Skyrunning UK announce the PEAKS SKYRACE

The-Roaches w: logo

Skyrunning UK is pleased to announce the first SkyRace for the Skyrunner® National Series UK calendar, the Peaks SkyRace located in the heart of the Pennines.

Covering a distance of 29.7-miles, with a total elevation gain and loss of 2012m, the Peaks SkyRace is the brainchild of experienced race director, Richard Weremiuk (Beyond Marathon), Anthony Bethell and Billy Craig. The Peaks SkyRace promises to be a great ‘opener’ for the 2014 Skyrunner® National Series calendar within the UK.

‘This course combines altitude with technical terrain and some superb views; a combination which should please the most discerning athlete,’ Craig explained, ‘A personal highlight on the course without a doubt is Ramshaw Rocks, it’s beautiful and rugged.’

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Weremiuk is no stranger to race direction and he brings all his experience from ‘Beyond Marathon’ for this new departure into the Skyrunning UK calendar. ‘Features on Talk Ultra podcast have raised the profile of Skyrunning to the point where virtually most ultra runners have heard of it and I’m sure many have aspirations to run in the mountains with the superstars of the World circuit. Skyrunning coming to the UK may well give them that opportunity.’

 Ramshaw-Rocks

Based on an old Peak District Challenge called the ‘Five Trigs Round’ for which there is no fixed course, just the requirement to visit five specific trig points. Weremiuk and the team have taken that concept and built a fixed course around it with Skyrunning in mind! The route takes in some of the best of the White Peak District as well as including the highlights of the traditional round.

‘The Peaks may not have the raw elevation of the Lakes or Snowdonia, but it has rugged technical terrain,’ said Weremiuk, ‘A highlight for me is the ascent of Daneblower Hollow. It is little known to most, but it’s a narrow trail alongside a brook and small waterfall, it really challenges your footwork.’

Bethell, who took part in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series in 2013, gained a lot of experience from these events which has been invaluable in ensuring that Skyrunning principles are upheld for the Peaks SkyRace, ‘A long joyous descent on tricky terrain into Stake Clough after Shining Tor is one of those “Brakes off, Brain off” moments that one finds in all the classic Skyrunning races, UK Skyrunners® will love it,’ exclaimed Bethell.

‘It has been a priority from day one to ensure that Skyrunning UK provides courses of varying length, difficulty, elevation and terrain on some of the most iconic trails and areas of the UK,’ said Skyrunning UK Director, Ian Corless, ‘We have the V3K on the Welsh 3000’s and the 3×3 on an iconic Lakeland course. The Peaks SkyRace not only offers our first shorter ‘Sky’ race but it also offers an opportunity to race in the Pennines over technical ground. I’m really excited about this addition to the series.’

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Entries for the Peaks SkyRace are now open… put the date in your diary, August 3rd 2014 and we look forward to seeing you all for the UK’s very first SkyRace.

 

Course Description:

A short sharp shock to start with an ascent of Solomon’s Tower, then it’s back down to the outskirts of Buxton. Next you climb onto Axe Edge Moor, through Three Shires Head along the Ramshaw Rocks ridge and along to a Hen Cloud. The Roaches follow which will without doubt be the highlight for many.  Descend into Gradbach before soon after facing the Peak District Matterhorn, Shutlingsloe. Descend then begin the long climb up past The Cat and Fiddle to the summit Shining Tor. A fun descent to the Goyt valley floor is followed with a climb onto Burbage Edge and the finish in Buxton.

Bethell states as with all SkyRaces, ‘we offer a fully marked course with chip timing, awards medal for all finishers and a trophy for male and female winners. Hopefully, the ridge runs along Ramshaw Rocks and the Roaches will live up to the Skyrunning Motto of ‘Less Cloud, More Sky’….’

Race Stats 

·      Distance: 29.7m

·      Elevation gain: 2012m

·      Elevation loss: 2012m

·      Checkpoints: Two with food/ liquid.

Facilities on offer at the race

·      On site car parking

·      Food and drink at 2-checkpoints

·      Insured race with medical support

·      Shower and changing facilities at the finish

·      Electronic Chip Timing from RaceTimerPro

·      Comprehensive participant guide, sent 1 month before the event

·      Experienced marshals and staff

Race dates and times.

3rd August, 8am start.

£45.00

Website:  http://www.peakskyrace.co.uk

Entry: http://www.peakskyrace.co.uk/enter

Skyrunning UK: http://www.skyrunninguk.com

The Apocalypse is coming : 100-miles and 50-miles

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The Apocalypse is coming. Conquest, Famine, War and Death.

It arrives on May 17th 2014.

Ultra running is going through a boom. Statistics show that ultra races are popping up all over the world at an alarming rate. The UK is no different, apparently, some 200 races now exist on the calendar and that is just in the UK.

The 100-mile distance by many is considered to be the Holy Grail in ultra running. To that end, Richard Weremiuk from Beyond Marathon has now added a new event to take place on May 17tt 2014.

In a partnership with ultra marathon pioneers, Racing the Planet and The National Trust, Richard and his team plan to send you on an epic journey around the Shropshire hills over 100 or 50-miles.

Are you ready to face 50 or 100 miles on an awesome new course?

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River valleys, farmland, woods and rolling hills; Shropshire provides a landscape that is rich in wildlife and geology. It’s a tranquil place that is embraced by visitors and locals as a place that provides a quality environment to walk, run or just spend time outdoors.

The varied geology of the Shropshire hills provides a link between the Welsh Mountains and the Midlands. The terrain is a trail runners playground, moorland plateaus, craggy stiperstones, quarries, woods, forests and the valleys of the Long Mynd will test each and every participant as they journey to beat the riders of the Apocalypse.

Church Stretton, the race HQ, was called Little Switzerland in the late Victorian and Edwardian period due the surrounding landscape and its development as a health resort. Nestled within an area of outstanding beauty (ANOB), The area incorporates some of the oldest rocks in England. Carding Mill Valley provides a hub for the local area and as such is a great location for the race HQ.

The Race

Church-Stretton

“Any 100 mile race is a personal challenge, a chance to test your limits. This 100 miler is no exception. The race features over 5 km’s of vertical ascent and descent” says Richard Weremiuk.

With 4700m of vertical ascent and descent, only the Lakeland 100 (UTLD) appears to have more vertical gain than the Apocalypse 100 in the UK. This will be one tough challenge. But Richard always brings something unique to his races.

“The course has been ingeniously designed. It is a single complete circle, but with independent 10 mile loops at each compass point featuring the names of the four riders of the Apocalypse; Conquest, Famine, War and Death.”

Death! Now that is an ominous way to finish a 100-miler… but knowing Beyond Marathon, they do have an enthusiasm to inject some fun and humour, even a little dark humour at times.

The four 10-mile loops have been chosen for course or checkpoint characteristics and as such, they have been named appropriately.

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Beyond Marathon HERE

Beyond Marathon have a reputation for providing quality races that keep costs low with no compromise on quality. Despite low entry fees (£31 for the 50 and £44 for the 100) and a restricted race entry of just 60-people, participants will get quality administration and support.

“We are keeping our ethos inline with our other races: Dusk till Dawn (day and night versions), The 12 Labours of Hercules, The Gritstone Grind, and next year we will bring you those events as well as The Millennium way ultra marathon, and Double or Nothing. It is simple; Low cost and great value for money says Richard.

If you feel a 100-miles is too far, Beyond Marathon are offering a 50 mile option which would see you head out to tackle Conquest and Famine before heading due South back to race HQ.

Note:

Navigation skills will be required, though we provide custom maps to every participant and also files in various GPS and electronic map formats.  Though the course is not officially marked, we always try and help out with some markers in tricky areas. We have endeavored to make the second half of the 100 easier to navigate, as nights are dark in Shropshire! That said the moon is almost full on May 17th, so nature may lend a helping hand. The race has great support from The National Trust and our other partners, and look forward to introducing more UK runners to the mystical Shropshire hills.

RACE WEBSITE HERE

THE ROUTE

The event begins at The National Trust centre in Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton.

Heading west, participants climbing out of the Valley on Marches Way. Continuing West to Cross The Shropshire Way on Adstone Hill. Skirting around Black Rhadley to reach checkpoint 1 at mile 10.

Embarking on the West loop, the first 10-mile section confronts the runners. A climb of Corndon Hill and then Lan Fawr must be tackled before heading south to Todleth Hill, turning in an Easterly direction CP2 awaits at mile 20.

Running the length of the famous Stiperstones, passing The Devil’s chair on the way.  No time to sit down, you continue on the Shropshire Way and then head to Habberley and Longden Common to reach CP3 at mile 30.

The North loop is an easy and fairly flat section in and around Pontesbury, which will give all an opportunity to recover, though there is a small climb before you reach CP4 at mile 40.

Heading South East through Dorrington and Longnor, after The Lawley, Easthopewood is CP5 at Mile 50.

The East loop sees you head over Wenlock Edge and join the Shropshire Way and Jack Mytton Way before heading back to Easthopewood. A superb ridge run and a 10-mile trip down Wenlock Edge to reach CP7 in Moorwood.

Two very sharp climbs are on the Southern loop. Once through Craven Arms you scale Norton Camp, descend into Norton and Head uphill from Medley Park to Hanging Wood all the way to the tower on Callow Hill before heading to CP8 at Mile 80.

Wistanstow and then onto Horderley are the two next focal points and then a route direction change, heading North to climb Church Moor Hill to Cross the Shropshire Way and head steeply down into Asterton. North West to Wentnor, Norbury then along side Linley Big Wood CP9 at Mile 90.

Just 10-miles now to go on familiar terrain and the race is over. A final descent into Carding Mill completes the journey.

The course profile is shown below. It features over 15,500ft  (4700 m) of ascent and descent).

Elevation Profilev2

Race route: http://beyondmarathon.com/apocalypse-100/apocalypse-100-route/

 USE THE FORM BELOW FOR A REDUCTION ON RACE ENTRY

SOURCES:

The Twelve Labours of Hercules

Another publicity poster

Ultra running is growing and growing. As a race director do you follow a tried and tested formula and offer a race at one of the classic distances such as 50k, 50m, 100k or 100m or do you go off piste, have a random distance and shake things up a little.

Richard Weremiuk has done just this and then some with his new race ‘The 12 Labours of Hercules’.

Hercules Transparent

You are already interested aren’t you… what could this enticing name offer?

In Greek mythology, the twelve Labours of Hercules (Greek: δωδέκαθλον, dodekathlon) were a series of episodes carried out as a penance… oh dear, penance, what did Hercules do?

Hera, the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus, apparently drove Hercules mad. So mad, poor old Hercules killed his own six sons! She really must have driven him mad! Somewhat drastic eh. With a lack of a decent judicial system, Hercules pulled himself together and sought purification from King Thespius. To atone his actions he was asked to reside with King Eurystheus for 12 years and to complete 12 Labours. In return he would be rewarded with immortality.

So there you have it. But what on earth could the race entail…. 12 years running with 12 tasks? Of course not!

The Race

On July 20th / 21st 2013, participants in ‘The Twelve Labours of Hercules’ will have just 24 hours to cover between 1 and 78 miles, tackling as many ‘Labours’ as you can. The race offers 3 UTMB points for solo finishers of the full distance.

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It’s a great concept and the format makes the race inclusive for all abilities.

A ’labour’ will be completed by visiting one of twelve chosen control locations in the Peak District and then returning to HQ at the Victorian Gothic Mansion Losehill Hall, Derbyshire.

All Labours will be different. For example, some Labours may require the collection of a small item, which will then need to be returned to Losehill Hall.

Other Labours will only be revealed upon visiting the control point where participation in a task may be required!

Race director, Richard Weremiuk says “If you know us, then you know you should be prepared for anything when you arrive at a location. Be prepared for a few surprises.  All 12 locations within the Peak District have been carefully chosen. The name, or location is specifically or critically tied to one of the mythical Labours.”

The Route

To add spice, the route for the race is under wraps and being kept secret.

Richard says;

“Giving out the route would give away some of the surprises. All we will say is that the route will be held within the borders of Hope Valley in Derbyshire and cover 96 square miles”

Hercules Location

HQ for the 24 hours event is the Victorian gothic mansion, Losehill Hall in Castleton, Derbyshire. This location does offer overnight accommodation too.

Image YHA.org.uk - Andrew Bingham

Image YHA.org.uk – Andrew Bingham

Participants will be issued with a map of the area at ‘check-in’, which will show the 12 suggested routes to the ‘Labour’ locations.

It’s possible to take part as a solo, pair or team (up to 6) and you will be issued with one electronic timing chip supplied by Sportident to track your individual or team progress.

It’s an interesting format and as an alternative to ‘just’ running an element of tactics will come into play. Participants decide which control to visit and in which order. When at a CP they either dib in, perform a task (Labour) or retrieve an object. Each time your return to ‘Olympus’ (or as is most commonly known, HQ). Zeus will be waiting!

In contrast to solo competitors, pairs or teams can pass on the ‘timing chip’ when they have returned to Olympus and then a teammate can complete the next labour and so on.

Sounds simple eh! Well not quite as simple as you think, you see, certain ‘Labours’ must be completed within certain hours, so, this will need to be factored into your planning.

Ultimately, you decide how many Labours you go for BUT you must finish within 24 hours.

Outside the time limit? Every minute incurs a stiff penalty!

The Challenge

Unlike any other race, the twelve Labours of Hercules offers a new exciting perspective to the ultra running format.

As Richard says:

“It is as tough as you want to make it. Complete just one labour or you can choose to complete all twelve which will ultimately mean approximately 80 miles”

The format of solo, pair or team does mean that if you are new to ultra running or basically if you are just after something different, this race may very well tick all the boxes.

Taking place over 24 hours it does mean that night running will be involved. So be prepared.

The race route is by no means easy. It does have plenty of ascent and one control point is underground.

The Hades Cave Control

One area that may worry many is navigation. I asked Richard what skills are required to participate:

“Runners are supplied with an OS map on which will be suggested routes to each CP. CP’s can be reached by road, footpath but others by just footpath. The course is not marked because part of the challenge is choosing how to get to the CP’s in the quickest way possible.”

Richard continued:

“Although expert map reading may not be required it certainly would be prudent to be confident with some elements of map reading in particular identifying your location on a map and being able to take a bearing from a compass. Remember, some of this event will be in the dark”

Participants are allowed to GPS but as Richard says, “this should not be because you don’t know how to map read. A GPS is really a back-up device”.

So, all in all, a tough challenge and not one for the feint hearted. But Hercules wouldn’t want it any other way, so why would you?

Grab your sword and shield…. Sorry, I mean your shoes and backpack and test your self against ‘The Twelve Labours of Hercules.’

Special Offers:

  • A 10% discount is offered on race entry if you contact Richard directly by emailing: info@beyondmarathon.com
  • In addition, the first 10 entries to mention ‘Talk Ultra’ will get a ‘Beyond Marathon’ technical T shirt

Info & Links

  • Official race website is HERE
  • Facebook page is HERE
  • If you are interested in the history of the Twelve Labours, the images below contain a link to inform you of what Hercules endured.