South Wales 100

This is a race specifically not for beginners. The South Wales 100 is a 105-mile race that is 90% on trails and took place on June 23 this year. Last year only a quarter of entrants managed to finish, so no wonder it is a UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc) qualifying race that will win a finisher six valuable UTMB points.

The race starts and finishes in Cardiff, following a loop across the South Wales Valleys and Brecon Beacons with several summits along the way. Interestingly, the race starts at 7pm, forcing participants to strap on their head torches after only a few hours and stride on into the night. Though there will be checkpoints for refreshment, entrants must otherwise be self-sufficient with navigation and fuelling, hence the experience requirement.

The course has in total around 6400m of ascent and must be completed in under 40 hours. Such tough conditions prompt some runners to band together in teams of up to four, not to break the distance into a relay but to offer support across the whole distance. The race this year was won by newbie Jack Galloway, whose previous longest race was less than half this distance. The winner of the women's category was Karen Nash, who has blogged about her victory here

Those interested in the course may choose to take on the shorter SW50 challenge or join the SW100 walkers’ start. To get a better feel for this epic trail race, follow Jack to victory in the video below. 

Video credit: Youtube, Jack Galloway. A film by Lizzie Coe.

Written by Kate Milsom