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10Peaks™ Brecon Beacons

14-Jul-2018 YHA Danywenallt Talybont-on-Usk, Brecon, UK (Wales)

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11 REVIEWS
Mountains Race Race Terrain
89KM / 55Miles
1 Day - 250 Runners

Alternate Distances: 58KM/36M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Advanced  

Entry From £79 GBP

10Peaks™ Brecon Beacons

Long Course - 89km / 4800m ascent / 24 hours - finishers eligible for 4 UTMB qualifying points

Short Course - 58km / 3000m ascent / 24 hours

Our Welsh 10Peaks™ race is set in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. With its spectacular naturally glaciated landscapes and iconic red sandstone cliffs, this is the home to Southern Britain’s highest point, Pen Y Fan. At 886 meters, the summit of the Fan provides stunning views of the Black Mountains to the east, the Bristol Channel to the South and the most spectacular ridgelines that you will be passing over during the race.

The Brecon Beacons are steeped in history, with standing stones, hill fort sites and castles, Soldiers of different historic periods have been occupying the area for thousands of years, with the SAS being the most recent. There is a reason why the UK special forces use the Brecon Beacons for testing their recruits, and you are about to find out why!

 

Photography ©SteveAshworth

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Beginner

Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.

Intermediate

Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Advanced

Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Expert

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Brutal

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Review 10Peaks™ Brecon Beacons

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GNEHughes

11:33 11-10-17

The 2017 long course was my 5th ultra but probably way harder than anything I'd done before. Registration was the most efficient I've been through, hand in photo ID, have your photo taken, kit check, numbers issued, gps tracker strapped to bag, collect t-shirt and you are done,all in just a few minutes. The gps tracker is a nice touch. It allows friends and family to see how you are getting on and the organisers to see that you haven't wandered off course.

This is a really tough event. Straight away you are into a fairly meaty climb up to Carn Pica (doesn't even count towards one of your 10 peaks!). The path across the top used to be a boggy mess but a lot of work has been carried out since I was last up there and it's now a very good path.

This a navigation event although gps devices are allowed. I'm more of a map and compass person (I'm not very good with technology) and local knowledge of the area was an advantage although I would say the navigation is fairly straight forward. Start time was 5am so the first hour was in the dark. The visibility was pretty good until the first CP at Storey Arms. Once on top of Fan Fawr (peak 1) the weather started to worsen, quite windy and persistent rain. Soft boggy terrain from here until CP 2. The conditions underfoot vary a lot from wet, muddy, boggy to hard rocky paths. It was definitely a case of wet feet all day.
An undulating section led to CP 3 where hot drinks and soup was greatly appreciated. The next section was tough. A big climb up to Fan Brycheiniog and Banau Sir Gaer was made even harder by a howling wind and torrential rain. No fun for the marshalls huddled under a tarp on top of Fan Brycheiniog, hats off to them. It was a relief to descend off the escarpment and down into the valley. A short but tussocky ascent then descent and we were at the Cray checkpoint.

A very steep climb of fan Gyhirwch follows shortly followed by Fan Nedd then a long but runnable section to Fan Frynach. Next checkpoint was back at the Storey Arms so this is a very long section without a checkpoint.
Hot drinks, soup and a selection of food was available at Storey Arms along with access to your drop bag. With darkness not far off, I took this opportunity to fuel up, change socks and footwear and generally get ready for the final 4 hours or so, most of which would be in the dark. The paths over Pen y Fan, Cribyn and fan y Big are hard and rocky but easy to navigate. The final descent down Carn Pica was painful but the lights at the HQ spur you on.
A hot meal welcomes you home and drinks were available.
This is a great event. Really well organised and friendly. Make no mistake it's tough, a lot of up and down and the conditions under foot vary considerably. Highly recommend it!

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OffroadDave

12:07 15-09-17

This was my second attempt at the Brecon Beacons Long Course after a technical DNF in 2014. It is a great event with excellent support from start to finish. The terrain is tough and often trackless and the climbing and descending relentless from start to finish.
Fantastic camaraderie with other competitors and great support from checkpoint marshalls at all support points and the start and finish. The short course is a good first mountain ultra and I ran it in 2013 but still tough. Some navigation is required and you need to be confident navigating after dark unless you are fast on your feet. Superb scenery and a real mountain wilderness feel, but be prepared for bad weather. I just wish there were showers at race HQ but I'm a softy southerner and it all adds to the experience. Awesome Event! 10 Peaks The Lakes is a future must.

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JimmyNobbs

12:21 18-09-16

The 2016 short course was my first ultra and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The event was well organised and the route offered a good mix of challenging terrain and easy navigation. I particularly liked the fact that competitors are free to choose their own route, as long as they reach the peaks in the correct order.
The only negative I can think of was the difficulty in getting out of the car park: the non-stop rain the night before the race only made matters worse! Thanks to all the organisers and volunteers and especially to those fellow runners who helped unstick a Ford Transit during the minutes before the race started.

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Dhpcham

11:31 18-09-16

Great organised race. My 2nd 10 Peaks event. Cracking course and some great scenery on the way

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Aligfred

07:40 20-09-15

My first ultra in the hills and what a great experience. I ran the short course and found it really tough but enjoyed every moment. Great marshalling and volunteer's who even filled up the drinks bladder for you. Mixture of terrain and pretty boggy in places. I thought the downhill at the end was something to look forward too but it was as hard as going up! I will definitely be back.

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TimSS

08:20 10-09-15

This was my second year running the long course, first time round I broke my ankle so only managed to get to the 2nd check point. Both years this event ran like clockwork, the race director has things set up very well, race base is at the YMCA and the facilities are great. The route is not marked but the map you are issued it of very good quality. Food at check points hits the spot, the last check point serves bacon rolls! If you want a hard Ultra then this is for you, there is limited flat sections and the climbs are real climbs.......in short this is about as hard as they get

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Faulkner24

11:01 08-09-15

What a great event. Immensely tough and I think it is this reason that helps create the amazing atmosphere. people are at their best when at their worst.

I didn't run this year I volunteered and it was an experience that will stick with me, this may seem odd I dont know. With aspergers I find social situations hard and I was nervous about a whole day spent with complete strangers but I ended up feeling like the most sociable persin to ever exist, this surprised me but now looking back I think makes sense, everyone is in the same boat, the comraderie is inevitable and life is easier when we are all stripped bear by hardship all struggling together.

First off you start not with a gentle taster but a fairly respectable beast to climb. Check points are strategically located to allow for smooth transitions and not needing to carry masses of kit. Nicely placed to allow for change in distance from long to short course if not having a great day of it or to drop out in the extreme cases. Even better is the location of a toilet and a burger van that has been commandeered for the race supply of hot food and drinks of which seemed to go down really well with competitors at the checkpoints as well as the ease of access for family and friends to meet you and boost your spirits. You can also use drop bags to further lighten your load which is especially useful to those who dont want to be self sufficient but light and speedy.

Navigation is often easy as paths are well defined however the race has been blessed with good weather which is pretty rare for the Beacons and if you are likely to be still running in the dark then be prepared for the more like bad weather than not bad weather as navigation could become a lot more tricky. This year a couple of competitors got disastrously and not finishing the race so do not be lulled into a false sense of security due to the current freaky streak of good weather.

As you can plot your own course between peaks there is room for even more adventure and potential for a good bit of strategy. This is where navigation can become detrimental if you are new to the area, in the dark, mist, fatigued snd have gone off the beaten track you could end up in a whole new world of fun.

There is a mix of well formed hiking tracks, craggy rocky paths that can be treacherous in good moments never mind with fatigued legs and when wet... there are grassy sections and peat bogs to spice it up and any time of year you should expect wet feet, no matter how dry its been.

The terrain can be pretty tough, this year we had to use duct tape on a runners trainers as both his soles had been shredded and were literally hanging off.

There is plenty to get your teeth stuck into here even as a hardened ultrarunner, I think this race is one of the toughest single day single stage ultras in the country considering the elevation, how steap it is in places and how the weather can turn a pleasant day into hell. Ive been in some of the ridges in May battling minus 4 degrees with 65mph winds cloaked completely by thick fog running with my body diagonally to stop from being blown over, there was a few cases of hypothermia with MRTs having to rescue one runner who was at the point of delusion. There is a damn good reason the SAS do their selection tests on these hills.

If you think its not that tough then maybe to make it a challenge try keeping up with the front runner, he was simply formidable and unrelentingly in his pursuit and I am sure chasing top positions here will make it hard enough for anybody.

Outside of the egotistical hype it is also an amazingly beautiful place with views sufficient to make any philosopher start pondering the meaning of life... especially those night section over the last few Beacons with no light pollution and just you and more stars than most ever get a chance to witness... assuming these hills are treating you kindly and not brewing up a storm.

As for staff we did and all and more to support the runners when we could, I pulled off a 29 hour shift if non stop action to make sure I could help in any way I could.

Thanks to all competitors finishing or not finishing for inspiring me with all your grit and reminding me that next time I run ultra, deep inside us all there is an animal who can just keep on fighting against all odds, long after all perceived limitations.

Met some lovely people support and racers and as someone who has seen from both perspectives I really have to recommend this race both for testing your metal but also for the experience expressed above, comraderie unlike anything Ive seen before

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TimMartland

01:59 07-09-15

Completed the long course in 2015 after having done both long and short courses at the Lakes 10 peaks in previous years. It's a tougher challenge than it may appear from just looking at the stats. The terrain is constantly undulating, rough underfoot at times and some of the climbs (and descents) are steep and punishing. Navigation isn't hard but I managed to shave a few minutes from having recce' the course beforehand. Feed stations well stocked and carefully located. Marshals and organisers friendly, helpful and supportive. I viewed this as a step towards UTMB or Lakeland 100 type of race next year and it is ideal for that. Highly recommend Lakes event as well

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Elisabet Barnes

12:54 07-09-15

I have run this event (short course) in 2014 and 2015. It is a very well organised event where the participant's safety is high priority. Although a challenging course, the cut-offs are generous and as such these races cater of all abilities. The courses are not marked but navigation is straight forward. Very useful preparation for other mountain races such as UTMB due to the terrain and the climbing. I can highly recommend these races. Superb organisation, prizes for all categories, super friendly and helpful volunteers. Many people return year after year and it's easy to see why.

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stu_rudd86

09:48 01-02-15

Really well organised event, done a few recces before doing the challenge to get used to the routes, event organisers were fantastic really helpful, the course itself was amazing exactly what I expected, nothing was easy! The Brecon beacons truly are tough, no wonder the SAS train here. As expected weather is always unpredictable with the microclimates, food stations were well positioned and much needed providing drinks and plenty of amazing clif bar products. Ran in 2013 and looking run again this year 2015!

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