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The Great Welsh Ultra

Machynlleth, Wales

Machynlleth, UK

Sat 28th May 2022

Organiser's Description

The route starts in Machynlleth, an historic town that was once the administrative capital of Wales, it follows Glyndwr's Way, the Wye Valley Way, the Black Mountains via the Waun Fach Ridge and into Cardiff, the modern-day capital of Wales. A spectacular route along National Trails, peaceful rivers, remote hills, mountains and villages.

A single stage foot-race of 200km, with 5200m+ height gain, and a 44 hour cut-off. There will be an indoor sleeping area available (at approximately halfway). You choose if, and for how long, you sleep. The clock won't stop.

The inaugural Great Welsh Ultra will start in Machynlleth at 4am on Saturday, 28th May 2022. You have 44 hours to make it to the finish line at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay (Midnight on Sunday, 19th Sep 2021).
Race Day Timings

Timings in Machynlleth

16:00 on Fri 17 Sep - Registration & Kit Check

18:00 on Fri 17 Sep - Race Brief

04:00 on Sat 18 Sep - Race Start

Optional Coach Transfer

Driving? Leave your car at the finish and travel by private coach to Machynlleth. Leaving Cardiff at 12 noon on Fri 17 Sep.

Course Overview

This is a single-stage event with 7 Check Points well-stocked with good food, hot drinks, water & encouragement roughly every 28km.

One of which will be a dedicated indoor space where there will be hot food, hot drinks, floor-space for sleeping, toilets, your drop-bag, and USB charging points.

Provisional Check Points

  1. CP1 Staylittle - 25km
  2. CP2 Llanidloes - 42km
  3. CP3 Rhayader - 69km
  4. CP4 Buith Wells - 94km
  5. CP5 Talgarth - 122km (floor space, drop bag)
  6. CP6 Crickhowell - 144km
  7. CP7 Mynyddistwyn - 175km

Rating: Hard

Distance: 200km (125.16 miles)

Height Gain: 5323 metres (17464 feet)

The GWU 200km has been awarded 6 iTRA Points by the International Trail Running Association and 6 UTMB Points.

The route starts in Machynlleth, an historic town that was once the administrative capital of Wales, it follows Glyndwr's Way, the Wye Valley Way, the Black Mountains via the Waun Fach Ridge and into Cardiff, the modern-day capital of Wales.

Route Detail & Stages

Provisional Check Points:
CP1 Staylittle - 25km
CP2 Llanidloes - 42km
CP3 Rhayader - 69km
CP4 Buith Wells - 94km
CP5 Talgarth - 122km (floor space, drop bag)
CP6 Crickhowell - 144km
CP7 Mynyddistwyn - 175km
Below is a route breakdown, broken up into small manageable parts (running total in brackets):

1. 32km

From Machynlleth the route follows the famous National Trail Glyndwrs Way all the way to the banks of Llyn Clywedog. The route is a mix of ridges, forests and tracks all through stunning mid Wales countryside.

2. 29km (61km)

From the banks of Llyn Clywedog follow Glyndwrs Way to the village of LLanidloes. From here head across country over the river Severn to the village of Llangurig. Cross the River Wye and follow the Wye Valley Walk for a further 5 km.

3. 28km (89km)

Stay on the beautiful Wye Valley Walk and pass through the town of Rhayader and on to the town of Newbridge on Wye.

4. 31km (120km)

Starting in Newbridge on Wye continue your journey on the Wye Valley Walk with views of the river from ridges and forest. Pass through the town of Builth Wells and carry on south to the village of Llyswen.

5. 32km (152km)

Head south on rural roads to the town of Talgarth before heading up to the high summit of Waun Fach 809m. Stay high on the magnificent ridge taking in the summits of Pen Allt-Mawr 720m and the summit of Pen Cerrig Calch 707m before dropping down into the village of Crickhowell.

6. 30km (184km)

Your journey towards the capital, Cardiff, is now becoming a reality. There's a noticeable climb out of Crickhowell to the summit of Mynydd Llangatwyg, then a descent to Brynmawr before climbing the last significant peak of Coity Mountain, on the ridge line that runs all the way to Newbridge.

7. 18km (200km)

The end is in sight. Heading south from Newbridge cross rolling hills before joining the Forge Trail. Head past Llanishen Reservoir and Roath Park Lake and onto the final stretch and the finish line at The Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.


Every competitor is given a GPS tracker so we can see where you are at all times during the race and your family and friends can watch your progress online.

Other Information

Each Check Point will have an associated opening & closing time (cut-off). The Racer Info document has details of cut-offs on page 4. These can be used as a rough guide, but are subject to some slight changes. Updates will be communicated with participants.

You will need to be a competent navigator, and experienced at off-road ultramarathon distances. We recommend that you have minimum experience of completing a 50 mile ultra prior to standing on the start line of The GWU. Participants must accept our participant declaration at registration.

If you are unsure please get in touch and we will happily advise.

Fully-stocked checkpoints will be there when you need them most. Additional support from friends/family is allowed - we will be providing recommended locations for where support vehicles can meet you en route.

Dave & Mike will be holding guided recce days from April 2021. Feel free to use the GPX file to plan your own reconnaissance, below shows transport links across Wales which may help.

If you are travelling from overseas we recommend that you choose Cardiff as your destination and take advantage of the private coach transfer to Machynlleth, leaving Cardiff at 12 noon on Friday 17th Sept.

CARDIFF: Direct train links to London and Cardiff International Airport.
MACHYNLLETH: Direct train links to Birmingham and Birmingham International Airport.


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Machynlleth, Wales

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