For some people running 26.2 miles just isn’t enough, so we’ve found 5 UK ultra-marathons you can still sign up for in 2019. Ultra runs (any run over marathon distance) are experiencing a huge growth in popularity in the UK and with some of these scenic routes, we can see why!
Whether you are yet to run a marathon or you’re a seasoned ultra-pro, there’s a race out there for you. Need more training time to up your mileage? Pick your favourite and get training for 2020.
With all that running, you’ll need to rest your legs for as long as possible before the race. Take advantage of great prices and when you book an Advance Ticket with CrossCountry.
Ultra-Tour of Edinburgh
When: 20th October 2019
Distance: 57km/35.42 miles
Entry Price: From £84pp
Start/Finish: Royal Mile, Edinburgh/Royal Commonwealth Pool
You’ll find this race in the heart of one of the UK’s most beautiful cities – the Ultra Tour of Edinburgh offers a variety of terrain and a truly memorable route. The race begins with a mass Braveheart-style charge down the most famous street in Scotland - the Royal Mile. The race is challenging but you will be rewarded with a variety of stunning views and famous attractions. The course weaves through streets, alleyways and railway tunnels, onto hills, up crags, past famous monuments, museums, and even by the coast.
There are three pit stops on the route offering water, isotonic drinks and snacks, as well as toilets. Entry fee includes the use of a GPS tracker for the organisers to keep you safe and for friends and family to track your run. Whilst you’re running your supporters could check out these free things to do in Edinburgh!
Getting to the start point: The Royal Mile is in the centre of Edinburgh, a 4-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverly Station.
Monster Ultra – Cambridge
When: 29th September 2019
Distance: 68km/42 miles
Entry Price: From £35pp
Start/Finish: Ely Cathedral Chapter House, The College, Ely CB7 4DL
This lovely loop starts and finishes at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire. It’s a flat, well-marked route with support on the course, so great for beginners. The route is far from boring though, you’ll find obstacles along the way like steps, stiles and cattle grids to keep you on your toes.
Runners of the Monster Ultra will pass through the city of Ely and onto the river bank of the River Great Ouse. You’ll follow the path to Wicken Fen, the first ever National Trust site and onto White Fen. Then pass through desolate wetlands to take up the path along the River Cam all the way to Cambridge. The race follows the same route back to Ely Cathedral where your supporters can wait for you.
Need some extra support to finish the race? This event lets you have a support runner join you on the return leg back to Ely. You’ll be starving after all that running, so take the train back to Cambridge and celebrate your achievement with a big, delicious meal at one of Cambridge’s best restaurants.
Getting to the start point: Ely Cathedral is a 15-minute walk from Ely Station.
Round Reading Ultramarathon
When: 3rd August 2019
Distance: 100km/62 miles, or 50km/ 31 miles
Entry Price: From £65
Start/Finish: Thames Valley Business Park, Reading RG6 1PQ
A fabulous multi terrain course that circumnavigates the town of Reading, this UK ultra-marathon is a favourite with many runners. It offers a choice of distances, making it a great option whether you’re a beginner or a pro. The 50km loop is the perfect intro to ultra-running. With a sign-posted course, feed stations approximately every 10 km and a fantastic scenic route, this will be the race that gets you addicted to ultra-running. If you choose to do the 100km, you will be running two loops of the 50km route.
The Round Reading Ultra will include a variety of terrain, including flat river and canal towpaths, undulating woodland trails, country lanes and paths through the city’s many urban green spaces.
Getting to the start point: From Reading Station, you can jump on the number 13 or 14 bus from Belgrave Street, just outside the station. Both buses take around 10 minutes and drop you off a 5-minute walk from the business park.
Ultra-Tour of the Peak District
When: 21st September 2019
Distance: 97km/60 miles
Entry Price: From £60
Start/Finish: Whirlow Hall Farm, Whirlow Lane, Sheffield S11 9QF
Making a name for itself as one of the most gruelling and technically challenging ultra-marathons in the UK, the Ultra-Tour of the Peak District is one for the hardcore runners.
The route takes in some of the finest and toughest trails and climbs in the Peak District. With 3222m of ascent, the race requires plenty of trail experience and training miles. But if you’re up for the challenge, you will be rewarded with some beautiful scenery. The drop out rate from this race is high, so those who dare sign up must prepare well. Food and drink stations will be available along the route.
Getting to the start point: From Sheffield Station, you should walk around the corner to City Hall to jump on the number 81 bus. Disembark at Limb Lane and Whirlow Farm is a 5-minute walk away. Total journey time is approximately half an hour.
The Fox Ultra – Godalming, Surrey
When: 27th April 2019
Distance: 60km/37 miles
Entry Price: From £64
Start/Finish: Godalming United Reformed Church, Godalming, GU7 3 DU
The Fox Ultra is a 60km circular ultra-run route around Guildford. Whether you’re an experienced distance runner or just looking to take on a new challenge, you’ll have a brilliant time exploring some of the finest and least-known trails in Surrey as you run the circumference of Guildford.
The scenic route follows ‘The Fox Way’ – a route devised by an avid local walker who was keen to share the beautiful and varied countryside that he enjoyed. Not only will you get to appreciate Surrey’s most secret and untouched landscape, but runners will receive support from event crew along the entire route, including clear trail marking and loaded feed stations every 10km.
Getting to the start point: From Guildford Station, trains to Godalming run every 10 minutes and take approximately 5 – 10 minutes. From Godalming Station, you can walk to the start point in around 10 minutes.
Whichever event gets your heart (and feet) racing, remember to buy an Advance ticket via our Train Tickets app.
Written by Julia