Top Reviews April 2018

Last updated: 24-Aug-18

By Luke Jarmey

We’re pleased to announce our top reviews for April. So congratulations to Orange (our esteemed reviewer, not the fruit, or the phone company: ED) who will receive a pack of 33Shake Chia Energy Gels.

Ultra Tour Arran – UK

The Ultra Tour Arran is a true UK bucket list ultra and what better way to learn more about this race than through Orange’s mammoth review. Our top pick for April, this is a real turn by turn report that delves into the nuts and bolts of the event and the experience of it all.

2018’s inaugural race delighted, surprised and did its best to break the 300+ runners, with its wonderful range of scenery that was a real challenge.’

More muddy hills, some lovely coastal villages complete with seals bobbing in the water took us through the first two checkpoints. Then it was uphill through forests that soon turned into jungle-like deep pine forest, with sodden peat bog underfoot.’


In no particular order, here’s our remaining top reviews for April.

Vale of Glamorgan Coastal Ultra Challenge – UK

A great review of the Vale of Glamorgan Coastal Ultra Challenge from Oliver Delve of an ultra in a beautiful part of Scotland.

The Vale of Glamorgan trail section has some incredible views as you hug the coastline and tests those tired legs as it repeatedly takes you from up on the coast, down on to a pebble stone beach and up again.’ 

Aside from some great scenery, it sounds like the aid stations were on point.

As the route progressed the aid stations became more frequent and had more in stock. I was so impressed with the thought into their placing. Less at the beginning (where you don’t need cup of coke to get you through) and then more at the end to ensure I had just the right amount of caffeine, water and sugar to keep me going.’

Frozen Otter Ultra Trek – USA

Brett Blanchard (@BrettCBlanchard) pens a fantastically written and humorous account of his experience at the Frozen Otter Ultra Trek.

Endurance racing has confirmed one aspect of myself that I always believed true: I can be an idiot. Race day saw me arrive at 9:00 a.m. for a 9:30 mandatory race briefing; I am unsure why.’

We were extra impressed by the fact that he carried onto the finish after a nasty sounding injury. Brett appears to be made of rather stern stuff.

Sometime around mile 20 I tore my left meniscus. I will blame it on choice of footwear, concrete-like running surface, having just finished antibiotics for bronchitis after having the flu, blah, blah, blah. In reality, it was likely poor foot placement as I ran downhill or some previous imbalance gone uncorrected.’

Kielder Ultra Trail – UK

We love this review of the Kielder Ultra from Phillip Brooke that epitomises the often classic experience of a first ultra. Tough as a hell, but keeps you coming back for more!

The hills were brutal, as was the mud and, well, everything; but what an amazing day! The race organisers were brilliant and through the pouring rain gave encouragement at every checkpoint.’

The Race – Ireland

A tight and concise review from Gary Mason of the fantastically named multi-sport race: The Race. As much as we love long crafted accounts, sometimes it’s nice just to ingest the critical details.

Excellent event. Incredibly well organized. Volunteers & marshals are brilliant.’ 

Great atmosphere throughout as it’s everyone against the course rather than each other.’

"More muddy hills, some lovely coastal villages complete with seals bobbing in the water took us through the first two checkpoints"

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For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

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An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

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Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

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Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

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Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

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Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

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Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

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Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

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Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

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Very little change < 500 metres

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First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.