Malvern hills ultra 2017

Has anyone any pointers for this race?  Ive done some hilly short ultras (32m)...been a while though...need to set a new target to aspire and train for.  This is fairly local..Ive nearly a year to train and I'm interested in some navigating but it would be the first race Ive navigated on, I will obviously do some research and training with that but I am a plodder...anyone got any MHU experience please?


  • Malvern hills run North / South, once on the ridge line there's nowhere else to go.

    Never done this race, but used to train on it many moons ago .

  • Ok thanks that part of the race should be fairly straightforward then.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Seriously looking at this one - the 50 miler.  Doesn't do Herefordshire Beacon though!! Got to do both of the beacons, surely? (If I run it I might go up there anyway.)

    Maps of the route look very clear.

    You save a tenner bus fare by doing the out and back.

    You save another tenner by not eating anything.  Hmm.

  • Lol if yr doin an extra beacon that 10 quid on food might b advise able.
  • I ran this last year. The navigation is quite simple; as stated above simply stay on the ridge fir most of it but you will need to get your map out for the sections on the country lanes and through the woods. They out a gpx file on the website before the race so you can download it to a gpx watch or hire one of their gps devices with it pre-loaded.


    I took the "raw" option which was £10-15 less and I didn't get to use the food at the feed stations (But you can fill water bottles). 


    The he course is beautiful and everyone as really friendly. Highly recommend.

  • Ok thanks, I have a garmin 220 watch so I will check on that. I need to commit soon as its not that long away in training terms. Ive spent most the winter racing short distanceimage

  • Thinking of doing this as I could do with a 50 in May as lead up to SDW100... anyone know the cut off / mid cut offs ?
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    Just entered this.  I decided to do the 50 to save on the bus fare, but have forked out £10 for food.  Decided a plateful of something could be useful at the finish.

    HQ and new sections of the route not on the website yet.
  • I am currently getting back into running after suffering an injury a couple of weeks after finishing the Worcester Marathon 2016. I train on the hills anyway and want to do the Malvern Ultra in 2018. Does anyone have any recommendations on shoes for this event?

    Currently running in Adidas Kanadia TR6 but was looking at Salomon and Inov8 Trail shoes.
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    Hi, there is probably only around 10% max of road running.  The rest is packed trail, and grass.  I'd say if it's nice and dry and you prefer more cushioning then go with a road trainer.  Otherwise best to stick with something that has good grip and traction.  I love the Inov8 roclites, and would go with a decent xc if muddy (slip in some heel cups as a lot of climbs).  Otherwise if not too wet then a hybrid.  That help?

    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • Hi Daz,

    Yes thank you this is very helpful. Would you say a mudclaw or terraclaw are a bit overkill for this ultra?

    I'll have a look into the Roclites.

    The kanadia's I have are hybrids and are nearer road running shoes than trail and they've always been fine. They just don't sell this model anymore and the new ones I do not get on with.

    Have you run the Malvern Ultra in the past? I am finding the route directions for 2017 do not match the gpx file provided which is confusing. Where is the start of the race?

    A lot of questions sorry! haha
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    I have a pair of the mudclaw too.  I can;t get on with them as much as the roclites but then I havn't put as much time into them.  I'd say they could be a better shoe as they have grip and a little cushioning.  Can't comment on the terraclaw.  They don't look as robust, so I'd be more worried about turning an ankle running over tree roots and up and down the (eg Malvern) hills in them.
    If you have time I suggest you try your shoes out over a few weeks in similar conditions and see what you think. If there is a bigger ankle drop in chosen shoe then stick a heel cup in to cover it.  Also adds cushioning for the ultra distance.
    If you don;t have any already then get yourself some good calf guards too.

    Yes I ran it 2012/13/14. 
    The route has changed a little this year.  Original started and finished at Holt Castle.  HQ is now Abberley Hall, next to the Tower.  So the whole of the first (and last) section to and from Martley is now different.  But it stays with the Worcestershire Way.
    Distance used to be circa 52 miles.  Will now be 48 miles.

    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • Thank you for all of this information it is a real help to me. I shan't be running it until 2018 so I have bags of time to try out the shoes you have suggested. I've always leant towards Inov8 anyway and will pick up some Mudclaws next week to see how they go as I have planned a training regime from now until the ultra (including breaks). I will also try the roclites as I had not really looked into these before.

    Thanks again Daz!
  • caashfordcaashford ✭✭✭
    I'm doing the 45m (was 50m) on Saturday so see you there. Most people on the Malverns Ultra have suggested that if it is dry then road shoes should be fine. I have just picked up some Adidas Terrex Boosts (I have narrow feet) so have them as a back up. This will be my first non-road ultra, and I think that the hills and navigation are going to be an interesting challenge!
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    Yes, I'm coming along for the 45-miler.  Glad it's reduced distance in some ways because I have picked up a posterior cruciate ligament injury and running is hard going at the moment.  I'll be expecting to be near the, if not at the very, back.

    I'll be in La Sportiva Bushidos.

    It'll be a very small field compared to some events.  It will be unlikely you will be always be able to keep someone in view!

    Looks low key and friendly, though.  First one I've done from these organisers.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    Excellent event and the course was one of the most attractive I've run. Tougher than I expected it, though.  Everlasting up and down in those woods.

    Thought about 10-15 mile point I would have to pull out - it was very painful going with the knee, especially downhills.  Seemed to ease off though and I kept going for a 12h11 finish.  

    If fit I could probably knock at least an hour off that so I'll give it another go next year, although will be back to 50 miles + then I expect.
  • Do you know why it was reduced in the first place?

    I emailed the organiser the other day to ask when the 2018 event would go live and they said soon. I questioned the distance also but they did not comment.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    It's because of the new venue at the school.  There is no obvious route using the Worcestershire Way that can extend the course back to 50 miles.  Both northward and southward extensions of the current 22.5-mile point to point would involve very busy A-road crossings which the ROs do not want to have.

    So I think this one will remain at 45 miles.  There is of course the 90-mile double option!

    I shall be doing it again in 2018.
  • Did you happen to track your run on strava? I would really like to view the GPS for it on that format so I can cross reference with my own training easily.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    Sorry, I don't use gadgets.  I expect there's a link on the website to someone who did.
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