First time ultra runner


Even though I have yet to run my first HM (Clowne, November) or my first FM (Manchester, April) I am thinking of attempting an ultra mid to late next year.

One event that I spotted was the Ladybower 50 which has been run the last few weeks. I have been on the LB50 website but there is no mention yet of next years event. I realise it has only just been run for this year but how far in advance are these type of events normally organised ?

I have been on a website called Ultra Marathon and when I select an event I am interested in it takes me to a site called Ultra Race that only has 5 events listed so far, none of which I would be interested in.

Does anyone have any good websites I could look at to find an event for next year ?



  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭ there is a long list - only some run by ultra race.

    Ladybower is a fairly new event, would think entries probably open towards New Year perhaps - why not email the organisers and ask? Longer running and popular events are filling up quick these days. Normal progression is HM, FM, 50K, 50 mile - allows your muscles and tendons to get the strength to deal with longer distances. Not to say you can't dive straight in, just injury risk is higher as is chance of dnf.

  • JeremyG: carterusm accidentally ran 19 miles after taking a wrong turning on a training run intended to be 14-15 miles - I suggested s/he might like to come discuss ultras! I did my first 50K before my first mara (and after only three HMs, and working back up after four months off from injury), and that was deliberate (do the distance training while forgetting about speedwork).

    I do recommend one or two 30-mile, 50K, 33 mile or 35 mile races before going for a 50-miler.  I'll try and think of a few races that might be appropriate.

  • where are you based carterusm? theres a good 35mile off roader 2nd june in Northants i can highly reccommend-or croydon 30 which is mostly tarmac but you have the option of dropping to 15 if you change your mind!

  • LB50 entries will open at the weekend

  • Thanks for the response jeremyg.

    Cheers Debra - carter sends his thanks and some race details would be most appreciated.

    Loulabell - I am based in Sheffield but wouldn't mind travelling. I'm doing the Manchester FM in April, would I have enough time to recover for northants ?

    Kingy - thanks for the info. Do you know where I can find details of the race, entry form etc ?

    Have you guys got any ultras coming up in the near future that you are training for ?
  • carterusm... why dont you boing over to the 'wannabe' ultra threadimage thats where we discuss all our plans and events, newbies very welcome as that was the whole point of the thread image*points carterusm to wannabe thread*

  • Caterusm, look at

    You will be able to register online there. We are adding a 35 miler to the event next year also. So there will be 20, 35 and 50 mile options.

    There isn't much info on the website at the moment as I have been snowed under with the 9-5. Have a look on fb to see how others found this year The course maps etc are on there too.

    Defo go to the thread mentioned above too. Some great advice on there.


    Best wishes


  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭

    Debra I wasn't trying to deter anyone just a case of adding small print disclaimer! Ultras are becoming v popular (of course as it's great fun!) which is great but I do think you get a lot more out of it properly prepared. Certainly missing marathon and going to 50K is fine but like you say getting a few 50k 30+ milers in before a 50miler is a good idea.
    A lot of events fill up quick now and if you are not ready should you go and take up a spot others could use? Working  my way through TalkUltra and the interview after Lakeland 50/100 was interesting - esp his comments about the relatively high number of dropouts first quarter of the 100.
    Anyway carterusm def get on the wannabee thread ,lovely people and lots of useful info for kit, races etc etc

  • I am with Jeremy. There is a big gap between an accidental 19 miles and a 50 mile race, the events are becoming increasingly popular and people are taking them for granted and as a result we get more DNFs and races filling up really fast as people enter on a whim and turn up under prepared or not at all.

    I am not trying to put you off, I think running the long races is great and would encourage everyone to try proper running! However, I would suggest that you get out and run some long runs just for fun first, build them up ofcourse, but aim for a weekend and pick a good long route or trail you would like to cover and get out and run it without the pressure of race start times, cut offs, lots of other people.

  • Good advice guys, thanks.

    I am not the sort of person who would waste peoples time or take up a space that somebody else could use (I'm not saying that you are accusing me of that, I'm just saying image). The LB50 is over 11 months away and it will be my first ultra so obviously I have plenty of time to prepare for it. I am definitely up for something challenging like an ultra and hopefully giving myself every opportunity to finish it by giving myself so much time to prepare. As soon as my HM is done in November I will start building up some decent mileage, this time not accidentally !! I will certainly visit the wannabe ultra thread so see you all there soon !

  • Jeremy: fair points.

    Carterusm, I'd suggest looking for something in late July to October, probably in the 30 - 40 mile range, on the list mentioned earlier by Jeremy. Depending on how M'cr goes, you may feel wiped out for a few weeks afterwards (I did!), and then you need time to build up again, do some back-to-back long runs etc. I did the Croydon 30 (early July) 'cos it starts from my clubhouse, and then NDW50 (North Downs Way 50 miles) in early August - but I'd done the training for the London Ultra 50 K before M'cr, so I had a 50K and a 30M (and a number of training runs over marathon distance, with semi-long runs the next day) before I reached NDW50.

    Royal Parks ultra might be a nice one to start with (easy navigation, easy terrain) but you need to decide and enter NOW before they run out of places where you don't have to raise hundreds of pounds for charity, so might be more practical (and cheaper) to wait and find another one.

    Also, not all ultras are well marked - some you need to do some navigating on the way, and you want to check the terrain and course profile (London Ultra and Croydon Ultra some hills but not bad. NDW fair amount of ascent and descent; Lakeland 50 LOTS of ascent and descent).

    Also, if you can find one that's fairly easy for you to reach and run in sections for training runs, that can be a great mental help on the day - removes navigation worries, and you know what's coming next!

  • And while I was writing that, WIB's and carterusm's posts came through - oh well!

    carterusm: thinking 11 month training sounds good - actually that's about what I did, building up from October 2011 to NDW50 2012. Enjoy the running, and yes, come to the wannabe thread!

  • Just to add - 30% of the field did not turn up on the day at the recent Ladybower 50. I have about 200 bananas left over. That is a lot of left over fruit.

    I agree that you should be very well prepared and choose a suitable race. 

  • Oh and we sold out our 50 places in 6 weeks.

    we decided to keep it small the 1st year as we were learning and had to prove ourselves to the local authority.

  • kingy: Sympathies for the DNS rate. Frustratingfor you (and for runners who couldn't get a place) and wasteful in so many ways.

    Re. the bananas, you might be able to give them to a local parkrun, if they'll keep until Saturday? Or a local zoo? (Sorry I don't know where you are).

  • My daugter's school was very grateful for them.

    Thank you

  • Oh good - glad they went somewhere where they were appreciated!

  • Ultras?
    Don't bother. They are the resting place for nutters.

  • How to win friends and influence people....

    Or how to be thought a prat in one sentence?
  • LB50 was a good race, if you're in Sheffield white peak marathon a good trail run, dove dale dipper beautiful scenery and a good challenge, High peak 40 another great race, all off road, fairly local and friendly. I will hopefully do Ladybower next year and avoid the 'sheep moving jam' good excuse to have a rest though.....I'd advise a marathon first, it gives you some idea of how your mind works during longer runs and it's such a nice distance.

    Feel a bit guilty for not eating a banana now!!
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