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Database of Britain’s Best Adventure Races

Ultra Runner

In January I entered the legendary Strathpuffer 24 hour winter mountain bike race. Chatting to the organisers I found that they organise several other races as well. They are fun and challenging and will appeal to specific groups of people. However, unlike the ‘Puffer, these events do not sell out. The organisers explained to me that this is simply due to them not being successful (yet) at spreading the word about them.

This got me thinking.

There are so many fantastic, beautiful, fun, challenging races out there. Part of their appeal is that they are often low-key and not particularly high-profile.

So I thought it would be a good idea to draw up a list of some really good events for anyone who is looking for a challenge.

This entry is an addendum to one I wrote last year which included these:

– London Marathon
– Ballbuster duathlon
– Devizes to Westminster canoe marathon
– Thames Ring 250
– Man vs Horse marathon
– Kindrocht Quadrathlon
– The UK Ironman
– The Yorkshire 3 Peaks fell race
– The Great Swim
– The Original Mountain Marathon

And, for a bit of light relief:
– Tough Guy
– Cheese Rolling
– Bog Snorkelling

To these I will add:

Strathpuffer – 24 hr winter MTB race in Scotland. January.
– this great selection of road bike races, mountain marathons and mountain bike races in the Highlands: Hands On Events
– a host of ultramarathons, marathon wild swims and adventure races in the South West of England: Endurancelife
– The Norseman. For people who think an Ironman is for wimps.
Mountain Mayhem – another 24 hr MTB race.
Open Adventure – a multi-discipline 24 hour race.

I am no expert in this field. If this list is to become of useful proportions it will be through readers adding your own suggestions in the comments. So if you know of a great race please do add it below along with a website and a brief explanation.

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  1. I think there should be a few longer swims in there too. For organised events then the BLDSA events are good. The Two Way Windemere and Loch Lomond are probably the best/hardest. In general then the hardest British based swim would be the North Channel-between Scotland and Northern Ireland (cold year round and lots of jellyfish!).

  2. How about 3 Peaks Cyclocross race – mountain biking with skinny tires and drop handlebars

  3. The Long Distance Walking Association (LDWA) do super cheap marathon+ cross-country races every weekend throughout the UK. Audax do similar for road bikes.

    The SleepMonsters website has listings for adventure races in the UK and the rest of world too.

  4. FionaHarris Posted

    Scotland Coast to Coast race

  5. Suggestions from Facebook:

    The Global Bicycle Race? 18000 miles circumnavigation. Starts Feb 2012

    The South West Coast 2 Coast (SWC2C) is an epic, self propelled, 140 mile multi-sport traverse of Britain’s largest and most beautiful peninsular.

  6. There are a number of multisport adventure races but for my mind, the best “journey” AR in the UK must be:

    It is the evolutionary race which came out of the Hebridean Challenge (which came out of the original Western Isles Challenge many years ago). I was lucky enough to take part in the 2003 edition which took the unusual north to south route.



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