It was a bright and gloriously sunny morning for our incredible 50km ULTRA guided trail run which incorporated a shorter 'More than a half' option. The route headed out from Studiorama in Brownhill at 7.30am and took in the beautiful Dean Clough Reservoir then continued to Whalley Nab which offered breathtaking views over the Ribble Valley and towards Kemple End. The group passed beneath the impressive Whalley Arches with a stint on the old Roman Road before crossing the river at the Edisford Bridge on the edge of Clitheroe. The runners then enjoyed a scenic riverside section and some beautiful open fields whilst heading over towards Great Mitton and Lower Hodder Bridge, crossing alongside the old Cromwell Bridge. Finally (for those taking on the 'More than a Half') the route took in Winckley Hall and Jumbles before arriving at the 'slightly-more-than' 25km point in Hurst Green. After lunch outside the quaint Millie's Cafe, some of the group had finished their day on the trails while the 50km ULTRA group headed out for another dose.
The second half saw the weather become increasingly moody as the group were guided through the magnificent grounds of Stonyhurst College, past Birdy Brow and onto Longridge Fell. Given the hot, humid, 'sticky' conditions of the morning, the torrential downpour and thunder storm that followed was actually quite welcome! The rain didn't last too long though and the runners took in some great trails working their way down to the Ribble again, crossing at Ribchester Bridge and then climbing up to Copster Green. Finally, after an epic day on the trails covering over 50km, the group arrive back at Studiorama. Everyone on both sections of the run did fantastically and with some appropriately timed refreshment stops we felt we helped everyone get a lot from a brilliant day on the trails. Most of the 50km runners enjoyed a refreshing post-run drink at 'Ego at The Knowles Arms' who had kindly let us use their parking for the day. The consensus was that it really was an epic day on the trails and the experienced ultra runners amongst the group appreciated just how varied, intricate and unique the route was. It was pleasing that some people commented they're already looking forward to future ULTRAs - after a big recovery that is! #ULTRAFUN
Our ultra was one of many running events held on Saturday, as many other events we decided to hand out yellow ribbons for runners to wear as a mark of respect and in memory of those affected by the terrible Manchester terrorist attack earlier in the week. We all felt incredibly lucky to be outside, enjoying some amazing #trailrunning