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Photo Credit: Short Circuit Ultra – Punk Panther

Top Reviews November 2017

09-Dec-17

Last updated: 20-Dec-17

By Luke Jarmey

We’re pleased to announce our top reviews for November. Congratulations to Simon Bourke (@Simon_Bourke) who will receive a pack of 33Shake Chia Energy Gels.

Short Circuit - England, UK

A new ultra from Punk Panther and a fantastic review from Simon. We particularly like how he takes us through the Short Circuit course section by section, but keeps the review interesting, without slipping into monotony.

After Esholt it’s up and through the adjoining Hollins Hall and Bradford golf courses. Is this what it’s like at an African watering hole – we’re all out for the same thing, (not water; but exercise / entertainment / participation) - we just look a little different and move at different speeds.’

Ultra Sierra Norte - Spain

What a difference in 2017; a particularly dry summer and autumn resulted in parched trails. Without low cloud cover, we got to see the Sierra Norte natural park in all its glory.’ 

Sarah Whittington paints a detailed and informative picture of a rather spectacular-sounding ultra, in the Seville province of Spain - the Ultra Sierra Norte.

The highlight of my 2017 race was a close up view of a rare Iberian imperial eagle as I climbed the last major ascent of the course at 70-ish km

The Druid’s Challenge - England, UK

The Druid’s Challenge is a real classic of the British Ultra Calendar and Keith Simpson (@2coldfingers) does a cracking job of articulating the experience of this race in his review.

It is an event that is accessible to the widest possible range of competitors, with 3 different starting times each day an hour apart, for walkers, ‘normal’ runners and ‘élites’ 

I ran it as a 68-year-old with a hernia waiting to be sorted, so you can do it!

Haría Extreme - Spain

The scenery is truly stunning, volcanic black rock, white sand, blue water, it’s easy to wax lyrical about the beauty of the course, but believe me, this comes at a price.’

A great rundown from Louise McWilliams (@ultralouweezy), of a rather exotic-sounding ultra, the Haría Extreme. Now, what price do you pay for this visual beauty?

The climbs are sheer and hard, the first main climb is a solid 613m, a touch over 2,000ft, rocky, brutal, hot and long. Descending brings no respite either. the ground is treacherous and not always easy to keep upright.’

The Everest Trail Race - Nepal

Certainly one of those absolute ‘bucket list ultras’, we thoroughly enjoyed reading 3rd place female, Elisabet Barnes’ (@elisabet_barnes) take on it the Everest Trail Race.

The ETR is without doubt one of the best races I have ever done. The organisation is spotless. There is a genuine passion for the race amongst all the staff, and they all went out of their way the whole week to look after us.’

Whilst the race is challenging it is achievable for most with a decent fitness level and the course is very beautiful.’

Brecon Beacons Ultra Marathon - Wales, UK

Two great reviews this month for the Brecon Beacons Ultra. The first from Chris Robertson, of what was actually his first ultra.

2017 Brecon Ultra - Was actually my first ultra, ever. Some thought it was a strange choice (not picking somewhere flatter) but I'd been to Brecon a few times and knew it would be a challenging but rewarding day out.’

The second, comes from Ian Britton, who managed to battle through some troubles during the race, before running into more trouble on the journey back home. At least he made it back in time for the important things.

At the Gap I decided it was time for the headlamp as it was dark. Headlamp was crap and the descent was ‘interesting’. Nearly fell over numerous times but poles saved me.’

To finish off the day my car broke down on the way home and had to wait over an hour to be towed home. Still had time for beer and a bath.’

V3K Ultra (Vegan Welsh 3000s) - Wales, UK

Probably the best race (not just ultra running) I've ever had the pleasure of taking part in. Everything about it was absolutely superb.’ 

Well, well, with an opening line like that, we were chomping at the bit to find out more about Graeme Hughes experience of the V3K Ultra.

The midges obviously hadn't received the e-mail requiring everyone to be vegan for the day and it was a relief to get going.’

‘I've never done a Sky Race before and the course marking was unbelievable, little red flags on a wire every few metres. It would be virtually impossible to go off course in this race.’

White Rose Ultra - England, UK

All runners set off together, surging forwards into the Yorkshire gloom, each supporting a different coloured number, 30's with their green numbers, 60s with their blue numbers and 100s with their red numbers.’

An absolute belter of a review from last month’s ‘Top Reviewer’ Helen Pickford (@runpeaks). Really painting a picture of what it’s like to run the White Rose Ultra, we thoroughly encourage any prospective runners, to give this a good read.

At the end you are greeted with the race director waiting for each and every runner regardless of time or weather, then a hot meal and all the crisps, sausage rolls and cake you can eat. But isn't that why we run?

Oh yes it is.

Tollymore Trail Ultra Marathon - Northern Ireland, UK

‘How hard could it be? 3 Near 13 mile loops in a beautiful surrounding with relatively sheltered conditions for most of the event and what transpired to be a perfect morning for running.’

Give the rest of Richard Duffy’s (@richardpduffy) Tollymore Trail Ultra Marathon review a read, to find out why, in fact, it was very hard!

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