Endurancelife have found a winning formula with their epic race series; beautiful locations, tough routes and 4 distances, 10k, Half-marathon, Marathon and Ultra Marathon. This means that groups of friends with different abilities can take part in the same event. Don’t expect a fast time but do expect to finish with a big smile and a huge sense of achievement.
The distances are approximate as it is not always possible to find a route that is the exact distance. This means that the 10k can be as much as 7.7 miles (rather than 6.2) and the marathon can be 28.5 miles instead of the traditional 26.2. Endurancelife like to give value for money. The different races distance all share some of the same route, with the Ultra consisting of the marathon course plus the 10k route.
The events started in South Devon, near the company’s Head Quarters and over the years they have added other locations to create an exceptional series of events, all of which are different but all keep to the winning formula and the high standards set by Endurancelife.
Anglesey – January
South Devon – February
Northumberland – February
Sussex – March
Exmoor – April
Pembroke – April
North Yorks Moors – September
Suffolk – October
Gower – November
Dorset – December
During the summer Endurancelife organise three 44-mile ultra marathons including the iconic Classic Quarter, in Cornwall, which goes from Lizard Point to Land’s End; the most southerly point of mainland Britain to the most south west – one quarter of the compass.
Some of the events attract over 1,000 runners; fortunately, the registration process in the big marquee is slick and staggered starts for the different races mean that congestion on the route, which is often narrow in places, is avoided.
The couses are well marked and this is something that a great deal of care is taken over. All the crew at Endurancelife are runners and they know that going the wrong way can spoil your race, they also know that in the winter a tired, cold and lost runner can soon turn into a medical emergency. This is why there is some compulsory kit to be carried. The course is marked out several days beforehand with signs and tape, then checked by someone else. It is checked again the afternoon before the race by a team of volunteers and, if there are areas were signs have been removed or inteferred with, it is checked again in the morning before the race starts.
As you would expect there are regular aid stations with water, and, although runners are told to bring their own, plenty of food. To respect the environment no plastic cups are provided, runners must either carry water bottles or their own cup. These are very quickly filled up using watering cans for speed at the checkpoints.
If you want coastal trails that are wild and exposed, with challenging terrain and spectacular views you are spoilt for choice with these events. This is some of the finest trail running you will find in the UK without going to very remote and mountainous areas. Graded from moderate to extreme none of them disappoint. The coastal locations offer a great range of scenery and great variety as the routes head in land at some point before returning to the sea.
The weather often adds an extra dimension as it can vary from sunshine and calm to strong winds, sleet and even snow. Sometimes this is all on the same day, but whatever the weather everyone has a good time. The fast runners are competing hard and, although their times are a lot longer than for a road race and in fact most other off-road races of the same distance, they put in amazing performances. For some just finishing is a huge achievement as this is often the toughest thing they have taken on. While for others this is another great day out as they add to the list of these events they have completed.
Full details on www.endurancelife.com
Edward Chapman, the Trailrunningman has completed over 200 marathons and ultra-marathons. His biggest achievement is completing the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon 12 times! Rad Season Founder Oli Russell-Cowan chats to him about some of his best stories and his love for trail running, his training and nutrition.
Photo credits Edward Chapman
Last updated on Jun 19, 2020