“The whole experience showed me that age is just a number and I’m better than I realised. Can’t recommend Darren and his endurance events enough”Mark Duda
This experience offers an exhilarating bike, hike & run around some of the most stunning parts of South Wales. Don’t just take my word for it, read the testimonials from the brilliant guys and gals below, who were all awesome to share the weekend with!
The training tips and mental preparation that I’ve picked up from Darren have created a monster! The guy is an inspiration and really has done it all, so when Darren gives out advice, listen and you won’t go far wrong!Rob Bright
What to expect:
This is not a race but it will push your limits as you pit your grit againt the Welsh terrain – I’ll be coaching you throughout the weekend before during and after each day, fine tuning your performance and mindset so you go home feeling exhausted but upgraded and buzzing for the next challenge.
The night before: Arrive and settle into our accommodation settle in for dinner with the group get to know each other and get briefed for the days ahead. We’re not adverse to a little drink before a solid few days of graft.
Day 1: A challenging and hilly mountain bike ride along sections of the many amazing trails around Afan Forest. A perfect start to the weekend, breaking a sweat but regular stops to take in the views and a few snacks to refuel!
(Bike hire included – ebikes available on request for an extra fee) – (NOTE: If bikes aren’t your thing you can opt for a leisurely hike instead with great views and deduct the bike hire costs accordingly)
Day 2: We have an early start to catch a clifftop sunrise, soaking it up before a long day mixing short runs with steady hikes over sandy and clifftop trails along The Gower Coast & the stunning Three Cliffs Bay, then onwards to the Gower Peninsula, and its rocky coast. If we time it right we may get to hike out the Worms Head before the tide cuts it off.
Day 3: A taste of The Fan Dance – A solid challenging climb towards the 886m summit of Pen Y Fan, Southern Britain’s highest peak, following along the routes where SAS selection takes place – choose to attempt this with the weighted packs of 25-45lbs if you want to really test your limits to the max.
The finish ‘line’: We finish the weekend on a high in every sense of the word as we fly down the world’s fastest seated zipwire at Zip World’s Tower, capable of reaching speeds up to 70mph down a zipline 920m long, followed by a second zipwire 620m long to end the retreat.
Downtime: Each evening there’s plenty of downtime to, shower and wind down, play pool, watch TV and enjoy a well-earned beer or wine whilst chatting with your new besties about the events of the day.
Optional personalised training plans are available at discounted rates for attendees, to build up your strength, fitness and mindset ahead of the event, and to prepare you for future Ultra Challenges. Ask for details if this is of interest.
The days in a bit more detail:
We kick off the weekend with a warm-up session of trail biking over some of the 100km of tracks around the fantastic Afan Forest. This will get your heart pumping as you push up the many climbs and adrenalin racing as you coast back down again, taking in some fantastic technical trails. The more bike experience you get, the more you’ll enjoy this, the hills are very tough! The routes are broken into short and long, easy to hard options. This day can be as easy or hard as you make it, but the views and trails are amazing and they offer some great cakes too!
“Some of the best singletrack descents in the UK”
Here we have an early start to watch the sunrise from the clifftops, this is totally worth the early rise as the coastline comes to life under the orange glow of the warming sun. We then embark on a beautiful yet challenging run/hike/scramble along the cliff tops, sandy trails, steep dunes and beaches, past Three Cliffs Bay, old castle ruins, and amazing views as we traverse the most beautiful beaches. We then head towards the Gower Peninsula to explore the clifftops and rocky coastline and if the tide allows and we time it right within the 5 hour window, we can trek out to the amazing Worms Head at the tip of the Peninsula which is usually cut off by the sea.
Pen Y Fan – Brecon Beacons
After two exhilarating days we finish with a serious climbing hike up to the summit of Pen Y Fan (886m), the highest peak in southern Britain and a brutal section of the notorious Fan Dance, used as part of the SAS selection process.
If you’re feeling exceptionally driven by this stage, the course can be tackled with a loaded pack, as per the Fandance requirements (25lb/35lb/45lb) to get a fuller experience of what it takes to make it into these elite forces, you’ll have an opportunity to try hiking with this weight on day one (over the dunes!).
The World’s Fastest Seated Zipwire
Fly down the final finish line along the 920m line over the valley below, reaching speeds up to 70mph, followed by a second zip 620m to the ground below, a perfect way to end the weekend on a massive high!