The Beacons Ultra 2017
Updated: Jan 14, 2022
The Beacons Ultra is a 46 mile course consisting of two laps starting and finishing in Talybont-on-Usk while the route itself comprises of canal paths, trail, mountain and road.
Even though the race consists of 2 laps it is a highly enjoyable route.
I had somehow managed to convince my friend Lewis and his brother Ieuan that running ultras was fun and they decided that this one would be a good one to start. To be fair for a first Ultra they did choose a good one.
Starting nice and early at 0730 with a lap around the paying field at race HQ we were straight onto a fast flat canal section. Having run a few Ultras and recced the route I knew what was to come and was taking it easy running my own race while Lewis was questioning my pace. After roughly 3 miles we hit our first big climb a leg and lung busting grassy ascent of Tor y Foel, still taking my time Lewis asked a few times on the way up asking if I was ok, probably thinking that I was not up to much running. After cresting the summit of Tor y Foel I let my legs run loose and power downhill flying passed lewis and his brother as I went, allowing them to catch back up when the ground flattened off again.
From here we ran together for a while, me implementing my run/walk strategy, Lewis and Ieuan wanting to run more. Following a long road section we overlooking Talybont Reservoir we hit a technical downhill and I pulled away from Lewis and Ieuan, they caught up with me as I was leaving the next checkpoint but form there I was on my own and up the 'Roman Road' passing the throngs of people who opted for an easier day in the hills, still emptying my run/walk strategy before hitting a faster rocky trail heading North and back onto the flatter section of the route before hitting the Race HQ and the start of lap 2.
Keeping to the same race strategy in the second half, I felt strong throughout the race and really enjoyed every moment of it. Considering this was the Ultra with the most elevation I had done, I crossed the finish line feeling a lot fresher than other previous races finishing in a time of 9:11:06 and in 54th position.
I looking back I possible could have pushed harder and gone sub 9 hours, the elusive sub 10 hour 50 mile Ultra now should be a distinct possibility especially as this race had an additional 300m of elevation in comparison to the Race to the King.
Key kits and bits
Trainers: Salomon S/LAB ULTRA
Watch: Garmin Fenix 3
Pack: Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest 3.0
T-shirt: Inov8 Base Elite
Socks: CEP run sock 2.0
Cap: Inov8 Race Ultra Running Peak Running Cap
Nutrition (carried by me)
SIS - Gels
SIS - Beta Fuel
SIS - Electrolyte tablets