Brecon Beacons Marathon

Race Reports
Trail events hosted the Brecon Beacons running event with a 10k, half marathon, marathon and ultra distances . Being my home town I decided to take on the challenge and chose to do marathon distance as I wanted to achieve Pen y Fan summit whilst completing the challenge.
It started in the village of Talybont on Usk from the village, a short section of road, then a short section of canal path before heading up a stoney mud track then into forestry on fire roads. This was a beautiful section where there was a reservoir and beautiful landscape to your right and forestry, bluebells and wild garlic to the left. The track was a steady incline which was a pleasure to run.
They used a chip system which had to be scanned at four locations over the course.  Checkpoint 1 was soon into the course at the 2 mile point. Check point 2 at 7 miles. From checkpoint 2 the course was changing and we were soon approaching the mountainous terrain. I was running strong at this point and was first female.
I was prepared that we were soon to battle the first incline and I was very surprised to how steep it was. I can describe it as a dried up waterfall, lots of big rocks and needing to use hands and scramble to the very top. Once at the top underfoot became quite challenging with large stones, so very uneven. Here two woman came past me very strong and were shortly followed by another woman who I had battled with in the first mile or so of the race.
After approximately 12 miles we declined down to Storey Arms toilets for check point 3. This track was quite congested with lots of walkers but was easy enough to pass through politely.
From here I was mentally prepared for the next section of course but wasn’t prepared for the impact it would have on my body. We started at 440 metres and climbed to to Corn Ddu and then over to Pen y Fan which was 886 metres. This was gruelling and painful.
We reached the Pen y Fan summit and I was prepared for a lovely decline. Underfoot was again very uneven with rocks and I found this very difficult to run particularly with discomfort to my legs so I was mixing between a walk and run.
We had one final incline left to tackle before the long descent to the finish. Again when we got to the top of the next section it was very uneven and rocky around a ridge before declining on grass  down to check point 4 at just over 21 miles.
For the final leg we had a down hill road section then onto canal back to Talybont on Usk. This was a welcoming terrain for me and I was so pleased to see the finish.
It was a well organised event, lots of signage out for directions. Check points had lots of refreshment too.
I would be interested in doing this again but I would ensure I had done a lot more training prior to it.
I was pleased to have finished 5th female in a time of 5hours 27 minutes.

4 thoughts on “Brecon Beacons Marathon

  1. excellent Kelly. Never make the mistake of only describing it as marathon, particularly to non runners. The height makes all the difference..and again, the off road nature! sounds a bit like the 3 peaks so I empathise. I heard from a good fell runner that every 100m up is considered same as 1km on the flat

  2. That is a fantastic achievement Kelly – congratulations. I have walked over most of the terrain that you have described, but never all at once, and just tackling it in sections was knackering enough. You must be hobbling now, but I bet that you will still perform well in the handicap run on Tuesday. Do you want me to start you first ?

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