FAN DANCE WINTER EDITION 6th, 7th & 13th Jan 2018 / FAN DANCE SUMMER EDITION 7th & 8th JULY 2018
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Winter Edition
brecon beacons
13 Jan 2018


The Blade Runner Ultra Series consists of two way marked races staged in the SAS Selection heartlands of the Brecon Beacon mountains and the green desert of the Elan Valley. Operating in the deep winter and high summer months, each race will visit a number of iconic landmarks steeped in SAS folklore and following in the footsteps of a history of young men in search of something out of the ordinary.

Starting in the early dark hours the inaugural Brecon Beacons Blade Runner winter edition will follow a demanding and mountainous 50km non-navigational route passing through a series of RVs (checkpoints) and finishing at the iconic old red phone box via Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons range, the outline of which is engraved onto the heart of every SAS man.

Owed to the very real risk of adverse weather conditions and the requirement to cover ground in darkness for at least two hours our former Special Forces team will operate a radio safety network across the course with a dedicated patron net and prior training for any runner wishing to carry a small radio handset. RV points will be stocked with hot food and drinks and robust medical support and off-roadvehicle rescue services. The AEE Blade Runner team can proudly claim to possess the UK's only dedicated internal event mountain rescue team, which allows us to operate and deliver demanding events in the most testing weather conditions.

All runners who complete the course by passing through each RV point and making time cuts will be presented with a cloth patch by one of our former SAS staff at the finish line. A complimentary hot meal will be served at the Base Camp and there will be category champion prizes provided by Paramo and our other sponsors as well as a framed route map featuring original SAS insignia. The route options will be made available prior to the event and in the lead up all registered runners will receive a series of email information packs covering all matters Blade Runner Ultra Series. These will include an accommodation guide, radio user advice and a history of the area in the context of the infamous SAS Selection course.

This route is a personal one to AEE as an organisation and its core staff, with its design built around our time training for and being on the world-renowned SAS & SBS Selection course. While our local knowledge of the area is strong, the route is built around our memories and nostalgia for our past endeavours and struggles as we pitted ourselves against one of the world's great endurance challenges. For our DS team it was always far more than a challenge or test, it was a pilgrimage and the adventure of a life time and we're honoured and humbled to be able to share a small part of our past with those who take on the Blade Runner Ultra marathon challenge.


£15 discount available for winter Fan Dancers. Get in touch


The Blade Runner Ultra Series will be a Clean Fatigue category only with no Load Bearing element. There will be Men's and Ladies fields in the following age categories.

Main Field(18-40)

Masters (40+)



The Storey Arms Outdoor centre will function as the event Base Camp, administration area and Command Centre. Accommodation and meals are also available at the centre with drying room access. The centre is located on the A470 at the foot on Pen y Fan mountain and the nearest towns are Brecon (North, and Merthy Tydfil (South), both within a 20 minute drive.

Street view

storey arms picture


The de-serviced old red phone box has marked the start and finish points of the Fan Dance for nearly sixty years of SAS Selection. It has now become an iconic landmark steeped in the finest history and tradition of our Special Forces. The Blade Runner ultra-marathon will also launch from the very same location and be a welcome site at the end of the race.


The legendary climb up Jacob's Ladder is synonymous with SAS Selection and can be especially challenging to negotiate when covered in snow and ice. The rocky and step like upper reaches of this southern face of Pen y Fan is steep enough to require hand and foot placements to reach the summit. Jacob's Ladder will be one of the most well-known and famous segments of the Blade Runner course, rivalled by a number of other equally fearsome climbs you will have to negotiate..

jacob-ladder-picture jacob-ladder-picture


The early part of the Blade Runner course will be run in darkness so head troches will be required. Head torches will be required unless the moon state is high with clear skies. Past editions of our Fan Dance night trail run have been blessed with strong ambient light conditions, increased further by the snow on the ground so there's a strong chance is absorbing the spectacular scenery by moonlight.

The Winter 2018 Blade Runner Route

The route will be varied and ultimately one best suited to climbers but those comfortable and well trained in adverse weather conditions will also thrive. The route will mostly be along mountain trails and off-road vehicle tracks. Blade Runner will negotiate small sectors of marshland, off trail zones and metalled road. While very hilly the route is suited to all levels and is certainly an achievable distance within the allotted time cut offs.

Route area map can be viewed HERE(Going live soon)


The provisional start list for the winter Blade Runner 2018 can be viewed via the following link: List will go live at the end of November and be updated weekly



Blade Runner will have a league table for each category recording every edition of the race, ranking each historical finisher in order of their finish time. The Fan Dance Race has a competitive Clean Fatigue/trail run race league table of its own which can be viewed here in order to assess the competition:




REGISTRATION: Owed to the early race start time Blade Runner will stage two registration openings, both to be staged at the event Base Camp. Race numbers issue and kit inspection will take place during the timing windows detailed below.

Friday 12th January: 17:00hrs – 21:00hrs

Saturday 13th January: 05:30hrs to 06:15

RACE START TIME: Saturday 13th 06:30


Event car parking can be found opposite the Storey Arms Centre and Pont at Daf, 500 metres south of Base Camp. There are currently no parking fees with toilet facilities at both locations.


A detailed check list in full will be emailed out to all registered Blade Runners. Below is an outline of the key items required.

* Small backpack

* Warm jacket & waterproof jacket

*Hat & gloves

*Emergency bivi

*Basic first aid kit

*Head torch& spare batteries

* Compass &Whistle

*Watch& phone

* Rote map

* Food and fluids

Event Directing Staff will carry out a pre- race inspection


The nearest major train station is Abergavenny which is accessible directly from the North, or via Newport for anyone travelling from the South. The nearest minor train station is Merthyr Tydfil but services are infrequent and less direct. Buses run from Brecon town and Merthyr Tydfil to the Storey Arms Centre. Many of our event patrons arrange ride shares through our social media pages.


For those traveling some distance to the event, there are many excellent places to stay near to the event Base Camp. All registered Blade Runners will receive our dedicated accommodation guidemade up of trusted hosts who have cared for our runners over the years.


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Proud to support and donate to Brecon and CBMRT Mountain Rescue Teams, the 100 Peaks Challenge (The Soldier's Charity & ABF), The Pilgrims Bandits, The True Grit Initiative, and the Friends of Storey Arms Project for disadvantaged children. A special tribute to Support Our Paras, the official Parachute Regiment Charity and home of the UK's original military challenge, the legendary Paras 10.

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Relief map of Brecon Beacons including Pen y Fan