Claire House Excalibur Marathon

Myself and my best mate have decided to take the challenge and run the Claire House Excalibur Marathon at the end of March.

We have both just started to train for it which obviously doesn't give us much time, but we are in it for the experience rather than finishing time.  After all, its hardly a PB opportunity anyway image  We have signed up as a team so we will help each other get over the finishing line.  I have ran a couple of marathons so I know what it takes to run one on roads, but not in the hills with over 4600 feet of ascent.

 Anybody else on here going to be taking part in this?  They describe it as the UK's toughest off-road marathon.  Whether thats the case or not i'm not sure.  I live nearby and love the hills and scenery in the area and think it will be an amazing thing to do.



  • I'll be there. I set myself the goal of running a marathon this year and since this one comes within a few miles of my front door it seems it has to be the one. I don't run on road in any case so I had to find an off-road event.

    I had planned to run one of two other marathon distance fell races at the end of the summer until a friend pointed this one out to me so my training time got a bit compressed too. Comparing this event with the others I've looked at I think it justifies the title of the toughest.

    Since I live so close, I've been covering sections of the route in training for the last few weeks There are some stiff climbs along the route and most of them come in the second half of the race. The only section I'm not looking forward to is the road from Llangwyfan down to Llandyrnog then back up towards Moel y Parc.

  • I'm new to trail and fell running and its been a revelation. Its tough , but so much more enjoyable than running on boring roads.

    I have been training on some of the route, but mostly around Moel Famau so i'm not familiar with the section you are not looking forward to. I guess I will find out about that on the day.
  • Hey folks, nice to hear from others that are doing this one. I am looking forward to hauling my sorry arse round your hills. i am coming up from Bournemouth with my trusty wingman in my aged ford fiesta with our 'lux racing tent, training so far is going terrribly. can't wait. see you there -p.s. can any of you locals recommend a good pub for pre/post race drinks? we like real ale ta JP & Kat x
  • Pre-race drinks??? Exactly how are you training? ;o)

     Whereabouts are you going to be staying?

    The Raven Inn at Llanarmon yn Ial is a community run freehouse and worth a visit. But then so are lots of pubs around the Llanferres / Loggerheads area. "We Three Loggerheads" is probably the busiest and closest but not necessarily the best. I can't think of one that doesn't do real ale.

    I always think real ale tastes like something strained through old mens socks so I'm not  very knowledgable on the subject. Probably best if you do your own research on villages in the area.

    Llanferres, Loggerheads, Maeshafen, Gwernymynnydd, Cilcain, Llanarmon yn Ial

    Let me know if you need any other information - I'm better on other subjects.

  • Thanks Clwydian,

    ha ha I was thinking more a pint (of old mens socks) the night before not literally pre-race although that would add another level of something to the race!

    Not sure where we'll be staying - any recommendations for a nice cheap and chearful campsite, within a short drive of the start?
  • I've had a look around for you - and not done very well.image

    Really close to the start is brynbowlio but they don't seem to accommodate tents. If you asked nicely, you might get a cheap night in one of the static caravans they rent out.

    The only site I can find that takes tents and isn't in the middle of nowhere is in Denbigh - just under thirty minutes drive from the start  - which at least has the advantage of being in easy walking distance of half a dozen pubs.  tynyreithin

    Good luck with the training. I've run all the tracks on the route a couple of times now and it's going to be a great day out.

     Let me know if there's anything else I can fail to help you with.


  • there is a great pub in the village of Cilcain (the route goes through here) which serves a selection of good real ales and food, a bigger and slightly more accomodating venue is the Pant-Yr-Ochain pub on the road out of Mold near Theatre Clwyd (about 4 miles away) - they do superb food and a big selection of well kept alesimage

    There's also The Druid pub at Llanferres which is a couple of miles up the road from the start on the main road. One of the local summer fell races starts from there and they are a great local venue with, again, excellent food and good choice of ales.

    Not sure re campsites I must admit as I've never camped here being relatively local.

    Right, I'm off to do a recce of the first half of the route!!

  • Im doing this and will not be able to Recce it at all as in Birmingham.   Ah well it will be an experience.
  • I did a run yesterday which includes a large part of the route on the day. I ran from Moel Fammau lower car park up to the top and then across the range as far as Moel Arthur and back. Total distance around 13 miles and total ascent of over 2500 feet.

    All I can say is I hope there isn't too much rain before the event itself as there was a lot of mud and large puddles to dodge as well as high winds.

    I'm not concerning myself with a finishing time anyway. Would like to think I could do it in 6 hours even with 2 months training.

    I'm not sure with campsites, but Flintshire does have a real ale trail. if thats what you are after
  • Am very very tempted by about to try to plot the map...

    Is there already one out there before I waste my time....  image

  • Steve Mack 7 wrote (see)

    Am very very tempted by about to try to plot the map...

    Is there already one out there before I waste my time....  image

    What format do you need? I can PM you GPX, TCX, KML or TRL formats. Or I could if you accepted private messages.
  • Hi,

    GPX would be brilliant thanks....

    Should be able to be PM'd...let if know if there are any problems

    (or email address is

    Thanks again


  • I've e-mailed in gpx route format.

     Have fun.

  • Whats peoples strategy on this?  Run the flats and downs?
  • Yeah thats going to be pretty much my strategy. Theres no way I could run all the up hill sections for a full 26.7 miles. Luckily the first few miles are fairly gradual rather than starting up a steep hill straight away.

    It would be handy if there was a larger map available of the route as its hard to make it all out with the map which is available on here.

    EDIT : Just got e-mail from organisers with a better map
  • I am 4 hour marathoner on the "flat" so this should take about 6 hours.   Do we need to navigate?

  • There are markers and there are marshals around the course who have to give you a stamp to make sure there are no cheaters. A map and compass is a required bit of equipment for all competitors to carry, but i'm not sure they will be used
  • spen71 wrote (see)

     Do we need to navigate?

    That usually depends on where you are in the field and the number of runners.

    There are definitely marshalls at checkpoints and the first track is waymarked bike track but the organiser hasn't said how many other marshalls / how much signage might actually be out on the course.

    The walkers set off 90 minutes before the runners so they are going to be useful once the running field has thinned.

    Navigation is generally quite straightforward between the checkpoints and the few trickier areas should be easy enough to sign, so I wouldn't worry too much about it but it's always worth being familiar withthe map.

  • Thanks to everyone for the replys

    I have another question, i notice you mention mud. Those that have recced the route whats your advice on shoes?

  • Ive got an OS map of the area and got a compass.   Been a long time since I have done any poroper navigation so will get them out tomorrow for a brush up.   

    Really do not know what to expect with this so it should be fun/

  • JP_lost wrote (see)
    Thanks to everyone for the replys I have another question, i notice you mention mud. Those that have recced the route whats your advice on shoes? Thanks
     Inov8 Mudroc for me but that's all I ever wear. A lot of the route is on pretty good tracks, there's too much road for my liking and it's all fire track through the forest so If it's dry(ish) you'll probably get away with trail shoes. There are a few sections where it gets a bit muddy but you need to weigh the whole thing up.
  • Are Mudroc ok?   I have heard lots of people complain about blisters.
  • I wear a pair of asics trail runners and found they gave me plenty of grip even in muddy conditions, but my feet did get a bit wet.

    It mite not be muddy on the day, it will depend what the weather is like in the days leading up to the event and on the day
  • spen71 wrote (see)
    Are Mudroc ok?   I have heard lots of people complain about blisters.
    I've never had issues but I know some people did in the early days of Inov8 (2005/6). I don't know anyone who has issues with them now.
  • Thanks.   What times are people looking at?  Anyone fancy a running partner?
  • Hello everyone.

    I'm Dan. I have taken over from Andy Bush as the race organiser.
    Over the last week i have been emailing all you runners, with the race information, registration times etc.

    I have however had a few emails bounce back, so am in the process of contacting any of the address that have bounced.

    If you can all check your inbox's, spam or junk folders you should have received an email from me, with links to the route map, check points and a sponsor form.

    Some of you may have received the message 2 or 3 times now, so I apologise for repeating the message but it would be amazing if you could print off a sponsor form and just pass it around work/family. If all of our runners raised £50 we would be looking at over £12,000, which equates to the cost of keeping a family in the hospice for one year. Which really makes a difference to our families lives!

    If you haven't received your email, please message me on or find the following links:

    Route Map:
    Check Points:
    Sponsor Form:

    Really looking forward to race day. Wish you all the best with the last few weeks of training!

    PS if you know of anyone yet to register, please can you request they do so before the 16th March as entries will be closing!


    Dan Thomas
    Event Fundraiser
    0151 343 0883
  • So there's a question then, assuming everyone's seen the latest e-mail......,

    Walking or running start (0800 or 0930)?

    I think I'd like to have the company of the walkers on the later stages of the run rather than just leave them all at the start and not see them for the rest of the day.

  • I'm going to start with the runners at the later time I think. Would have to eat around 5am if I started the earlier time and I don't fancy that.
  • Hi all,

    I just wonder what sort of fitness level do you require for this event? I am tempted to take part, but i am a regular road runner and a complete novis to trail and fell running, do you think i can handle this? Also do you think it is a good idea to do this event 4 weeks before London marathon?

    Many thanks in advance for your advice.

  • Hello Chewster,

    Isn't it three weeks before London?

    It's a very different proposition with the combination of conditions underfoot and all the climb.  I don't hink it's a good idea. Having said that, someone in my club is doing both.

Sign In or Register to comment.