Sheeptracks is a challenging 27-30km distance race introduced in 2018. With unmarked trails throughout, the course visits checkpoints positioned to offer a wider scope of route choice than traditional fell races. Where possible most efficient racing line has been designed, in part, to follow the wonderful natural lines created by the master path builders, our wonderful welsh mountain sheep. The course is new every year to keep the race from growing stale and gives me something to do over the dark winter months.
Runners need to be fully self-sufficient for the duration of the event and must be capable navigators in mountainous areas. Route choice is available on many of the checkpoint legs and these choices are seen as an essential part of the challenge of the race. In some places the route choices offer only small gains, in others much bigger gains. Local knowledge is beneficial in picking the most efficient line to follow. Time should be taken to study the map beforehand and a prior visit to the area is recommended. Having said that a capable navigator will be able to complete the route ‘on sight’ but maybe not in the most efficient way and relying on longer sections of ‘normal’ footpaths & tracks with more high gain/loss.
This is a challenging race in winter in an upland area. Although not as exposed as more mountainous areas, the weather and visibility could well be poor hence we are asking you to have previous experience to sign up for this race. Relevant experience could be from other AL/AM fell races or equivalent mountain running. Orienteering experience will be beneficial as several of the checkpoints are not in well trodden places (apart from by baa-lambs).
The course is laid out like a single day mountain marathon hence could form a good training event for those looking to progress to these longer events.
The next race: TBD 2025.
- Registration & Start – Ponderosa Cafe, Horseshoe Pass (TBC)
- Registration from 8.45 until 9.45am for 10am race start
- Main race (Over 18) £7 entry fee – online only
Parking: Park off-road on substantial verge area on small road to Moel y Faen quarry SJ 1904 4818
Registration: 8.45-9.45am. Entrance hall in Ponderosa.
Kit Requirements: See attached Race Info sheet for more detail. The weather can be grim on the hills during February so you should prepare for the worst. Due to the time of year, length of race and as a Category AL race (Hard) it is MANDATORY to WEAR or CARRY the following:
- Windproof full body cover
- Waterproof full body cover
- Spare thermal layer – full body i.e. top (& bottoms if you in shorts)
- Hat & Gloves
- Recommended: Foil-lined bivvy bag/emergency shelter (£3 from ebay – 85g will save your life)
- Map (a waterproof 1:25k pre-marked with checkpoints will be issued with race number)
- Compass & Whistle
- Sufficient food & drink for your own requirements
Race Brief: 9.50am Will be at the Race Start on east side of cafe
Race Start: 10am We are operating cut-offs at the manned checkpoints so any late starts will need to run faster! Give yourself a chance – be at the start on time!
Safety Cut-off: We operate a safety cut-off to trim the race to a nominal 5 hours which allows a little margin to allow a short daylight search operation if runners go missing. The cut-off checkpoints are located to allow ‘early-bath’ options to all runners who may not be on good form whilst still giving a good day out.
Toilets: Toilets are available at start/finish. If you need to go during the race then remember – Leave no turd unstoned.
After Race: The cafe will be open until 4pm – no refreshments included in entry fee
- Registration – 8.45-9.45am
- Race Start – 10.00am
- Race Finish – 12.45pm-3.00pm
- Prize giving circa 2pm