Race recommendations

When I meet an uber experienced ultra runner, I always ask them which events they would recommend, and generally get some interesting answers. 

I ask them to name three events, but say that it can be another number such as five, if that makes the selection easier. 

I am inviting people on this board to offer up their own recommendations. 


  • I guess it depends on the race that you have done but from races I have completed :

    UK Ultra - Lakeland 100/SDW100 (I haven't run the race but have run lots on the South Downs). I can't choose as I love the Lakes and running there but I am big fan of the SDW and a point to point race that finishes on a track!

    Ultra Abroad - A US 100 should be experienced I think. Everyone should have a US 100 buckle in there collection!

    Road Race - Not done many of these but I would say Dartmoor Discovery. Only a couple hundred people, fantastic organisation, hilly road course through Dartmoor and with them hving lead out bikes at the front and your own drinks at each aid station which they hand to you on the run it makes you feel like a pro! Finishes at a pub! 

  • I did Born to Run for the second time in Feb and have already booked it again for next year, nice friendly run on good course, well organised, so I guess it's a recommendation of sorts.

    WiB I want to do an American 100 but will do one here first so as not to waste the journey only to fall flat on my face. 

  • What's classed as an experienced Ultra runner?

  • Were we not meant to reply if we are not experienced?! image Ooops!

    the dude abides wrote (see)

    Highland Fling

    I have been told that before. So, I have entered for this year image

  • The way Ben has posed the question I guess means anybody can reply image

    I posed my question merely out of curiosity when can you class yourself as experienced in the field of ultra's, is there so many you must of run or a certain distance you must of achieved?

  • Round the Rock in Jersey - it's got (nearly) everything, tarmac, coastal path, beach. Lovely image


  • I watched a program yesterday about the Tasmanian adventure run... this is on my list for the future!

  • A person who has completer one ultra will have experienced an ultra, therefore I will class them as an experienced ultra runner. 

  • Whew, that includes me then, I didn't want to post until I was sure in case I embarrassed myself.

    My recommendation is a bit of an obvious and an iconic one but for me it's iconic for a reason. Any race in the UTMB series, I'll go back as long as I get a place and I'm able
  • Ben - I understand what your saying about experiencing a singular event gives you knowledge however that does not make you experienced, correct me if I am wrong but  two completely different things in my book.

    Note: When I say "you" I dont mean you personally, I dont know your run history.


  • WiB wrote (see)

    Were we not meant to reply if we are not experienced?! image Ooops!

    the dude abides wrote (see)

    Highland Fling

    I have been told that before. So, I have entered for this year image

    see you there! image

  • Fellsman

    Lakeland 100

    Any of the UTMB races 

     Ok I confess I do love mountains and journeys.

  • I don't think I've done a bad ultra, they're all different... Hilly, flat, road, trail, boggy 50k to 100 miles. For my money there's some classics though!

    The Fellsman - I did it in 2012 and just about finished before it was cancelled due to bad weather - said "Never Again" but seem to have entered again this year.

    Definitely a 100-miler, and a buckle from a US 100-miler is something to be coveted. I'm off to Utah to run The Bear 100 in September! The Centurion Running events are a great addition for the UK - I did my first 100 at NDW last year and loved every minute.

    Timed races are great fun - Thunder Run and Run24 both 24 hour events and have a brilliant atmosphere, think Glastonbury with a bit of exercise thrown in.

    GUCR, UTMB, Western States, Leadville and Badwater are all bucket list races for me!

    I find chatting to your fellow runnners during an ultra is the best way to find out about great races you may never have heard of!

  • What we are getting from this thread, is an idea of which events are consistently well regarded, and also a few hidden gems that we might not have thought of. 

  • Well i have only done the SDW50 so far but loved it and would do anything by centurion - they were great.

    My wife ran the TR24 solo last year and I supported. There was a great atmosphere  the support was good. We are both entered as solo runners this year and I woild really recommend it.

    Looking forward to getting some recommendations for next year image

  • Good point GeeeM, the quality of ultra's organisation is usually high as often setup by enthusiasts rather than to make a buck. And distances involved and low numbers of entrants often mean off-road, which makes for interesting routes (but I'm sure some road ones are good too).

    A few mentioned above I'd agree with, so here's 3 not mentioned -

    Long Tour of Bradwell - Low key, challengingly hilly

    Woldsman - LDWA hospitality and a mix of undulating tracks to short steep climbs in the serenity of the East Yorkshire Wolds.

    Any race in Hardmoors series (55 offers great high-level moorland and several great climbs); 60 offers undulating, often stunning coastline; 110 combines both (and I hope to run that one this year image)

  • We are entering the LDWA Sussex Stride in September - what are their events like? Are they set up more for walkers? Does it make a difference?

  • Fire and Ice Ultra - Iceland, amazing scenery.

    Marathon des Sables, the original classic, a bit crowded now, but still a great experience

    Badwater, just fantastic, a must do before you die 

    Comrades, another classic, must do 







  • I'd nominate the only 3 I've done:

    1. Boddingdon 50k (though I did it in 2006 and have read no entirelycomplimentary things about organisation in more recent years)

    2. Northants Ultra 35

    3. Country to Capital 45

    Both 2. and 3. are organised by Go Beyond who seem to be consistently efficient and knowledgable about what is needed of an ultra and what runners want from it (from my own experiences and hearing about others')

    I'm hoping that someone adds the Croydon Ultra 30 and Trail of Herts 55 as good recommendations .... these are on my list for this year!

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