South Wales 100 and 50- 22nd-24th June 2018

UTMB 2018 6 points  UTMB 2018 4 points

The SW100 is a 100mile ultra-trail footrace starting and finishing in Cardiff, crossing the South Wales Valleys and the Brecon Beacons!  It is a demanding test of endurance over varied and challenging terrain and is only suitable for experienced and competent ultra-trail runners. The route has approximately 6000 meters of ascent and is over 90% on trails. This is a tough course, with only 25% of participants completing the course in 2016 and only 45% completing in 2017!  It is a UTMB qualifying race eligible for 6 UTMB pionts.

The SW50 (The Brecon to Cardiff Extreme) follows the second half of the SW100 route. From the new (for 2018) starting location in the centre of Brecon town- you will run to the top of Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Britain, where you will join the SW100 mile route. The route continues over the main Brecon Beacons range brefore running back to Cardiff via an excellent network of trails, green valleys, rolling hills and mountain summits. It has has approximately 3000 meters of ascent and is a UTMB qualifying race eligible for 4 UTMB points.

The SW100 course starts at 1900 on the Friday evening. The SW50 starts at 0900 on Saturday morning.

The SW100 Walkers/non-competitive, starts at 1500 on Friday with an overall cut off time of 44 hours.  

The Route

The SW100 race starts in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, briefly heading North out of the city to Castel Coch. On a clear day, from the top of the first climb, Mynydd Y Garth, you can see the highpoints stretched out of the entire circular route you are about to conquer - even Pen Y Fan looming in the distance!  From here you head West, picking up trails along the Ridgeway route towards Ogmore Vale before heading North again to the top of the Bwlch.  You will cross the Valleys of the old mining communities of Treorchy and Hirwaun before heading into the Brecon Beacons National Park. Some stunning forestry trails take you through waterfall country, and then onto the more exposed summits of Fan Llia and Fan Frynych, before droping down to  the Storey Arms at the half way point.

The route then climbs to the top of Pen Y Fan (via Corn Du) and it is here where the SW50 mile route joins the SW100. You will cross the stunning Brecon Beacons mountain range of Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Fan y Big before the long descent to Talybont reservoir. From here the steepest climb of the route is Tor Y Foil -  the crux of the route, once over here it is (nearly) all downhill! Heading South via the green and rolling hills through Tredegar, the Rhymney Valley towards Caerphilly Castle. Skirting around Caerphilly Castle your nearly back. A final push over Caerphilly Mountain and Crag yr Alt brings you back to Castle Coch and a easy jog along the Taff Trail to the finish.

Our aim is to create a stable route without any major changes from year to year. For 2018 there are some small route changes from the 2017 event which we belive will make the route slightly easier to navigate -although not necessarily easier to run as you will have to run more and look at the map less! 

For a map of the 2018 SW100 route and gps file click here

For a map of the 2018 SW50 route and gps file click here 

You can download the route gps from the mapometer link above by clicking 'actions' then 'export'.

Event Base / Race HQ

The event base will be at the following address.
The Cardiff Harlequins Rugby Club,
The Diamond Ground
CF14 7JN


There are 10 manned checkpoints, 5 of which are indoors in community halls. We provide a comprehensive varierty of food and drinks. Details of whats provided and locations can be seen on the FAQ page on (Q17). Checkpoints are spaced approximately every 10miles.

There will be a number of compulsory clips located on the course (for example the top of Cribyn) to ensure competitors follow the course correctly and they are not manned.

Time Limit

There is a 40 hour cut-off time for runners to complete the entire SW100 course. There is a 24 hour cut off time for runners to complete the SW50 course.

The 'Walkers Start' allows for a 44 hour time limit for the SW100. For the walkers start you will set off at 3pm on Friday giving you an extra 4 hours to complete the course. Please note that if you decide to take the walkers start time and set off to quickly you will have to wait to go through the first few checkpoints as they will open based off a walkers speed. If you take the walkers start this is non-competitive which means you will not be elegable for prizes in the race!  

Route finding and navigation

The route is self navigation and you will receive a marked map with the route on it, a comprehensive road book with route description in it, and a gpx file of the route.

Organised Recces

There are four organised recce days throughout the year. Details can be seen here .

Participant entry requirements & experience

Both routes require participants to be self-sufficient, which means you must be able to complete the route as if without any support, carrying the appropriate compulsory kit and food and water beween checkpoints.  To enter the SW 100 you need to have experience in Ultra trail racing and as a minimum you should have completed at leat one 50 mile event of similar nature, examples will be asked for on the entry form. You should be able to run comfortably and navigate at night. You will need to be totally self-sufficient throughout the event and able to make sound mountain judgment. 

For the SW 50 entrants will need to be able to navigate the route using map and road book. It is likely you will be finishing in the dark so you will need to be able to navigate and run in the dark. You will need the physical fitness to complete the event carrying the compulsory kit including food and water between checkpoints. There is no qualifying necessary for the SW50 but you must have gained the required skills and fitness levels to complete the course safely. Warning-This is a tough course with a 65% completion rate in 2016!  

Gaining the Relevant Skills & Fitness

For more information about gaining the navigation/mountain skills and the relevant fitness levels please contact us. We can provide comprehensive fitness programmes and navigation training by highly experienced fitness professionals and mountain leaders. We can also provide custom route recce to individuals or small groups on days that suit.

Safety Team

We have a highly experienced safety team who follow the route and are positioned around the course to aid you should you get in any diffiuclty. They are not necessarily visable on the course, but are at strategic positions around the course- so hopefully you won't see them! However, if you do need them you can rest asured that they are a team of dedicatted, highly experienced mountain leaders, first aiders, physiotherapists and ex-military personel that can get to you quickly. 

Solo, Pair or Team

You can enter the event as an individual, a pair or a team of up to four. All members of pairs or teams must complete the course staying together. There is no relay option for the course.

What your entry fee includes

  • Checkpoints with refreshments
  • Event T-shirt
  • Event Medal
  • Camping at race HQ for Friday and Saturday night
  • Toilets, showers and changing facilities
  • Post Event Meal
  • Bus Transport from Cardiff to Brecon Beacons for SW50 competitors
  • Physiotherapy and First Aid Cover

Compulsory Kit

As is custom in these types of events there is a compulsory kit list that must be carried for your safety. Exact details can be found here.

Registration & Briefing

All entrants will be required to attend registration and briefing at the event HQ in Cardiff at the times outlined below.

Event Provisional Timings

1200 Campsite & Race HQ Opens
1330-1430 Walkers Registration & Briefing
1500 Walkers Start  
1530-1730 SW100 Registration & Briefing at 1730
1900 SW100 Start
1930-2100 Registration re-opens for SW50 competitors
2200 Registration Closes
2300 Campsite Closes


0630 Registration Opens SW50
0730 Registration Closes
0730 SW50 Briefing
0745 Busses Depart for Brecon Beacons
0900 SW50 Start From Brecon
1500 First 100 Finishers expected (20-22 hours)
1830 First 50 Competitors expected (8 hours)


1100 Last finisher for SW100
1100 Last Finisher for SW50
1115 Presentation
1200 Campsite and Race HQ closes


SW100 £110
SW50 £70

You can select the appropriate options when you sign up to the event online.


A list of Frequenctly Asked Questions can be found here


Race terms and conditions can be viewed here

Enter Online

Entries Open On Monday 20th November 2017      



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