We are delighted to welcome you to the First edition of the Great Celtic Trail Marathon & Half Marathon. We know you will all be keen to lose yourself in the glorious Margam Country Park but first of all we have some important information for you.
It’s really important that you read and understand the details contained in this athlete guide as we are all responsible for each other’s safety on race day. The details will help you familiarize yourself with the race day itinerary and what to do in the event of an emergency.
The course represents the very best Margam Park & Afan Forest have to offer and is a perfect setting for any trail race. It is our goal to ensure you have the best possible experience. Your safety prior to and during the race is of the greatest importance to the entire team at Challenge Wales Events.
Please also remember to pay attention to our crew they are there to keep you safe.
Good luck, embrace the day, run safely and remember that “ITS ALL ABOUT THE CHALLENGE !
We wish all athletes a safe and successful race day. See you at the finish line! Adam Newton & Graham Roland, Challenge Wales Events
Event Postcode and Directions
J38 A48, M4, Port Talbot SA13 2TH Margam Country Park
Access to the Event is via the East Lodge entrance on the A48 between Margam and Pyle. If using SATNAV or a route finder the post code SA13 2TH can be used.
From M4 Junction 38:
Exit the roundabout onto the A48 heading to Pyle after a mile and a half take the left hand turning sign posted Twyn-Yr-hydd. Follow the signs for Twn-Yr-Hydd until you reach the large carpark facing the mountain.
From the South-East and South-West: the M4 motorway runs directly to Margam from London and from Heathrow (the M25/M24 from Gatwick Airport); the M5/M4 from the West Country; and the M6/M5/M50/M4 from the Midlands and the North; the M4 from West Wales.
Exit at Junction 38
Race check-in / Registration
Should you have missed the registration deadline for the race of Friday 30th June 2017 don’t panic! There are still options of running the event.
Please email the challenge Wales Team – Info@keepactiveswansea.co.uk You will then be able to pick your BIB number up on Friday July 14th from 5pm Until 8pm. Or on Race day from 8:am until 9:50am.
If you have registered in advance your timing chip will be posted in advance please do not lose these as there will be a £5GBP fee for reissuing on the day.
• IMPORTANT- all car parking on the day will be at East Lodge Car park please do not park in the main car park.
• There is no charge for parking on the day this charge is covered within your race entry. • NEW! The start line will be located around 200 meters from the car parking zone!
• Once this car park is full you will be directed to the overflow car park.
• There is an option to donate £1 Pound to Mountain rescue on the day for parking
Race Routes 2017
The Great Celtic Trail Marathon & Half Marathon event is organized by Trail runners, so every details of the route has been devised and planned for the best interest of the runner.
We want this to be an exciting but challenging new event – expect a few hills here and there to keep you entertained !
The Race will start at East Lodge Margam Park – You start your journey by climbing all the way from Margam County Park to Cwm Philip ZIG ZAGS. All runners then take a right hand turn caution must be taken at this point as this is a small out and back route with runners coming in both directions. There will also be a water station available on top of the ZIG ZAGS.
After the small out and back turn Marathon runners will take a right hand turn and Half Marathon runners will continue straight ahead.
Care must be taken to consider your fellow runners at this point, so please no pushing shouting fighting etc !!
Its really important at this point you pay attention to the signs the last thing you want is to end up running 26 miles when you only planned 13…..
The Marathon route then takes you towards Maesteg Golf course and the reservoir this is without a doubt one of the most stunning part of the route. We have also identified some wild strawberries and raspberry’s growing along this part of the route! We are warning you they taste delicious!
The Half Marathon route will then take you along a straight forest road where you can really pick up some speed! There will be a feed station at the end of the straight with water & Refreshments.
You will then take a left hand turn and enjoy some single tracks on a perfect day this location is Selfie paradise!
Marathon runners please be mindful that mile 18 to 20 is rather Stoney due to the recent works on the windfarm please be vigilant at this point.
You then follow the same route as the Half Marathon back toward the finish line!
Then your downhill to Margam park although there could be a little sting in the tail (How Exiting)
At the finish line there will be water Oranges Banana Cola and other refreshments you will also be given your finishers medal & Tech Tshirt.
The course will be Marked will Large white and Yellow Arrows there will be more than 150 signs out on the course it’s your responsibility as a runner to follow these signs, The Course will be well marshalled however not every location within the forestry will be marshalled. The course will also be Marked with Red tape please follow this tape this will insure that you are on the correct route at all times
There is no need for navigation skills. There will be mile markers throughout (as accurately placed as possible taking terrain into account) the event and all significant junctions will be marshalled. However, remember that this is a trail race in a sometimes remote, forested area and you are expected to keep your awareness about you especially at junctions for the clear signs directing you.
Additionally the rest of Margam Country Park and Afan Forest Park is fully open to the public as usual, and much of the route passes on public path where although the race is signed may have other users (walkers especially) on it, please respect your fellow outdoor enthusiasts.
Marathon route has been measured at 26.32 Miles Half Marathon has been measured at 13.45 Miles
Please note the race has a no dogs policy for the race. Our Welsh Athletics / UKA race license does not cover our event for the inclusion of dogs / animals on the race route as part of the race.
All on the day support will be provided by Mountain Rescue. Nigel Morgan and his team will be out and about covering the whole route. For Any Reason You Cannot finish the race please see a marshal or a member of mountain rescue.
Please be mindful that Mountain rescue do not offer a taxi service to the finish line they are only to be used for medical emergency’s.
Should you be running the event and want to carry a mobile phone with you for emergency purposes please add the bellow numbers to your contacts.
Adam Newton – 07766285902 Graham Rowland -07884343132
In the instance of extremely slow runners you may be advised as the race progresses (esp if runners have taken a break from the event for an injury and possibly restarted) that we may have to bring into operation a cut off where we will have the right to ask runners to drop out.
Important Facts for the Race
• Navigation skills are not required for the course will be fully signposted
• Marshals and Mountain rescue will cover all major checkpoint there will not be a marshal present every 500 meters remember this is a trail race you as a runner are responsible for following signs.
• Marathon route will have 6 feed stations in total three with gels food and water three will just supply water.
• Both Half Marathon & Full Marathon will have a lead and sweep bike.
• Half Marathon will have three water stations one station will have energy’s gels and foo available.
• There will also be refreshments available at the finish line Water, Bananas, oranges and salted crisps!
• Finishers T-shirts and Medals will be given out at the finish line.
• We operate a strict littering policy if you can carry your gels/bars when they are full you can carry them when they are empty. Please only dispose of litter in the dedicated TRASH zones. Anybody not following these guidelines will be DSQ.
• Please be mindful of weather conditions on race day we advised to wear a base layer or a water proof jacket
• Spikes are not permitted you will damage/Brake the timing matts.
• Any Abuse from Runners Towards Marshals Our sponsors of Officials will not be tolerated and you will be disqualified from the race.
• Under UKA/Welsh Athletic rules you are not allowed to run with your dog.
• Your number must be clearly visible at all times during the race and you are reminded that failure to wear your timing chip will result in you being omitted from the results
• We are also obliged to tell you that under Welsh Athletics rules the wearing of headphones whilst racing could result in disqualification should you be seen to be not cooperating with marshal advice or adhering to trail running etiquette whilst racing.
• Open first 3 men – Great Celtic Trail Marathon and Half Marathon
• Open first 3 Women – Great Celtic Trail Marathon and Half Marathon
The event village, start and finish areas, registration, café and all conveniences will be based all around the fantastic East Lodge. This will mean that the event will have an atmospheric feeling. Just a reminder to please be more weather-proof if the conditions are not kind to us on the day.
Should competitors be unclear on any of the above pre-event information – queries and questions should be directed to The Keep Active Swansea Team (Race Organisers) @ firstname.lastname@example.org. However please be understanding in the final few days before the event replies may take longer due to our busy schedule. Also use our Facebook page where other runners may be able to answer your queries.
We wish everybody the best of luck with your final preparation and we look forward to seeing you all on race day. Our door is always open should anybody need to get n touch or call over for a cup of tea you are always welcome!
The Team Adam & Graham