Recommendations for 1st 50k

Hi, having run quite a few marathons I fancy a try at a 50k or slightly further race. Please could someone recommend a beginner friendly race.  Thanks.


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    The Salisbury 54321 50k is a great first one. Quite easy step up if you can do a marathon.
  • Might I ask where you live Helen?

  • Hi I live in Derbyshire. Thanks

  • OK I will throw out a few ideas.  

    The Dukeries Ultra in Nottinghamshire has 30 and 40 mile options, and it is a nice event, not too far from you.  

    The Northants Shires and Spires 35, was my first ultra, and I can recommend it.  

    If you want something sooner, and don't mind traveling, you could look at the Stort 30. 

    You might also look at the Compton Downland Challenge

  • Thanks for your input Dave - I have not heard of the Northanst one.  A few to consider.  I think I am looking at nexyt year.

  • NoMad Ultra which starts in Breaston and is in July with a 50m and a 50km distance. Also has a facebook group which closer to the event is full of useful tips.

    Website for this is:-

    If your further North lots of stuff in the peak district if your more adventurous. SI Entries has a reasonable list of races.


  • Thanks for the advice I will certainly look into these. 

  • HankstaHanksta ✭✭✭
    I too would like a crack at a beginner friendly ultra. Anyone done the " shires n spires ultra " have advice on the course regarding navigation ?

    Would I need to brush up on map reading skills or is it a well signed course ?

    Thanks .
  • I hope that isn't your leg, as putting a thick line through it and putting in your ultra distance might not look very prettyimage 


  • HankstaHanksta ✭✭✭
    Ha ha, afraid it is image
  • Hanksta I think you did Chester Mara? In May/June, Helsby organise the Sandstone Trail Challenge, from Whitchurch to Frodsham, a hilly 36 mile route.  It's  great day nd as easy or hard as you want to make it, with a great atmosphere.

  • HankstaHanksta ✭✭✭
    I did Chester yes , really enjoyable race.

    I check out your recommendation, cheers
  • Picking your first Ultra one of the best criteria is what do you want out of it.....

    Do you want something EPIC... As in silly hard, and great macho points, or do you want something that is possibly a little more low key, just to build your confidence.

    The more I think about it the more I think just whatever one is closest to you in the time frame you want is probably the best,  it's hard enough doing your first ultra, so if you do something close to home then that takes the logistics hassle out of the equation.

  • HankstaHanksta ✭✭✭
    Well I was after a ultra with the same finish/ start point first off . As I currently do all my races alone it's difficult to arrange things if the start is way off from the finish .

    I'm also wanting to only step up slightly from marathon distance ( no big macho points required )

    and sometwhere within a simple car journey to avoid planning hotlel/ B&b.

    I've a feeling that the shires and spires could possibly tick the boxes ?
  • For the SSC you meet at Frodsham community centre and they bus you down to Whitchurch to finish back at Frodsham.

  • Thanks mr.p , is it a route that requires good nav skills or is it a marked route?

    Although I've done some limited map reading many years back , I'm very rusty. image
  • The sandstone trail is clearly marked, if you're used to following footpaths and seeing those little yellow markers. there are one or two places you could go wrong, and you can find yourself on your own for quite long stretches, I tthink you'd need to recce some of the sections. You wouldn't get lost as in off the side of a mountain, but you could go miles off route If you were unfamiliar. 

  • If you don't want to have the extra task of navigating on your first step up to ultra then try to  find one close enough to home that you can recce in sections beforehand - that can really help. Depending on transport links you may need to out-and-back some sections, but if possible go in the correct direction and then return by public transport.

    And if you're doing that, don't forget to take a layer to put on during the non-running homeward journey. And something to eat/drink, and your ticket/fare money!

  • lowrezlowrez ✭✭✭

    You shouldn't get lost on Canalathon, point to point (for the 50k); central Manchester to Sowerby Bridge, but there are trains back every hour. I've not run it before, I'm aiming to end of March next year.  

  • I second lowrez's post on the Canalathon. A flat scenic course with well stocked checkpoints and encouraging marshals. It was my first 50KM ultra and I have nothing but good memories from it.

  • After a lot of deliberation , I've opted and entered the shires and spires 35 mile in Northampton .

    Anyone with experience of this particular race have any advice . I'm going to brush up on my map reading . Do folk tend to take their own o/s maps or am I being a bit

    OTT ? ( absolute novice when it comes to ultra land ) image
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