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Ultramarathons

Ultramarathons, or ultras, are any running races beyond the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles (or 42.2k). The most common ultra distances are 50k, 100k, 50 miles, or 100 miles, but each event is unique in terms of distance and terrain. The International Association of Athletics Federation recognises world records at ultramarathon events that have a distance of 100km. There are even 24hr ultramarathons, where the distance is unlimited, or multiday ultras, where the distance can extend beyond 1000km. There are a couple of city-based ultramarathons, but most ultras make the most of the UK's stunning scenery and countryside. A lot of these events go off-road and require trail-running over difficult terrain with steep climbs or along rugged coastlines. The Race to the Stones is one of the UK's best and most popular ultra marathons, taking in 100km of the historic Ridgeway. Or there is the famous Dragon's Back Race, which takes place over 5 days, taking runners from North to South Wales and requiring ascents adding up to twice the elevation of Mount Everest.
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  • 23APR

    North Coast Ultra

    Ultramarathon Rock
    43.5 mi
    £80C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the North Coast Ultra
  • 2MAY

    Big Way Round

    Running Winchester
    31.1 mi • 26.2 mi • 19.0 mi • 14.0 mi
    £27 – £39C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the Big Way Round
  • 7MAY

    Bewl Water 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon & Ultra

    Running Wadhurst
    37.5 mi • 26.2 mi • 13.1 mi • 6.2 mi
    £24 – £52C-19 PlanPartnered
    (32)
    People running the Bewl Water 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon & Ultra
  • 13MAY

    Devon Coast Challenge

    Running Ilfracombe
    48.5 mi • 26.0 mi
    £65 – £180C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the Devon Coast Challenge
  • 14MAY

    24 Hours South - The Offa's Dyke Ultra

    Ultramarathon Prestatyn
    £85C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the 24 Hours South - The Offa's Dyke Ultra
  • 15MAY

    The Northants 'Shires and Spires Event' - Ultra 35, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k

    Running Naseby
    35.0 mi • 26.6 mi • 13.4 mi • 6.2 mi
    £23 – £50C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the The Northants 'Shires and Spires Event' - Ultra 35, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k
  • 15MAY

    Roche Abbey Trail Running Festival

    Running Maltby
    32.0 mi • 26.2 mi • 20.0 mi • 13.1 mi • 6.2 mi
    £21 – £48C-19 PlanPartnered
    (1)
    People running the Roche Abbey Trail Running Festival
  • 28MAY

    Running Tribe Series - Race 5, Course 2

    Running Chalfont Saint Peter
    40.0 mi • 26.2 mi • 13.1 mi • 6.2 mi
    £36 – £41.30C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the Running Tribe Series - Race 5, Course 2
  • 3JUN

    Ultra-Trail Snowdonia

    Ultramarathon Llanberis
    102.5 mi • 62.1 mi • 31.1 mi
    £99 – £179
    People running the Ultra-Trail Snowdonia
  • 4JUN

    The Maverick Adidas Terrex X Series Exmoor

    Running Lynton
    35.4 mi • 26.1 mi • 12.4 mi • 9.3 mi
    £30 – £60C-19 PlanPartnered
    (10)
    People running the The Maverick Adidas Terrex X Series Exmoor
  • 4JUN

    Race to the Tower

    Running Whiteshill
    52.4 mi • 26.2 mi
    £69 – £199C-19 Plan
    (6)
    People running the Race to the Tower
  • 12JUN

    Langham Hotel Weald Challenge Trail Races

    Running Lewes
    31.1 mi • 13.1 mi
    £31 – £48
    (3)
    People running the Langham Hotel Weald Challenge Trail Races
  • 17JUN

    Tsunami Ocean Trails

    Running The Wharf
    75.0 mi • 37.0 mi • 26.2 mi • 16.0 mi • 7.5 mi
    £26 – £102C-19 PlanPartnered
    (19)
    People running the Tsunami Ocean Trails
  • 18JUN

    Race to the King

    Running Arundel
    53.6 mi • 30.2 mi • 23.4 mi
    £69 – £199C-19 Plan
    (3)
    People running the Race to the King
  • 25JUN

    Running Tribe Series - Race 6, Course 3

    Running Chalfont Saint Peter
    40.0 mi • 26.2 mi • 13.1 mi • 6.2 mi
    £36 – £41.30C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the Running Tribe Series - Race 6, Course 3
  • 25JUN

    Heineken Race To The Castle

    Ultramarathon Bamburgh
    62.1 mi • 31.1 mi
    £69 – £199C-19 Plan
    People running the Heineken Race To The Castle
  • 1JUL

    MdC Ultra Marathon

    Ultramarathon Saint Dogmaels
    186.0 mi
    £100C-19 Plan
    People running the MdC Ultra Marathon
  • 2JUL

    Coleridge Way Ultra

    Ultramarathon Nether Stowey
    51.0 mi
    £70 – £82C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the Coleridge Way Ultra
  • 2JUL

    The Festival of Endurance at Hever Castle

    Multi-Sport Hever Castle
    140.4 mi • 111.8 mi • 76.9 mi • 75.5 mi • 70.2 mi • 55.9 mi • 50.0 mi • 38.5 mi • 37.0 mi • 26.2 mi • 15.4 mi • 13.1 mi • 7.7 mi • 6.2 mi • 2.4 mi • 1.2 mi
    £30 – £338C-19 Plan
    (1)
    People running the The Festival of Endurance at Hever Castle
  • 9JUL

    Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones

    Ultramarathon Lewknor
    62.1 mi • 31.1 mi
    £74 – £204C-19 Plan
    (114)
    People running the Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones
  • 10JUL

    Hey Up It's Helmsley

    Running York
    32.0 mi • 20.0 mi • 16.3 mi • 13.1 mi • 6.2 mi
    £22 – £48C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the Hey Up It's Helmsley
  • 23JUL

    Jurassic Coast Ultra Run

    Ultramarathon Portland
    40.0 mi
    £80C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the Jurassic Coast Ultra Run
  • 23JUL

    Running Tribe Series - Race 7, Course 1

    Running Chalfont Saint Peter
    40.0 mi • 26.2 mi • 13.1 mi • 6.2 mi
    £36 – £41.30C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the Running Tribe Series - Race 7, Course 1
  • 30JUL

    Something Wild Trail Running Festival

    Running Princetown
    32.0 mi • 26.2 mi • 13.1 mi • 6.2 mi • 3.1 mi • 1.2 mi • 0.6 mi
    £7 – £49C-19 PlanPartnered
    People running the Something Wild Trail Running Festival
Showing 1 - 24 of 48 events

About ultramarathons in the UK

Ultramarathons, or ultra runs, are endurance running races or treks beyond the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles (42.2k). The most common distances for ultra running are 50k, 100k, 50 miles, or 100 miles (aka centurion races). Ultras take place on roads or trails across the UK, and some last for 24 hours or multiple days. Some multi-day stage races are even self-sufficient, where runners must carry all of there equipment and provisions with them for the duration of the race.

What are the best UK ultra marathons?

The best attended ultramarathons in the UK are the Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones along the famous Ridgeway, with 2,500 participants, and the historic Thames Path Challenge, with 3,000 participants. The Ridgeway 40 is one of the best value ultramarathons in the UK. For the best scenic ultras, the Scottish Highlands and Snowdonia are popular areas for mountainous ultras, or for coastal routes, try out the Jurassic Coast and The Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series. The longest ultra race in the UK is the Monarch's Way Ultra, which covers 615-miles (990k) in the course of 14 days. There are many ultra marathon events across the UK to choose from, depending on your preferences. Check out our list of UK ultra marathons to find the best event for you.

How long should I train for an ultramarathon?

It is important to devote a significant amount of time and effort to training if you are wanting to complete an ultramarathon. Everybody has different levels of fitness and the race distances vary, so it is difficult to be precise with training plans. Most first-time ultrarunners will already have lots of running experience, so 6-10 weeks of specific training should get you ready for a 50k ultra. During your training, it is also important to get used to in-race nutrition and running on trails.

Ultramarathons by Location