The route for the Beacons Trail Marathon is a very varied one that will test competitor’s strengths and weaknesses; flat land specialists will love the canal bits whilst the mountain goats will prefer the 'gap', and then of course there's all the 'in between' bits.
The event take place in the heart of the Brecon Beacons starting and finishing in the delightful village of Talybont-on-Usk. From the start at Race HQ you follow the picturesque Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal toward Llangyndir. The tow path to Llangynidr is probably the flattest 3 miles you will find in Wales! The route then splits from the canal at the canal locks and heads up the Beacons way for about a mile before detouring off to take in the much appreciated trek up and over Tor y Foel before descending down into Talybont forest. Here it picks up the old coal route where originally the tramway and later on the railway brought coal from ‘over the other side’ to be loaded on to the barges for dispatch to Newport. A steady climb continues towards Torpantau before dropping slightly and entering the Taf Fechan Forest. The forest trail then starts to change into open hill and follows what the locals call the ‘Gap Road’.
At the top of the Gap the Beacons Trail Marathon takes in a cheeky acent of Pen y Fan (highest peak in South Wales) via Cribyn, marshalls will ensure you take the correct route
At all times the route is easy to follow in terms of navigation and is well trodden, although map reading would be useful for peace of mind particularly if the weather comes in (which is highly likely in Wales during the latter part of November!) The highest point of the route is 600 meters above sea level at the ‘Gap’ itself. The highest point of the route is 600 meters above sea level at the ‘Gap’ itself.
After all that height gain there is quite a bit of descending along one of the Brecon Beacons ‘classic’ routes, down to the canal at Pencelli and back to finish at Talybont-on-Usk
Distance - 26.3 miles | Elevation - 4265ft ascent | Underfoot - 95% trail / 5% road
More details including elevation profile can be found - HERE
The GPX file for the Beacons Trail Marathon can be downloaded - HERE
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