Monarchs Way Ultra 2018

By Alice Morrison

The excruciatingly fabulous Monarchs Way Ultra bagged its FIRST winner and first finisher ever this year. In fact, three people finished in all, so that podium was full.

Massive kudos and congratulations to Oriol Antoli Sarrau in first, Joon Kiat Yeo (Chris) in second and Stephen Brown in third place. More about them later…

But first. What is it that makes the Monarchs Way Ultra SO tough (need to update those toughest ultra lists… ED) that in three years, this year is the first time that anyone has actually finished?

Well, it is 615 miles non stop on Britain’s longest inland path, The Monarchs Way which is roughly the route that King Charles ll took in 1651 when he fled after losing the Battle of Worcester.

It runs from Worcester via Bristol and Yeovil to Brighton. He was running for his life and it must feel roughly the same for the brave souls who have taken it on over the past three years.

In 2016, three very experienced runners attempted it and all retired by day 4. In 2017, three very experienced runners attempted it and 2 made it to 10 days but then retired.

This year, three made it and an honourable mention has to go to Ellen Cottom who did a brilliant 13 days but then couldn’t quite make it to the finish – next year Ellen?
 
This is the longest non-stop race of its kind in Britain and you have to average 43 miles every 24 hours for 14 days solid. It is also old school – no crew, no dedicated pacers or outside support allowed.

There are checkpoint locations manned by race crew at approximately every 40 or so miles where you can leave drop bags.

With the logistics involved, this event is only open to a maximum of 10 entries with 2 additional entries held for returning runners should they be courageous enough to come back.

Finishers

  1. Oriol Antoli Sarrau:  12 days 10 hours 35 minutes and 27 seconds.
  2. Joon Kiat Yeo (Chris): 13 days 1 hour and 20 minutes and 54 Seconds.
  3. Stephen Brown: 13 days 10 hours 26 minutes and 34 seconds.

"In 2016, three very experienced runners attempted it and all retired by day 4"

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