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More than 500 runners have already signed up for the return of The Ultra Tour of Arran challenge.
After last year’s inaugural success, event organisers are bringing the 100km off-road running event back.
Rat Race Adventure Sports have set the dates for Saturday April 13 and Sunday April 14.
Entries for the fully supported and waymarked adventure around the island with an overall vertical gain of 10,679 feet, close at midnight on April 7 so there is still plenty of time to be a part of it.
Jim Mee, MD of Rat Race Adventure Sports, said: ‘We are very pleased to be returning to Arran in 2019. The island has so much to offer our Rat Racers and their supporters over and above the huge variety of running terrain from north to south. It has its own whisky distillery, brewery, craft gin, artisan cheese, aromatics, quality local food and drink together with that incredibly special island hospitality.
‘What seemed to appeal most to our 2018 particpants was setting sail to a stunning and dramatic location where they felt a million miles away, yet they were less than an hour from the mainland; a true adventure weekend.’
The Ultra Tour of Arran (UTA) is suited to a range of athletes from elite fell runners to amateur sporting enthusiasts with a good base 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.
David Hellard was the first to cross the finish line in 2018 after two days of tough off-road running in a time of 10:27:21. His girlfriend Claire Briggs was the first female to finish in a time 12:00:51. The average time for the 100km distance from 239 runners that took part over the weekend was 15:15:00.
Allie Bailey, a female ambassador for Rat Race Adventure Sports who took part in the UTA in 2018, said: ‘I love Scotland and I love a challenge. It was my first time on Arran and the island is glorious. The landscape is beautiful with such a great diversity of terrain. During the race we reached many places that other people would not ordinarily see. I will be back to do it again. I enjoyed it so much.’
When signing up, runners will have the option to take on the challenge of Day One only covering 45kms or the full two-day 100km Ultra distance. View both routes at ratrace.com/uta/the-route/
Those taking part on the first day one can expect between four and eight hours of running on quiet paths, forest trails, some boardwalk sections, some tarmac sections through villages and a lot of forest dirt roads.
Day two will demand between six and twelve hours of running and is virtually all off-road with some serious mountain sections and rough underfoot. There will be several scheduled pit stops interspersed on the route each day for a quick rest and refuel.
Mr Mee said organisers are delighted to have the support of EventScotland for the Ultra Tour of Arran this year, helping bring in more runners and multisport enthusiasts.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: ‘Arran is the perfect stage for such an exciting and challenging adventure run. With such a varied landscape, taking in glens, beaches, forests and more, we are sure participants, families and friends alike will enjoy a stunning event on one of Scotland’s most beautiful islands.’
The event’s base camp will be in Brodick, just one kilometre from the island’s ferry terminal. The hub will have good food and drink, great amenities, friendly and hospitable staff and Saturday night entertainment. A complimentary shuttle service from the ferry, together with camping, full serviced glamping and limited paid parking options will also be available.
Rat Race is partnered with Children With Cancer UK, the leading national children’s charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer. Rat Racers have raised more than £1m across all Rat Race events, since the campaign began in 2015.
Any runners who raise £750 through Virgin Money Giving for Children with Cancer UK before race day, will have their entry fee returned. Go to ratrace.com/uta/run-for-charity/ to find out more.