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The Imber Ultra

03-Mar-2019 Leighton Recreation Centre, Westbury, UK (England)


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Trail Race Race Terrain
53KM / 33Miles
1 Day

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

Approximately 33 miles in length, the Imber Ultra starts at the Leighton Recreation Centre in Westbury in the north west region of the Imber mountain ranges. After a few miles along the Salisbury Plain, runners follow the Imber Range Perimeter Path anti clockwise. There are five checkpoints along the route with water and sweets. It is recommended that runners carry their own snacks and drinks.

The route is varied: footpaths, metalled roads, bridleways and tracks.

All proceeds are for charity. The race is run according to the rules of the Association of Running Clubs (ARC). This event is not marshalled and participants must self-navigate.

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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 The Imber Ultra

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07:37 18-03-18

Only 3,000ft ascent but feels more - the rolling hills are relentless. Lovely first section over hill forts with fantastic views, mid section flatter across the plain which is bleak but beautiful in its own way, and a longer steady climb towards the end before a fast descent. Checkpoints very friendly, they call out your name as you approach each, great touch. Although provisions at each are very basic so good to be self sufficient. Interesting to see the German ghost village on the Plain - shame you don't get to see the local White Horse close to the finish. Worth driving passed to/from the race. Very well organised with good facilities at the start/end point + the town crier waving you off and ringing you in at the finish. No medal - even better you get a bespoke mug, great value race.

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01:39 16-03-18

My first time running this event was this year (2018). In fact it was my first ever Ultra. An extremely well run event with nice little touches. The checkpoints were outstanding with food/sweets and the staff used first names which made it friendlier. The ground was far from flat but being local I didn't expect it to be. That said it also wasn't Everest! The mug from the local pottery made a very nice change from a medal. All in all I would recommend this event to anyone. The atmosphere makes it fun for all abilities.

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Peter Telford

08:10 11-03-18

Ran this in 2018 - well organised event with friendly marshals; and I like it that your entry fee goes to charity. Undulating course with a mix of tarmac, track and path. It is a self navigation course and marking is minimal - but there always seemed to be markers when necessary. Check points have jelly babies, food and water with one also offering coffee/tea and a range of 'goodies'. This was a really good course and really well run - I would thoroughly recommend as an early season run.

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07:49 30-10-16

This is a fabulous hilly ultra with lovely scenery, great prizes and a fab start to the ultra race year!

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08:07 05-04-16

I ran the 2016 race, and thought it was a great and well-organised event. If you're expecting it to be pancake flat, then you'll be surprised, but it's not mountainous either. Enough undulations to keep things interesting though! Five simple but good aid stations, enough to keep you going on the way round.

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04:32 16-03-16

After 4 marathons last year I wanted a small but well run event to push me further. Fellow Fareham Crusaders had spoken highly of the Imber from the last two years so it was an easy choice. I found the detailed race instructions and maps very useful. The course was quite exposed so carrying a jacket and wearing a long sleeve Helly were well worth it. I followed the "walk the hills" mantra and that worked for me !! Lots of friendly encouragement came from every marshal as well as checkpoint staff. The clubhouse had showers, massage, food & drink which was very welcome. I would recommend this as a "step up" from marathons. Excellent value too.

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05:57 13-03-16

I did Imber for the first time in 2016 & found it to be a low key great value event. The route follows the Imber Range Perimeter Path on Salisbury Plain but don't be fooled, I went into this thinking it would be comparatively flat & easy going after the initial climb but it's deceptively undulating - but it's all the better for it as the ascents provide some fabulous views. Fantastic support, marshals & competitors all make this a race well worth considering in the future.

For a full write up of the race you can read my blog here: https://ukruncat.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/imber-ultra-what-a-lovely-day-ultra-3-of-12/

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09:59 11-03-16

2016 was the first time doing this run for me and I thought it was fantastic. Great route with nothing major hill wise but just the right mix for an early season ultra. Lucky with the weather this year which could turn it into a pretty tough run! Aid stations, organisation, volunteers and mug on completion all amazing.

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09:15 11-03-16

2016 is my second run of this race, and I will probably do it again in the future! The course is fairly fast, with a few climbs but nothing nerve shattering. It is very well organised, and as the other reviewers mention, the mug is a lovely change from from a medal. Very good value, and a really good ultra to start the season with, or for beginners.

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09:37 10-03-16

I've run this race twice in 2014 and 2016. I disagree with the previous review, this is a relatively flat and runnable course on good trails, yes its undulating but there are no monster hills. It's a small low key event run by the local community and all profits from the race go to charity which is just one reason why I like this race so much. It's well organised and the volunteers and marshals are all very friendly. A good option for a short early season ultra.

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