Ultra events to look forward to in 2021

By Sarah Cooke

For most ultra runners, 2020 probably wasn’t the year they’d planned. Sadly, 2021 has started in a similar vein. However, with the prospect of restrictions gradually lifting as vaccines are rolled out, we had a look at some exciting events that we hope will be coming up later in the year.

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Photo credit: No Limits Photography

Ultra-Trail Snowdonia joins the Ultra-Trail World Tour

Ultra-Trail Snowdonia (UTS) will be the first event from the UK or Ireland to feature in the Ultra-Trail World Tour (UTWT). This means that, from this year, UTS will be part of the iconic global series of races that includes such prestigious events as Western States and UTMB.

The inaugural UTS took place in May 2018 with 200 runners attempting either the 50 or 100 mile distance. Only 13 of the 46 who started the 100-miler were able to finish, and UTS established itself as one of the toughest events in the UK ultra calendar.

Inevitably, the third edition of UTS was cancelled in 2020. However, the event hopes to be back with a bang this year (4th June) and will offer three distances – 50km, 100km and 165km. The 100km event will be the one to feature in the UTWT, and it includes a massive 6,700m of elevation.

All three distances include technical mountain trails through the stunning scenery of the Snowdonia National Park. They are organised by top British ultra runner Michael Jones who wanted to establish a UK ultra that could rival the likes of UTMB.

UTS race entries are capped at 1,000, but there are still some places available. If you are an experienced mountain runner and would like to enter or find out more, you can do so here.

UTS’s entry into the UTWT means that, should you enter, you are likely to be competing against some of the best mountain ultra runners in the world. This is great news for the UK ultra scene, and we will be following the event closely.

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Photo credit: No Limits Photography

Salomon Golden Trail Series

In 2020, Salomon’s Golden Trail Championship saw runners from across the globe competing in a series of events which culminated in a multi-stage race in Azores. The winners were Maude Mathys from Switzerland and Bart Przedwojewski from Poland. Whilst the championship was able to go ahead, Salomon’s UK series was cancelled due to coronavirus.

This year, Salomon is relaunching its UK series as the Salomon Golden Trail National Series 2021. The aim is to bring together the best trail runners in a series of races over a variety of distances and terrain. Salomon’s philosophy is always to show and protect the environment in which its races are held.

The four events making up the series are:

– Trail Marathon Wales (19th June)
The Salomon Serpent Trail 50km (3rd July)
– Scafell Pike Marathon (15th August)
Ring of Steall – Glencoe Skyline (18th September) – Series final

In further exciting news, Salomon is funding ten complimentary places at each race, giving UK runners the chance to compete with the elites. They will need to compete in at least three of the events, including the final. The three highest scoring competitors will then be invited to the grand final of the National Series in Azores to compete against the winners from the other European Golden Trail National Circuits.

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Photo credit: No Limits Photography

As stated by UK Organiser Dom Edge-McKee, this is “a great springboard to compete at an international level and will showcase the UK’s incredible running talent”. To enter, you must be ranked by ITRA, and you can apply here.

We will be watching all the events with interest, and RunUltra’s Kate Allen will be taking part in Ring of Steall. We wish her the best of luck!

"from this year, UTS will be part of the iconic global series of races that includes such prestigious events as Western States and UTMB"

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