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The Wall set to become UK’s largest Ultra Run

by Press Release
Thursday 12th April 2012
Tags  The Wall   |   Hadrians Wall   |   Rat Race Adventure
 
 

Race preview: The Wall - Cumbria and Northumberland, June 23-24, 2012

Built almost 2000 years ago by Emperor Hadrian, Hadrian’s Wall was originally a military fortification. Today this Unesco World Heritage site is one of the UK’s most spectacular, iconic and visited tourist attractions. On the 23rd and 24th June 2012 it is set to become the backdrop for Rat Race Adventure Sport’s latest running event: A new ‘Ultra Distance’ race called ‘The Wall’.

This unique Run will see participants traversing the frontier of the Roman Empire near to the route of the Wall itself, amongst land laden with history and against a backdrop of the stunning Cumbrian and Northumberland landscapes.

The sixty-nine mile route starts at Carlisle Castle and finishes at Gateshead Millennium Bridge, featuring both city and countryside over a mixed-terrain route. It can be attempted either as a two-day challenge (‘Challenger’ category), with an overnight camp in the central section of the Hadrian’s Wall corridor next to the famous Roman fort of Vindolanda; or in a continuous attempt (‘Expert’ category). It is open to solo participants or as a self-supported relay team of two, three or four.

The event has been organised by the UK’s leading adventure sports company Rat Race Adventure Sports, with guidance from Hadrian’s Wall Heritage and Hadrian’s Triumph, to ensure that a sustainable route is developed. Since its launch in summer 2011 the event has proved extremely popular, with entries coming in from as far afield as the USA, Australia and South Africa. Rat Race expect to sell out this year 1 event, making this the UK’s largest Ultra Run, without ever having taken place.

This early success not only provides an insight into the current growth in the adventure challenge market, but reflects ordinary runners’ desire to push themselves further across such distances in some dramatic settings.

The event is the latest to join the company’s growing portfolio of adventure challenges, ranging from 5km and 10km runs in urban, rural and wilderness settings up to 100 mile + traverses of the Scottish Highlands. Rat Race’s reputation for innovative event concepts and the use of dramatic venues has attracted a raft of Ratfans and in 2012 the company expects to cater to some 50 000 adventurers over its varied events portfolio. The company’s growth reflects the huge participation in outdoor fitness activities that is currently being enjoyed in the UK. The company also operates retail and fitness divisions from its York base.

Jim Mee, MD of Rat Race Adventure Sports commented that: “The landscapes are vast, the Wall itself ever-present as a hand rail to your days on the move, and the facilities, people and places en route are continually stimulating. The varied formats we are offering on this event provide a real introduction to ultra-distance running for people looking for that next level of challenge. We have designed this event to be truly attainable, hence the mixed-terrain route. It will appeal to runners and fit walkers alike and a good basic level of fitness is required. But there are no excuses - after all - people have had two thousand years to prepare for this.”

Entry Prices

Entry for the Expert (Solo) category is priced at £150 until 23rd May 2012 when there is a ‘latecomers’ increase to £180. The Challenger (Solo) category costs £200, rising to £230 after the 23rd May 2012. The Relay Team entry is priced at £120 per person up to 23rd May 2012 and £150 after that date.

Event Stage Information

Hadrian's wall route

Stage 1: 15.5 miles
Commences with mass starts from Carlisle Castle and immediately heads eastwards beside the River Eden, traversing flat rural landscapes past Brampton before gradually climbing towards the first hills and forts of The Wall. Ends at Lanercost Priory.

Stage 2: 17 miles
Leaving Lanercost the run becomes decidedly hillier as it passes several forts and character crags past Birdoswald, Gilsland and Greenhead. Just when approaching the highest hills the route dips down to reach the overnight camp-ground beside the massive fort of Vindolanda at around 750ft above sea level

Stage 3: 13 miles
Runners will feel the exposure the legions must have felt as they stare out to the vastness of the North from this lofty plateau. The route will pass Vindolanda Fort, and traverse more frontier country, before it’s heads down for the first long descent to a transition near Hexham on the Tyne River.

Stage 4: 17 miles
Leaving Hexham the route is now on a mission to get to see the bridges of Newcastle Gateshead on the River Tyne. This is a long section that will take runners into some post-industrial heartland, plus the pleasant riverside paths towards Wylam. It’s then onwards to the final transition at Tyne Riverside Country Park.

Stage 5: 7 miles
This final stage is the shortest and fastest. For the Relay Teams this will be a sprint to the finish, and for the Challengers and Experts the culmination of their aspirations to run directly in amongst the bridges at the dramatic centre of Newcastle/Gateshead, finishing at Baltic Quay.

Total: 69 Miles

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