Lets Run Blog
For the uninitiated, “Couch to 5K “ is a NHS backed program designed to get non-runners to take regular exercise, and, as the name suggests, take them all the way to 5K over a 10 week build up period. I undertook my own version of this a couple of years ago at a point when my life was falling apart (there’s a recurrent theme here) but never being one to follow the crowd I went from couch to 26.2 trail miles over 4 consecutive Wednesdays. I was trying to impress someone, it failed. Also a recurrent theme. At the time, those 26.2 miles were (as a non-runner) the most difficult miles I had ever done. They were nothing however compared to what I found myself doing just before Christmas.
This may come as a surprise to anyone who knows me… but I hate shopping for shoes.
Particularly running shoes.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy a new comfy pair of trainers, but I usually want the pair that don’t quite fit. The pair that look pretty. The ones in the nice colour, rather than the ones that are right for me. And, as a trail runner, despite my best efforts to avoid the puddles and the mud, any new pair of trainers usually stay clean for a matter of minutes.
I have two trusted pairs of trail shoes which have carried me for miles around the North York Moors. There’s the comfy pair and the comfy pair which are super grippy.
If you typed the above phrases in any search engine then you will get similar answers. "they are races above 26.2" but what is an ultra marathon really?
Wikipedia has an interesting definition but over the last 3 to 4 years we have seen a huge change in the races both in the UK and abroad.
You have the main showcase races likes of Lakeland 50/100, UTMB, Western States, Marathon des Sables to name but a few but what about the lessor know races and the FKT's in the UK that are actually ultra distance?
In the UK we have our own version now of the Barkley Marathon called the Dead Sheep.
We also have races like the 268 Mile Montane Spine Race which is a winter ultra, or more like an arctic expedition due to 2018 conditions.
But if its not the brutal Dead Sheep or the arctic adventure then you have Lakeland 50 / 100 which is in the Lake District and is normally sunny.
or one of the Hardmoors in the North York Moors and in range of our shop. 30, 55, 60, 110, 160 or 200 miles for the ultramarathon series or you can do 10k,Half or Marathon in the 26.2 Trail Series.
The list of races in the UK really can go on and on just like the races :)
You also have multi day events in the UK similar to the Marathon des Sables except you dont have to starve for a week, carry your full weeks clothing and re mortgage your house to enter. The Dragons Back Race set in Wales and the Cape Wrath Ultra set in the Highlands of Scotland.
Finally we have the Rounds,
Bob Graham Round
Paddy Buckley Round
which are the popular ones (there is lots more). These are like long Fell Races which all have to be completed within 24 hours.