Mini Burn – Adventure Racing comes to Swansea!

50days: #9 Mini Burn – Adventure Racing at Margam Country Park

IMG_4700The Mini Burn ‘Adventure Race’ events tick all the boxes for our Year of Adventure challenge: a multi-sport mix of run, ride and kayak – all completed in the great outdoors, making the most of our gorgeous Welsh scenery. You race in small teams, against the clock and other competitors. Teams can be mixed ages (from children to pensioners, and everyone in between), sexes and experience levels. Newcomers are welcome, and there are more challenging categories for veteran participants. But the real emphasis is not really on winning at all – it’s on getting outside, getting involved and giving it a go. Adventures don’t get any more inclusive and accessible than this…

Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B

Time to give it a try we thought. As part of the Great Wales Weekend of Adventure – 2nd & 3rd April – Burn Series were offering the perfect introduction to this multi-sport discipline: an adventure racing taster day (or ‘Mini Burn’) – at Margam Country Park. Only 30 minutes drive from us at Langland Cove Guesthouse, this fantastic country park estate has been on our ‘must-do’ list for quite some time. The introduction on the website sounded very promising…

Steeped in history, wildlife and natural beauty, there’s something for everyone at Margam Country Park. The magnificent Margam CastleOrangery with ornamental gardens and Deer Park, are set within 1000 acres of breathtaking countryside. Attractions include a narrow gauge railway, adventure playgrounds, Go Ape (high wire adventure), Fairytale Land (children’s area with a nursery rhyme theme) and rare breeds farm trail.

Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B

The Main House at Margam Country Park

So, shortly after completing his breakfast marathon of Eggs Benedict, Herby Mushrooms on homemade toast and fluffy pancake stacks laden with oozy Maple Syrup – plus the usual assortment of Gower’s finest sausages, bacon and all the trimmings – Carwyn donned his running kit and we jumped in the car. A scant 30 minutes later we pulled into the car park of the Margam Estate and caught the narrow guage train to the start. Here, the rest of our team – Carwyn’s sister, brother and two nephews – were waiting in their Lycra, grinning through the drizzle. The Event Tent at the start line offered a warm welcome from race organiser Maria Leijerstam, words of encouragement and then, seconds later, they were off!

Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B

Looking around at the start line, the smiling faces peeping out from layers of gortex were infectious – whether it’s outdoor family fun you are after, or a physical challenge to blow off the cobwebs or kick-start a new fitness campaign – what better way to spend a Saturday morning? It was also an amazing opportunity to experience this relatively new craze of Adventure Racing in a beautiful setting.

Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B

Burn Series competitors can choose between the Mini Burn – an adventure racing introduction with a 3km run, a 1km kayak on Margam Estate Lake, and a 10km Mountain bike ride – or the ultimate fitness challenge of a full Burn – 10km run, 30km mountain bike and 3km kayaking. And, being the Visit Wales Year of Adventure, there were a few extra fun challenges along the way from tightrope walking to vertiginous climbing walls.

Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B

Not raced before? No problem – the Mini Burn is open to adults and juniors – and no experience is required. You can enter as pairs or teams, as a family or with friends. Kayaks are provided for all – you just need to bring a bike and your running shoes. So although it’s a race, it’s 100% inclusive: there are medals, T-shirts and a goodie bag for every single finisher. And that is an incentive to get to the finishing line…

We entered the Mini-Burn as two teams mixing up the adults and children – big bro Rhys and Tomos (12), and Carwyn, sister Sian and Iestyn (9).

Mini Burn, Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B

Image above: Photography by John Morgan @ MogzArt Media. http://mogzart-media.blogspot.co.uk

 

Mini Burn, Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B

Image above: Photography by John Morgan @ MogzArt Media. http://mogzart-media.blogspot.co.uk

 

Mini Burn, Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B

Image above: Photography by John Morgan @ MogzArt Media. http://mogzart-media.blogspot.co.uk

Not forgetting the cheerleaders who took their roles very seriously too – Mamgu (Carol) and Hugh, plus Maelo, Rowan and me. We spent a very happy hour chasing around the estate, spotting our teams slipping seamlessly from their 3km run into the kayaks for two laps of the lake, before hopping in the saddle for the final pedal-powered challenge…

 

Mini Burn, Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B

Photography by John Morgan @ MogzArt Media. http://mogzart-media.blogspot.co.uk

 

And what do you know… we won! Not only did both our family teams manage to complete their Mini Burn challenges and cross the finish lines, but Rhys and Tomos came first in their category… amazing work Team Thomas!!!

 

Mini Burn, Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B

Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&BAnd I think its fair to say that the spectators had an equally fun day out – making the most of the ‘earthy’ conditions to play, and exploring Margam’s glorious estate. When the sun finally broke through the clouds, we celebrated our victories with lovely post-race massages, gazing into fires with the brilliant Dryad Bushcraft team, expert talks from International Adventure Racing champions, music, dancing, food stalls and fab freebies from the race sponsors – 9bar and MoreDrinks. And, of course, the prestigious award ceremony!

 

Mini Burn, Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&BMini Burn, Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&BMini Burn, Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&BMini Burn, Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B

 

If this blog has whet your appetite for a bit of Adventure Racing, there is another Mini Burn at Margam Country Park on 1st October 2016. Or visit the Burn Series website to find out about racing in Cardiff, or to improve your fitness with some multi-sport training. I can’t think of a more fun-filled, action-packed, wholesome and uplifting way to get fit with your family, and enjoy the best of this green and lovely land.
Mini Burn, Burn Series at Margam Country Park, day out from Langland Cove Guesthouse, Gower B&B, Mumbles B&B
NEED TO KNOW:
Next race – October 1, 2016 @ Margam Country Park
Address – Margam, Port Talbot , SA13 2TJ
Start time – Staggered starts from 10.00am.

Race options

  • Mini Burn DUO: 3km run, 10km Mountain bike plus some orienteering on foot.
  • Mini Burn TRIO: 3km of run, 1km kayak, 10km Mountain bike plus some orienteering on foot.

Categories

  • Female pair (+18 yrs)
  • Male pair (+18 yrs)
  • Mixed pair (+18 yrs)
  • Family Team (2-4 participants) with at least one junior under 10yrs old and must be at least one adult over 18 yrs old.
  • Family Team(2-4 participants) with at least one junior over 10yrs old and under 17yrs old and must be at least one adult over 18 yrs old.
  • Team(3-8 participants)(+18 yrs)

Costs – Make the most of the EARLY BIRD discount for bookings made before 31st July…

  • Mini Burn Duo Junior/Adult = £10/£20
  • Mini Burn Trio Junior/Adult = £20/£30

Bike Hire – If you do not have a bike, you will need to hire or borrow a bike from a friend. The following places hire bikes in South wales. Drover CyclesSkyline cyclesAfan Valley bike hirePS CyclesBlack Mountain Activities. Please call them directly to make arrangements.

Parking – Margam Country Park visitors car park at the main entrance.

Catering – Hot & Cold snacks and drinks will be available to purchase on the day

Find out more at: http://www.burnseries.co.uk/burn-series-races/mini-burn-2016/#sthash.NdZq9s5v.dpuf

 

Special thanks to John Morgan @ MogzArt Media for supplying some excellent shots of the race for this blog – see more online at http://mogzart-media.blogspot.co.uk

CONTACT US

Email:
info@langlandcove.co.uk
Mobile:
07411 545685

FIND US

Langland Cove Guesthouse,
4 Rotherslade Road,
Mumbles,
Swansea,
SA3 4QN