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Endurancelife - Coastal Trail Series - Northumberland

26-Feb-2022 Alnwick, Northumberland, UK (England)


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Trail Race Race Terrain
56KM / 35Miles
1 Day

Alternate Distances: 43KM/27M 21KM/13M 10KM/6M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

Entry From £33 GBP

The only linear 10K, half, marathon or ultra courses in the CTS series, running here will nourish your soul like nowhere else on earth.

The Northumberland coastline boasts some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in the UK and is best known for its sweeping sandy beaches, rolling dunes, high rocky cliffs, and isolated islands.

This striking landscape is steeped in history and there are few sights on earth that compare with Bamburgh Castle and its expansive and exposed bayside setting.

A host of conservation sites, including two National Nature Reserves, testify to the great variety of wildlife and habitats found in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Once here, you will feel as far removed from the pressures of modern life as it is possible to be, so lace those trail shoes tight, take a deep breath and tune into the wind and waves as you let the stunning widescreen panorama unfold!


Event Organiser



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.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review Endurancelife - Coastal Trail Series - Northumberland

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10:01 24-02-20

Northumberland Ultra 2020.

Another race entered and another disturbing weather forecast. The beautiful Northumberland coastline was my chosen route this time round but the forecast strong winds would play their part. I love this part of the world. It's not far from where I live and I've a few happy memories from this area, ranging from a pint at The Ship Inn at Low Newton, swimming in the sea and a vague marriage proposal to my now wife.
After a rather chirpy race briefing, which was also an advertisement for a drinking session with the race organisers in Bamburgh that night, we took the coach to our start at Alnwick. A pleasant 6 miles took us to the coast and a left turn at the sea meant that we would be heading north for the remainder of the day.
Those winds I mentioned did push us up the coast but like the Spanish Armada found, wind changes direction and towards the end of the race it met us head on.
Each village north held great memories for me and at Craster all I could think of was kippers. A smell was enough before I got stuck behind the half marathon pack which had just started. Truth be told I was pleased for the delay and mingled with the group until there was room at Newton to break out. I did make an observation which might be controversial. A lot of the half marathon runners were quick to a water/food station despite being only three miles in. Should they have been 'shooed' away so us early starters could grab all the snacks? I'm still here so maybe not.
A stretch across Beadnall Bay was a highlight. Dog walkers and others were quick to encourage us and this pushed us on to the beach towards Bamburgh Castle. The sea at this point was a frothing mass and the sand was regularly deposited into my mouth. Let's be honest, bad weather helps spice things up a bit and the Farne Islands looked like something from a psychological horror film. They are worth a visit in fine weather by the way, just to balance things out a bit.
The run towards Bamburgh Castle revealed a sinister sign. Two in fact. One pointed left towards the finish and the other pointed right for the ultra marathon runners to complete a final eight mile loop. A right turn took us up towards Budle Bay where I saw a windsurfer putting his giant flag and surfboard together. With the state of the sea and the hailstones, it looked more like a free helicopter ride from the Coastguard rather than an afternoon of fun. I can't judge. I'm not a windsurfer and many would say I'm not a runner.
The final mile or so took us back onto Bamburgh beach where the Farne islands still looked angry and a windsurfer was enthusiastically waving me on from two miles off shore...
The finish line/flag/area was a welcome feeling under my sandy trainers. I thoroughly enjoyed this race. The location, the organisation and all those running it made it worthwhile.
This is a very 'doable' 35 miler. Not too hilly, straight forward navigation and excellent organisation. Just be sure to grab those jelly sweets before the half marathon lot clear the buffet!

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10:55 05-06-17

Ran the Half this last year. Probably one of the best races I have ever done. Well organised and a great race aroung Northumberland countryside. The sand is great for running on as it is very hard.

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07:53 12-03-16

Ran this for the first time in 2013 and always make a place for it in my diary each year (HALF). Don't let views that have a tendency to take your breath away and stop you in your tracks put you off. The terrain is forgiving for majority of the course, however, keep a little bit left in the tank for the final sharp climb up the ramparts of Bamburgh castle. The organisation is as brilliant as the scenery. Can't recommend this event enough.

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03:29 06-03-16

Ran the 10k this year (2016), and like all CTS events it was well organised, friendly and along a beautiful route. Not the cheapest but you get a high quality event that's worth every penny. Very flat for a trail run, apart from the hill to the finish line which is mean!

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10:21 06-03-16

I ran the 10k in 2015 and the half in 2016 and both have been fantastically well organised, very smooth transport links to the startline and well sign-posted and marshalled throughout. A fantastic stretch of British coastline and a fantastic finish, though I must add I think that ending on a hill through the soft-sanded dunes to get to the castle is a little cruel! :P I'll be back next year! Never Give Up!

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