Trail running in South Wales

 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. 



  • 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
  • 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 beaconsimage..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 myselfimage

  • Sounds perfect Seren - thank you! I had a feeling that would be the case....!
  • Tim try the Welsh fell runners association,  last year they included a few trail races in their booklet.

  • 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?
  • 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 pricesimage

  • GeeeMGeeeM ✭✭✭

    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 image 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!

  •  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

  • I did it for the first time 2 years ago just a week after my marathon.......I was nearly last but I loved itimage
  • 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 [email protected] .              Seren,are you doing the Sleepwalker this year? As I have entered this year for the third time.                                        
  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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??

  • GeeeMGeeeM ✭✭✭

    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 image

    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!

  • Anyone know where to get a list of routes?


  • SideBurnSideBurn ✭✭✭

    You have found a thread from 2011 image


    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....


  • 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!

  • SideBurnSideBurn ✭✭✭

    You are not the first image

    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 image

    Reality dawned.......image 


  • Ha ha oh well we have resurrected it!

  • SideBurnSideBurn ✭✭✭

    I have 'bumped' the Might Contain Nuts 2014 thread up for you. It has some routes on it that will help to plan a run.... the races I have done were fantastic.

  • Thanks, much appreciated now how to I get to that image

  • SideBurnSideBurn ✭✭✭

    Click on 'Latest Posts'

    Then look for a thread called 'Might Contain Nuts Race Calendar 2014' I 'bumped' at 19:32

  • A few years on since this post, but check out trail running club in the hengoed area but cover south wales
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