Thinking about taking on an ultramarathon event in 2019? Here are five options for UK runners, with a mixture of road and trail, beginner to advanced.
11th May 2019
A lapped route covering 50 miles (ish) over the trails of the Rushmore Estate near Salisbury. There is a generous cut-off, plenty of epic aid stations, which everything you need to keep you going, and one of the best medals around. Plus, as an added bonus, if you can’t make the 50 miles in the time allowed, you still get a medal for the Ox Frolic, a 12-hour event taking place at the same time, so no one goes home empty handed.
1st June 2019
While many ultras are trail, there are the odd road races too. Dartmoor Discovery is one of
these and it’s a popular event too – you need to get your entry in quick when it opens. The 32-mile, single-loop race starts and finishes in Princetown. It has plenty of tough hills, as you would expect from Dartmoor, and there is a cut-off of 6 hours 30 minutes, which is strictly adhered too. You get a bespoke medal for your efforts, followed by a legendary disco.
Race to the Stones
13th-14th July 2019
100K along Britain’s oldest path. It’s certainly an epic challenge, but this race has a good reputation for being great for newcomers to the distance. You can opt to do day 1 or day 2, 50K each; you can do the 100K over two days, camping in the middle; or you can do 100K straight through, giving plenty of options for all abilities. The signage is good and fully stocked pitstops every 10K or so to keep you going.
The Lakeland 50
26th-28th July 2019
Not an easy course, but this 50-mile route in the Lake District is one of the most-popular ultras out there. It follows the second half of the Lakeland 100, and you will face tough terrain and skilled ascents. It’s a huge challenge, but there is a very generous 24-hour time limit, which makes it far more achievable. It does involve navigation, so this is a skill that you will need to practise.
8th September 2019
The Tiree Ultramarathon receives rave reviews from everyone who has taken part in it. At 35 miles, it is an achievable distance when stepping up from the marathon distance. There is some navigation required between checkpoints, but as you are running around the whole island it can be difficult to get too lost. Maps are provided and you get a t-shirt, medal and goodie bag for taking part. You do need to get there, and there is a ferry from Oban or a plane from Glasgow, but it is worth the effort for the stunning views.