

Registration & Event Start:

The event registration and start is at the fantastic Brecon Beacons Mountain Visitors Centre:

Registration is open between 7:00am and 8:00am for a prompt 8:30am start. We have also been just been informed that the excellent café which will be open from around 7:30am and as well as tea and coffee will be available for cooked breakfasts, bacon rolls etc should one want to get some extra calories in reserve! Partners and families also welcome!

Make sure that you have all the compulsory kit with you as this will be part of the registration process. You will need to have all you all your kit to hand and your bike ready to ride. Parking here is a special rate of £1 for the day. There will be a permit available as part of you registration process. At registration you will be able to leave an optional drop bag (no more than 60L) which will be transported for you to the finish, this provides an option of a change of cloths, washing kit etc. You will be asked to place your bike (complete and ready to ride) at the 1st transition area before the start. (Approximately 200 meters away from the centre with a marshal).

*Please note that the start and finish of the event are approximately 10 miles apart.

Maps will be issued at registration for all competitors.

Event Finish:

The event finishes at the Talybont Outdoor Centre.

Showers are available at the finish.

Be prepared for a final 100 meter ‘funnel’ to the balcony at the rear of the building where you will be greeted by rapturous applause and a cup of tea and a biscuit if you look particularly green!

A shuttle will be available to transport you and your bike back to the start if required.

The Route / Terrain:

The route / terrain is demanding both in terms of hills and conditions under foot. Weather will also play an important factor in how challenging the route on the day is. There will be some sharp rates of ascent and descent with some slippery sections present in places.
You will require a decent tread on whatever footwear you decide to use. We would suggest that you choose something with a bit of cushioning for this type of distance and bearing in mind that it’s not all ‘soft’ underfoot. 

Poles might be useful for those that have some experience of using them especially for those in the navigation category.

You will be visiting the highest ground in Southern Britain so bear this in mind when considering your kit options.


These will be marked with a small orange and white orienteering flag. Whilst the compulsory ones will be fairly easy to find, some of the navigational ones may well be a little more challenging! The scores will reflect this.

Food & Water:

It is up to individuals if they want to add your own hydration supplements to the water provided at each transition. Competitors must take care of their own food from the start. Make sure you have enough food to last you the duration of the event – there may be some very limited facilities on route but once your into the Beacons you’re on your own so be prepared!


If you do retire before completion of the event, please do so if at all possible at a checkpoint, failing this please use the contact numbers provided and we will arrange to get you off the course. Please, please, please, do not just disappear without notifying a member of the organisation of your actions. We will assume you are missing and send out a search party.

Results & Prizes:

As it’s the first year we’re not quite sure when the racing snakes might be in, but we would hope to announce the leading results & prizes at the finish or possibly in the pub up the road depending on the consensus!

Food before & after the race:

Food at both the White Hart Inn and the Star Inn in Talybont is excellent and very reasonably priced and tastes even better sitting next to the log fire with a local ale in hand. We very much recommend this option, but of course you can make your own arrangements. On Saturday the pub will be open until 11 pm all the way through (though menu options will be more limited after 9pm).

Other things and FAQ’s:
  • Be prepared for hills and mud & Welsh mountain weather!
  • Plenty of food – 12 hours is a big day out!
  • Bring pens / highlighters particularly for the navigational participants – very useful to mark the map
  • Consider MTB Map holders (Might Contain Nuts have some great ones in stock) and map holders for the run / canoe stage. The maps provided however will be printed on waterproof paper.
  • How will my bike ‘move around’? – We will transport them in a large van. As bike geeks ourselves we will do our utmost to keep them in the same condition as when they arrive. We have cardboard to pack between them.
  • Should I use poles? – If you are familiar with them then yes by all means particularly for the ‘mountain run’ leg in the navigational class.
  • How will I get my car from the start? – We will arrange a lift back for you.
  • Be nice to marshals (they have given up their valuable time to support you). If you do have any grievances then please take that up with the race organisers who will do their best to resolve any problems (Matt or Barry) 
  • Remember to smile!

1 comment:

  1. Are they/you doing this again next year? Where will it be advertised? Do you get a choice of bike or run? (canoe capsize is mentioned?) I have done on of these events before (running on Dartmoor) and thought it was great. But I am equally competant on a bike.