Last updated: 24-Aug-18
By Luke Jarmey
We’re pleased to announce our top reviews for May. So, congratulations to Rosemary Byde (@planetbyde) who will receive a pack of 33Shake Chia Energy Gels.
Ultra-Trail Snowdonia – UK
We’re a sucker for a good opening line and Rosemary delivers a cracker for her review of the Ultra-Trail Snowdonia.
‘I ran the inaugural UTS50 in 2018. When I say ran … I mean to say, I somehow hauled my increasingly militant body up and over many Snowdonian mountains, sometimes almost literally at a crawl.’
The rest of her review is fantastically detailed and really gives you a glimpse of how hard a 100mile ultra is.
In no particular order, here are our remaining top 9 reviews.
La Transtica – Costa Rica
We love Kevin Jenning’s clearly laid out appraisal of La Transtica, which really helps you get into the nuts and bolts of his experience.
- About 125 Km over 5 days, 99% on trails
- Running above the clouds in some instances, up to about 10,000 feet elevation
- Great swings in elevation, with some steep ascents and descents
The Fellsman – UK
‘The event is amazingly well organised and is an extremely good price.’
‘You have to constantly weigh up whether the quickest route is as the crow flies or whether going a bit further in distance but avoiding some potentially dodgy (boggy) ground will be better.’
A great positive review of The Fellsman from Ben Whitfield that was a pleasure to read. We do like the sound of the aid stations…
‘The most infamous aid station food is the pasta and tomatoes with cheese (trust me it was basic but sooooo good), the cheese and onion slices and sausage rolls were also great. As I was one of the runners near the front these came out of the oven piping hot…’
Transvulcania – Spain
An indisputably iconic race such as the Transvulcania deserved a thoroughly fantastic review. Well Louise McWilliams certainly delivers this, with a really in depth and detailed account of her experience. Some great tips in there for prospective entrants.
‘Race start is at 6 am, launch point is the lighthouse at faro de fulicante. Be aware it is at sea level obvs, and is totally exposed. You will need a jacket!’
‘Then out onto the main course. This is in the main volcanic sand, and here’s a tip. Although gaiters are nigh on useless, if you wear them you will only get a half ton of sand in your shoes as opposed to the 2 tons you will get if you don’t.’
Isle of Wight Challenge – UK
First time ultra-runner Jonathan Taylor delivers a well-balanced review of the Isle of Wight Challenge.
‘Underfoot I would estimate it is split evenly between hard surfaces such as road or beach promenade and grassy trails, however none of the terrain could be described as technical.’
‘Overall I’d say this is an excellent first ultra to undertake, though given the fund-raising commitment/cost I probably wouldn’t run it twice.’
Fox Ultra – UK
Chris (@boxhilldude) pens a critical account of the Fox Ultra. We often state that, when well written and fair, negative reviews can be some of the most valuable posted on RunUltra, providing very useful feedback for the organiser, as well as the runners.
‘In my opinion AAT, the organisers, need to try much harder in future. They should know that the later aid stations will certainly need more people on-hand and more ‘stuff’ as more runners from the different races will inevitably pass through.’
‘The saving grace is the route itself which follows, broadly, the Fox Way.’
‘Would I run this course again – yes, you bet! But would I pay £60+ to AAT for the pleasure? Not unless they take a quantum leap forward in the quality of the aid stations and get more support at those aid stations. If they do that, then yes I’d support this event again – after all, it is in its infancy and I generally welcome any efforts to populate my trail running calendar.’
Kings Forest 50k – UK
A personal report from Rob Marshall of his first ultra, the Kings Forest 50K.
‘My first ultra and my 5th marathon in 5 months and you could say I was a bit nervous. I turned up to West Stow (near Bury St Edmunds) parked up and went to get my race number and the amount of people I bumped into was crazy I’m starting to recognise people.’
We particularly liked his mention of this often used anti cramp remedy…
‘After mile 17 miles the cramp kicked in so I went into my bag and got a bottle of pickle juice and had a big mouth full and almost sick, put it back in my bag and pushed on…’
Ridgeway 40 – UK
Though technically not a race, the Ridgeway 40 still inspires a loyal following from its entrants. This is summed up well in Dan Rolling’s review of the event.
‘At one aid station tea was provided and a lot of runners just stopped for a cup of tea and a chat, it was lovely. And that leads me on to what I think was the best thing about this event . . . It’s not a race. ‘
‘You can really go at your own pace and enjoy the journey. If you catch up with someone, or if someone catches up with you there is a good chance you can run together without the fear of missing a cut off etc.’
Chester Ultra 100 – UK
Great organisation and a personal touch can really elevate an ultra to the highest quality. This is conveyed well in Jane Holt’s review of the Chester Ultra 100.
‘Excellent checkpoints staffed by lovely, helpful and supportive volunteers, a great course that was very well marked and signed, and a sense of professionalism combined with a community feel. You were made to feel like part of a big family with everyone looking after you and wanting you to finish.
Race Director Wayne Drinkwater appeared on many occasions during the event to run alongside us and check on how we were doing.’
London 2 Brighton Challenge – UK
First time long distance runner Damon offers his perspective on the London 2 Brighton Challenge.
‘I have no experience with long distance jogging/walking. I have never done a marathon race before. The only real benefit I had when participating in this event was the fact that I have a healthy body. I usually keep away from fast food/ junk food.’
We read reviews from a whole range of runners with various levels of experience, but it was particularly interesting to delve into one written by someone who had never run a marathon before. Good on you Damon for pushing through and finishing!
‘The event has a lot of steep and high hills to climb. Keep in mind that it had taken me 31 hours to complete this ultra challenge. Consider the fact that I suffered from serious muscle cramps at 40km all the way to 100km. But that didn’t stop me.’
‘TheLondon2brighton challenge is an insane challenge I wouldn’t recommend it to somebody who has no fitness or good health background.’