UK Ultras

Hi Guys, 

I am looking at setting up a few events around the UK next year, I have a few things in mind, but to cut it short, I want to hear from runners, whats missing?

What sort of ultra event do you think there should be across the UK?

Any and all ideas welcome, aslong as they are sensible!

Thanks in advance!



  • Adventure hub have just pulled the northumberland ultra this year . It was always an event with good feedback from those that did it, but was never really advertised. Not many races in the north east at present so a similar one to the Northumberland ultra would be good.
  • A proper mountain 100 wouldn't go amiss, I know the Lakeland 100 is very popular but something in Wales would be nice, Snowdonia or the Brecons I think would suit
  • Something like the Sky Run races.. a vertical kilometre. Find the steepest yet most beautiful one kilometre uphill you can and have time challenges. That could be fun..
  • as i said before....for me there as plenty of brilliant races around.............i just do not have enough spare weekends to do them all.........

    and the price of petrol does make me think over some of them..............i would love to do some of the scottish ones and ones in the north....but sadly too far at the moment to travel


  • Good call Li "The Brecon 100"

    I'd sign up in a heartbeat..

    I also love the North downs way and have run the NDW100 but it would be nice to run the whole trail 125 mile or 156 mile with the Canterbury loop.

  • A late-in-the-year 50-miler? Late October or later (being selfish: long enough after Ladybower 50 to be practical, in case I don't manage to run one of the ones earlier in the year due to injury).

    Shorter ultras on a Sunday rather than a Saturday (I know the long ones have to start on a Saturday, but for those if us with parkrun committments, Sunday races are better, where possible!)

  • Good shout li brecon or snowdonia 100 I'd be there in a flash.
  • Good call Debra - ultras on a Sunday. It doesn't go down to well with the boss asking for to many Saturdays off!
  • Thanks Gary gotta agree on the MCN series. Done it last year and loved it.

    10 peaks looks like a good challenge. Have you done it?

  • Thanks for the responses so far, very much appreciated!

    Funnily enough, brecon is one of the locations we where thinking, we are just torn for the distance (however, maybe a couple of catagories) and time, I think something around the end of the year would be good, thoughts?

    As we know, there are a lot of events in the UK, and at time we have to choose between running one or the other due to timings, so what helps you pick one event over another?

    Once again, thanks for your responses, it's all valued and appreciated!

  • Hi Karl

    Good winter ultras are pretty thin on the ground. I feel there is defo room for more between Oct and Feb. 

    I personally look for a good route (national trails are always good),distance, single stage, marked route and good support. My top three races to date have all been on fantastic scenic routes and when you mark them runners can concentrate on racing and taking in the surroundings rather than getting lost. If your route is forgetable then so is your race.

    On the subject of distance i reckon it would be hard to get a 100 miler to really kick off in the winter months. At the end of the year you are looking to recover a bit from the summer and early the next year i'm building back up again for the next Spring/Summer. I would certainly be more interested in a 35/40 miler in these months. My 1st 3 events for 2013 are C2C, Winter tanners and The Moonlight challenge all in that range to set me up for my longer races.

     If you take this years Winter 100 the turnout was a relatively small compared with the SDW100 which people were scrambling to compete in.  If you did decide to start a 100 miler on a national trail or in the mountains i would bang it straight in peak season and try and make it peoples "A" race.

    Just a few ideas hope it helps.

  • Picking events:

    Distance (running distance) - what distance I want to run will vary and is likely to increase somewhat as I do more ultras, but in general I'm going to want to do more shorter events than very long ones, because of time taken to train for & recover from the longer events (even if it gets to the point that I'm running the shorter ones as training for the long ones).

    Terrain (trail prefered to road; how much challenge I'm wanting)

    Day (Sunday prefered to Saturday, when possible, as already indicated)

    Location (time to get there, and whether I'm going to need to stay overnight before/after obviously affects the cost; also whether it's an "ooh, I'd really like to run there" location e.g. Lakeland 50 for me.

    How it fit with other races I've already chosen (in my case, for 2013 I'm aiming for Thames Trot, SDW50, NDW50, Lakeland 50, Ladybower 50, so I'm not going to fit much in between them in 2013 unless shorter events which fit with training (e.g. I might be interested in a 30-35 miler in late August/early September) - but I might be interested in something in November).


  • I totally agree with *Dill* about the marked route. It's nice to be able to concentrate on the running (and the views) without worrying about going the wrong way. I'm running Lakeland 50 despite the lack of marked route, not because it's a positive aspect.

    (A permanently-marked route such as NDW also makes it easier to recce run.)

  • I think that there is a dearth of events in the midlands at the moment.  Most events seem to be concentrated in either the south or north of the U.K.

  • Apart from the Lakeland 50 and 100, are there already other established ultra's there..?   Same with the Welsh mountain areas...?

    In general terms..    marked routes and NOT navigation routes would be my choice... first class organisation where absolutely everything has been thought about...     if its a 'minimalist' effort at organisation then this needs to be clear from the outset and the cost needs to be equally minimal.

    Another vote for a good 100 miler in Scotland...   scenic route is essential.


  • I wonder if there might be scope for a 100 mile event in the Peak District or elsewhere in the midlands.  The Leicestershire Round would make an excellent 100 mile event, but it might not be very marketable. 

  • Are there rules about who 'owns' a race route?

    For example..   if this guy wanted to stage his own version of the Lakeland 50 or 100 race on exactly the same route but at a different weekend of the season is there any reason why he can't do that...?   I just picked that one at random...  the question could apply to any race I suppose.   They are mostly on public footpaths....


  • How about some 100ks? I'm sure there are some, but it's a bit of a no-mans land between 50 and 10 miles.

    Ben, have to agree. Leicester doesn't conjure up images of beautiful countryside - but maybe that's its' best kept secret image

  • I'd second more ultras in the north east.  they are very thin on the ground round here, infact, I always think of the round ripon as my local race and I live on Tyneside.  There are some fantastic routes around the cheviots and they would certainly be challenging.

  • If you do anything in the brecon beacons do not do it at the end of the same area over 3 weekends we have the likeys 46 mile ultra then the sleepwalker which is only 20 miles but all at night and self navigational........and then the MCN 40 miler...........

    all starting at talybont and going into the beacons.too close together to do them please if you come to this area.pick a different time of yearimage



    I have just updated my page with many of the UK ultras on if you'd like to have a look.

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    I've had a look.

    James A - exactly how many ultras do you run in a year???  image image  The phrase "I ran this last year" seemed to come up very frequently.

    Now very tempted by Brecon 10peaks. Very tempted indeed.  Never knew it existed.

    I'm building up (eventually) to do all S Wales 2000'-ers in a round.  Not sure whether it's been done before or whether I'm a suitable person to attempt it.

  • We've just launched Avid Runner and we're hosting two race weekends in the North East next year.

    We really want to see the Ultra scene take of in the North East.

    Check us out at 

  • Some long off road orienteering type events ie single day mountain marathons without the hassle of kit and camping.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    cragchick - because there's 34 of them (Nuttalls list) and I haven't yet dared add up the mileage needed to do them in a round ...  

    10 Peaks Brecon Beacons has 11 of them, and 3 more are within easy reach of the route - but that still leaves another 20!!

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