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A Bridge Too Far

12-May-2018 Otley, West Yorkshire, UK (England)

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1 REVIEWS
Trail Race Race Terrain
60KM / 37Miles
1 Day - 200 Runners

Alternate Distances: 50KM/32M 35KM/22M 21KM/13M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

Entry From £40 GBP

The Bridge Too Far Ultra takes you along the Six Dales Trail from Otley through the dales of Wharfedale, Washburndale, Nidderdale; passing by Swinsty, Fewston and Thruscross Reservoirs before heading over to Pateley Bridge and then all the way back to Pool-in-Wharfedale. 

You may elect to turn around sooner. There are 4 Checkpoints although you pass through the same ones on the way back! This race is especially challenging as you pass your car with 4 miles to go. Will you be tempted to quit early?

Distance: 50/60Km (32/37 Miles)
Climb:  1100/1400 metres (3400/4700ft)
ITRA Points: 2/2  
Maximum Entrants: 200

Cost: £40 (£1 of each entry will go to St.Gemma’s Hospice) Early Bird £35 before 31st March 2018

Car Park: Bridge End Auction Site, Billams Hill, Otley, LS21 2AA. The car park is free and is a 10 minute walk to the start (take everything with you – bag transfer to finish)

Registration: From 7.30am at the Start
Start: 8.30am at Weston Lane Community Centre, Otley, St.Martins’ Field, Otley, LS21 2FN
Event Closes: 7.30pm

Maps: OS Explorer Maps 297 and 298 The route is covered in the book ‘The Six Dales Trail’ available for £7.49 including p&p. although the route will be waymarked and a .gpx file is available.
 
Checkpoints: Each checkpoint will have water, coke, jelly babies, peanuts, Jaffa cakes, marshmallows and flapjacks. CP8 will also have pork pies and cheese as well as hot drinks.

  • Start/Checkpoint 8: Weston Lane Community Centre (also a checkpoint on the way back) Open 1.45pm to 6pm
  • Checkpoint 1/7 : Dob Park 4.5 miles/7 km (turnaround for a 13 mile/21 km race) 9.15am to 10am and 1pm to 4.30pm
  • Checkpoint 2/6 : Blubberhouses 9 miles/14.5 km (turnaround for a 22 mile/35 km race) Open 9.45am to 3pm
  • Checkpoint 3/5 : Hayshaw 14 miles/22.5 km (turnaround for a 32 mile/50 km race) Open 10.30am to 1.30pm
  • Checkpoint 4 : Pateley Bridge 17 miles/28km (turnaround for a 37 mile/60 km race) Open 11am to 1pm

Finish: Pool-in-Wharfedale Methodist Church Hall, Mains Street, Pool-in-Wharfedale, LS21 1LH – There is No Parking at the finish (please ask friends and family to park sensibly in the village)

Every finisher receives a medal, A Bridge Too Far Ultra Tech T Shirt and certificate as well as a hot meal at the finish.

Event finishing positions are done in order of distance completed then time completed.

A GPX file of the exact route is available upon request. The file is provisional and will be confirmed as soon as entries close.

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Event Organiser
Ryk Downes

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Beginner

Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.

Intermediate

Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Advanced

Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Expert

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Brutal

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Review A Bridge Too Far

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Simon-Bourke

10:12 15-05-17

The sun always shines for Punk Panther. This race was the second in this new series of Ultras; see also review for The Welcome Ultra. Unlike the first race, where the preceding weather had been of near unrelenting precipitation, this was preceded by a Yorkshire Drought.

Conditions were hard underfoot, making for a different challenge, especially one for tired legs towards the end. The race starts in Otley and follows the Six Dales trail to Pateley Bridge, then returns the same way. Except once back at the start, (which is the last checkpoint), there is a further two miles along the Wharfe and then lastly two on the road before the finish at Pool. The distance is definitely more than the advertised 37 miles and is probably around 39 miles. My Garmin checked in at 39.54m with 4570ft elevation, although there were a couple of minor route deviations in there.

At the start there is an efficient, and full, kit check before you get your race number. A low key countdown and you’re off. After half a mile passing through the edge of the town you are gently climbing though farmland. Soon after you drop down towards the Washburn valley, however there is a climb, before the longish steep drop to the river and the first check point at Dobpark Bridge. There are further check points at approximately five mile intervals, all with the requisite peanuts, jelly babies, flapjacks, Jaffa cakes, millionaire shortbreads, cola and water. All hosted by friendly and helpful Marshalls.

Soon, there is a short sharp field climb before skirting Swinsty Reservoir, along the edge of Fewston and a delightful riverside forest section up to the dam at Thruscross. A climb takes you to the Blubberhouses / Greenhow Road before an undulating route across some rough fields, and passing through lots and stiles and picturesque hamlets. There is then a lovely wooded descent to the Nidd before a final flat footpath run to the outermost check point, at Pateley Bridge. All you’ve got to do then is retrace your steps to the start….and the little matter of a further three miles to the finish.

I had imagined that a there-and-back route compared to a circular one would be less enjoyable – but it was no less so. Things look a whole lot different 180 degrees apart and, at least, you know what’s coming when you are tired and route finding can sometimes go to pot – even when the route is as well marked as this. Plus you also get to witness the race leaders fly past you – which I found inspiring rather than demoralising.

The race had a small level of entrants, due to other similar events occurring concurrently. So I had thoughts of long distances of solo running and no one in sight ahead, or behind for encouragement or route validation. Instead, I had the pleasure of running a large part of the route with Ged Futter, exchanging running stories, (which can bore those who suffer us long distance runners), of past and planned events and sneaking into a few of his landscape shots.

So another great instalment in the inaugural Punk Panther series and I am looking forward to the next one.

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