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Photo credit: Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon.

Congratulations, our top ten race reviews for April 2016

05-May-16

Last updated: 25-Oct-18

By Luke Jarmey

We’re pleased to announce our top race reviews for April, so congratulations to Ryan who will receive a pack of 33Shake Chia Energy Gels.

Kielder Ultra Trail - England (UK)

We loved Ryan’s cracking account of his joint win at the Kielder Ultra Trail 50km. He actually names it ‘Kielder with Teeth’ which due to the eclectic mix of snow, ‘boggy grassy pits’, swamps and claggy trails, sounds rather apt. Grab a mug of tea with your favourite biscuit and give it a solid read. You might even find yourself on the start line next year.

In no particular order, here’s our remaining top nine reviews for April.

Vale of Galmorgan Coastal Ultra - Wales (UK)

The UK is blessed with some fantastic scenery, with Wales consistently delivering the goods for those of the trail running tribe. The Vale of Glamorgan Costal Ultra is situated slap bang in the midst of rugged cliffs on the Welsh Coastal Path. Ian Robertson particularly enjoyed these scenic delights in the second half of the race and thought the camaraderie amongst the runners was fantastic throughout. Read his review.

Mat Webb also loved the scenery, but thought aspects of the organisation slightly let the race down. Hopefully the race organisers can sort this out for the next edition. Read his account.

The New Forest 50km - England (UK)

Ian Robertson cracked out another top review with an account of his first 50K race, The New Forest 50KM. Excellent feed stations were the order of the day, with copious cola and snakes. He also praises the loo and shower facilities; not something that always gets given their due attention, but quite an essential ingredient to any British springtime race! Read it.

Two Oceans - South Africa

Alongside the Comrades, the Two Oceans is a South African Ultra of Biblical proportions. Both in participation numbers and the hype in generates in the country. Not hailed as ‘the world’s most beautiful marathon’ for nothing, it takes in a swath of the memorising Cape Peninsula coastline. This was Kathryn Holden’s first Ultra and she describes a ‘superb experience’ with live swing bands and 5000 strong crowd cheering in you in at the finish line. Frankly it would be a crime for this race not to be on your ultra bucket list. Read her review.

Swissalpine - Switzerland

We’re on quite the scenic overload here, with another ultra of the aesthetic flavour. Annelies Gerber recounts her experience of the Swissalpine, which as the name subtly suggests is located within the chocolate box domain of the Swiss Alps. If mountainous terrain and the associated views are you poison, we suggest you give this one a good ponder. Read it here.

Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon (KAEM) - South Africa

A 7-day marathon known as the ‘Big Daddy’... Yup, we’re guessing your interest has quite rightfully been sparked. The Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon (KAEM) is a 250km or so jaunt through the vineyards of the Orange River to the harsh but beautiful terrain of the Great Kalahari Desert of South Africa. Edward Chapman opens his review with the simple line ‘This race stole my heart’. We’ll let you read the rest.

We’d also like to give an honourable mention to Lucja Leonard and Marina Ranger for their first rate reviews of the 2013 and 2014 editions of the KAEM.

The Iznik Ultra - Turkey

With its seat firmly placed on the great table of international trail races, The Iznik Ultra in Turkey provides, in the words of Tobias Mews ‘views to die for’ which may be rather fitting, as he also mentions, as a trail runner ‘you’ll be in seventh heaven’. Before you ascend to this hallowed hall, just make sure you jump into the lake and enjoy the amazing local culture on offer! Read his account.

Sciacchetrail - Italy

Rounding out our top ten for this month, we have two delicious reviews of the Sciacchetrail. An Italian ultra of the short and sharp variety, this race proves that great things often come in small packages. Nic Errol freely uses adjectives such as gorgeous and flawless to describe the impeccable organization, route and cultural experience. We also think the mention of an Italian ‘pasta party’ will perk some ears. This was Sophie Adams’ first Ultra escapade and from the sound of her review, she’s hooked on what she’s described as a ‘life experience’.

What's your experience? Have you run any of these races or others on our site? Do share your stories.

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