Last updated: 24-Aug-18
By Luke Jarmey
We’re pleased to announce our top reviews for February. So congratulations to Helen Pickford who will receive a pack of 33Shake Chia Energy Gels.
Tarawera Ultramarathon – New Zealand
A really informative review from Helen Pickford (@runpeaks) of the exotic (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere!) Tarawera Ultramarathon in New Zealand. With some inclement weather blasting the race, it’s always great to read tales of great organisation shining through.
‘A traditional Powhiri welcome onto the sacred land the day before, nails home how special this event is. With free entry into one of the geothermal parks as well, the event really goes that extra mile.’
‘The 2018 event had ordered some rather horrific weather, 48 hours before the day. Torrential rain which persisted throughout the race, making the ‘very runnable’ course tougher than a Tougher Madder and with an upgrade to the compulsory kit, safety was taken very seriously.’
‘You’d be daft not to… when in New Zealand.’
In no particular order, here’s the remaining top reviews…
Waterway 30 – England, UK
When a race turns out to be different from what you were expecting, this can often lead to the most memorable experiences. Kevin Hewitt discovers this on the Waterway 30.
‘The course was not what I expected. I thought that as the route was along established paths and relatively fast I would be on for a PB. Wrong.’
‘The first couple of miles take you over some planted crop fields with soil that sticks to your shoes like glue and you get to the canal towpath carrying so much mud that I would have sworn that I had a small child clinging to each foot.’
CTS South Devon – England, UK
Luke Whittam praises the excellent organisation at the CTS South Devon and finds out that it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
‘A fantastic race but I agree with the other reviews that it was deceptively tough. I’m relatively new to ultras and with a handful of 100kms under my belt, including some with considerably more elevation gain, I was probably guilty of not giving this course the respect it deserves.’
‘As the other reviews state, the organisation was faultless and I’ll definitely be seeking out other Endurancelife races on future visits back to the UK.’
These sentiments are also perfectly echoed by Peter Telford.
‘It is an excellent course but certainly not one for beginners. It is technical, with a lot of climbing and quite exposed in parts.’
‘The race organisation was impeccable and the race marshals really helpful and friendly. It was well marked and although there are stages with ultra, marathon, half and 10K all at the same time (which led to a couple of concerns that I may be in the wrong place) it all worked out as per the briefing.’
Prospective runners should take heed of his useful footnote…
‘This course is very weather dependant – it is February. I have been very fortunate in 2017 and 2018 and will probably test my luck in 2019.’
Green Man Midnight Express – England, UK
If you think that starting an Ultra at midnight is an interesting prospect, dive into Jay Rayner’s Green Man Midnight Express review to find out more.
‘What really makes the event is the low key ‘stripped back’ nature.’
‘…there is a brilliant spirit between the small field.’
‘However, be prepared for the fact that you may end up running solo as the small field and the night running means that you can quickly lose sight of other runners. To avoid that, simply walk the room at the start as you are bound to find someone to buddy up with…unless you are after a course record.’
Country to Capital – England, UK
Another great review from Jay Rayner, this time for the Country to Capital. We always enjoy reading critical, but fairly written reviews. Everyone likes different styles of events and Attila notes that this particular event, just wasn’t for him.
‘A fairly pretty and gentle first 20’ish miles on trails and roads before the bleak and uninspiring drudgery of the Grand Union Canal in January. Decent aid stations (particularly the one with mini pork pies).’
‘Definitely more of a mental challenge that a physical challenge for me. And not just for me I am sure. I did note one lady at the start line on crutches. I’m pretty sure she didn’t pass me so I’m not sure if she finished!’
Uludag Ultra – Turkey
We don’t often read reviews of ultras in Turkey, so it was pleasure to hear about the jaw dropping landscapes on offer in Burak Yilmaz’s account of the Uludag Ultra.
‘Then villages are passed through before a high waterfall to watch and take a breath…’
However, watch out for cold weather if you decide to tackle this race…
‘Before the summit lakes (last cp at 50km), running among frozen snow masses rocks but sudden fog coverages may cause hypothermia.Landscapes of lakes and summit are spectacular.’