top of page

Machen Trail Races: Half Marathon and Marathon

Run through the beautiful areas of Rudry Common, Cefn On Ridge, Cefn Onn Country Park, Coed Craig Ruperra and, if you enter the marathon, to the top of Machen Mountain.
Its hard to believe that such a beautiful route is so close to a capital city.  The race has everything, for those training for mountain ultras to those looking for a lovely winters day in the woods, this is the race for you.  For the half, there are wooded single tracks, open moors and pretty streams.  The marathon adds a mountain feel with the exposure of Machen mountain, yet without the risks of a mountain race in winter.  A race that many return to, because the route is just 'special'.

The half marathon starts in Machen, with the route winding its way through some beautiful single track trails to Rudry Common.  Once over the common, you'll run into Caerphilly Forest, over the hill and a glorious downhill belt to the Cefn Onn

checkpoint.  A long climb takes you back to the top of the ridgeway passing the Lisvane / Llysfaen trig point.  You'll hit the woodlands next which will leads you to Ruperra Castle before heading down into Draethen (where sadly the pub is shut!) before a final climb up into Machen Woods followed by a downhill trail to the finish line.

A full description of the route can be found here.

*ROUTE CHANGE FOR MARATHON* The marathon will now complete the half marathon loop first.  A GPX and updated map can be found here.

The marathon has a tough start to the second section, a very steep climb to the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway.  Once at the top there is good track running for several miles, which should warm you up!  You'll then head downhill toward Wyllie, and onto the Sirhowy Valley Walk.  There's plenty of downhill single track to enjoy in this section!  After a few tricky turns and a steep ascent back onto the ridgeway, good running again takes you to the highest point of your day, and the Machen Mountain / Mynydd Machen trig point.  A quad bashing decent will take you back to Machen where you'll pick up your reward for completing a challenging but hugely rewarding Marathon

A full description of the route can be found here.

What you get
Professionally run event, with full medical support.  A fully signed route, with helpful marshals to support you on your way.
Every finisher will receive a 'Finishers Medal'.  There will be a prize for
1st, 2nd, 3rd Male
1st, 2nd, 3rd Female
1st Male Veteran (over 45)
1st Female Veteran (over 45)

Race details
Date: Saturday 25 November 2023

Marathon race start: 8.00

Registration opens:  7.10

Registration closes: 7.40

Half marathon race start: 9:00, 

Registration reopens: 7:45

Registration closes: 8:30

There will be a kit check at registration – no kit, no entry. Full kit list information can be found here.

The venue for the race is:

Machen Village Hall

The Crescent


CF83 8ND


Half marathon: £38

Marathon: £48

There is a £10 discount if you enter all three events, Machen, Brechfa and Radyr before the end of October

Cut offs

For the half marathon, cut offs are generous and allow for approximately 2.5 m.p.h progress – which is fast walking.  Remember there are some hills, so this is quite a challenge if you are considering walking the whole route.

Race Start: 9:00

CP1 cut Off: 12:00 (6.8 Miles) [3 hours]

CP2 cut Off: 13:30 (10.5 Miles) [4.5 hours]

Race finish: 14:30 (14ish Miles)

For the marathon, since we see this as a race for the more experienced runner, there will be an overall time limit of 8 hours for the full marathon route.  This equates to about 3.25 miles per hour.  The timing of the start and cut offs are so that you can complete the race during daylight hours.  We do not have torches as compulsory kit.

Race start: 8:00

CP3 cut Off: 12:00 (14 Miles) (4hrs )

CP4 cut Off: 12:45 (19 Miles) (4hr 45 minutes)

CP5 cut Off: 15:00 (22.5 Miles) (7hrs )

Race finish: 16:00 (26ish Miles) (8 hours)

Final race cut off: 16:00


Unfortunately there are no trains directly to Machen - Please car share if you can to reduce your carbon footprint. 

There is parking at the venue and plenty of parking in Machen.


There are toilets at the event venue.

bottom of page