Up for the Challenge!

Up for a Challenge!



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 Future’s Bright for Wales Air Ambulance at Trail Running Festival

The future is bright for Wales Air Ambulance and the Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival.

A brand-new luminous orange finishers T-shirt has been revealed as Wales Air Ambulance announce they are coming on board as official charity partner to the Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival and their logo will appear on the race t-shirt.

Continue reading The Future’s Bright for Wales Air Ambulance at Trail Running Festival

The Course

10K and half marathon races start within the Royal Welsh Showground, taking in valleys, fields, woodland tracks and stunning forestry - with stunning views of the Royal Welsh Showground below. Half marathon runners will return to the showground before returning for a second loop.

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