Big entry expected for Ultra Tour of Arran

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As many as 500 runners are expected to take part in a two-day off-road running adventure which is to be held on Arran next month.

The event – dubbed the Ultra Tour of Arran (UTA) – will see the athletes descend on the island to scramble up peaks and race through forests, racking up 100km in 48 hours.

It it being held by Rat Race Adventure Sports, the UK’s largest provider of adventure races, and will take place on Saturday April 14 and Sunday April 15. Half of the runners are from Scotland and the rest from elsewhere in the UK and beyond.

Day one of the fully way marked route will take participants through the villages of Brodick, Lamlash, and Whiting Bay and feature quiet paths and forest trails. Day two steps up a gear and it virtually all off-road, taking in some serious mountain sections including North Goatfell and Goatfell itself. Runners can choose from a one or two day option, with each leg covering 50km – around 31 miles a day and an overall vertical gain of 10,679 feet.

When signing up runners will have the option to take on the challenge of day one only or the full two-day 100km Ultra distance. There will be several scheduled pit stops interspersed on the route each day, for a quick rest and a refuel.

The UTA is suited to a range of athletes from elite to amateur sporting enthusiasts with a high level of fitness. It is an achievable step up from a marathon into ultra-running territory, for both solos and pairs, who have prepared well and put in the training miles.

As with all of their events, to ensure runners, their families and friends have the best weekend possible Rat Race will operate from a central Basecamp for UTA, located in Brodick, just one kilometre from the island’s ferry terminal.  This hub will have all the quality trappings of a Rat Race event – good food and drink, great amenities, friendly and hospitable staff and Saturday night entertainment.  A complimentary shuttle service from the ferry, together with camping, fully-serviced glamping; and limited paid parking options will also be available.

Managing director of Rat Race Adventure Sports Jim Mee said: ‘At Rat Race we do events differently which makes them all the more appealing.  And for The Ultra Tour of Arran, we love the notion of setting sail to a stunning location, ‘over the water’, where the myths, legends and island folklore fused with the rugged terrain will make runners feel that they are a million miles away, yet it is a mere 55 minutes from the mainland.

‘We know everyone will love Arran, both Rat Racers and their clan support; and it’s not just for the excellent running we have planned. The island itself has a lot to offer with its own whisky distillery, brewery, craft gin, artisan cheese, aromatics, quality local food and drink, and that very special west coast hospitality.  The Island’s attractions will provide a magnificent long weekend for the family and friends who sign up for the Rat Race experience.  We will also be helping supporters by pointing out the best safe and accessible spectator locations on the route.’

Rat Race is partnered with Children With Cancer UK (http://www. childrenwithcancer.org.uk), the leading national children’s charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer, in a pledge to fight the UK’s biggest child killer. Rat Racers have raised more than £1,000,000, across all Rat Race events, since the campaign began in 2015.  If runners take part in the Ultra Tour of Arran 2018 and raise £750 through Virgin Money Giving for Children with Cancer UK before race day, Rat Race will return their entry fee.  Go to: http://ratrace.com/uta/run- for-charity/

All runners looking to tame the challenge of The Ultra Tour of Arran should head to the website for more information and to sign up: http://ratrace.com/uta/