RAT RACE WALES COAST TO COAST

The first multi-sport crossing of Wales on a route that stretches across the whole country. 350km of mountains, valleys and classic Welsh landscapes.



 

£1800-£2000


5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS

FROM 28TH JULY

– 1ST AUGUST 2021

 


SKIP TO:


INCLUSIONS / THE ROUTE / ITINERARY /
ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD /
FAQS /  SUPPORTERS / KIT LIST /
PRICING / BUY EXTRAS

RAT RACE WALES COAST TO COAST

The first multi-sport crossing of Wales on a route that stretches across the whole country. 350km of mountains, valleys and classic Welsh landscapes.





£1800-£2000 5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS


FROM 28TH JULY– 1ST AUGUST 2021
 

ROUTE HIGHLIGHTS:


Connect the north and south coasts from a start on Bangor pier, to finish amongst the grandeur of Wales’ most famous buildings at Cardiff Bay.

Stunning run through Wales’ slate-mining history up the gloriously scenic Ogwen Valley.

Summit Pen-y-fan and
Bwlch Tryfan.

 

Incredible beach running.

Pass through 3 national parks, multiple forests, traffic-free long-distance trails and coastal path.

Amazing off-road biking, utilising singletrack, land rover tracks, national cycling trails and quiet country roads.

Cycle the legendary trails of
Coed-y-brenin.

 

Kayaking on estuary, river and sea

ROUTE HIGHLIGHTS:

Connect the north and south coasts from a start on Bangor pier, to finish amongst the grandeur of Wales’ most famous buildings at Cardiff Bay.

Stunning run through Wales’ slate-mining history up the gloriously scenic Ogwen Valley.

Summit Pen-y-fan and
Bwlch Tryfan.

 

Incredible beach running.

 

 

Pass through 3 national parks, multiple forests, traffic-free long-distance trails and coastal path.

 

Amazing off-road biking, utilising singletrack, land rover tracks, national cycling trails and quiet country roads.

Cycle the legendary trails of
Coed-y-brenin.

 

Kayaking on estuary, river and sea

INCLUSIONS:


  • ACCOMMODATION
    4 nights’ hotel and B&B, 1 night fully serviced camping
    FULLY SUPPORTED
    Fully supported format with bag transfers and all in-event bike and boat logistics taken care of, the best Pit Stop support in the business and mobile bike mechanics.
    MEALS
    All meals included during the event
    TRANSFERS
    You will arrive to our event base hotel in Bangor by train or road. From there, all logistics are fully inclusive until you get to Cardiff.*
  • EQUIPMENT
    Rat Race will provide all kayaks and associated equipment, you will need to provide your own bike or you can utilise our bike hire option which can be added during entry or afterwards at any point.
    SAFETY
    Paramedic, mountain guide and professional water safety support throughout.
    LOGISTICS!
    Easy logistics to get you to and from the start and finish.
    AND MORE
    Quality tech-tee and medal.

*Upon arrival at the end of the challenge in Cardiff, you may choose your method of departure. The city has a mainline train station good motorway links and an international airport. Alternatively we can transfer you by road back to Bangor to retrieve your car (surcharge of £49pp applies for this service).

INCLUSIONS:

ACCOMMODATION
4 nights’ hotel and B&B, 1 night fully serviced camping

 

FULLY SUPPORTED
Fully supported format with bag transfers and all in-event bike and boat logistics taken care of, the best Pit Stop support in the business and mobile bike mechanics.

 

MEALS
All meals included during the event

 

TRANSFERS
You will arrive to our event base hotel in Bangor by train or road. From there, all logistics are fully inclusive until you get to Cardiff.*

 

EQUIPMENT
Rat Race will provide all kayaks and associated equipment, you will need to provide your own bike or you can utilise our bike hire option which can be added during entry or afterwards at any point.

 

SAFETY
Paramedic, mountain guide and professional water safety support throughout.

 

LOGISTICS!
Easy logistics to get you to and from the start and finish.

 

AND MORE
Quality tech-tee and medal.

 

*Upon arrival at the end of the challenge in Cardiff, you may choose your method of departure. The city has a mainline train station good motorway links and an international airport. Alternatively we can transfer you by road back to Bangor to retrieve your car (surcharge of £49pp applies for this service).


THE ROUTE:

ITINERARY:


REGISTRATION: 27th July 2021

Arrive in Bangor and register at our hotel venue between 1500 – 1930 to collect your adventure pack and have your kit checked. Then meet your fellow ratracers at our introductory dinner/briefing at 8pm.

Accommodation style: Hotel
Rooming: Twin rooms
Meals: Dinner provided

DAY 1: 28th July 2021

You will be collected early from your hotel and we will whisk you to the startline at Bangor Pier. Be good to go by 0600!

Total Day Stage is 81km on foot and on bike. Total combined ascent for the day approx 2645m

Leg 1– 24 km on foot from Penrhyn Castle along the Ogwen valley and up and over the miners’ track and Bwlch Tryfan in the shadow of the mighty alpine-esque peak of Tryfan.

Leg 2 – 57km on the bikes, using tracks and country lanes from the historic Pen y Gwryd hotel to Dogelleau.

Accommodation style: Hostel
Rooming: Twin rooms
Meal provision:
Early ‘grab n’ go’ breakfast, Pit Stop support during the day, evening meal at a pub in Dolgelleau.

DAY 2: 29th July 2021

After a hearty breakfast, you will take to the bikes once again. Today will see a total of 58km on bike, foot and on the water. Whilst the combined distance is relatively short, the variety is high! Total ascent for the day is approx 1135m

Leg 1– 30km on bike form Dogelleau to Tywyn using some classic biking trails and lesser known tracks, including a superb off-road descent towards the coast.
Leg 2 – 6km Run/ trek along the coastal path and beach to Aberdovey.
Leg 3 – 2km Exciting kayak crossing of the Dovey Estuary.
Leg 4– 20km run along the stunning coastal path to Aberystwyth, high above the cliffs for much of this fantastic route.

Accommodation style: Hotel
Rooming: Twin rooms
Meal provision: Breakfast at the hostel, Pit Stop support during the day, evening meal at a restaurant in Aberystwyth

 

DAY 3: 30th July 2021

Today sees a total of  Total of around 95km on the bikes from Aberystwyth to Builth Wells.  Having had a good dose of what the coast has to offer we head to the hinterland of Wales.  Our route will incorporate good national trails, country lanes and some fun hard-packed tracks and byways. Total ascent for the day is approx 1746m (there is some downhill as well😉).

Accommodation style: Hotel
Rooming: Twin rooms
Meal provision: Hotel breakfast, Pit Stop support during the day, evening meal downtown Builth Wells

 

DAY 4: 31st July 2021

Leg 1 – We set out from Builth Wells in the boats with our flotilla of kayaks covering around 12km of quality river paddling, some light rapids and one or two portages.

Leg 2 – Having left the kayaks behind, we set back out on the bikes again for around 35km of very riding on largely quiet country lanes to reach our destination just south of Brecon with sweeping views of the peaks of the Brecon Beacons National Park – our destination for tomorrow! Whilst we are not in the high mountains now, the ascents are short and steep. And plentiful! Total ascent on the bikes is around 1000m.

Accommodation style: Camping
Rooming: Pods in roomy shared ‘airbeam’ tents.
Meal provision: Hotel breakfast, Pit Stop support during the day, dinner around the campfire at our quirky campsite.

 

DAY 5: 1st August 2021

Today is journey’s end, but we first have to negotiate a total 78km on foot and bike; plus some paddling. We will pass through the Brecon Beacons national park, then follow the River Taff to ride downhill into Cardiff for a finish in front of the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.  Total ascent for the day is 1728m.

Leg 1 – 14km on foot up and over the mighty Pen y Fan via its broad north ridge.
Leg 2 – 57km on the bikes along national bike trails and woodland tracks.
Leg 3– 6km on foot along the Taff Trail into Cardiff, via some icon Welsh sporting landmarks.
Leg 4 – 3km paddle into Mermaid Quay to finish at the foot of the breath-taking  Wales Millennium Centre in Roald Dahl Plas.

Accommodation style: You are free to accommodate in Cardiff or to make your own way onwards from here.
Meal provision: For those staying, we will have a final celebratory dinner and drinks in Cardiff on us, plus awards ceremony. It’s optional; but it’ll be a fitting end to an incredible journey.

 

ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD:

ACCOMMODATION
AND FOOD:

We will use a selection of good hotels, hostels, B and Bs and one stunning campsite location. In all locations, your accommodation is inclusive within your entry fee. We do have options for significant others to join you at the overnights – see HERE.

Hotel and B and B accommodation is always offered on a double or twin room basis. If you are taking part on your own, you will be paired with another participants of the same sex in a twin room.

At the campsite, we will use high-spec ‘airbeam’ tents, affording a private pod per individual in a tent with 4 pods per tent, plus a large central communal area.

Meals


Breakfast

Brekky will vary with our location day-to-day. When we are stating early (which comes part and parcel of such an epic journey!) then we will provide ‘grab n’ go’ materials – pastries, fruit, porridge pots, yoghurts and other simple items that you can either eat before the off, or take with you on the initial portion of the route that day. When we are staying in hotels and guesthouses, we will endeavor to provide ‘The Full Welsh’ and other cooked options.

Dinner

Each night we will eat together at a restaurant or pub, or when camping we will provide catering on-site. At all times, Rat Race will provide a hearty main course. If you wish to augment with other selections in the pubs and restaurants, you may do so. You will settle the bill for your own drinks. On the final night in Cardiff, for those staying however, the first round is on us!

 

Pit Stops

During the challenge you will have access to our Pit Stops multiple times throughout each stage. These will have a minimum of the following available:

Water – Ensure you leave with water bottles and bladders filled so you have enough to get you to the next Pit Stop.
Sports Ration Pit Stop Bars – Yummy flapjacks.
Sports Rations Isotonic Energy Drink.
Salty snacks – such as crisps and peanuts.
Savoury treats – We will feature sandwiches, savoury pastries and other goodies at selected pit stops, around lunchtime.
A fruit option – Either oranges or bananas.
Sweets – such as Haribo and Skittles.
A variety of sandwiches, pastries and cakes.
Hot drinks will be provided at selected Pit Stops subject to forecast weather conditions.

Our Pit Stops are there to help supplement any personal sports nutrition plan you may have. If you have any special dietary requirements then please plan for this and pack your kit accordingly. Rat Race aim to offer Pit Stop snacks that are tasty and functional for as broad a mix of needs as possible. We have options available that are suitable for vegetarian and vegans and availability of this will depend on demand. If peanuts are served these will be in individual portioned bags to reduce the chance of contamination but Rat Race cannot guarantee that the food does not contain contamination from allergens such as nuts or gluten in its preparation or serving. If you want to use Sports Rations products in your training and preparation they can be purchased from www.ratracestore.com

Please take care when consuming food with dirty hands. Please please please take care with litter and help us in our aim of leaving our venues and routes tidier then we find them.

FAQs:

The date-range is set and the route is tried and tested. However, our challenges unfold in some of the most spectacular places on Earth. Sometimes we do have to change plans on account of weather, injury or other unforeseen factors. If we do have to do so, you will be informed and usually, these unforeseen changes simply add to the flavour of proceedings and provide for a good story to tell at day’s end!
We are mindful that people will inevitably have varying distances to travel to get to Bangor on 27/7. We will be providing accommodation at this location, together with a afternoon/ evening registration and a meal with briefing, to facilitate travel for folks who wish to arrive throughout the day.

To that end, unless anyone has any objections, the plan is to RV at the Parc Britannia pub at 2000. We will aim to have some food (at your own expense and not obligatory) and we will have an informal briefing about the trip ahead.

You may leave a car at our overnight location or close-by and we will provide details of this option. We do not make any commitments to vehicle security however and there may be charges that apply.
If you have left a car in Bangor, we do have an optional road transfer service (surcharge of £49pp applies) to get you and your gear (and your bike if you have one with you) back to Bangor. Journey time by road: Approx 4.5 hrs.
We have designed this challenge so that you may travel at your own pace. See below for our notes on route-finding and guidance. There may be locations where we will ask the field to halt and re-group if we decide this is in the interests of safety. There will also be some cut-offs, but in the true Rat Race tradition these will be generous and we will always look to help you to achive your goals in finishing this challenge, vs having to pull out. But, if you need us and if you need to be collected from the route for whatever reason, we are there for you. We also have no problem whatsoever if you wish to bypass a section and re-start later, logistics-permitting. The absolute key is that you enjoy this amazing journey across Wales at your own pace and within your own limits.
The route is a spectacular combination of foot, bike and kayak sections. We want you to concentrate on the views and the hard work of putting one foot (or pedal) in front of the other. So we don’t want you to be staring at maps or navigational aids any more than you have to. We classify the route as ‘self-guided’ for the most part, with some assistance from our staff and some signage in the trickier sections, such as in the mountains and the off-road biking sections. We will use some arrows on the route, plus we will station people and vehicles at key junctions; but this is not a fully waymarked route from Bangor to Cardiff.

The main mechanism for following our route will be the issuing of a route file that you will be able to download onto your smartphone. You will follow this ‘line’ when on foot and when on the bike and we will augment this with the assets outlined above.

Don’t worry – you won’t get lost. But if you do – support is never far away.

If you wish to use your own bike, no problem. If you wish to rent, no problem. Bike hire will cost £200. This includes all bike logistics and prevents you having to bring your bike to the start and get it back from the finish. It will be a quality mountain bike with front suspension, plus helmet, puncture repair kit, pump, 1 x spare inner tube and tools supplied. You will need to confirm your height (or frame size if you know it) at the time of booking and we will do the rest.

Your bike (or your hire bike) will be transported by our vehicles when not in use. So you do not need to worry about how it gets from A to B when you are on foot or in the kayak.

We will use a mixture of guides and support vehicles and will support you at intervals by our mobile ‘pit stop’ team. We will have multiple vehicles at our disposal, plus multiple staff members, snacks and drinks to distribute. So, if it does get too much, if you overheat, get too cold, need sustenance, mechanical support or otherwise, we should be able to assist. When we are in the mountains or on the water, we will also augment our safety systems with ‘real people’ – guides manning checkpoints in the hills and on the water to ensure you are in good hands at all times.
We can accommodate a limited number of supporters, who may choose to ‘parallel’ your progress over the course in their own vehicle. We can provide accommodation for them with you on a shared basis, plus meals. We will stipulate where they can and where they cannot interact with you on the route just for safety and logistical purposes. The supporter package price is outlined on our pricing page, here.

Rat Race require you to be over 18 on the day of Registration.
This is a hard week in the saddle, on foot and in the boats. BUT the Rat Race ethos is to extraordinary challenges for ordinary people. You do not need super-technical skills or to be a seasoned endurance athlete. You need a good base fitness, train in all 3 disciplines and accept that you will be active for several hours for multiple days. It’s a tough week out in Wales, but it’s designed to be ‘doable;’ and not a sufferfest. You have it in you. We will ensure we support you the very best way we possible can. There is enough time to trek the foot sections and unless you really are off the pace, we will try not to cut you off.
Very varied. For the foot stages, you will be on rough trails, mountain paths, tracks, tarmac rex-railway paths and everything in between. In general, the surfaces for the foot travel stages are very good.

On the bike, the machine of choice has to be a mountain bike. Whilst there are significant sections where you will be on smooth and quiet tarmac roads and lanes, there are other significant off-road sections, ranging from singletrack to land rover tracks to bumpy off-road routings. The mountain bike will ‘do the lot;’ any other machine will struggle with some sections of the route.

For the kayaks, you will experience estuary, river and sea paddling (the sea stage is in fact in tidally-protected Cardiff Bay, so there is no tide – it’s not really ‘the sea’ proper!).

Yes. 4 nights’ hotel, hostel or B and B accommodation on a twin basis are provided, plus 1 night camping at our event campsite. All meals are also provided for the duration of the challenge.
Solo entries are non-transferable – you can’t give or sell your entry to anyone else. If you no longer wish to take part you can obtain an event credit to the value of your entry fee paid (terms and a fee apply) which you or another person can use towards next year’s event (or any other Rat Race event).

Check out our Rat Rewards membership and bag yourself a hearty 10% saving on this event, plus heaps of other rewards, such as Rat Race Store credit, free insurance and free transfers.
Race entry includes a glorious finishers medal and bespoke event Rat Race tech tee. We will request your tshirt size when you register online and this will be the size you will be given at Registration.
We will collect you via the Sweeper vehicles and move you forwards on the course. We are unable to transport you backwards (i.e. we cannot take you back to the start). If you want to re-start later on that day on another stage, we will do our best to accommodate that. If you want to be moved forward to end of the stage and re-start the next day, no problem (subject to medical advice if it is a medical issue that has forced you to pull out).
Yes we will be taking a handful of volunteers with us. For more information please email us on staffing@ratrace.com.