At UKanTrail, we love running trails, we love running long trails and we love doing it with friends, old and new. From this simple desire, the St Begas Ultra Trail race was born.
With entries now open for the August race, we've set up a weekend recce at the end of May.
We hope this will give: entrants, would be entrants, those teetering on the brink of their first ultra and our friends; the opportunity to try out the route, and run and relax, with like-minded people.
The winner of last year's men's race, Howard Seal will be running and Holly Rush the winner of the ladies' race, is planning to be there too, (recovery from The Two Oceans and other commitments allowing). Enjoy the chance to chat to these two runners and perhaps share a few training tips. As an aside, I (Jon Raymond RD), will also taking part, but expect to find me somewhat behind these two!
This isn't a race and there won't be any timekeeping involved. Instead, runners will cover the route in two supported, loose groups, at a pace that's comfortable for them, with plenty of time for socialising and admiring the views.
Each group will contain individuals that know the route and will act as guides for the other runners.
Runners will arrive and park at St Bees, (the finish of the event) and then be picked up by transport which willl bring them to the start, on the Mirehouse Estate. Entrants will then run from the start of the event in Dodd Wood over the first 20 miles of the route, through Borrowdale and up over the highest climb, just after Honister Slate Mine, before arriving at their overnight accommodation in the secluded valley of Ennerdale ........
Hostel accommodation is provided via the Lower Gillerthaite Field Centre (LGFC) a fantastic hostel in the beautiful and secluded Ennerdale Valley. A perfect spot for reflecting and planning. A basic pasta supper and a barrel of beer will be supplied and it's hoped that with this and any other treats that people might like to bring to enjoy or share, we'll have a fabulous evening, whilst relaxing in the stunning surroundings.
If you've energy left to spare, there are fabulous short and long walks to be enjoyed, including many famous local fells such as Pillar, Haystacks, Red Pike etc. The hostel accommodation is typical of its type and full details are included here. There is mains (hydro-electric) power, drinking water and a pay phone!
For those who attended the race last year, you'll be pleased to know that the renowned Ennerdale brewery will be supplying the beer.
After a good nights rest and a 'runners' (porridge) breakfast, runners will set off to cover the remaining 15 miles of the route before finishing at the coastal village of St Bees, where their cars await them.
We've kept the price of the event down to the bare bones, to make it as accessible as possible to all.
Our aim here is to provide maximum enjoyment, maximum participation, at a minimum cost, with a simple all-inclusive offer. Your safety however, is as always, our primary concern and you can expect the same quality of First Aid support as on race day. There will be no compromise here.
We're not looking to make a profit out of this event, but just get as many people together as we can, do some running, learn the route, support each other and then 'kick-back' together when it's done.
The price of the event includes:
Overnight accommodation at the end of Day 1, including supper and breakfast and beer
Professionally qualified and mobile, First Aid provision
Runner guides to assist entrants
Coach transport for all entrants to the start
Drop vehicle, to transport any essentials that you need overnight at the LGFC (Sleeping bag?) and bring them back to your cars on Sunday
Permits and Insurance for all Landowners on the route
Parking for entrants vehicles at St Bees
15% discount on purchases, at our main sponsor's Keswick shop, on both Sat and Sunday
The full route covers 35 miles and offers 4000ft of ascent.
Day 1 - 20 miles. Starting at 12:00 midday, Dodd wood (race start). Finishing 3-5 hrs later at LGFC (race Checkpoint 2)
There will be provision for water and light snacks at 10 miles distance on both day 1 and day 2. You should consider this as minimum supplies and carry some of your own.
Additional food can be bought at several cafes on route.
Day 2 - 15 miles. Starting from LGFC at approximately 09:00 and finishing at St Bees, (race Finish) 2 - 4 hrs later.
Runners are not expected to race, but to run within one of the two loose groups that will progress the course. Final arrangements will depend on numbers.
The LGFC hostel accommodation is basic. Don't expect hotel standard, but do expect, friendly and welcoming hosts. You are advised to bring a sleeping bag, if you sleep cold. (I will be!)
Food will be adequate but basic. If you want to spice it up, then feel free to bring some extra, but be prepared to share :-)
Beer will be served on a 'when it's gone it's gone basis', there are no pubs within walking distance, but a barrel contains some 80 pints! (Also :-) see above)
The hostel is secluded and although there is a 'fit for vehicle track', we've been asked to minimise traffic and we'd much rather you stayed on site.
Minimum kit : Trail shoes, waterproof jacket, fully charged mobile phone, foil bag and basic first aid kit including standard and blister plasters, sterile pad and tape.
Note: This event is held under UK Athletics rules. Entrants must be 18yrs or over on raceday. Minimum kit will be required. Trail Running Association Permit : Applied for.
Updated details and event day information will be published on our website . It is important that you keep in touch for updates. We will however, email out selected information and event day instructions, so please add the domain @sientries to your email list of safe senders.