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No roaring crowds to cheer you on. Photo credit: Steve Diederich.

No swings in these parks… ultra running in national parks around the world


Last updated: 16-Nov-16

By Elsa Trujillo

There's probably nothing quite like running the trails deep into the forest of some natural park or conservation area, with no concrete in sight and just the sound of birds and ruffling leaves to cheer you on.

According to Wikipedia, the main idea behind national parks is “the conservation of wild nature for posterity and as a symbol of national pride”. Undoubtedly, running in a beautiful national park is a real treat and runners share a personal commitment to leave no trace behind but this is not so easily achieved when large groups are involved.

This is why it’s not easy to get permits to organise events in national parks and when such permit is obtained, it is paramount not to abuse the privilege and organisers and runners must work together to make sure that once the race is over, nature remains unaffected.

Here are some great parks around the world where you can run ultra events listed on RunUltra:

Photo credit: Go Beyond Racing.


Shivapuri National Park, Nepal: The North Face Kathmandu Ultra

Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal: The Everest Trail Race and the Mount Everest Marathon.

Hovsgol National Park, Mongolia: Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset

Göreme National Park, Turkey: The North Face Cappadocia Ultra Trail


De Soto National Forest, Mississippi, USA: Mississippi 50 Trail Run

Smith Rock State Park, Oregon, USA: Smith Rock Ascent

Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica: The Coastal Challenge

EC Manning Provincial Park, BC, Canada: Fat Dog 120 Trail Race


Uluru / Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory, Australia: The Track

Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia: The North Face 100 Australia

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, Auckland, New Zealand: The Hillary

Ku-ring-ai and Garigal National Parks, NSW, Australia: The ANZAC Day Challenge


Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania: Kilimanjaro Stage Run

Augrabies Falls National Park, South Africa: Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon

Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, South Africa: Richtersveld Wildrun

Garden Route National Park, South Africa: The Otter African Trail Run


The Lake District National Park, Cumbria, UK: The Grand Tour of Skiddaw, the Ennerdale Trail Run,  the Scafell Pike Trail Marathon, and the 3x3000 Ultra Trail.

Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, UK: 10 Peaks Brecon Beacons and the Brecon to Cardiff.

Sierra Nevada National Park, Granada, Spain: Ultra Sierra Nevada

Posets-Madaleta Natural Park, Huesca, Spain: Gran Trail Aneto-Posets

Rodopi Mountains National Park, Greece: Rodopi Advendurun (ROUT)


What local, regional or national jewels have you run in? Share your experience with the RunUltra community by leaving a review on the race page.

Ultra Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada National Park behind the Alhambra in Granada. Photo credit: Terraincognita Sport.

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