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Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon event image

Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon

Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon event image Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon event image Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon event image Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon event image Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon event image Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon event image Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon event image Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon event image Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon event image

Radyr & Morganstown Half Marathon and Marathon


Cardiff Harlequins Running Club, Diamond Ground,Forest Farm Road,Whitchurch,Cardiff, CF14 7JN

Sat 11th May 2024

Starting at 08:00

2 races

£35.00 - £45.00

Organiser's Description

Radyr Trail Half Marathon & Trail Marathon start in Wales' capital city, Cardiff but you'll soon feel a million miles away as you leave the hustle and bustle behind you for idillic trails and scenery.

The half marathon is an excellent trail run for new runners and veterans alike. You'll enjoy mountain views, woodlands, forest and great camaraderie as you explore a range of trails and countryside paths. The highest point is the Garth mountain, the real star of the film An Englishman who Went up a Hill but Came down a Mountain (sorry, Hugh!). The last couple of miles finish in a flat nature reserve where you'll be rewarded with plenty of birdlife and squirrels darting around you.

This event is part of the Radyr and Morganstown Festival, with proceeds going to local charities. The route will be fully marked, with two checkpoints to help you on your way. The route is not easy; the winners came in at 1hour 45 minutes in our first race, however, don't be put of by the challenge. Our sweepers walked the entire route well within the cut of times, we will do everything we can to get you around.​

The marathon has approximately 1300 meters of climb, taking in the half marathon route above and adding an additional 13.1 miles of trails. This course is described by past runners as beautiful and brutal. A gpx and map will be provided but some navigation skills will be required (the course is marked but signs have been moved in the past and we don't want you stranded miles from home!)

The winner's time is normally around 4hrs 50 so please expect to be out for longer than you would for a road marathon.

These are very special races, travelling through several SSSIs, ancient woods, and over hills. With breathtaking views from the Brecon Beacons to the Severn Crossings and Devon. You'll find these some of the toughest trail races around with 650m climb for the half, and 1400m for the full marathon. We allow generous cut offs, so you can take your time and enjoy the beauty of the South Wales countryside.

The half takes in the Garth Mountain, the fairytale Castell Coch woods and finishes along an old canal. The route is a fully marked course. The marathon takes it up a level with two more mountains thrown in!


  • Radyr and Morganstown Marathon


  • Radyr and Morganstown Half Marathon




  • Radyr and Morganstown Marathon


  • Radyr and Morganstown Half Marathon



Course Details

Radyr Trail Half Marathon
The route briefly passes Forest Farm, before crosses the river Taff. The crossing is the site of the old ford from Radyr to Whitchurch. Due to the shallow water, you may see people fly fishing in the river.

You'll quickly pass through Radyr before the first climb of the day greets you and you'll head up through the Golf course. Skirting around the edge of the course it quickly becomes apparent how close to true countryside our capital is as you cross stiles and agricultural fields. Soon you will glimpse the Garth Mountain in the distance.

A brief downhill will bring you to your first woodlands, where hopefully the bluebells will still be in flower. A tricky left turn (don’t miss it!) takes you to the left of Morganstown and into agricultural land proper.

You'll face a very steep, but thankfully brief, climb to the top of the woods, which eventually will lead you past a quarry. The route then dives downhill through Garth Woods and take you to Coed-y-Bedw SSSI Nature Reserve.

Leaving the deciduous woods of alder, oak and birch trees, you'll enters Coed Rhiw'r Ceiliog, a conifer plantation, with the eerie quiet the pine needle floor brings. The long climb up through the woods will lead you to your first checkpoint.

After the checkpoint, you'll begin your final climb to the highest summit of the day, the infamous Garth Mountain. If you're not local, you may know this mountain better for the Hugh Grant film An Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain. The route does not pass the trig point, but if you wish to summit the hill we will understand - the view on a sunny day is spectacular. With the capital city of Wales at your feet, you can clearly see both Severn Bridges, the coast of England and the highest peaks of Southern Britain – Pen y Fan and Corn Du.

After all the roots of the woodlands and the climbs of the Garth, you can now get some easy miles under your belt, a long descent to Gwaelod-y-Garth, down some zig zag paths and across the river to Taffs Well.

Once past the football ground, the route climbs up to the higher level Taff Trail. Following the trail for a while the route comes to Castell Coch woods, site of the Fairy Castle.

A sharp left leads to a steep gully which will take you to the top of the hill and a woodland sculpture trail. As you pass over the summit and begin the decent, you'll reach your second checkpoint. There is now under 5 miles to go, mostly downhill.

The descent will take you through Fforest Ganol and follow a pretty stream. If it's a hot day it will be almost impossible to not have a paddle in!

The last climb of the day, is short and sharp, past the café nestled in the woods. A tricky technical descent leads to the road at the base of Castell Coch. Next to Tongwynlais, past the pub where the cyclists meet, you will rejoin the Taff.

Finally, you will veer away from the Taff as the route passes the pretty Glamorganshire Canal, part of the Cambrian Way and the third nature reserve of the day. You'll likely come across herons, water fowl and, if you're lucky, kingfisher. You'll also get some much needed shade if warm before a final mile back to the clubhouse and a well-earned rest.​

Radyr Trail Marathon
The route follows the half signed route for about 3 miles before heading out to Creigiau. Here you'll meander through open fields and down through an exceptionally muddy track before taking some hidden trails to reach the Canada Lodge lakes. A brief road section is required here to avoid a field of bulls.

You'll reach your first checkpoint at 7 miles and, once restocked, enjoy a lovely runnable wooded section along an old railway line. South Wales has spectacular countryside, yet its industrial heritage is only skin deep away.

A beast of a climb up through a conifir wood takes us to Soar, teasingly close to the summit of Garth, but that's not for you yet. A wander down through fields allows you to rejoin the half marathon route, and a second tough climb to your second checkpoint at 11 miles.

Over the Garth there's a nice and tricky technical downhill to villages of Gwaelod y Garth and from here you'll cross the river to Taffs Well.

Once onto the Taff Trail high level, you'll again split from the half marathoners. This time skirting the wild Craig Yr Allt mountain to take you towards Caerphilly. Just before the Black Cock pub there is a tricky to spot right turn off the road which leads to a delightful single track wooded section.

You will rejoin the half route for the second time to run through Castell Coch woods and sculpture trail.

At the final checkpoint, you will part from the half marathon for the final time to explore the Wenallt Woods. The race takes place at the time of year that the Wenallt has spectacular drifts of bluebells which attract visitors from across Cardiff every spring.

After a final climb, its back into Castell Coch woods for a nice downhill section before a short run along the Glamorganshire canal, part of the Cambrian Way, and to the finish line.

The route genuinely has it all; mountain summits, beautiful downhill speed sections, SSSI woods, eerie conifer forests, we could go on and on....but the best way to appreciate it is to run!

What's Included

Professional event
Live Timing System
Professional first aiders specialising in off-road rescue (CAVRA)
Aid stations with water and snacks
Friendly volunteers
There are changing rooms and showers at the venue.

Every finisher will receive a 'Finisher's medal'. There will be prizes for:
1st, 2nd and 3rd male
1st, 2nd and 3rd female
1st male veteran (over 45)
1st female veteran (over 45)

  • Not for profit event
  • Eco friendly medals
  • Experienced first aiders with offroad vehicles
  • Limited field sizes to protect trails
  • South Wales's best routes

How to Get There

We encourage the use of public transport. The venue is very well served by the local train services. Radyr Train station has very regular services to and from Cardiff City Centre, usually not more than 10 minutes apart. The venue is about 5 minutes’ walk from the railway station.

If you're driving, please consider car sharing. There is ample parking at the venue.


There is ample parking at the venue.


Cardiff Harlequins RFC
Diamond Ground
Forest Farm Road
CF14 7JN


Date: Saturday 11 May
Marathon race start: 8:00
Registration opens: 6:00 (for both races)
Registration closes: 7:30

Half marathon race start: 9:00
Registration reopens: 7:45
Registration closes: 8:30

There will be a kit check at registration – no kit,
no entry.

There will be a kit check at registration – no kit,
no entry.

Kit List

Half Marathon

The course will be signed and should not require map reading or navigation skills. However, due to the length of the race, and wishing to keep the ‘exploring’ feel of being in the countryside, runners should expect distances where there may be no signage. Signs will be at junctions and pathway choices.

Despite the best laid plans, some runners may still lose their way. For that reason, we will be providing a map of the route on Ordinance Survey 1:25000. An ability to understand these maps will be helpful.

We have employed the services of CAVRA for our medical support. They are also a fully trained and very experienced search and rescue team. If you do get lost, please contact the emergency number provided on the day, and we will get you back on the right path.

The race contains 2 checkpoints, with water and light refreshments.

the route


The course will follow the route of the half marathon for the first seven miles, which will be well marked. The marathon loop to Rudry will not be significantly marked. There will be a few arrows at crucial junctions, though there will be an expectation on runners to be able to navigate.

There will be compulsory clip markers on the summits of each of the hills, and at pertinent locations to ensure runners travel at least the full marathon distance. A map and gpx file will be provided with the marathon route.

Be warned, the marathon route is not easy. It is not a route for a 'first marathon'. Last year, the half marathon took runners an additional half an hour to an hour longer than their road race times. That easily means three hours of racing for the half. If you have not completed a three hour race such as a triathalon, then consider the half route. If you do fancy going for broke we will try to support you, even if it is your first try. You have been warned :-) The cut offs are there to ensure that we can check runners medical fitness at appropriate points around the course. We do want runners to achieve thier goals, but we also bear in mind it is meant to be a beautiful day in the country.

The race contains 3 checkpoints, with water and light refreshments.

the route

Cut Offs

For the half marathon, cut offs are generous and allow for approximately 2.5 m.p.h pace – which is fast walking. Remember there are some hills, so this is quite a challenge if you are considering walking the whole route.

Race Start: 9:00
CP1 cut Off: 11:10 (5.35 Miles)
CP2 cut Off: 13:00 (10 Miles)
Race finish: 14:30 (13.6 Miles)

For the marathon, there will be an overall time limit of 8 hours for the full marathon route. This equates to about 3.25 miles per hour.

CP1M cut Off: 10:15 (7.5 Miles)
CP2M cut Off: 11:30 (11.5 Miles)
CP3M cut Off: 14:00 (19.5 Miles)
Race finish: 16:00 (26.3 Miles)


Verified Purchase

A 'verified' purchase review means that we've verified that the person writing the review purchased their entry to this race on

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4 reviews


·11 months ago

Great course through mini Switzerland! Lots of woodland paths plus scenic views. Easy to get lost...Garmin or similar is essential but the course had good markings and the marshalls were great. Also, I am very thankful to some local club runners who I joined halfway around and kept me going..tank was empty at the end. Overall would definitely run it again and support the local event.
Thank you very much for taking the time to review the race Stephen, we really do appreciate it. We try to create routes that we would love to run ourselves, which we hope is varied and beautiful. By not being a number of loops around a park, it does raise the risk of runners getting lost (especially as the sign pixies love changing the odd one or two). We try to improve every year, and we encourage anyone who feels lost to call us. We haven't lost anyone yet - I don't think ;-) Thanks again
Ridge Runners

·a year ago

Great race, very well organised. Tough race but the trails and views were worth it.
Glad you enjoyed it. We agree, it is one of the toughest races out there, but we don't want to get into that hyperbole. The route is so beautiful (we think so) that we believe the hard work is worth it. For us, that is what trail racing is about, putting that little more effort in to get such massive rewards. Thanks again
Ridge Runners

·2 years ago

If you like hilly off road races then this is perfect! Multi terrain - woodland, fields, hills, views galore…. Well organised, low key event.

·2 years ago

A well organised event and an off road setting that is both scenic and brutal in equal measures. The climbs up to Garth Hill are crazy and reduced all runners around me to walking. Altitude is then lost very quickly making you feel somewhat cheated and the second half of the race past Taff Wells takes you through spectacular heavy woodland leading you eventually back to Radyr and the finish. Great race for anyone looking for a very hilly off road tough 1/2 Marathon.
Thanks for you very kind words Andy. Its always nice to have feedback. Advertising the race is difficult for us. I think most can do it, so long as they take it easy. Its just hard if you transfer from road. We want to let people know what they are for, but not scare them off :-) Your review is just perfect - thanks Mark
Ridge Runners

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Mike Brandon



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