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Top Reviews January 2019

Photo credit: Ultra Tour Monte Rosa

Top Reviews January 2019

07-Feb-19

Last updated: 08-Feb-19


By Luke Jarmey

We’re pleased to announce our top reviews for January. So congratulations to Lucja Leonard who will receive a pack of 33Shake Chia Energy Gels.

Oman by UTMB

‘“I don’t think I can do this Dion! It’s too much, this race is too much. I’m not strong enough for a race like this”. It’s 70km into Oman by UTMB and I’m crying uncontrollably into my phone having called my husband in a blind panic.’

Our top review this month comes from Lucja Leonard with her beautifully written account of the Oman by UTMB. The first paragraph draws you in and then it’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions to paint a picture of how tough this ultra truly is.

‘Dripping in sweat and now freezing as reaching the summit in full force winds meant putting on every layer I had to try and keep warm. Fatigue was starting to really set in now and I hoped I could hang on until daybreak as I’d started having little sleep walking style nod offs.’

Read her review here.

In no particular order, here’s our remaining top reviews for January:

Ultra Tour Monte Rosa 170k

‘In Lizzy Hawker's book Runner there is an episode where Lizzy has returned to Kathmandu after another monstrous run in the Himalayas. Richard Bull and she are on a rooftop, drinking milky tea and stargazing, reflecting over the question: Why do we run? Their answers are philosophical. I ask myself the very same question as I climb Colle del Turlo.’

Drawing inspiration from race organiser and runner extraordinaire Lizzy Hawker throughout the race, Rebeca Ehrnrooth delivers a fantastic account of the Ultra Tour Monte Rosa 170k.

‘This is a challenging race that takes you to your limits. For the first time, I found myself crying as I reached an aid station out of pure exhaustion. Likewise, I felt sheer, unconditional happiness at the summit of each climb, taking in the extraordinary views. The mountains drain you on energy, but you gain something extremely valuable in the form of enormous, indescribable fulfilment.’

Read the review here.

Inov-8 AT/C Protec-Shell Jacket

‘When you need to batten down the hatches this jacket is bombproof but sort the zip please it's just not practical unless zipped up fully.’

Stuart Wilkes offers his own balanced perspective on the Inov-8 AT/C Protec-Shell Jacket.

‘I didn't need put zips as I thought the jacket breathed quite well with a decent base layer under it.’

Read the review here.

Hardmoors 30

‘I ran this in 2019 and can honestly say that it’s the best New Year I’ve had in a very long time. If you’re willing to delay your celebrations for 24 hours, then I highly recommend kicking off the year with this race.’

Certainly not the standard way to spend New Year. Sarah Cooke has a great time at the Hardmoors 30, highlighted in her fabulous account.

‘I think this event would suit anyone used to trail running. It could be a good first ultra if you are familiar with the terrain - some steep climbs, a lot of steps, potentially muddy exposed coastal paths, a few rocky sections etc. It is challenging enough to also appeal to experienced ultra runners.’

See her review here.

Lakeland 100 & 50 UTLD (Ultra Tour Lake District)

‘I LOVE this event.. this weekend... the Lakeland family! Lakeland 50 - 2015, was the event that got me into racing (having never done a marathon or anything else except track at school), I have not looked back, Lakeland 50 essentially carved my life.’

Well we could tell from the onset that this was going to be overwhelmingly positive review. Diving into the rest of it, Jodie Gauld certainly doesn’t disappoint.

‘I love this event's rawness and pureness it creates - you are a trail runner most likely because you absolutely love running but more because you love being outside, exploring what nature has provided and this event recreates that but in an organised way - if that makes sense. It is up to YOU to complete this event, it is a test of YOU and you alone, but your individual journey is shared with so many others at the same time.’

Read the review here.

1st Annual Headtorch Marathon

‘Starting at 7:30pm on a Friday night when most people are pulling on their finest for a night on the town a group of c.40 intrepid runners donned head torches & trails shoes & headed off for a guided marathon in the Surrey Hills.’

‘This was an expertly conceived & designed, but incredibly tough, run. The difficulty of which should not be underestimated. It was wonderfully organised & led throughout.’

Certainly not your standard sounding ultra, Ally Whitlock’s review of the 1st Annual Headtorch Marathon may very well make you sign up and find out what it’s all about!

‘Give me a hill, a muddy trail & great company over a bar, club & dance floor any Friday night. Running through pitch black forests & the silence of the night time trail with the the only sound being the hoot on a owl far outweighed the toughness of the miles, I cannot recommend this run enough…’

Read the review here.

HOKA ONE ONE Challenger ATR 4

‘The Challenger ATR 4's are my first pair of Hoka's. I bought them mainly because I wanted to try another brand of road/trail shoe, and Hoka One One were a re*****ble brand.’

A great critical look at the HOKA Challenger ATR 4 by Grayson Mclean.

Read the review here.

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