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Your chance to 'step beyond' the marathon

by Editor
Tuesday 22nd April 2014
Tags  Ian Berry   |   Sandra Bowers   |   tzruns   |   National 100K   |   National 50K

Race preview: Sandra Bowers explains what you might expect when you venture beyond 26.2 miles

Have you ever wondered what lies beyond the marathon?  Ever considered the possibility that you could run further than 26.2 miles?  If the answer to either of those questions is “yes”, then please read on, the world of ultra-running is waiting for you...

An ultra-distance event is basically any distance greater than 26.2 miles or 42k if you prefer to count in kilometres.  People all over the world are participating in ultra-distance events from just beyond 26.2 mile to events that take days to complete and are hundreds of miles in distance. From flat and fast to mountainous and dangerous, there is an ultra-distance event to suit all abilities. Some events are staged on way marked courses and others require map reading and navigational skills. Most ultras require the runner to carry food, water and clothing, plus mobile telephone and other emergency items.  These events have manned checkpoints at defined distances, but in between the checkpoints can be a lonely time as there may be no other runners around and if a runner gets into trouble, help can take a little while to reach them.  Many runners wander off course in such events and can end up running a few more miles than they planned!

Photos: tzruns are hosting the National 100K and National 50K races, to be held on Saturday 3rd May 2014 at Cyclopark in north-west Kent © tzruns

There are other events that are staged on lapped courses, you cannot get lost, you do not need to carry food and water and there is nearly always a fellow runner within sight.  One of the biggest advantages of lapped courses is that they are easy to support from a non-runner's perspective and family and friends will always know where you are to cheer you on.

If you are new to ultra running, this type of event is a brilliant introduction to the world of ultras.  And if you are an experienced racer then this type of event is the best chance for a good performance as it is relatively straightforward to manage your fuel and pacing strategy.  There are always people on hand to offer help and support when the going gets tough – oh sorry did I forget to say that running ultras is rather hard work and sometimes you will question your sanity as you try to dig deeper than you ever thought was possible.  To run a good ultra you need to be mentally and physically strong.  But the good news is that every ultra you complete in this new world will give you something that no one else can.  The experience will teach you about yourself and how to fully connect body and mind.  You will meet fabulous people, each person having an inspiration story as to why they started running ultras.

National 100K and National 50K races

tzruns are hosting the National 100K and National 50K races, to be held on Saturday 3rd May 2014 at Cyclopark in north-west Kent, just six miles from the M25.

This perfect smooth tarmac circuit is also the venue for the very successful annual Kent Roadrunner Marathon. The private course is traffic, pedestrian and dog free. There is an onsite café (hot and cold food), showers, changing, Wi-Fi and car parking.   Race nutrition for both events will be provided by CLIF Bar.

As well as being an open race (available for all runners to enter), the National 100k will be the British Athletics National 100km championship and the official trial race for those aiming to represent Great Britain at the 2014 IAU 100km World Championships. The race also incorporates the Anglo-Celtic Plate (ACP) on behalf of England Athletics. The ACP is an annual home nations' team event, celebrating its 20th year.

Alongside the National 100k there will also be a National 50k race. The 50km (31.1 miles) distance is perfect for marathoners looking to step up to ultra-distances. The distance is also great for seasoned marathoners who like to run for great finishers' medals. 

Inspirationally designed medals are something that the tzruns team pride themselves on and the finishers’ medals for both the 50k and 100k will not disappoint.  Being runners themselves they want each and every runner at their events to have a special memento of a special race.

The 100k race starts at 8:00 am, with runners having 12 hours to complete the distance.  The 50k race starts at 11:00 am and has a generous cut off time of 7 hours.  Any runner that starts the 100k can choose to “drop down” to the 50k on the day and will be awarded a finisher’s medal for the 50k and also be included in the 50k results.

The 50k is a fantastic opportunity to set a PB time at a new distance in a safe and supportive environment and “bag” one of the finest finishers’ medals of 2014.  You will also have the opportunity to run amongst some of Britain’s best ultra runners as they race the 100k and compete to be crowned the best in Great Britain.  Both events have been awarded IAU Bronze Label status.

Visit www.national100k.com to find out more


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