'Your organisation and your marshals were outstanding, so incredibly friendly and so supportive. I run with my partner in various races and sometimes we have periods where we are in last position and you tend to feel you are a bit inconvenient and holding things up. Yet in your race without exception we were positively encouraged, I have to pay special thanks to the kind gentleman at the end of the forest track as it gets to the road after the first checkpoint, He shook my hand and gave my partner a hug and really made us feel good, Without exception everyone was so uplifting and positive it was a truly exceptional race and experience.'

'We felt that we had such a lovely day that to push another lap might have spoilt it. We would have had the marshals waiting a very long time and it wasn’t fair to expect people to be out there just for us and my partner didn’t like the thought of the gap by head torch with her inexperience on the loose rocks at night.'

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I wear "normal" road shoes?

Although the event is possible in ‘normal’ trainers it should be understood that the majority of the event is off-road. Having said this; a large proportion of the off-road is ‘hard pack’ trail although there will be some sections (namely ‘The Gap”) that is rocky and a couple of miles after this muddy sections will be encountered on the footpaths that take you down to Pencelli. You might therefore sensibly want to consider trail shoes.

2. Will my feet get wet?

Highly probable! Remember this is Wales in winter, so a ‘bit of damp’ is highly likely. There are options (Goretex trainers or Sealskinz socks etc) that you might want to consider, however this is probably only going to delay the inevitable – so just accept that your feet at some stage are likely to get wet!

3. Will I need an amazing, really expensive head torch?

In short; “No” …… BUT…. you will definitely require a head torch as part of the compulsory equipment and unless you really are a whippet you will almost certainly use it (remember it will get dark about 16:45pm on the day of the race) and so if there is a piece of kit that is worth investing a little extra money in; then this could be it! Remember to have fresh batteries and also spare batteries with you -  these are also part of the compulsory kit list, so don’t turn up without either!

4. Do I need full waterproofs even though I never run in them?

“Yes” – This is compulsory kit. The Beacons Trail Marathon and Beacons Ultra takes place in the Welsh Mountains in November, so weather wise anything can happen! Even if you are the type that never runs in waterproofs there is always a slight risk that despite every attempt to ensure your safety, there is still an outside possibility that an ‘incident’ may occur. Should such a situation arise, the body can cool very quickly, particularly in adverse conditions, so please make sure you carry these even if you don’t intend to use them.

5. What about hats, gloves, buffs etc.?

For the same reasons as above, a suitable warm hat and gloves are compulsory kit. Powerstretch products are ideal being both breathable and thermally very good.

6. Do I need to bring a mobile phone / will it work?

Yes, a mobile has now been added to the compulsory kit. Closer to the time emergency numbers will be issued as part of your race pack. It should be understood that reception is patchy and some networks have a higher success rate than others. Climatic conditions on the day will also influence the degree of reception. Despite this, it is estimated that you should find coverage for approx 70% of the route, also remember that in patchy areas it's sometimes possible to send a TXT message in an emergency but not make a phone call.

7. Do we need maps for the event?

Route maps can be printed from the website and will not be provided at registration, some people have opted to buy the map(s). If you do decide to buy the relevant maps then the most appropriate one is the Explorer (1:25 000) OL12 Brecon Beacons & Western Areas Map which covers 85% of the course. If you really want the entire route then you will also require OL13 Eastern Area. The routes is very well marked on the day with glow sticks in place for night-time too, so (famous last words) it is very hard to get significantly lost.

8. Are navigational skills required?

Both routes where chosen specifically so that a competitor can enjoy the wonderful variety of terrain, experience an element of wilderness and hopefully take in views which the area has to offer, but without requiring a heavy degree of navigation to be able to take part. The route is well marked and well-trodden with marshals present at key points. Having said this, it certainly won’t do any harm to have a bit of practice with a map and compass before you turn up and perhaps try it out as a ‘test’ on the day. An element of map reading may also mean that you might be able to prepare yourself and pace yourself during the event.

9. Will Force 12 Events supply food?

In short, during the race - No! The race itself really is about self-sufficiency. There are no ‘shops’ on route so don’t expect to buy anything anywhere. You should plan to take from the outset all your provisions for the day. However, on completion we will have a cup of tea/coffee ready for you together with an array of biscuits and cakes.

10. Can I carry enough food and /or kit for one lap and pick up some more for the second?

No! You should make sure that you have all your essential kit and food with you at all times for the entire duration of the event. This is because of the self-sufficiency nature of the event and more importantly safety reasons.

11. Will Force 12 Events supply water?

You will need to start the day with full water rations; running water from the tap is available at the registration, so there are no excuses for starting this event dehydrated. There will be water available on route at checkpoints approx. 8 miles apart. Don’t underestimate the time it might take you to cover these 8 miles; they might all be uphill for example.

12. What time will the "cut-off" for the Beacons Ultra second loop be?

The second loop begins at the 23 mile mark in Talybont-on-Usk - the cut-off time will be 14.30pm. If you arrive at the end of the first loop and it is after 14.30pm you will be retired from the challenge having completed one lap.

13. What is the time limit for the complete the Beacons Ultra distance?

The time limit for the Beacons Ultra as a whole is 15 hours (finishing at 22.30pm). It is a day race and so needs to be completed on the day! The start is at 07.30am so this means that you have up to 15 hours to complete the challenge. If there are any folk still on the course after 22.30pm, they will unfortunately be retired from the event.

14. Will there be medics in attendance?

Yes…. There will be qualified medics & first aiders available to deal with significant medical issues and emergencies should they arise.

15. Will the medics to attend to my blisters and fix me up?

No! Your feet are your responsibility as are attending to other minor ailments or niggles, so make sure you have within your first aid kit (compulsory kit) provisions for dealing with them. Tailor your compulsory first aid pack to suit your personal needs.

16. Will it be fun?

Flippin right it will!!! It will be a fantastic opportunity to meet other like-minded folk, learn a lot, and attempt a considerable challenge all at the same time. Despite the event being designed to welcome all types into the world of ultra running, you will probably have a better experience if you take some steps to ensure that you are reasonably familiar with your kit, footwear, food etc before the event itself. If you do have any further questions then please don’t hesitate to fire away and we’ll get them posted up no matter how daft you think they may be!

17. Pub Quiz – whats that all about?

You might have heard the rumours…….This is a very very very informal Quiz that takes place in a local Pub immediately after the race. It commences immediately after the organiser has drunk his first pint (approx. 22.45pm). Teams typically split up into nations, but other teams welcome. Don’t worry if you are on your own, you will soon be dragged into a team regardless of academic ability. For the record, WALES have won every year so far – and so far, the organiser/question master (who is Welsh) hasn’t had to resort to cheating in order to achieve this record. For many attendees at the Beacons Ultra, the Pub Quiz has been the focal point of the weekend, the race itself has been incidental.