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Pennine Barrier

12-Jun-2021 Malham, Yorkshire, UK (England)


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Mountains Race Race Terrain
80KM / 50Miles
1 Day - 250 Runners

Alternate Distances: 80KM/50M 160KM/100M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Expert  

Entry From £79 GBP

Join GB Ultras in 2021 for this fantastic 50 mile ultra-marathon with 2593m of ascent and fusing together some of the finest trails in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Starting at the beautiful village of Malham with trails taking in Malham cove, the Dry Valley of Watlowes, Malham tarn, Fountains Fell, Janet’s foss and the wonderful Yorkshire 3 peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. This is a stunning route with excellent support from the #GBUltras team making it a race you’ll always remember!  ITRA & UTMB Points.

In the lead up to the race, GB Ultras Running Club organise free of charge training runs covering the entire route section by section to help build confidence and prepare runners for the upcoming 50 mile race.

Top 100 finishers earn a Gold ‘GB Ultras’ medal, 101-200 finishers earn a Silver ‘GB Ultras’ medal and 201+ finishers earn the Bronze ‘GB Ultras’ medal. The 2021 Pennine Barrier Ultra 50 mile is part of the 2020 GB Ultras 50 mile GRAND SLAM!

There are prizes for the top 3 male & top 3 female finishers & also for the top 3 teams to complete the race (based on accumulated time of the team’s first 3 finishers). Brilliant checkpoint support, live online GPS tracking via GB Race Tracker, pre-paid official professional photos and a GB Ultras tech tee.


Event Organiser
Wayne Drinkwater



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 Pennine Barrier

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10:22 31-08-18

if you're going to do your first 100 miler, this is a good one to do it at - a friendly community, a legendarily nice race director who ran all over the course checking on runners from start to finish, on each of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, breathtaking scenery, and only a few hours of darkness for the overnight section on account of it being held around the summer solstice.

The course was almost entirely runnable, the aid stations well stocked/manned, the ability for crew to get to the runners in multiple places, and a whole load of photograph opportunities, you soon forget you're covering an obscene amount of distances on the two laps of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, while racking up a lot of vertical gain in the process.

I genuinely hope to run this again soon.
(Personal account of the race here: https://goodwillruns.blogspot.com/2018/06/race-report-pennine-barrier-100.html)

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10:08 16-08-18

A fantastic event, The Pennine Barrier by the 'GB Ultras' team certainty put the great back into Ultras, and the British (more so I would say quintessentially English) back into Ultras but certainty don't put up any barriers to welcome all to the Pennines to run the 3 Yorkshire Peaks, Fountains Fell and the rolling limestone countryside of Malham including the Limestone Pavement, and if you are game enough, Scaling up the waterfall at Gordale Scar.

Checkpoints are plentiful, every 10ish miles or so and stocked with just about everything imaginable. With 4 peaks to climb, PenyGent, Whernside and Ingleborough as well as the less well known Fountains Fell, it is certainty one for hill lovers. However there are some fantastic 'Yorkshire Flat' sections as well to get those legs running to the next feed station.

The route is only 'semi marked' however it is also easy to follow being the 'Pennine Way and then the 'Three Yorkshire Peaks' route. However map and compass is still compulsory and you may need it if you are on top of the flat plateau of Ingleborugh at 3am in the morning.

The 50 does one loop and the 100 takes in the same loop with an added beautiful bonus climbing up the waterfall at Goredale Scar. The second loop on the 100 feels like a different event all together due to the vast change in the amount of people around, the slight route change and the change in daytime and temperature. It's well worth the extra 50 miles for the sunset and sunrise over the Peaks and the warm welcomes at each checkpoint.

The race director was around the course both in the daytime and at night, running from peak to peak cheering on runners and helping them overcome those dark moments. This gesture really makes the event feel very lovable and homely, definitely redefining the Greatness and the Britishness of how an ultra race should be.

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02:05 27-06-18

This was my first time running a GB Ultras race and it didn’t disappoint! The race itself was challenging but thoroughly enjoyable. It was clear to see that the race organisers really planned the course to take in all the breathtaking scenery. The support throughout was top notch and the aid stations had a great range of food and drinks.
The value for money on this event is unreal, quality medal and t shirt at the finish line and then amazing race photos at no extra cost.

The last thing I would want to congratulate them on was maintaining such a personal touch, the race director seemed to be everywhere on the course, cheering on the runners even at the top of the highest peak.

I’ll definitely be back to this race in future and look forward to trying out some of their other races!

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05:05 21-06-17

Amazing event. I love the GB Ultra races, having already done their Chester Ultra earlier in the year. Well organised, with a very friendly Facebook group and optional recce runs in the months prior to the event. The RD really cares about the runners, whether they finish first or last.
The race itself is a tough one, knarly ascents and descents, but also with plenty of very runnable sections. The scenery is magnificent, and the route is easy enough to navigate (basically Pennine Way and Yorkshire Three Peaks)
Checkpoints are always super supportive and well stocked and the medal at the end is a beauty too!
I'll definitely be back to do this one next year.

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06:42 20-06-17

The GBULTRA team seem to keep their races low key, by this I mean not mass entries. By doing this they ensure that you are welcomed and made to feel part of the family, with the Race Director and his team always acknowledging you and giving you that smile and this is all before the race itself, even starts. Throughout the build up, the race itself and even the day after the team are still there chatting away to you as much as you want. One big thing I did notice was that every runner was welcomed in at the finish no matter where the finished retrospectively and presented with their medal.

Ok so the race itself, starts at Malham with a scenic run up the steps, continuing along the Pennine way to Malham tarn and beyond. This is a very pleasant section of the Pennine way and fairly runnable (undulating), you then take on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks starting with Pen-Y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, however on the way to this summit Wayne the Race Director kindly adds in a bit extra by having you turn left along the ridgeline and back before the final climb to the summit, I can only assume this was for the view, as it was an enjoyable out and back run and it also gave you the opportunity to see where you were in the race standings. After Ingleborough you head back to the shoulder of Pen-Y-ghent and then the Malham section in reverse with a slight detour near the end to take in Janet Foss waterfall.
They have obviously thought carefully about this race route to give you varying views, great climbs and sometimes quite technical descents.

The Cp's all stocked a mixture of savoury and sweet snacks along with coke, juice and water. The only minor negative I have was with the conditions being so hot this year an additional water stop would have being beneficial. Wayne however did speak to the cafes on route (2) and they allowed us to top up, he has however already highlighted this issue himself and will look to add an additional water station next year.

I found this to be a very enjoyable race route and great organisation, I would certainly reccomened it, however if it's not for you, you could maybe look at some of there other races as this a superb well oiled team.

I was jealous of the teams t-shirts mind, so it's a shame that we didn't receive one for completing even if it was an additional charge to have one.

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