Up for the Challenge!

Up for a Challenge!


Runners ready to rock at Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival

The usually sleepy mid-Wales countryside will welcome some fierce competition this weekend as hundreds of runners battle it out at the Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival.

The fourth edition of the event will take place amongst the bustling atmosphere of the Royal Welsh Smallholding and Countryside Festival on Saturday at midday. The 10K race includes the short course Welsh Trail Running Championships following on from the long course event earlier this month.

Dan Nash is the red-hot favourite to take the men’s title following a stunning fourth place finish at the Brighton Marathon last month. The 25-year-old Cardiff AC athlete has run 30:23 over 10K will be hoping for a smooth transition back to the unforgiving world of trail running.

The undulating course through the stunning Builth Wells countryside could prove to be a leveller for the elite field. White Rock Runner Oliver Williams (32:09) will be looking to stick with Nash over the mixed terrain and challenge in the final stages through the buzzing Royal Welsh Showground.

Aberdare Valley AC runner Joe Reardon (33:35) and Pontypridd Roadent John Howells (34:08) will be hoping to gatecrash the party over 10K on Saturday.

In the women’s race, Les Croupiers athlete Katie Beecher (38:54) will be challenged by Swansea Harrier Jemima Osborn (40:35), Aberdare Valley AC runner Aimee Ferguson (43:10) and Pontypridd Roadent Liz May (43:32).

Hundreds of runners will follow the elite runners along the scenic route that showcases the heart of Wales in all its glory. The challenging route over sections of trail, woodland paths and agricultural land provides a stern test for the mass-field looking for a unique challenge on a picturesque course.

Race Director Steve Brace said: “The road running season is well underway but now we head to the trails for a real favourite on the annual running calendar. The Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival showcases the beautiful mid-Wales countryside and plays host to a hotly contested elite race and an adventure style mass-participation run.

“There is something for every member of the family with the Toddler Dash and Family Mile, so why not get active while out at the Royal Welsh Countryside and Smallholding Festival.”

Entries are open on the day to the Family Mile event, which gets underway at 11.35am before youngsters take their first steps at a mass-participation event in the 60 metre Toddler Dash at 11.55am.

A limited number of entries to the main race are available on the day from the Event Information tent.

Why Runners Turn To The Trails

Road running is more popular, but there’s a reason thousands of runners turn to the trails to add an exciting new dimension to their training – especially in Wales. In Wales, we’re blessed with stunning scenery and unforgettable views. In Builth Wells, you get just that! That’s why we’re looking at why so many runners choose to take on the trail…

1 – The adventure

For those joining us for the first time on 18th May, it’s just like an adventure. You have no idea where the next woodland track is taking you or the next hill will come out – and that all adds to the thrill!

2 – The benefits to your mental health

While road running can be more practical for city dwellers, there’s nothing like escaping it all on the trails. No cars, fresher air, plenty of forestry and less people. You can just absorb your natural environment, and that does wonders for your mind.

3 – A different challenge

Trail running tests you in different conditions – and might even want a new pair of trainers for it! Many runners find the trails improve their running overall. More hills, different terrains, natural obstacles and uneven surfaces make for an improved allrounder!

4 – You’re always soaking it up

There’s no opportunity for you to turn off and miss the beauty of a trail run. With every step there’s a new challenge, so you’re always thinking about the next hill, how to avoid that tree stump – and with that, you’re always appreciating what’s around you.

5 – To break the cycle

Trail running is fun and a fantastic way to break things up if you’re an every day runner following a weekly routine. You’ll never get bored with the trails – and they’re always open for you to run on.

6 – Running faster on road

You’ll feel fitness benefits better than ever after a run on the trails. Trail running makes you stronger and improves your overall fitness, and it’s likely you’ll start to improve your times on the road.

7 – The pressure is off

No trail run is the same and because each one is unique, it’s less PBs and fast times, more enjoyment, fun and taking in the sights.

So, why not take on the trail this May? There’s something for everyone at the Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival, from 10K to 3K to the family-friendly family mile trail. 10K Early Bird entries close at midnight on Wednesday 27th March, so get yours before then!

Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival returns for 2019

Thousands of runners will return to the stunning heart of Mid Wales for the 2019 Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival.

Incorporated into the Royal Welsh Smallholding & Countryside Festival, the Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival has quickly established itself as one of the UK’s largest and most scenic trail running events. The revamped festival of running will return with a trio of races on Saturday 19th May.

A stunning 10K race through the countryside surrounding Builth Wells will be the main feature of the revamped event. The action will begin with a fast paced 3K race before the next generation get their chance to shine in the one mile trail race, open to families.

There will be a new competitive edge at this year’s Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival. Wales’ fastest athletes will battle it out on the trails of Mid-Wales for the right to be crowned Welsh Trail Running Champion at the Welsh Championships for 10K Trail, which also incorporates the Welsh Masters and Inter Regional Trail Running Championships.

Run 4 Wales Chef Executive Matt Newman said: “The Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival continues to grow year on year, and 2019 promises to be the biggest and best yet. Almost 1,000 runners took in the stunning scenery in the heart of Wales back in May, and we cannot wait to welcome even more runners when the new-look Royal Welsh Smallholding & Countryside Festival makes its debut to showcase the best of Wales this spring.

“The added competitive element will bring a new level of excitement to the event. Not only will festival goers get the chance to sample the best produce Wales has to offer, but now they will be able to get a glimpse of the fastest runners from all corners of the country.”

Competitors will be chip-timed as they cross the start and finish line to deliver the most accurate timings possible, while family and friends can track their progress on the Run 4 Wales smartphone app.

Camping packages will again be available for those wanting a full experience of the Royal Welsh Smallholding & Countryside Festival. A four-person pitch is priced at only £25, with shower and toilet facilities on-site. Entry to the festival is also included and race packs will be posted in advance of the event.

Entries are now open, with an Early Bird entry offer available until 20th March – giving runners the chance to save £4 on the cost of their entry. Sign up at


Not even the Royal Wedding, FA Cup Final, or temperatures that peaked at 20 degrees could stop the hundreds of athletes that flocked to the third edition of the Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival, hosted as part of the Spring Festival at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells.

A series of six races offered something to everyone in superb conditions, culminating in the Welsh Inter-Regional Welsh Trail Half-Marathon Championships. The youngest runners in the Toddlers 50 metre dash at the start of the day were two-and-a-half, while 81-year-old Tom Harrison earned special praise for completing the half-marathon in 2 hours, 47 minutes.

“This was our third year working in collaboration with the Royal Welsh Spring Festival and the growth in numbers proved to us there is a demand for an event of this stature in what are truly spectacular surroundings,” said Run4Wales CEO, Matt Newman.

“The spirit of the day was probably best summed up by the Like family from Pontypool. Their twin sons, Artie and Billy, won the Toddlers Dash at the start of the day, Dad, Jon, then came home in third place in the 10K and Mum, Harri, was in the winning East Wales team in the half-marathon.

Support of Principal Partner Castell Howell Foods was vital – with roots deep in the Welsh countryside, the event fits perfectly with their company values and they were delighted to be involved for the first time in 2018. The hundreds of participants had good reason for being grateful to Official Partner Radnor Hills, who kept everyone hydrated in warm conditions, Lead Charity Prosate Cymru, who kitted each and every runner out with a sweat band and Wild Trail, who provided a nutritional bar at the finish line.

The 10K races saw convincing victories for Rob Davies (Amman Valley Harriers) and Georgia Dando (Bridgend AC). Davies came home more than three minutes clear of defending champion Tom Jones, of Carmarthen, to take the title in 38:45 with Jon Like a further 29 seconds back in third.

Dando dominated the women’s race in similar fashion, ending with a 1 min, 52 cushion over Daneen Hughes to win in 48:24. Annabel Wagstaff, of Windle Valley Runners, was third.

Another female veteran, Lliswerry Runners’ Sandra Chipper, took the title in the Half-Marathon race as she led East Wales to the team title in the Regional Championships. Chipper led from start to finish to complete the course in 1:33.36 to beat Rebecca Chapman by three minutes and seven seconds. Sally Munro, from Darth Coastal Runners, was third.

Stroud AC’s Jack Turner was the early leader in the men’s race, but he slipped back to fourth as the action heated up. That left Pontypridd’s Jack Blackburn to storm through and win by more than a minute in 1:20.58 from Steve Littler, with local runner Jonathan Pugh in third.

2018 Royal Welsh Trail Half Marathon
Men: 1, J Blackburn (Pontypridd Roadents) 1:20.58; 2, S Littler V40 (Wesham) 1:22.01; 3, J Pugh V35 (Builth & District) 1:23.11; 4, J Turner (Stroud AC) 1:24.19; 5, R Woods V40 (Builth & District) 1:24.40; 6, G Brown V 35 (Penarth & Dinas Runners) 1:26.55; 7, I Lloyd V55 (Swansea Harriers) 1:27.05; 8, R Foster V35 (Lliswerry Runners) 1:27.12; 9, G Payne V45 (Sarn Helen) 1:27.54; 10, J Jones V40 (Unattached) 1:30.22

Welsh Masters Championships
V35: J Pugh (Builth & District); V40: S James (Ogmore Phoenix Runners); V45: E Morgan (Les Croupiers); V50: D Cascarina (Cornelly Striders); V55: I Lloyd (Swansea Harriers); V60: C Nellins (Penarth & Dinas Runners); V65: D Goodall (White Rock)

Women: 1, S Chipper V45 (Lliswerry Runners) 1:33.36; 2, R Templeton (Unattached) 1:36.43; 3, S Munro (V40 (Darth Coastal Runners) 1:40.45; 4, A Nixon V60 (Forest of Dean AC) 1:41.08; 5, N Collin (Lliswerry Runners) 1:43.25; 6, S Wilder V35 (San Domenico) 1:45.41; 7, J van Beijnum V35 (Les Croupiers) 1:49.01; 8, J Rees V40 (Rhayader RC) 1:49.44; 9, H Like (Ponty-y-Pwl & District Runners) 1:51.23; 10, D Chick F50 (Port Talbot Harriers) 1:54.33

Inter-Regional Team Champions (Women): East Wales (Chipper, Collin, Like)

Welsh Masters Championships
V35: S Wilder (San Domenico); V40: S Munro (Darth Coastal Runners); V45: S Chipper (Lliswerry Runners); V50: A Herman (Penarth & Dinas Runners); V 55: D Chick (Poet Talbot Harriers); V 60: A Nixon (Forest of Dean AC)

Welsh Trail Running Festival 10K
Men: 1, R Davies (Amman Valley Harriers) 38:45; 2, T Jones (Carmarthen AC) 42:00; 3, J Like (Ponty-y-Pwl & District Runners) 42:30; 4, S Roberts (Croft Ambrey RC) 43:04; 5, C Phillips (Unattached) 43:15; 6, M Cook V35 (Unattached) 44:34; 7, S Parry V35 (Unattached) 45:07; 8, S Rees V45 (Rhayader RC) 45:30; 9, T Davies (Unattached) 46:02; 10, S Williams V55 (Parc Bryn Bach RC) 47:03

Women: 1, G Dando V40 (Bridgend AC) 48:21; 2, D Hughes V35 (Wye Valley Runners) 50:09; 3, A Wagstaff (Windle Valley Runners) 51:43; 4, S Knill V40 (Unattached) 52:05; 5, R Stuart (Aberystwyth AC) 53:32; 6, C Prince (Barston Hill Dodgers) 53:25; 7, J Hayde V35 (Wye Valley Runners)54:30; 8, C Tanner V35 (Run4All Neath) 54:50; 9, J Evans V35 (Merthyr RC) 55:19; 10, G Troelsen V50 (Builth & District) 55:38


1) Get hydrated – This applies especially if you’re taking on the half marathon distance. Trail running takes up a lot of energy and you’ll need to keep well-hydrated in the couple of days before the race. Thanks to Radnor Hills, it’ll be easy for our runners to stay hydrated on race day.

2) Mentally prepare – Half the battle of distance running is in the mind. Trail running in the beautiful Welsh countryside will be a great experience, but there’s likely to be tougher times.

3) Physically prepare – The other half of the battle is being in physically good condition. You’ve trained hard and stayed clear of injury, so now is the time to put it all into practice.

4) Have your gear ready – The key to being comfortable on the trails is having already trained in everything you’re going to wear on the day, especially your trail trainers.

5) Pace yourself – With big events, it’s simple to fall into the trap of starting too quickly or slowly. Stubbornly keep to your own pace that you’ve become used to, and the rest will fall into the place.

6) Keep an eye on the floor – Don’t run with your head down but be mindful of the trails. These are woodland tracks with natural bumps and hills, so be careful to stay clear of any slip ups.

7) Take in the backdrop – With that said, it would be a shame to be so mindful of what’s below you. Admire the Builth Wells backdrop, Royal Welsh Showground and all the area will have to offer.

8) Don’t get disheartened – If you’re a natural road runner, it’s likely your time will be a little slower on the trails. That’s only natural, but it’s important to not get disheartened and let your performance slip.

9) Don’t over-exert yourself – The thrills of trail running are the hills and the challenge they present. However, don’t use all your effort on one hill. Maintain your effort level even if it means sacrificing pace.

10) Enjoy it – The challenge is a different one and we’re looking forward to welcoming an array of experienced and first-time trail runners to Builth Wells on May 19th.

Don’t forget, you can still sign up for the Royal Welsh Trail next weekend. Entries close at 5pm on Friday, so if you’re looking for a unique challenge, sign up before it’s too late.

Revealed! Your Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival 2018 T-Shirt!

We’re really excited to be able to show you the official technical finishers t-shirt for 2019! Inspired by our picturesque Builth Wells setting and the celebrations that will be going on as part of the Royal Welsh Spring Festival, this dark green woodland-themed t-shirt represents just about everything we enjoy about the trail!

So… here it is! Introducing the design for our 2018 t-shirt, which half marathon and 10K trail runners will receive once they cross that finish line.


On close inspection, you can see everything from the runners taking to the woodland tracks, the sun setting over the mountains of Builth Wells, Welsh livestock and camping tents for those hoping to make a weekend of it!

And that’s exactly what you’ll get. Stunning scenery and woodland tracks taking you through the Builth Wells mountains, plenty of Welsh wildlife on the way and hopefully, especially as it’s Spring, sunny conditions to run in!

Included is our Principal Partner, Castell Howell Foods and Lead Charity Partner, Prostate Cymru, whose runners will be taking on the trail to save the males in Wales.

The Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival is suitable for anyone, with a 10K and half marathon course for accomplished trail runners, as well as a 3K trail and Family Mile for younger participants.

Liking the look of it? It’s not too late to sign up! Entries close on Friday 11th May at 5pm, so act fast if you want to avoid disappointment.

To register before Friday’s deadline, visit

From road running to taking on the trail: Our top tips

No noise, no traffic, no problem, right? Well, the transition from road running to trail running isn’t as simple as you might expect. You need to prepare differently and learn fresh techniques. To equip you perfectly for this year’s Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival, we’ve come up with some ideas to make sure you’re geared up to take on the unique challenge pf trail running. Following these tips, you’ll be more than prepared come May 19th.

1 – Train on trails

The clue is in the name and it might seem obvious, but there’s no point training for a trail run on the roads. It’s all well and good taking to the roads to improve your general levels of fitness, but nothing can replicate the peaks and troughs of a trail. Hit the woodland tracks as much as possible and accustom yourself to a fresh terrain.

2 – Get some new trainers

If you think it would be a waste of money to invest in a brand-new pair of trail running trainers, you’re wrong. Nature is unpredictable, unlike concrete slabs on roads. Trail shoes might be a little bit heavier, but they carry a lot more grip and resistance than road running shoes and will save you the hassle of unwanted slipping injuries.

3 – Refine your hill running technique

Nature throws up more challenging hills than the roads. The key with hill running is not to get it over and done with in one, powerful push, but instead to preserve energy and approach the uphill with composure. Run at a steady pace, push off the balls of your feet and don’t overdo it. Many see running downhill as a ‘freebie’, as gravity will just get you there fatigue-free but take care not to injure yourself or hit the ground too hard.

4 – Don’t be put off by paces

New trail runners may find themselves similar distances at slower paces compared to when they were running on roads. That’s because trail tracks ask a lot more of your body and soak up a lot more energy. It might hit you as a surprise initially, but don’t let that put you off. Once you’ve caught the trail running bug, it’s all about bettering your technique and improving your pace.

5 – Enjoy new surroundings

While running on the roads offers easy escapism from work and the stress of everyday life, trail running courses are often a lot more picturesque – especially here in Mid-Wales. Surrounded by stunning scenery, local wildlife and the best rural Wales has to offer, run in relaxing settings and enjoy the new experience.

2018 Trail Running Festival launched at Royal Welsh Show!

The rapidly growing Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival will return to the heart of Mid Wales with an enhanced runner experience for May 2018.

Running enthusiasts from across the country will once again head to Builth Wells to take-on the challenging but scenic trails through the heart of the Welsh countryside on Saturday 19th May. The event, which forms part of the Royal Welsh Spring Festival, will offer a 10k or half marathon challenge as well as smaller family focused races. Continue reading 2018 Trail Running Festival launched at Royal Welsh Show!

The Course

The 10K starts within the Royal Welsh Showground, taking in valleys, fields, woodland tracks and stunning forestry - with stunning views of the Royal Welsh Showground below.

Get in Touch

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The Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival is organised by Run 4 Wales, the organisers of the Cardiff Half Marathon.

Phone: 029 2166 0790

Run 4 Wales Ltd
Pod 1 Capital Retail Park
Leckwith Road
CF11 8EG