Painting the Forth Bridge.

So many races so little time. I have a list of things I want to do that seems to get bigger quicker than I can do them. It's only getting worse, this list only had about 8 races on it 3 years ago. I've ticked a few off in the past few years, The Spartathlon, Badwater, GUCR, UTMB (kind of). Still have a lot to do. If you hear of any more cool races then do let me know.


I've ticked off the continent. Now for some races within.

There are a lot of the US 100 milers I want to do. More than any other I really want to do Leadville. The 100 mile "race across the sky" made more famous by the Born to Run book. All of it is at high altitude. Obviously the Western States 100 is a high priority but is so hard to get into nowadays. I put my name in last year, I think the odds were 17-1. The Vermont 100 and the Wasatch Front 100 complete the Grand Slam of American 100 milers.

There is plenty more in the States. The Hardrock 100 is notoriously hard, 33,000 feet of elevation. The Hurt 100 in Hawaii and the Keys 100 in Miami are great sounding races too. For some really perverse reason I can't stop thinking about the Barkely 100 (no website), an almost impossible race in the Tennessee wilderness. Only 9 people have finished in 25 years of the event. Check out this news story which should give you an idea of what it is about. Flights are only £400. Hmmm.

Oh, at the Badger Mountain Challenge 100.

I NEVER want to do this one. The Sri Chimoy 3100 mile race that is 1 mile laps of a block in New York. Please kill me if I ever sign up.

135 milers

It seems that 135 is the new 100, with lots of new races popping up that go way past the nice round 100 mark. Possibly to compare themselves to Badwater. There are 2 more races in the "135 mile cup" aside from Badwater, they are the Arrowhead 135 and the Brasil 135. These are all within a few weeks of each other and doing them all in 1 year seems incredible. In Brazil you can expect floods and tropical heat and lots of huge elevation, 33000ft in fact. The Arrowhead has much less elevation but much more snow and ice.

The High in the Himalayas is a new contender for "worlds toughest" with only 1 finsher. The whole race is staged at crippling altitude (look at the profile). New also the Europe 135 miler in Germany looks quite nice.

Cold Places

The 6633 Ultra is a self supported 350 mile run into the Arctic Circle in Canada. I quite like the idea of pulling a load of stuff on a sled. Similar but even longer is the Yukon Arctic ultra 430 miles over a week. On the other the Antarctic Ice Marathon (100k) looks well worth the long and expensive trip to near the South Pole. South Argentina "end of the earth" there is the Patagonia Antarctic race, 350k in 9 stages.

Hot Places

Badwater was the hottest of them all and with that done where else is there to go? I'd still like to do some multi-day sand running. The best of these looks like the Atacama Crossing from the 4 Deserts series. There is an 128k non-stop ultra on the Skeleton Coast in Namibia that looks exciting.

The Trans 333 is a 333k non-stop race across a different desert each year. Sounds fun.


There are so many events popping up all over the UK but they always seem to clash with something. Our tiny island is home to some great ultras and no-doubt there will be more. Top of the home list is the West Highland Way race, 95 miles from Glasgow to Fort William along a path of which 26 miles of it broke me earlier this year. The Lakeland 100 or rather the Ultra-Tour of the Lake District is huge and hard and takes in lots of passes in the Lakes, one of the UK's most beautiful places. New and only every 2 years the Thames Ring is a must for me. From the same people who bring the GUCR it is 250 miles non-stop of rivers and canals.  Not races as such but the Bob Graham Round (42 peaks of the lakes in 24 hours), The Paddy Buckley Round (47 summits in Snowdonia, Wales) and the Ramsay Round (23 munros (mini-mountains) in Scotland in 24 hours)

There are may more in the UK that I'd like to tick off. The Ridgeway 85, West Highland Way 95, South Downs Way 100 and North Downs Way 100

I would like to do so many solo runs in the UK too. The entire Thames Path in one go would be a great challenge, 180 miles from the source in Gloucestershire to the estuary at the Thames Flood Barrier. I'd love to run John O'Groats to Lands End completely off-road and on national trails such as the West Highland Way, Pennine Way, Costwold way and the South West Coastal Path.


Obviously I need to knock UTMB off properly. I don't feel right wearing the T-Shirt even though it's nice and I have crossed of the pictures of the mountains that I didn't do. There are a few good multi-days in Europe such as the Al Andalus Ultra trail in the south of Spain. I ran recently in the Grenada mountains and it was beautiful. The Trans Aq in France is a very popular one there and promises 85% "pinewood trail" and 15% beach. I love pinewood trail. This new one in Greece looks lovely and very hard too, the Rodopi Trail 100. And another one in the Greek tradition of running a bloody long way for an olive wreath the Dolichos ultra race is 260km that has to be completed in 43 hours without much support.

The Ultrabalaton in Hungary looks amazing, a 212k circuit of the Lake Balaton. One of the shorter ones on the list is the Laugavegur Ultra in Iceland, only 55k but looks amazing. The Gax Trans Scania is a completely self supported 153 mile race across Sweden looks quite odd but tempting.

Obviously if I didn't have a job and had loads of money I'd like to do the Trans Europe Foot Race. Held every 2 years the 2012 edition starts in John O'Groats and finishes in Gibraltar. Previously it went from the southern tip of Italy to Northern Norway. In 2012 it goes from Denmark to Gibraltar. Big waiting list though.

The Tor des Geants is like a double UTMB. 200 miles and 24000m of up and down. That's more than a half marathon vertical. Also ther is the Ultra-Trail Andorra, a tiny country with a massive race of 170k with 11000m of up and down. The website is in French and two types of Spanish and I can't figure out what that pie chart is saying.


I need to do Comrades. It's one that's on the list but just not that high up but I'd love to do it one day. Perhaps 2012? The Addo 100 Elephant Trail run and the Augrabies multi day race. I'd quite like to see elephants and lions on my runs, would make a change from squirrels and otters.


The Coast to Koscuiszko is a 153 miler from sea level to 2000 meters up to the top of Australias highest mountain Koscuiszko. Does not sound like an Australian mountain, it should really be called "great big high mountain". The Track Outback race looks like a really good multi-day. 600k and a 100 mile stage.  The  Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon does not seem to happen anymore but I'd like to do it. This race was famous for a potato farmer Cliff Young upsetting the field in the very first race by winning without stopping. All the other runners slept at night whereas he just kept on going and claimed that chasing sheep for days was why he was so good at it. He was 61.

South America

The Jungle Marathon appeals. The usual 6 day format but in a really busy and alien jungle environment. I've wanted to do this more since seeing Karl Pilkington get annoyed by the noises of the jungle. The Inca run looks amazing too. The Incas used relay stations and covered 250 (?) miles per day sending messages across the trails. I wouldn't plan on going that fast.

If you have read Born to Run you'd have probably heard of this guy. Caballo Blanco now organises a 47 mile Copper Canyon Ultra in Mexico.


If someone can translate a Korean website I'd like to have a go at the Tran-Korea 308k ultra that is here somewhere. The Ultra-Trail Mt Fuji looks awesome too.

And another million to follow.