What’s in an ultra name? Scary, furry, brutally honest or just plain weird ultra running event names…

Last updated: 19-Jul-18

By Elsa Trujillo

We know you’ve run all over the place, far and wide, locally, nationally and even internationally. And we’re sure you’ve run some pretty peculiarly named events. Share them with us.

The RunUltra Team has selected a few to get the ball rolling. Here they are:

United Kingdom

Names don’t come any clearer than at the Brutal Enduro, 12 hours running round a 10km route, and the Monster Ultra, hopefully with no real monsters sliding out of the East Anglia Fens. You can also try The Oner, in reality 3 marathons in one and no dinosaurs, promise, or see how many times you can cross the river Humber in 12 hours, in the Hell on the Humber endurance event.

On a, slightly, lighter mood, you could hum Johnny Cash as you run the Welsh Ring O’Fire.

Around the world

Away from the UK things get scarier and furrier, hopefully with no such animals cheering you on or running as your pacers:

The Bear Trail in Belgium, again, hopefully no bears, the Canadian Sinister 7, the Fat Dog 120 and the Bison 50 Relay in the USA. Head to South Africa for the Otter African Trail Run or fly over to Mauritius in the trail of extinct birds for the Dodo Trail.

What’s the weirdest named race you’ve ever signed up for?

If you’ve run these races (or if you’re about to) please tell us when, why, and most importantly, how did you do! Help other runners make up their minds by writing about your experience.

Otters in running shoes on this South African beach. Photo credit: Jacques Marais.

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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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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.

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Increase of up to 1500 metres

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

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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.