Thinking about entering an ultra? We take a look at five of our favourites…
1: Hardmoors Race Series
Where: North York Moors, Yorkshire, UK; When: Various, see website
Features: Hardmoors offer a variety of distances from 10k, half marathons up to 160 miles over 2,000m ascent. While races suit runners of all levels and are held in historic and stunning regions of the UK, some of the longer ultras are challenging and require committed training (and also hold points for UTMB qualification). Various challenges available, training day and trophies – see the website for events for 2016 and registration details. Image thanks to Dave at SportSunday.co.uk.
Where: Lake District, UK; When: 27 August
Features: Now in it’s 4th year, this 36 mile race is a comfortable step up from a marathon and is low key yet exciting with great participant and social support. Using your own directions booklet, you’ll make your way from Keswick to St Bees on the west coast of Cumbria. The scenery is breathtaking, the route challenging, and you’ll find it tough not to stop just to take in the views. Three well-organised checkpoints provide refreshments, and you’ll enjoy freshly made fish and chips or veggie alternative at the finish. Entries open early February. Image thanks to Dave at SportSunday.co.uk.
Where: Lake District, UK; When: 29 – 31 July
Features: Billed as one of Europe’s greatest ultra events, the Lakeland 50 is run over the second half of the Lakeland 100 Ultra Tour of the Lake District, completing the final 50 miles of the 100 mile course. Six compulsory checkpoints en route will ensure you get regular rest and fuel before heading off across the Lake District. Runners of all levels tackle this ultra, and the 24hr time limit ensures everyone crosses the line with a smile and huge sense of satisfaction. Definitely a bucket list ultra. Image thanks to Dave at SportSunday.co.uk.
4: The Wall
Where: Carlisle, UK; When: 18 June 2016
Features: It’s the 5th year this ultra offers you a 69 mile challenge you won’t forget, starting at Carlisle Castle, finishing in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. The route takes you through spectacular countryside, along winding trails, over hefty hills, all with pit stops, motivational signs and good crowd support. It’s a challenge to complete this in one day, but doable if you put the training. Early bird discounts apply.
5: Race to the King
Where: South Downs, UK; When: 25 – 26 June
Features: This new, 52 mile ultra is a sequel to Race To The Stones (see picture perfect, pp6) and makes an ideal first ultra: the route is stunning, you are well looked after with maps and route instructions, there are pit stops every 5 to 6 miles, and even foot experts are on hand to help sooth your sore feet. Complete in one day or over two, camping overnight. The race starts in Arundel and finishes at the breathtaking Winchester Cathedral. Crowd support is fantastic and race marshals and volunteers are lovely. The overnight base camp offers a hot dinner and hearty breakfast, two man tents, hot showers, stretching classes and physio guides, free massages and physio guides, local beer bars and light entertainment for everyone.