UTW Route

Ultra Trail Wales will have one of the most iconic, challenging and mouth-wateringly beautiful race routes of any event in the UK.

The route will take in one of Wales’ most iconic mountains, a world renowned estuary and the majesty of Wales’ greatest forest, over 50 miles (80km) and with over 3700m / 12,200ft of elevation gain – the event is set to literally take the breath away!

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Leaving Dolgellau on tarmac for about the first 2km, the route suddenly changes. First to moorland and then open mountain.

The route quickly gains the high ground, leaving Gau Craig (683m) to the left. The driest route across this plateau is on the North side of the ridge.

The path then climbs steeply to Mynydd Moel (863m) this is the first piece of trail with broken scree. From here the route crosses on featureless terrain to Cader Idris (893m).

Descending Cader Idris by the Ras y Gader route initially means dodging between pillow lava and a short rocky gully. The path to Rhiw Gwredydd is rocky but obvious.

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The next section visits the quiet Western end of the Cader Idris some short sharp undulations quickly take the overall height gain through 1000m.

The end of this route starts the plunge to sea level on a variety of tracks and paths. A quick left and right on tarmac takes you to the Grade II* listed Barmouth Bridge. This is 700m of wood and gives amazing 360 degree views.

Barmouth will also see the first feed station of the race – full details of the contents of the nutrition will be released closer to event day, however runners can expect plenty of nutritious and energy-filled goodies, along with a good dollop of encouragement from the volunteers and supporters in this lively town!

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From here, the next part of the route climbs into the Rhinog – following stone walls, but on paths that are much less visited than already encountered. Views to Snowdon, Cader and the Llyn Peninsula are stunning, if you’ve got quick feet!

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The high point on this side is Diffwys (750m) with a stone trig point. The descent from here is technical, and drops 500m in just under 3km. From here, the open mountain is left behind and the route uses Forestry to get to the 2nd feed station in Coed y Brenin at about 50km.

Now the route follows wild single track through Coed y Brenin, enjoying some technical paths, and a different feel to the first part of the course.

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This feel is kept right to the end – giving views to Cader, and occasional glimpses of the finish in Dolgellau. The route winds down and back into the centre of town, keeping the amount of road to an absolute minimum.

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Feed Stations, Check Points and Cut-Off Times

There will be two main, well stocked water and feed stations at around 25km (Barmouth) and 55km (Coed y Brenin).

Water will be available at approx 25, 40, 55 and 70km. Runners will need to plan to be self sufficient between those points. Organisers plan to be able to return retiring runners to the start/finish in Dolgellau from these two feed stations, however those electing to retire between these points must make their own way to either the start/finish or one of the feed stations and inform the race team of their retirement.

There will be additional mandatory checkpoints (marshalled) at key points in the route. These points will be communicated further in the coming months.

Our cut off points are devised with the safety of all participants and race crew and volunteers in mind. A pace of 6km/h +1hr/1000m +30mins a given CPs will be enacted – this gives the competitors maximum course time of 18hrs 30mins.

Detailed cutoffs will be approx 6hrs to Barmouth (Leg 1) and 12hrs 30mins to Coed y Brenin (Leg 2)

Full GPX data links and files will be released in early 2018