Trail running in South Wales

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08/11/2011 at 14:28

 Hi everyone, 

I'm looking to take my first steps in trail running, having stuck mainly to roads over the last few years. 

I live in Cardiff Bay so just wondering if anyone has any advice about the best places to go for a beginner, or any websites/clubs which could be of use. 

I'm currently in training for the Rotterdam marathon next year so I've got a good level of fitness but as I've mainly been running on the flat roads I guess I'd have to knock the distance down a bit for the trails. 


08/11/2011 at 14:46
Hiya Tim...I'm going to watch this with interest as I've just entered my first trail HM and I've only ever run on roads. I'm Cardiff based too and was planning to head up to Castell Coch as there are plenty of trails behind the castle. I'm sure there must be loads of other places too though
seren nos    pirate
08/11/2011 at 15:53

there are loads of trails............I just purchase the water proof versions of the ordanace survey maps and head off

around castell coch is good...........or get on the taff trail and you can go all the way from cardiff to merthyr and on to brecon...........the ridgeway goes across carphilly mountain and all around the valleys......over to margam park and you can explore the whole of the mountain trails there..........there are so amnay off road routes around south wales and the valleys and thats before you start travelling to the brecon beacons..flatter trails can be found around bridgend way or head to porthcawl for the merthyr mawr sand dunes.......

 I find I can do the same mileage off road but it does take me a lot longer to get the miles its more of a day trip with a picnic............I go much slower and enjoy myself

08/11/2011 at 16:28
Sounds perfect Seren - thank you! I had a feeling that would be the case....!
08/11/2011 at 18:39

Tim try the Welsh fell runners association,  last year they included a few trail races in their booklet.

08/11/2011 at 21:19
Thanks Seren, I'll check a few of those out. I'm not looking to go too long at first, just something to make a nice change from the roads.

Any idea where I could pick up a fell runner's association booklet Roy?
seren nos    pirate
09/11/2011 at 08:12

there are some good off road races around.

In april there is the Pentyrch hill race.about 6/7 miles I believe...........just north of cardiff............In May there is the sirhowy challenge.10 miles and  starts about 5 miles north of newport.........

the Machen mountain race about 6 miles was in August but it seems that that was cancelled this year because of the one road crossing.........not sure if it will be back on........

september is the roman run.........half road /half off and goes from brecon to merthyr about 16 miles........

all local and good races at reasonable prices

09/11/2011 at 09:23

If you're in Cardiff Bay - it's not far to Cosmeston Lakes, you can go through Penarth - past the pier and along the coastal cliff path to get there. One of my favourite routes in Cardiff...

I've done the races Seren mentioned - and they're all good  I was up in the Brecons doing a 20-mile recce of the Sleepwalker night race last weekend - that's proper off-road trail running! Google it for more details!

09/11/2011 at 11:18

 Had a look at the Sleepwalker race, think it's a long way off for me yet. The Cosmeston lakes route looks good, I've got a day off Friday so might give it a go then. 

 Might have a look at the Pentyrch race in April Seren, it's a couple of weeks after the marathon so could be a nice way to kick start the legs again

seren nos    pirate
09/11/2011 at 13:52
I did it for the first time 2 years ago just a week after my marathon.......I was nearly last but I loved it
09/11/2011 at 16:54
Geeem,, I was also up the beacons on sunday doing the same,I only saw 2 others running, did you have a dog with you and have a red top on.The other chap was in blue,we nodded at each other and that was it.                                                                                                                                                                                              Tim,the fell season is almost over in south wales but if you are intrested for next year you can E-mail .              Seren,are you doing the Sleepwalker this year? As I have entered this year for the third time.                                        
seren nos    pirate
09/11/2011 at 17:32

I am tempted by the sleepwalker...wanted to do it for a few years...but doing the beacons ultra 47 miles the week not sure if I would be recovered enough

 also remembered that the Pontypridd roadents new reverse 10 route is offroad.............its on cycle paths so mainly tarmac now with some bits on trails.............thats a 10 miler in February

09/11/2011 at 20:21
Seren,all the best for the ultra 47.Let us know how you get on. Is it on sat or sunday. if sat where does it start as I might come and watch it, also what time.
09/11/2011 at 20:51

I was down ther  in the summer with SWMBO for a week & went out with a group that started from (used the facilities at) the Hotel we stayaed in

 Are they too far away from you??

10/11/2011 at 10:48

Roy - no, it wasn't me, I was up there on Saturday morning 07:30-ish!

 I only saw one other person - a young lady coming the other way...

I didn't enjoy the recce if I'm honest, it was really wet and the boggy section at halfway just after the water treatment works was a pain. For some stupid reason I also didn't wear my trail shoes so found the going very rough underfoot... It took me 3hrs40 to get round which is pretty abysmal in daylight and I was very grumpy at the end

Haven't decided if I'm going to do Sleepwalker yet - I'm doing CTS Gower marathon this weekend and the Might Contain Nuts 40-miler the weekend after Sleepwalker so I'll probably be sick of hills and mud!

10/05/2014 at 20:36

Anyone know where to get a list of routes?


11/05/2014 at 19:12

You have found a thread from 2011


But... the Might Contain Nuts(MCN) Website is;

The CTS (Endurancelife) website is;

I cannot find any routes for MCN but I have done their races and they are excellent.

Endurancelife have routes on their site if you click on the event.

But I am interested in routes in and around Pontypridd....


11/05/2014 at 19:16

Oh, im new to this and didn't even look at the date :/ I'll try them and thanks. I have an estate agents in Talbot green so will definately look at Pontypridd routes.

Thank you!

11/05/2014 at 19:28

You are not the first

I had a massive shock when an old thread was resurrected, the thread had a post from me that I had forgotten I had posted.....

It did not even seem to be something I would say, and I thought someone had hijacked my profile

Reality dawned....... 


11/05/2014 at 19:30

Ha ha oh well we have resurrected it!

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