Friday, 17 May 2013

Newsletter - Round 2 The Welsh Ultra Running and Trail Marathon Series

Not sure what you guys think but we may have to think of renaming the “Summer 40”!

We certainly weren’t short changed when it came to the weather; high winds, big rain, sharp hail, thunder, and a smattering of sun thrown in for good measure were all part of the course. With the wind-chill below freezing on the high ridges there were several retirements along the demanding 40 mile ultra course particularly at the 22.5 mile mark near Storey Arms. The challenge saw 129 starters lined up ready to go of which 112 determined athletes would survive to see the finish line.

Nevertheless Hugh Aggleton showed everyone else a clean pair of heals finishing in a remarkable time of 6 hours 17 minutes and 35 seconds. The only other competitor to break the 7 hour barrier was Patrick Devine-Wright in 6:58:50. Duncan Steen took third spot with 7:04:20. First male veteran (over 45 years old) took 5th place overall in a time of 7:17:00.

In the women’s race Katie Roby didn't have it all her own way running in third and second place during the day but demonstrated her endurance by coming through to claim the women’s top spot in a time of 7:41:00 and finish 15th overall. Lizzie Wraith took second and Natalie Taylor third. Natalie was running as part of team Endurance Life warming up for an Adventure Race later in the year in Costa Rica, I use the term warming up with some irony. First 'Lady of a certain age' was Lynette Porter in 8:03:00 who finished 20th overall.

In conditions as they were, finishing is no mean feat so give yourselves a pat on the back  and check out the full results here.

Trail Marathon runner Andy Watkins braved similar conditions for the majority of the route and brought the field home just outside the 5 hour mark in 5:04:00. First lady home and 5th overall was Belinda Manning in 5:25:00.

Full Trail Marathon results here.

We are also in the process of working out the series scores as they stand after two rounds, to qualify for a series placing you must complete 3 rounds. If you complete all 4 then your best three scores count.

There are several fantastic blogs and reports on our Facebook page of which a lot can be learnt for future events so may well be worth having a read.

Despite the fact we’re sure the day will be etched permanently in the brain for some of you there are some fantastic photographs captured by our resident photographer Jon. These may be viewed here and purchased at a very reasonable price to ‘treasure’ the moment forever!

We would also like to say a big thanks to GU Energy for providing enough gels to keep you going and also Vivobarefoot for providing the winning prizes and making sense of Barefoot Running. If you need any more info then get in touch and we’ll gladly send out some info.

We’ll have a bit of a summer break now from the running events but we do have 2 Adventure Races on the calendar with the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the Welsh Adventure Race Series on July 27th and September 14th with 6 and 12 hour options. If you fancy mixing it up either as a solo or as a team with mountain running, mountain biking, canoeing and a bit of navigation thrown in then check out the races here. Any questions give us a shout as always and we will do our best to help you out. We are also checking dates to find some free weekends for a couple of trail running training weekends.

Keep an eye on our FB page for latest news, offers and general going's on!

Thanks for coming and hope to see you soon,

The MCN Team

Friday, 3 May 2013

Final Newsletter - Round 2, The Welsh Ultra Running and Trail Marathon Series

It is just over a week to go until Round 2 of The Welsh Ultra Running and Trail Marathon Series kicks off with arguably the toughest routes of all the rounds! We have a brand new marathon route which we’re sure will challenge even the fittest.

We are also delighted to say that the Ultra Brecon 40 (UB40) - Summer Edition is also part of the UK Ultra Running Championships (as is Round 3) so for so some there is a double incentive to perform well. For others it may be your first attempt at an ultra marathon and we would like to welcome you aboard. Whilst it isn’t the easiest one to kick off on but we’re certain with enough grit and determination you’ll be able to make the grade. If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch (preferably not the night before!) and we will do our best to address them.

We can also confirm that the UB40 is a 2 point qualifier for  UTMB events (as are round 3 & 4).

The Route:

The route is a pretty demanding, both in terms of hills and in places conditions under foot. There will be some sharp (and long) rates of ascent and descent with 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, stony sections, peat bogs and muddy sections – its all in there! It is very much advised that you should have a 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 and compass skills if the visibility is poor on the day.


There will a number of manned checkpoints on route most of which will have plain bottled water available in 2 litre bottles. For the Ultra competitors CP 3 & 5 are on the mountain and so there won’t be water available at these points – these is clearly marked on the route map here. All 3 marathon checkpoints have water. A number of CP's will have free energy gels from our fantastic sponsor GU, again these will be marked on the map.

It will be the case that the marshals at checkpoints will need to record your number as you pass through. It is requested that you have your number clearly displayed at all times. This information is recorded for your split times and more importantly your safety. 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 before!

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 a bacon roll or ice-cream at Storey Arms, however this should not be relied on as a strategy as the bacon roll hut / ice cream van is not always there!

There will be gels supplied by GU Energy at checkpoints 2, 4 & 6 for Ultra Competitors.

There will be gels supplied by GU Energy at checkpoints 1, 2 & 3 for Marathon Competitors.

Time Restraints:

Ultra Competitors must clear Checkpoint 4 by 4:00PM (22.5 mile)

Ultra Competitors must clear Checkpoint 6 by 6:00PM (28 mile)

It is anticipated that all competitors (except retirements) will have completed the entire course by 10:00PM, but if any are still any ‘die hards’ still out on the course at this time, they will politely be asked to retire.

Trail Marathon runners must finish by10:00PM

If you must retire before completion of the event, please do so either at a checkpoint or inform a member of ‘Might Contain Nuts’ of your actions so that you can be accounted for. Please, Please, 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:

Conditions over the last few weeks have been very dry and the outlook appears favorable. However these are the highest mountains in Southern Britain and as such conditions can change by the hour. We tend to find that mountain forecast the best, keep checking in closer to the time as it like the weather changes! Have a look here.

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, please don’t put us in the embarrassing situation of telling you that you can’t race or your result is null and void because you haven’t got the correct equipment. Please remember that in addition to comply with our event insurance, the kit requirement is there for your own safety.

The compulsory kit list is here (it is the same for both distances) 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. 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, 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.

Registration & Kit:

Registration consists of a little form filling, although you can download them 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, directions herePost Code is LD3 7YP.

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

Download Registration Form here

Download Compulsory Kit List Declaration here

Registration Friday evening:

Registration will be open between 7:00pm – 9:00pm at Talybont Outdoor Education Centre on Friday evening.

Registration Saturday morning:

Registration will also be available from 6:15am – 7:45am at Talybont Outdoor Education Centre on Saturday morning.


We will start the event 8:00am sharp so please give yourself some time to park and register or you may well have to play catch up!

Race briefing is at 7:55 am at the start line which is in the lane behind trace HQ (about 2mins walk)


Where you started, final time cut-off 10:00PM


There is limited on site parking available for both nights for those staying at the centre.

However, in addition to this we have been very kindly given permission for additional parking to use in the form the cattle market which is approx 200 meters up the road on the right hand side the . 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.

Race 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. There are still beds available either for both Friday & Saturday night at £35 (for both nights) or for a single night at £20, if you wish to book a bed take a look here.

Might Contain Nuts Retail:

Might Contain Nuts will have a limited range of items available to buy during the registration period 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.


Prize Giving will be in the HQ centre at approx. 4:00PM. With great prizes from our sponsor Vivobarefoot and more.

Food & Beer:

We are delighted to announce that Luffy will be coming along to provide smashing meals of generous proportion at lean prices so keep a few quid to hand if you want to test his culinary delights, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

There are 2 brilliant pubs about half a mile up the road from the event centre which should quell your thirst particularly for those staying over.


We hope all of the above makes sense, but please don’t hesitate to contact at or visit our Facebook page 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 running around getting everything organised – Thanks!

Be nice to our fantastic marshal team (they have given up their valuable time to support you). If you do have any grievances then please take that up with the race organiser who will do his utmost to resolve any problems (Matt).

Remember to smile!