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Dukeries Ultra

12-May-2018 Sherwood Forest, East Midlands, UK (England)

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12 REVIEWS
Trail Race Race Terrain
64KM / 40Miles
1 Day - 100 Runners

Alternate Distances: 48KM/30M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

A 30 and 40 mile loop event taking place in the heart of Sherwood Forest (England), along the Robin Hood Way National Trail. Both events start and end at Walesby Sports and Social Club.

Both races are run on waymarked paths and trails with additional markings provided by the organisers and the presence of race marshals.

Drinks and refreshments will be provided at the start and finish of the race and also at the different aid stations along the route. The 30mile race will have three aid stations and the 40mile race will have four; all aid stations will include a first aid kit.

The cut off for the 30mile event is 8.5 hours. The cut off for the 40mile event is 9.5 hours. Runners must check in with marshals at every aid station.

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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.

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mileswithmichelle

10:45 31-05-17

2017 event.

This was my first ever ultra and I chose a 40 miler because I have completed several marathons now and although 50k (31 miles) seems a nice introduction to ultrarunning, for me it just didn’t seem to present that much of a challenge so I wanted something a bit more scary.

Dukeries 40 winds through a beautiful area of Nottinghamshire called the Dukeries, which comprises various estates including Welbeck, Thoresby, Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park. It’s an area I’ve wanted to run in for a while, so this event seemed the perfect opportunity, plus the 40 mile option went through Sherwood Forest and right past Major Oak so that was the choice for me.

So what did I discover about ultra running?

40 miles is a very long way. My legs began to mistrust me at around 22 miles, and when I kept running beyond marathon distance, they freaked out and didn’t really want to work for me. That said, they carried me another 15 miles, so good work legs!

It’s a very friendly, encouraging community. Runners I caught up with, or who caught up with me, often stayed a while for a chat and everyone asked how I was when they went past. The marshalls were also amazing!!! They couldn’t do enough for me.

At 33 miles, a jam sandwich and a cup of tea taste absolutely divine.

I didn’t get bored of running or of my own company, particularly in the latter stages of the event. I really thought I would start to annoy myself after a while, but I quite enjoyed the peace and quiet.

Ultra running is a brilliant way to see more trails in the laziest way possible. When I say lazy, I mean you still have to run the distance of course, but for someone like me whose internal compass is a little wonky, events like this take the stress and brain power out of navigating. The course was brilliantly marked with red and white tape every few metres, and yellow arrows and dots. All you have to do is follow the markers, and then every 7-10 miles there is a gazebo underneath which you’ll find all manner of sweet and savoury goodies to eat and drink.

Time and distance warp when completing an ultra. At the beginning, the miles clock over really quickly, even though you’re running at a slower pace. Close to the aid stations, distances seem to stretch, and near to the finish, every mile feels like an extra marathon which takes an eternity to complete.

You don’t have to run it all. In fact, it’s encouraged to walk sections, especially up hills.

Never underestimate the restorative power of a bath full of Epsom salts afterwards.

You’ll immediately want to complete another. Even while running it, as your hips and knees scream in pain, and you’re questioning your own sanity, you’ll be wondering how much further you can push yourself and planning your next adventure. Just remember, even though all your friends and family think you’re crazy for doing this, take solace in the fact that there’s always somebody crazier than you. For example, I spent mile 36 with a man looking to take on a 184 mile foot race along the Thames later this year.

The finish feels a bit of an anticlimax because you get so caught up in the ‘doing’, that even though you’re hurting, once it’s over you’re disappointed that the moment (or hours) have gone. I was relieved to finish of course, but I run because I enjoy the act of running, not to complete events.

So a few questions remains:

Did I enjoy it?

I enjoyed the scenery, the cameraderie, the chatter, the adventure, the feeling of being out in nature doing something to test my own limits. That’s a powerful feeling and gives immense satisfaction. When my watch hit 30 miles, I chuckled to myself because whether I completed the event or not, it didn’t matter; I had become an ultra runner. Those last 10 miles oddly didn’t feel as tough as the few miles after marathon distance, which were the longest miles of my life. Lime Tree Avenue goes on forever by the way. Well, actually a couple of miles, but it felt endless.

Would I do another?

Yes. Already booked.

Can anyone run an ultra?

Of course. Once you believe you can do something, you’ll do it. It’s all about toughness of mind. The body hurts, but your mind simply has to tell it to keep going.

Dukeries is a fantastically organised event, and great for a first ultra. The food on the checkpoints was a great selection and the marshalls genyinly could not do enough to help you. I also loved the personalised medal and the vest. Thank you everyone.

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Harvey

09:42 27-05-16

Well organised, well marked and scenic mostly off road ultra. Well worth the money.

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Wthomas41

02:07 27-05-16

Very well organised event. The course was marked out, with frequent tape and signs and arrows, The route was mostly following the Robin Hood Way, and taking us through parts of Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park. The course wasn't really hilly as such, just a few undulations. Overall a good ultra for beginners and advance alike.

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Jonbeaumont

10:46 26-05-16

Second year for me on the 40 mile Dukeris ultra. A perfect course for a beginner like myself, lots of well stocked checkpoints and a perfectly marked trail. Relatively flat, very scenic and a real good buzz amongst competitors - I shall be back next year.

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Mud and miles

05:38 26-05-16

I ran the 30 mile route in 2016 as my first run/race over marathon distance. Having previously run the Dukeries 10 twice, I had every confidence that Ronnie would put on a great event, and I was not disappointed.

The race briefing was informative and humorous, with Ronnie making it very clear that if any of us got lost, it was our own fault. He was right, as the course was superbly marked out, with frequent tape, a few signs and arrows, and the unique Hobo Pace events pink dot system to back these up. The route was pretty and varied, mostly following the Robin Hood Way, and taking us through parts of Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park. Although not a pan flat course, there weren't any real hills as such, just a few undulations. Conditions underfoot were mostly very good, although the 'water bath' between miles 1 and 2 took a few people by surprise and meant that we were all setting out with soaking wet feet.

There were 3 feed stations / checkpoints for us 30 mile runners, well-stocked with sweet and savoury food, and manned by fantastically supportive marshalls. This led to a great atmosphere throughout the event.

Arrangements at the finish were well thought-out too, with a personalised medal and a vest handed out to each runner almost before they had got through the door. There was ample food and drink, and a bar for those who wanted to reward themselves with a beer.

In summary, this is a well-organised, well-priced event, run by someone who knows exactly what it is like to run that far, and is therefore ideal for a first ultra.

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SarahCrunning

04:07 16-05-16

I ran the 40 mile route in 2016. Ronnie Statton has clearly put a lot of hard work into rescuing this race which was in danger of ceasing in 2015. Entries were full this year (250 across the 30 and 40 mile options) with a waiting list. The route was very well marked, communication leading up to the event was excellent and all the volunteers were lovely and worked extremely hard.

The route is scenic and very runnable. It's not pancake flat, but for an off-road ultra, it is remarkably free of any significant climbing. The 30 mile option would be perfect for a first ultra, and many of the runners were making their ultra debut. It would also be a great course for testing off-road speed and for anyone looking for a 30 or 40 mile PB time.

Personally, I prefer hillier ultras for their natural variation and excuses for walk breaks on the big climbs. Seasoned ultra runners and those used to more elevation, may find the terrain monotonous, but the organisation and cheerful atmosphere makes up for this.

The bespoke medals and race vests are a nice touch. By the time I reached the race HQ after crossing the finish line, a volunteer was already waiting to hand me a bag with my name on it containing a personalised medal and a vest in the correct size. All in all, good value for money and a great day out.

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imsodave

06:08 19-08-15

Fast and scenic route that mostly follows the Robin Hood Way as it winds into, through and round the Dukeries estates. It's not dead flat, but there are no real hills and the trails are all runnable. Should appeal both to those making a step up from marathons, and to experienced runners looking for a fast time.

Well organised, with good route marking and water at checkpoints. Food and showers at the finish. A nice race vest instead of a medal too.

The 30 miler is run alongside the 40 mile event that starts earlier and loops out to visit the Major Oak before rejoining the combined route.

A good event showcasing Nottinghamshire's trails. Deserves support as it was on the verge of ceasing to exist in 2015.

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mikew30

02:13 19-08-15

A great local event. Small field, no frills, but a very pleasant route (largely forest trail / bridleway) mainly flat but with a few runnable hills. The 30 miler is ideal for anyone who's run a marathon, and who wants to sample the delights of ultra running without the additional training / stress of a longer or tougher event. Highly recommended.

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Jonbeaumont

08:21 22-05-15

My first ultra and put a number of half marathons and marathons to shame with its small field charm but super great organisation. Beautiful course and fantastically well marked. No real hills to mention, well stocked and helpful and happy refuel stops. An absolute gem.

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GiddyAunt14

05:32 22-05-15

Did the 10 miles. Really well organised, besutiful route really enjoyed it....hopefully more of the woodthorpe huffers and puffers will enter next year! Want to give a big 5 stars but the site is not letting me!!!!!

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