The following advice is to help 2017 participants avoid any access and routing frustrations during any reconnaissance trips that you may have the luxury to enjoy!
We are soon to issue the final version of the route, after a winter period of route review. In the background, we are also soon to commit the map to the printers, via our mapping partner Harvey Maps. Generally this review has been to finesse the Recommended Route for best flow, least resistance and most intuitive navigability.
The GPX file of the final route will be published on 26th April.
When accessing the terrain, you should not experience any serious access issues, primarily as the route is designed to access Public Rights of Way and designated Open Access land. However, it is possible that you will bump into landowners, farmers and householders. Our advice would be to not access (i.e. passing through a farmyard) the route very early or late at night, or during darkness. There is also the matter of dogs – notably farm(yard) dogs. Dogs seem to be more excitable during lambing season – which is March and April. Be wary and stern with dogs should you meet them. They are then most likely to see you as dominant, and back off. For the event day in question, many farmers have our courtesy letters and tend to proactively put certain dogs in their kennels.
If you do encounter any aggravation from someone who appears to be a farmer/landowner, almost without exception it is best to go nearer and talk with them. A mutual understanding will develop. Do not attempt a shouting conversation from a distance. Either politely ignore, revise your routing or indeed approach them if that looks to be practical. Their adverse reaction might be that they are worried that you are about to frustrate a farming practice. They can be extraordinarily busy at this time of year. There is no need to explain your presence or its relationship with the event. We would be interested for you to report any access issues or encounters to us, via email.
Lastly, if the weather is very wet, the rivers may be high. Consider whether this will affect your day plan or personal safety.
Enjoy your reconnaissance! The countryside is coming out of its winter slumber and is starting to look fantastic!
- Conwy Castle and Conwy Town Walls: Although the Town Walls are open to the public (free) and the Castle is open to the public (payment required) year round, the event route is by special arrangement on the day of the race only.
- Descending to the Finish: The last ~500m to the Finish will be waymarked on race day to avoid disturbing the National Trust campsite.
- In the Dduallt/railway area of the map, after the Moelwynion, there will be small refinements in the mapping portrayal, though the route does presently work when diligent attention is employed on the ground.
- After departing Trawsfynydd Reservoir dam, the route has been improved so that you are not vexed by boundary wall crossings. Please refer to the map below. We will refrain from giving a description narrative here as we do not give this with any of the route pre-event. Just follow the map closely, and keep a keen eye on terrain interpretation. Note the new Checkpoint (CP5).
- The final 3km before the Finish (shown below), in the forest, is very detailed on both the map and the ground, but there is always a path in this busy path matrix that works through to the Finish. We intend to waymark this section. The example below also shows how the Recommended Route (yellow) and Mandatory Route (orange) will be shown on the map.
- The ascent through fields onto the Cadair Idris massif requires your full attention, but does work
- The descent through fields off the Cadair Idris massif requires your full attention, but does work
- The starting kilometre is across private land, for the event day only. Until then please note the map below. You will be able to leave a car where indicated on reconnaissance trips. Please use the indicated route shown here, and NO other variation (i.e. not the orange line or even the public footpath that ascends south east from near the overnight camp.)
- On the highest early ground, between the two windfarms, you will encounter at least two barbed wire fences, one of which has an (inactive) electric fence wire. Just cross these with care. For the event, we will indicate the Recommended Route on the event map, and we intend to add some measures on this routeline to make these fence crossings easier.
- For much of the remaining upland areas of Day 4 there are numerous route options of equal merit. Just enjoy your navigation!
- 1 kilometre before reaching the Support Point on Day 4, there is a farm called Lower Llanfadog Farm. This has numerous gates and an ambiguous path routing across a farm yard with many dogs. We are going to divert the route here. Please refer to the map below.
- The forest after Checkpoint 8 (before Abergwesyn) has been harvested, but you will find a tolerable and improving route through this should you stick to the line of the bridleway – which, as it happens, will be our recommendation – it being the Public Right of Way through this forest.
- 1 kilometre after the start, there is both new harvested and mature forest that troubles the footpath. Please refer to the map below. The event map will reflect this as the recommendation.
- The Finish is at a school 5km beyond the 2015 event finish of Carreg Cennen Castle, though you will still pass beside the Castle. We have studied the full path and road matrix here, and have selected the most runnable <> least ascent <> best views option. Please refer to the map below.
Feels like you’ve already finished doesn’t it?!