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Ring O' Fire

30-Aug-2019 Isle of Anglesey, UK (Wales)

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10 REVIEWS
Trail Race Race Terrain
217KM / 135Miles
3 Days - 150 Runners

Alternate Distances: 57KM/36M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Advanced  

The Ring O’ Fire is an annual 135 mile coastal ultra marathon circumnavigating the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales, UK.

This epic foot race is staged over three consecutive days and follows the rugged and spectacular Anglesey Coastal Path around the island. The extreme distance and variable terrain places Ring O’ Fire as one of the most extreme ultra marathons in the United Kingdom.

Set against the dramatic backdrop of Snowdonia Mountain Range, Ring O’ Fire offers adventurous runners the opportunity to challenge their limits in some of the most awe inspiring coastal scenery in Wales.

Almost all the coastline of Anglesey is a designated “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” and runners will encounter a wide variety of terrain, including: sandy beaches, shingle beaches, pebble beaches, steep cliff top paths, headlands, rocky coves, sand dunes, farmers’ fields and sections of forest and quaint villages. Parts of the trail are tidal.tidal estuaries, sandy beaches, pebbled and rocky coves, steep cliff top paths, sand dunes, farmers’ fields and sections of forest.

Look out for our 1 Day event, running the first 36m/57km of the RoF, called the Firelighter!

 

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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.

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.

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petem

01:21 24-11-18

2018.
The Ring O' Fire is a tough 3 day race around the islands of Anglesey and Holy Island, taking pace late August into early September. The dnf stats say it all really, less than half of the starters are likely to finish in a given year. In 2017 I was one of those statistics, having raced too hard on the first day to complete the challenge. 2018 was the year for me to go back and complete the challenge.

The first day is probably the toughest terrain of the three with some steep climbs towards the end of the day. The majority of racers then camp out in the sports hall at Amlwch. There are a range of food choices here, from the cafeteria in the sports center to various take aways in the town. Make sure you take an eye mask, as the 'smart' lighting in the hall will be lit all night due to people moving around triggering the sensors.
The second day starts bright and early, just before sun rise and takes in the west and south coasts of Anglesey, with the stunning views across to the Snowdonia national park as the view for most of the day. There are a number of diversions away from the coast on this route to navigate around private property, and around 30% of the day is spent on tarmac roads getting away and back to the coastal path. After a long day, the night is spent in a much smaller hall at Aberffraw. While not advertised the race crew had made a hot pasta meal for the finishers, so worth having your own food in case this doesn't materialise.
The third and final day completes the circumnavigation, stopping for breakfast at Rhosneigr at Sandy's cafe. Best bacon roll ever! The route then wends around the coast before crossing back to Holy Island, and summiting Holyhead 'Mountain'. This leaves only the sting in the tail of a steep descent to an honesty book at north stack and a mile or so of cliff path before returning to the start point and a well deserved beer from the local brewery.
The organisers and marshals all work really hard to keep the runners fuelled and moving at the various checkpoints. Having the same faces pop up throughout the three days builds a real sense of community, with great support for all the runners.
I'll be back for another lap as soon as the race schedule allows. It's a tough but beautiful race.

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johnsski

02:46 20-09-18

2018

Pros
-Well organised
-CPs run by many v. friendly/enthusiastic marshalls
-Brilliant, gd quality t-shirt
-Great slate medal
-Route has a bit of everything at some point & isn't along busy paths anywhere

Cons
-No food at the end
-I know the route choice wasn't done by the organisers but to say it's an island circumnavigation, there is relatively little beach running (or perhaps you might think that is a good thing?!)

(NB I stayed in a b&b each night so yes I partly missed the community spirit of the event each day but I did get a good sleep!)

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MartinKelly

06:07 09-09-16

A challenging multi day, mixed terrain coastal ultra where the timings and distances of each day add to the challenge.

Prepare for sleep depravation, some navigation (relatively easy but don't be complacent) and some stunning views.

Run this 2014, 2015 and 2016.....and have 3 superb t shirts as a result.

Overnight accommodation is in the form of local halls and your kit is transported no problems. Just be prepared for communal ultra community sleeping and therefore snoring, farting and everything else.

You can opt for other accommodation at your own organisation and cost and I chose a Campervan this year. Sooooo much easier and enabled greater rest each night.

Small cheery band of Marshalls, checkpoints are basic but there's plenty of water. Typically lookin at between 6miles and 12 miles between cps.

I love this race. It's brutal but beautiful and in particular the first section on day 2 when running as the sun comes up in front on the coastal path.

It's not one for beginners though, definitely intermediate to advanced.

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davebb

09:57 11-05-16

Ran this in 2015 - 3 days of beautiful scenery. Tough 135 miles, but worth it all for the views alone. Fantastic people to run with, enthusiastic organisers with excellent, well stocked and friendly checkpoints including the best sausage butty i've ever had (courtesy of the event organiser's (Bing's) mum's cafe on morning of day 3!). Good accommodation in local halls - but make sure to pack ear plugs and sleep masks. Getting woken up at 5am each day to Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire" now ensures a wry grin each time I happen to hear it again! Massive sense of achievement on completion, with a fantastic slate medal and a great event shirt to remember it by. Fabulous feelings running along sandy beaches on the final day. Some very gnarly hilly terrain with a cheeky climb right at the end. One of my favourite events so far - and also very good value for money. Plenty of photography and sense of community on the group's social media also great to see. Thoroughly recommend.

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NickW

10:02 13-11-15

If you want a race that feels like a journey, then why not run around an island? If you've never been to Anglesey then you're missing out and this is the number one way to see what a stunning island it is. Tough race, it has a bit of everything. The shingle beaches will murder your feet but the views will lift your soul. Great atmosphere, great people. Am I selling it to you yet?! I generally feel like death at some point in every ultra I run, but 3 challenging days running here brought nothing but smiles for me. Checkpoints very friendly. You might consider support crew to supplement your own individual pickiness. I ate nothing much more than satsumas for 3 days. Bring ear plugs for the overnight stops. My write up was almost as long as the race! http://www.delamerespartans.org.uk/spartan-blog/ringofire-2015-circumnavigation-tale-ynys-mon

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Inspectorhappy

01:44 09-09-15

Well organised race, beautiful and challenging terrain. Enough stunning views to keep your mind off the burn. Accommodation locally is cheap and pleasant, check points are fairly species out with great volunteers. Worth an entry for one challenging race

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Runmoor

12:51 28-04-15

A brilliant 135 mile three day back to back ultra, following the coastal path on the Isle of Anglesey. Day 1 starts with 35 miles, day 3 around 33 miles with a 66 miler wedged healthily in the middle. The organisers are passionate and look after everyone really well.

Accommodation each night is in halls so sleep is minimal but that's all part of the fun. The route is very scenic; mostly on coastal paths and beaches. Instructions are given along with GPX files though you are expected to have the OS Maps as it is self navigation. Honesty books are used to ensure no cheating.

Checkpoints are well stocked up with everything from sweets, pork pies, chocolate, sausage rolls etc. Such an achievement to finish with a 50% drop out rate. You will get fed up of Johnny Cash 'Ring O' Fire' blasting out by the end of day three though. Great value including medal, techy tee and buff as well as all accommodation.

The only thing not supplied is breakfast and evening meals so porridge pots and instant pasta pots are a must although there is a canteen on day 1 and pasta was supplied on day 2. A great challenge for anyone.

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SusieChan

02:52 27-04-15

A toughie. This is a great race, well organised and the route is stunning. Honesty books are used to ensure runners cover the rugged route. You dont get much sleep - and despite good checkpoints, it's adviasble to carry food. The last day ends in an epic climb up and over Holyhead Stack. Great medal and huge sense of acheivement once done. My feet hurt like hell. :-) Big drop out rate, but it really is a corker of an ultra. Recommended.

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@ultralynch

08:37 13-04-15

I ran this in September 2012. This ultra-run is beautiful and brutal in equal measure! The Anglesey coastline is spectacular, but running 135 miles in three days is pretty tough, and there were quite a few drop outs after the second day (which is 66 miles, but I think it was actually nearer 70 miles in 2012 when I did it).

Navigation was an issue when I ran this in 2012, and people did get lost, take wrong turns, and there was some standing around looking at maps and trying to work out the route. The course could really benefit from GPX files to download onto GPS watches. I would say that if you prefer to simply 'switch off' and not think too much about the navigation when running, then this ultra is not for you.

The organisers are a very friendly, enthusiastic, nice bunch of guys and the aid stations were always well-stocked with lots of smiling, friendly volunteers. Perhaps it was because it was the inaugural year, but the event did feel slightly amateurish in how it was organised; however, that is a very minor niggle. I like the fact that they encourage everyone to post a bio / profile on their website, which is a nice touch for creating a sense of community and camaraderie.

Another nice touch, which should be encouraged on all ultra-marathons, was the disposable camera at a coastal outpost that you had to find on the long day. It was good fun taking silly selfies for a few minutes, and I'm surprised that the organisers haven't got the mug shots on their website. It is a bit like the ultra-running equivalent of a photo booth at a wedding!!

Another big plus to this event is that it carries 4 UTMB points, which is a huge selling point, and the main reason that I took part. There are not many Ultras in the UK that carry that many UTMB points in one race. With four in the bag, it means that you can shop around for Ultras to get the rest of the points (e.g. closer to home).

At the end of the run, you are rewarded with a chunky slate medal and a great RoF technical tee. I've just had a quick look at my tee again to remind myself what it looks like: as technical tees go, it's very cool - with a blazing flame and the actual dates from 2012 printed on it. I'm going to wear this at my next Croydon Arena track session with the Croydon Harriers!

The race is, however, seriously flawed in one huge respect: the Duchess of Cambridge was at the start in 2013, but not when I ran it in 2012 ;)

Overall, a great Ultra Run, and I'm definitely going to do it again one year (but I think I'll wait until they've got some GPX files sorted out...I'm a lazy ultra-runner).

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Arrytbb

09:03 17-02-15

I've had 2 attempts at this race in 2013 & 2014! Whilst I didn't finish, I love this race so much! Top notch organisation, incredible route and the smiliest support ever! I'm hoping to come back in 2016!

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