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Butcombe Trail Ultra

27-Apr-2019 The Cider Barn, Draycott Road, Cheddar, BS27 3RU, Somerset, UK (England)


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Trail Race Race Terrain
76KM / 49Miles
1 Day - 125 Runners

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Advanced  

Entry From £49 GBP

The Butcombe Trail is a 49 mile route between six pubs in the Mendip Hills, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

The route is mostly off road and takes in some beautiful running country and fantastic views as it criss-crosses the Mendips. It was devised as a walking trail many years ago and 2016 is the first year that it’s being run as a single day ultramarathon.

Although runners will be well supported during the event, it is not to be taken lightly and only runners who have run a marathon (either as a race or in training) since 1 January 2017 should apply.

There is a maximum time of 15 hours to complete the race. Any runners who reach The Lamb at Axbridge (29.6 mi) after 5pm will be diverted onto a shortcut which cuts out the Western portion of the route.

The race is being put on by the Town and Country Harriers, a Bristol off-road running club. The price has been set at £49 for affiliated* runners, £51 for unaffiliated. All surplus funds will go to the Mendip Hills Fund, a community fund set up to conserve and enhance the environment, communities and economy of the Mendip Hills. The fund is a partnership between the Mendip Hills AONB and the Somerset Community Foundation.

See photos of the route at: https://www.facebook.com/butcombetrailultra


Event Organiser
Jonathan Gledson



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.


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.


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.


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.


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 Butcombe Trail Ultra

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08:56 06-05-18

a great event from the off, and after hearing the stories of the lashing down rain of two years ago, and the baking heat of the previous year, the conditions on the day were near perfect. well marshalled, the pub stops were a joy to stop at, with happy-to-see you marshals, organisers and helpers it eases the miles, with a looked forward to glass of Butcombe Ale second to last stop.
First climb of the day was a beast, with the decent to the finish equally beastly. Route pretty well marshalled with a bit of self nav helping in a few places. Comradery amongst the ultra runners superb as usual, a crazy lit we are, we share our stories and pains and gripes. Will look to run this again, tough and demanding but enjoyable.

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02:07 03-05-18

Mud and Hills
BTU was 50ish miles of hills, mud and self navigation. It reminded me of an extra long school cross country run. I got lost within sight of the finish but that was my only navigation error, after going down a hill following advice from a non-runner. The weather was prefect. Started off with light rain but it past quickly and held off for the rest of the day. The first climb at the very start of the race was testing and this set the tone for the day, testing. The route was a real mixed bag of mainly fields, trails, woods and exposed moorland, with the odd road linking section. There was water also, standing and flowing down gullies that had to be run down. I think I had muddy wet feet all day. Also cattle and sheep that had to be negotiated. Had a scary moment with a charging herd of cattle in one field but it was handled brilliantly by a fellow runner. The hills took me by surprise, I found it harder then running in the Brecon's. There are no real long climbs but just lots of climbs, 2172m elevation gain over the course. The organisation was great, the aid stations were so helpful and well stocked and the overall experience was positive. The event started and finished at a cider barn which was great. So I had a few quick pints whilst awaiting my lift. Overall a great day, over a great course, with a great group of friendly and supportive runners. Recommend this to anyone who wants a testing event that is aimed at runners of all abilities.

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The one at the back

08:37 13-09-16

I marshalled the inaugural Butcombe Ultra in the pouring rain but it is a lovely route through the rolling Mendip hills. The 6 checkpoints are in delightful Butcombe hostelries with the start and finish in a cider barn. The runners gave good feedback to say they enjoyed the route and felt they had been well supported. They all impressed us with the 100% completion rate. Come and join us next year!

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08:13 13-09-16

I ran the inaugural event in September 2016. The event was awesome. The course is fantastic, the marshals incredibly friendly, the aid stations very well stocked and generally very well organised. If you're looking for a 50(ish) mile trail ultra for 2017 the Butcombe Trail Ultra should be very high up your list.

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02:17 13-09-16

Great race, super organised and excellent marshals & food at each checkpoints plus great bling at the finish

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