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Humanity Direct Amersham Ultra

10-Mar-2018 Amersham, Buckinghamshire, UK (England)

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4 REVIEWS
Trail Race Race Terrain
50KM / 31Miles
1 Day - 300 Runners

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

Entry From €48 GBP

Be a part of this unique chance to get a place on an amazing one day ultra simply by donating or fundraising for a Humanity Direct patient instead of paying an entry free!

We recommend a donation of £48 when you sign up, or you can pledge to raise as much as you can instead of paying to enter an ultra marathon - saving & changing the lives of children in developing countries who desperately need surgery.

Starting and finishing at Dr Challoner's Grammar School, Amersham, the 31 mile route takes in many areas of natural beauty in the Chilterns, including the Misbourne Valley, the Chess Valley, some of the best areas in the Chiltern Hills.

The "Humanity Direct 50Km Challenge" is run mainly on footpaths and bridleways, with a little road section.

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Event Organiser
Annie Dougall

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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 Humanity Direct Amersham Ultra

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photogirlruns

11:18 23-03-18

I totally get the irony of calling a 50km race a training run, but that is exactly what the XNRG Humanity Direct Ultra was. Four weeks before my ‘A’ race, the SDW50, I lined up on the start line ready for my longest training run & what would hopefully become my second longest run ever.

I was using the race to test my pacing, practice my fuelling & nutrition & despite not needing most of it I was carrying the mandatory kit for the SDW. I wasn’t the only one testing kit as there were a number of guys carrying all the gear for MDS.

Back to the race. Pre-race ran smoothly, collecting numbers, timing chips & t-shirts. Tea & coffee on hand it was a relaxed friendly start to the morning. A friend who was running her first ultra commented on how different it was to the start of the road races she was used to.

Pre-race briefing. Through, detailed & to the point. We were all given maps. One day I will learn how to read them but were assured that the course was well marked & that someone had already been out that morning checking it. And it was. Superbly marked, I had one one minor wobble with navigation & that was because I got distracted by photographing some trees & missed an arrow but a couple of runners behind me soon pulled me back on track. A well marked course certainly takes the pressure off for a relatively inexperienced trail & ultra runner.

In all honesty my description of the route is going to be rather vague, I wish I had paid a little more attention to my surroundings. Around 90% was off-road & trail, a couple of sections were through villages & small towns. There was hills, lots of hills, and mud, lots of mud! At times the mud became a little soul-destroying & energy sapping. It made running difficult & a few choice words were spoken. To make up for the mud there were some lovely unable sections through woodland. It was a varied course with mixed terrain, exactly what I love to stop a run becoming boring!

In terms of my own run? Apart from a few miles in the middle when I walked with an injured friend to CP3 (I didn’t want to leave her in the middle of a field but she insisted I ran on once we reached the check point) I don’t think my race could have gone much better. 5:35:09 for the 50km. I walked the hills, ran almost everything else. I felt strong, I even managed a sprint finish!

I reached the finish line & was cheered & applauded by the XNRG team, someone offered me tea or coffee, someone else took my timing chip & printed off my results for me, someone else took my phone to take a finish line photo for me (that is my one complaint - the lack of photos from the race, a very poor show especially as ‘free race photos’ were advertised in the race info).

Indoors (so nice to finish a race & be able to go inside to the warmth) for the prize giving, a cup of coffee & VEGAN cake! Very impressed they had a vegan cake, and it was yummy!! And the best bit? Showers! A shower in a communal school changing room has never been more appreciated!

I really loved this race, highly recommend it. I cannot fault the organisation, the pre-race communication, on the day information & the support before, during & after the race & I LOVE that all proceeds went to charity. The marshals & volunteers at the checkpoints were lively, encouraging & there was a vast array of food & drink available. They filled up water bottles, made sure you had everything you needed.

It’s a relatively small field, split into three start waves but as I have found with trail running, everyone was friendly & chatty, from runners out on the course, to the walkers who started in the first wave & cheered you on as you ran past them to competitors at the finish who congratulated you. I had a number of guys come up to me afterwards to tell me how well I ran which, I have to say, means a lot to me. I’m new to this game & really appreciate the support & encouragement more experienced runners freely give. After such a positive first experience, I think you’ll be seeing me at more XNRG events in the future!

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RunnersKnees

04:03 15-03-18

This was not a race to be taken lightly. Trail marathons are tough. I have run a few and I DO NOT look forward to them. This does beg the question of “why do I do them?” and my answer would be that sometimes they just fit in the calendar.

I did not feel great about this race but only from a personal achievement perspective. It was very well organised and friendly. Other than the lack of promised marmite the aid stations were well manned with supportive marshals, well stocked and varied. One had jam sandwiches and chocolate spread sandwiches, another sausage rolls, and another slices of cheese. Free tee, free tea, medal, timing at CPs, online tracking, all the good stuff. Cannot fault the organisers and highly recommend their races, even if just as prep for a longer trail effort like Stones, King and Tower.

But it was the toughness of the course I could not really handle when I had barely exercised since TGC. Long periods of muddy fields, or paths where the mud is more like slush and you slip all over, a few hills. I really enjoyed any road surface I could get to. There was a point, I think after the 2nd CP where you were in town, and ran through a park, across a road and around by the station. It was bliss. I do need to get my finger out when it comes to Tower, and Green Man now it has been rescheduled for September. I need to be able to handle the mud, as well as I do road. So, something to aim for.

Would I recommend the Extreme Energy Amersham 50K? I would, for the people who I know who love this kinda thing really would have had more fun than me.

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OCRAdam

12:08 12-03-18

Extreme energy Humanity direct 31 mile/50k March 10th 2018 Amersham

A 50 kilometre event around Amersham taking in the some of the Chilterns Way, the Misbourne Valley and the Chess Valley.
A good 90% off road and trail with about 700 meters of incline.
This is the 3rd Event I have attended with XNRG so I had an idea of what to expect. However this event passes 100% of the fees to charity so I would expect there to be a little less in the offering. But I was wrong.
After signing up, I received plenty of update emails, links to the course, the route, the kit and weather updates. On the day, the parking was easy and spacious, the headquarters based in a school/collage was easy to access.
Registration was simple and friendly. The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming. We all received a T shirt, a good map of the route and our chip timing strap and number. The race brief was informative, friendly and motivational.
The first K was downhill on the paths and roads that lead to wood land and plenty of trails. The rain had muddied up the course so poor foot ware would make an impact on the day. A few of the early fields were bog like but manageable , then plenty of uphill trails; although I didn’t encounter any nasty hills, some wide fields and easy to navigate foot paths. The course was very well marked. I went the wrong way once but it was my error. I was daydreaming and following a runner ahead. It turned out he wasn’t racing but a local jogger. The map got me back on track quickly. Apart from the odd village run through the vast majority was a mix of trail, fields and foot paths. There were 4 check points well spread. They had water, Soft drinks, malt loaf, savoury snacks, brownies and jaffa cakes. The Marshals were very helpful, filling my water bottle while I grabbed some food. Just a few kilometres from the end I got a second wind and started to move a bit faster. The finish was a u turn on the start, through a field to a cheering band of marshals and spectators. I have to say I really loved the finish. As the race director shook my hand a marshal gave me my medal then another marshal offered a chair as he went to fetch me a cup of tea - heaven.

It is a very enjoyable 50k that I would recommend to anyone doing their first 50 trail as well as the experienced runners. It is tough but not too tough. Considering that 100% of the fee is going to charity I am very surprised that they didn’t cut back on a few things – Humanity Direct (the charity) is a great cause to be supporting. Amazing work XNRG, you are an inspiration!
See you at the next one.

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